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The Changeling

by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley

Dramatis Personae

Act 1


Enter Alsemero.

Alsemero:’TWas in the Temple where I first beheld her, And now again the same, what Omen yet Follows of that? None but imaginary, Why should my hopes or fate be timorous? The place is holy, so is my intent: I love her beauties to the holy purpose, And that (methinks) admits comparison With man’s first creation, the place blessed And is his right home back (if he achieve it.) The Church hath first begun our interview And that’s the place must join us into one, So there’s beginning and perfection too.

Enter Jasperino.

Jasperino:O Sir, are you here? Come, the wind’s fair with you, Y’ are like to have a swift and pleasant passage.

Alsemero:Sure y’ are deceived friend, ’tis contrary In my best judgement.

Jasperino:What for Malta? If you could buy a gale amongst the Witches, They could not serve you such a lucky pennyworth As comes a’ God’s Name.

Alsemero:Even now I observed The temple’s Vane to turn full in my face, I know ’tis against me.

Jasperino:Against you? Then you know not where you are.

Alsemero:Not well indeed

Jasperino:Are you not well sir?

Alsemero:Yes, Jasperino. Unless there be some hidden malady Within me, that I understand not.

Jasperino:And that I begin to doubt sir, I never knew Your inclinations to travels at a pause With any cause to hinder it till now. Ashore you were wont to call your servants up, And help to trap your Horses for the speed. At sea I have seen you weigh the anchor with ’em, Hoist sails for fear to lose the foremost breath, Be in continual prayers for fair winds, And have you changed your orisons?

Alsemero:No, friend, I keep the same church, same devotion.

Jasperino:Lover I’m sure y’ are none, the Stoic Was found in you long ago, your mother Nor best friends, who have set snares of beauty, Ay and choice ones too, could never trap you that way What might be the cause?

Alsemero:Lord, how violent, Thou art; I was but meditating of Somewhat I heard within the temple.

Jasperino:Is this violence? ’tis but idleness Compared with your haste yesterday.

Alsemero:I’m all this while a-going, man.

Enter Servants.

Jasperino:Backwards, I think, sir. Look your servants.

1 Servant:The seamen call, shall we Board your trunks?

Alsemero:No, not today.

Jasperino:’Tis the critical day, It seems, and the sign in Aquarius.

2 Servant:We must not to sea today, this smoke will bring forth fire.

Alsemero:Keep all on shore, I do not know the end (Which needs I must do) of an affair in hand Ere I can go to sea.

1 Servant:Well, your pleasure.

2 Servant:Let him e’en take his leisure too, we are safer on land.

Exeunt Servants

Enter Beatrice, Diaphanta, and Servants, Joannna.

Jasperino:How now! The Laws of the Medes are changed sure, salute a woman, he kisses too: wonderful! where learnt he this? and does it perfectly too; in my conscience he ne’er rehearsed it before. Nay, go on, this will be stranger and better news at Valencia, than if he had ransomed half Greece from the Turk.

Beatrice:You are a Scholar, sir.

Alsemero:A weak one, Lady.

Beatrice:Which of the Sciences is this love you speak of?

Alsemero:From your tongue I take it to be music.

Beatrice:You are skilful in ’t, can sing at first sight.

Alsemero:And I have showed you all my skill at once. I want more words to express me further. And must be forced to repetition: I love you dearly.

Beatrice:Be better advised, sir: Our eyes are Sentinels unto our judgements, And should give certain judgement what they see; But they are rash sometimes, and tell us wonders Of common things, which when our judgements find, They can then check the eyes, and call them blind.

Alsemero:But I am further, Lady; yesterday Was mine eye’s employment, and hither now They brought my judgement, where are both agreed. Both Houses then consenting, ’tis agreed, Only there wants the confirmation By the hand Royal, that’s your part, Lady.

Beatrice:Oh there’s one above me, sir, for five days past To be recalled; sure, mine eyes were mistaken, This was the man was meant me, that he should come So near his time, and miss it.

Jasperino:We might have come by the Carriers from Valencia, I see and saved all our sea-provision: we are at farthest sure, methinks I should do something too, I meant to be a venturer in this voyage. Yonder’s another Vessel, I’ll board her, if she be lawful prize, down goes her topsail.

Enter Deflores.

Deflores:Lady, your father.

Beatrice:Is in health, I hope.

Deflores:Your eye shall instantly instruct you, Lady. He’s coming hitherward.

Beatrice:What needed then Your duteous preface? I had rather He had come unexpected, you must stall A good presence with unnecessary blabbing: And how welcome for your part you are, I’m sure you know.

Deflores:Wilt never mend this scorn One side nor other? Must I be enjoined To follow still whilst she flies from me? Well, Fates do your worst, I’ll please myself with sight Of her, at all opportunities, If but to spite her anger, I know she had Rather see me dead than living, and yet She knows no cause for ’t, but a peevish will.

Alsemero:You seemed displeased Lady on the sudden.

Beatrice:Your pardon Sir, ’tis my infirmity, Nor can I other reason render you, Than his or hers, or some particular thing They must abandon as a deadly poison, Which to a thousand other tastes were wholesome, Such to mine eyes is that same fellow there, The same that report speaks of the Basilisk.

Alsemero:This is a frequent frailty in our nature, There’s scarce a man amongst a thousand sound, But hath his imperfection: one distastes The scent of Roses, which to infinites Most pleasing is, and odoriferous. One oil, the enemy of poison, Another Wine, the cheerer of the heart, And lively refresher of the countenance. Indeed this fault (if so it be) is general, There’s scarce a thing but is both loved and loathed, Myself (I must confess) have the same frailty.

Beatrice:And what may be your poison sir? I am bold with you.

Alsemero:And what might be your desire perhaps, a cherry.

Beatrice:I am no enemy to any creature My memory has, but yon Gentleman.

Alsemero:He does ill to tempt your sight, if he knew it.

Beatrice:He cannot be ignorant of that Sir, I have not spared to tell him so, and I want To help myself, since he’s a Gentleman In good respect with my father, and follows him.

Alsemero:He’s out of his place then now.

Jasperino:I am a mad Wag, wench.

Diaphanta:So methinks; but for your comfort I can tell you, we have a Doctor in the City that undertakes the cure of such.

Jasperino:Tush, I know what Physic is best for the state of mine own body.

Diaphanta:’Tis scarce a well governed state, I believe.

Jasperino:I could show thee such a thing with an Ingredient that we two would compound together, and if it did not tame the maddest blood i’ th’ town for two hours after, I’ll ne’er profess Physic again.

Diaphanta:A little poppy Sir, were good to cause you sleep.

Jasperino:Poppy; I’ll give thee a pop i’ th’ lips for that first, and begin there: Poppy is one simple indeed, and Cuckoo (what you call ’t) another: I’ll discover no more now, another time I’ll show thee all.

Beatrice:My Father, Sir.

Enter Vermandero and Servants.

Vermandero:Oh Joanna, I came to meet thee, your devotion’s ended.

Beatrice:For this time, Sir, I shall change my Saint, I fear me, I find A giddy turning in me; Sir, this while I am beholding to this Gentleman Who left his own way to keep me company, And in discourse I find him much desirous To see your castle: He hath deserved it, Sir, If ye please to grant it.

Vermandero:With all my heart, Sir. Yet there’s an article between, I must know Your country; we use not to give survey Of our chief strengths to strangers, our citadels Are placed conspicuous to outward view, On Promonts’ tops; but within are secrets.

Alsemero:A Valencian, Sir.

Vermandero:A Valencian, That’s native, Sir; of what name, I beseech you?

Alsemero:Alsemero, Sir.

Vermandero:Alsemero; not the son of John de Alsemero?

Alsemero:The same Sir.

Vermandero:My best love bids you welcome.

Beatrice:He was wont to call me so, and then he speaks A most unfeigned truth.

Vermandero:Oh Sir, I knew your father, We two were in acquaintance long ago Before our chins were worth Iulan Down, And so continued till the stamp of time Had coined us into silver: Well, he’s gone, A good Soldier went with him.

Alsemero:You went together in that, Sir.

Vermandero:No by Saint Jaques, I came behind him. Yet I have done somewhat too, an unhappy day Swallowed him at last at Gibralter In fight with those rebellious Hollanders, Was it not so?

Alsemero:Whose death I had revenged, Or followed him in Fate, had not the late League Prevented me.

Vermandero:Ay, ay, ’twas time to breathe: Oh Joanna, I should ha’ told thee news, I saw Piracquo lately.

Beatrice:That’s ill news.

Vermandero:He’s hot preparing for this day of triumph, Thou must be a Bride within this seven-night.


Beatrice:Nay good Sir, be not so violent, with speed I cannot render satisfaction Unto the dear companion of my soul, Virginity (whom I thus long have lived with) And part with it so rude and suddenly, Can such friends divide never to meet again, Without a solemn farewell?

Vermandero:Tush, tush, there’s a toy.

Alsemero:I must now part, and never meet again With any joy on earth; Sir, your pardon, My affairs call on me.

Vermandero:How Sir? by no means, Not changed so soon, I hope, you must see my castle, And her best entertainment ere we part, I shall think myself unkindly used else. Come, come, let’s on, I had good hope your stay Had been a while with us in Alicant; I might have bid you to my daughter’s wedding.

Alsemero:He means to feast me, and poisons me beforehand, I should be dearly glad to be there, sir, Did my occasions suit as I could wish.

Beatrice:I shall be sorry if you be not there When it is done sir, but not so suddenly.

Vermandero:I tell you, sir, the Gentleman’s complete, A Courtier and a Gallant, enriched With many fair and noble ornaments, I would not change him for a son-in-law, For any he in Spain, the proudest he, And we have great ones, that you know.

Alsemero:He’s much bound to you, sir.

Vermandero:He shall be bound to me, As fast as this tie can hold him, I’ll want my will else.

Beatrice:I shall want mine if you do it.

Vermandero:But come, by the way, I’ll tell you more of him:

Alsemero:How shall I dare to venture in his castle, When he discharges murderers at the gate? But I must on, for back I cannot go.

Beatrice:Not this Serpent gone yet?

Vermandero:Look Girl, thy glove’s fall’n, Stay, stay, Deflores help a little.

Deflores:Here, Lady.

Beatrice:Mischief on your officious forwardness, Who bade you stoop? they touch my hand no more: There, for t’ other’s sake I part with this, Take ’em and draw thine own skin off with ’em.


Deflores:Here’s a favor come; with a mischief: Now I know she had rather wear my pelt tanned In a pair of dancing pumps, than I should thrust my fingers Into her sockets here I know she hates me, Yet cannot choose but love her: No matter, if but to vex her, I’ll haunt her still, Though I get nothing else, I’ll have my will.


Enter Alibius and Lollio.

Alibius:Lollio, I must trust thee with a secret, But thou must keep it.

Lollio:I was ever close to a secret, Sir.

Alibius:The diligence that I have found in thee, The care and industry already past, Assures me of thy good continuance. Lollio, I have a wife.

Lollio:Fie sir, ’tis too late to keep her secret, she’s known to be married all the town and country over.

Alibius:Thou goest too fast my Lollio, that knowledge I allow no man can be barred it; But there is a knowledge which is nearer, Deeper and sweeter, Lollio.

Lollio:Well sir, let us handle that between you and I.

Alibius:’Tis that I go about man; Lollio, My wife is young,

Lollio:So much the worse to be kept secret, sir.

Alibius:Why now thou meet’st the substance of the point, I am old, Lollio.

Lollio:No sir, ’tis I am old Lollio.

Alibius:Yet why may not this concord and sympathize? Old trees and young plants often grow together, Well enough agreeing.

Lollio:Ay sir, but the old trees raise themselves higher and broader than the young plants.

Alibius:Shrewd application: there’s the fear man, I would wear my ring on my own finger; Whilst it is borrowed it is none of mine, But his that useth it.

Lollio:You must keep it on still then, if it but lie by, One or other will be thrusting into ’t.

Alibius:Thou conceiv’st me Lollio here thy watchful eye Must have employment, I cannot always be at home.

Lollio:I dare swear you cannot.

Alibius:I must look out.

Lollio:I know ’t, you must look out, ’tis every man’s case.

Alibius:Here I do say must thy employment be. To watch her treadings, and in my absence Supply my place.

Lollio:I’ll do my best, Sir, yet surely I cannot see who you should have cause to be jealous of.

Alibius:Thy reason for that Lollio, ’tis a comfortable question.

Lollio:We have but two sorts of people in the house, and both under the whip, that’s fools and madmen; the one has not wit enough to be knaves, and the other not knavery enough to be fools.

Alibius:Ay those are all my Patients, Lollio. I do profess the cure of either sort: My trade, my living ’tis, I thrive by it; But here’s the care that mixes with my thrift, The daily Visitants, that come to see My brainsick Patients, I would not have To see my wife: Gallants I do observe Of quick enticing eyes, rich in habits, Of stature and proportion very comely: These are most shrewd temptations, Lollio.

Lollio:They may be easily answered, Sir, if they come to see the Fools and Madmen, you and I may serve the turn, and let my Mistress alone, she’s of neither sort.

Alibius:’Tis a good ward, indeed come they to see Our Madmen or our Fools, let ’em see no more Than what they come for; by that consequent They must not see her, I’m sure she’s no fool.

Lollio:And I’m sure she’s no madman.

Alibius:Hold that Buckler fast, Lollio my trust Is on thee, and I account it firm and strong. What hour is ’t Lollio?

Lollio:Towards belly hour Sir.

Alibius:Dinner time, thou mean’st twelve o’clock.

Lollio:Yes Sir, for every part has his hour, we wake at six and look about us, that’s eye-hour; at seven we should pray, that’s knee-hour; at eight walk, that’s leg hour; at nine gather flowers, and pluck a Rose, that’s nose-hour; at ten we drink, that’s mouth hour; at eleven lay about us for victuals, that’s hand hour; at twelve go to dinner, that’s belly hour.

Alibius:Profoundly, Lollio it will be long Ere all thy Scholars learn this Lesson, and I did look to have a new one entered — stay I think my expectation is come home.

Enter Pedro and Antonio like an Idiot.

Pedro:Save you sir, my business speaks itself, This sight takes off the labor of my tongue.

Alibius:Ay, ay Sir, ’tis plain enough, you mean him for my patient.

Pedro:And if your pains prove but commodious, To give but some little strength to his sick And weak part of Nature in him, these are But patterns to show you of the whole pieces That will follow to you, beside the charge Of diet washing, and other necessaries Fully defrayed.

Alibius:Believe it, sir, there shall no care be wanting.

Lollio:Sir, an officer in this place may deserve something, The trouble will pass through my hands.

Pedro:’Tis fit something should come to your hands then, sir.

Lollio:Yes, sir, ’tis I must keep him sweet, and read to him, what is his name.

Pedro:His name is Antonio, marry we use but half To him, only Tony.

Lollio:Tony, Tony, ’tis enough, and a very good name for a fool, what’s your name Tony?

Antonio:He, he he, well I thank you cousin, he he, he.

Lollio:Good Boy hold up your head: he can laugh, I perceive by that he is no beast.

Pedro:Well sir, if you can raise him but to any height, Any degree of wit, might he attain (As I might say) to creep but on all four, Towards the chair of wit, or walk on crutches, ’Twould add an honor to your worthy pains, And a great family might pray for you, To which he should be heir, had he discretion To claim and guide his own; assure you sir, He is a Gentleman.

Lollio:Nay, there’s nobody doubted that, at first sight I knew him for a Gentleman, he looks no other yet.

Pedro:Let him have good attendance and sweet lodging.

Lollio:As good as my Mistress lies in sir, and as you allow us time and means, we can raise him to the higher degree of discretion.

Pedro:Nay, there shall no cost want sir.

Lollio:He will hardly be stretched up to the wit of a Magnifico.

Pedro:Oh no, that’s not to be expected, far shorter Will be enough.

Lollio:I’ll warrant you make him fit to bear office in five weeks, I’ll undertake to wind him up to the wit of Constable.

Pedro:If it be lower then that it might serve turn.

Lollio:No fie, to level him with a Headborough, Beadle, or Watchman, were but little better than he is; Constable I’ll able him: if he do come to be a Justice afterwards, let him thank the Keeper. Or I’ll go further with you, say I do bring him up to my own pitch, say I make him as wise as myself.

Pedro:Why there I would have it.

Lollio:Well, go to, either I’ll be as errant a fool as he, or he shall be as wise as I, and then I think ’twill serve his turn.

Pedro:Nay, I do like thy wit passing well.

Lollio:Yes, you may, yet if I had not been a fool, I had had more wit than I have too remember what state you find me in.

Pedro:I will, and so leave you: your best cares I beseech you.

Exit Pedro

Alibius:Take you none with you, leave ’em all with us.

Antonio:Oh my cousin’s gone, cousin, cousin, oh.

Lollio:Peace, Peace Tony, you must not cry child, you must be whipped if you do, your cousin is here still, I am your cousin, Tony.

Antonio:He, he, then I’ll not cry, if thou be’st my cousin, he, he, he.

Lollio:I were best try his wit a little, that I may know what Form to place him in.

Alibius:Ay, do Lollio, do.

Lollio:I must ask him easy questions at first; Tony, how many true fingers has a Tailor on his right hand?

Antonio:As many as on his left, cousin.

Lollio:Good, and how many on both?

Antonio:Two less than a Deuce, cousin.

Lollio:Very well answered; I come to you again, cousin Tony, How many fools goes to a wise man?

Antonio:Forty in a day sometimes, cousin.

Lollio:Forty in a day? How prove you that?

Antonio:All that fall out amongst themselves, and go to a Lawyer to be made friends.

Lollio:A parlous fool, he must sit in the fourth Form at least, I perceive that: I come again Tony, How many knaves make an honest man?

Antonio:I know not that cousin.

Lollio:No, the question is too hard for you: I’ll tell you cousin, there’s three knaves may make an honest man, a Sergeant, a Jailor, and a Beadle; the Sergeant catches him, the Jailor holds him, and the Beadle lashes him; and if he be not honest then, the Hangman must cure him.

Antonio:Ha, ha, ha, that’s fine sport cousin.

Alibius:This was too deep a question for the fool Lollio.

Lollio:Yes, this might have served yourself, though I say ’t; Once more, and you shall go play Tony.

Antonio:Ay, play at push-pin cousin, ha, he.

Lollio:So thou shalt, say how many fools are here.

Antonio:Two, cousin, thou and I.

Lollio:Nay, y’ are too forward there, Tony mark my question, how many fools and knaves are here? a fool before a knave, a fool behind a knave, between every two fools a knave, how many fools, how many knaves?

Antonio:I never learnt so far cousin.

Alibius:Thou put’st too hard questions to him, Lollio.

Lollio:I’ll make him understand it easily; cousin stand there.

Antonio:Ay cousin.

Lollio:Master, stand you next the fool.

Alibius:Well, Lollio.

Lollio:Here’s my place: mark now Tony, there a fool before a knave.

Antonio:That’s I cousin.

Lollio:Here’s a fool behind a knave, that’s I, and between us two fools there is a knave, that’s my Master, ’tis but we three, that’s all.

Antonio:We three, we three, cousin.

Madmen within.

Madman 1:[Within.] Put’s head i’ th’ pillory, the bread’s too little.

Madman 2:[Within.] Fly, fly, and he catches the swallow.

Madman 3:[Within.] Give her more onion, or the Devil put the rope about her crag.

Lollio:You may hear what time of day it is, the Chimes of Bedlam goes.

Alibius:Peace, peace, or the wire comes.

Madman 3:[within.] Cat whore, Cat whore, her parmesan, her parmesan.

Alibius:Peace, I say, their hour’s come, they must be fed, Lollio.

Lollio:There’s no hope of recovery of that Welsh madman, Was undone by a Mouse, that spoiled him a Parmesan, Lost his wits for ’t.

Alibius:Go to your charge, Lollio, I’ll to mine.

Lollio:Go you to your madmen’s Ward, let me alone with your fools.

Alibius:And remember my last charge, Lollio.


Lollio:Of which your Patients do you think I am? Come Tony you must amongst your Schoolfellows now, there’s pretty Scholars amongst ’em, I can tell you there’s some of ’em at stultus, stulta, stultum.

Antonio:I would see the madmen, cousin, if they would not bite me.

Lollio:No, they shall not bite thee, Tony.

Antonio:They bite when they are at dinner, do they not coz.

Lollio:They bite at dinner indeed, Tony; well, I hope to get credit by thee, I like thee the best of all the Scholars that ever I brought up, and thou shalt prove a wise man, or I’ll prove a fool myself.


Act 2


Enter Beatrice and Jasperino severally.

Beatrice:OH Sir, I’m ready now for that fair service, Which makes the name of friend sit glorious on you. Good Angels and this conduct be your guide, Fitness of time and place is there set down, sir.

Jasperino:The joy I shall return rewards my service.


Beatrice:How wise is Alsemero in his friend? It is a sign he makes his choice with judgement. Then I appear in nothing more approved, Than making choice of him; for ’tis a Principle, He that can choose That bosom well, who of his thoughts partakes, Proves most discreet in every choice he makes. Methinks I love now with the eyes of judgement. And see the way to merit, clearly see it. A true deserver like a Diamond sparkles, In darkness you may see him, that’s in absence, Which is the greatest darkness falls on love, Yet is he best discerned then With intellectual eyesight; what’s Piracquo My Father spends his breath for, and his blessing Is only mine, as I regard his name, Else it goes from me, and turns head against me, Transformed into a Curse; some speedy way Must be remembered, he’s so forward too, So urgent that way, scarce allows me breath To speak to my new comforts.

Enter Deflores.

Deflores:Yonder’s she Whatever ails me, now a-late especially, I can as well be hanged as refrain seeing her; Some twenty times a day, nay not so little, Do I force errands, frame ways and excuses To come into her sight, and I have small reason for ’t, And less encouragement; for she baits me still Every time worse than other, does profess herself The cruelest enemy to my face, in town, At no hand can abide the sight of me, As if danger, or ill luck hung in my looks. I must confess my face is bad enough, But I know far worse has better fortune, And not endured alone, but doted on, And yet such pickhaired faces, chins like Witches, Here and there five hairs, whispering in a corner, As if they grew in fear one of another, Wrinkles like troughs, where swine deformity swills The tears of perjury that lie there like wash, Fallen from the slimy and dishonest eye, Yet such a one plucked sweets without restraint, And has the grace of beauty to his sweet, Though my hard fate has thrust me out to servitude, I tumbled into th’ world a Gentleman. She turns her blessed eye upon me now, And I’ll endure all storms before I part with ’t.

Beatrice:Again — this ominous ill-faced fellow more disturbs me, Than all my other passions.

Deflores:Now ’t begins again, I’ll stand this storm of hail though the stones pelt me.

Beatrice:Thy business? What’s thy business?

Deflores:Soft and fair, I cannot part so soon now.

Beatrice:The villain’s fixed — Thou standing toad-pool.

Deflores:The shower falls amain now.

Beatrice:Who sent thee? What’s thy errand? leave my sight.

Deflores:My Lord your father charged me to deliver a message to you.

Beatrice:What another since, do ’t and be hanged then, let me be rid of thee.

Deflores:True service merits mercy.

Beatrice:What’s thy message?

Deflores:Let beauty settle but in patience, you shall hear all.

Beatrice:A dallying trifling torment.

Deflores:Signior Alonzo de Piracquo Lady, sole brother to Tomazo de Piracquo.

Beatrice:Slave, when wilt make an end?

Deflores:Too soon I shall.

Beatrice:What all this while of him?

Deflores:The said Alonzo, with the foresaid Tomazo.

Beatrice:Yet again.

Deflores:Is new alighted.

Beatrice:Vengeance strike the news, Thou thing most loathed, what cause was there in this To bring thee to my sight?

Deflores:My Lord your father charged me to seek you out.

Beatrice:Is there no other to send his errand by?

Deflores:It seems ’tis my luck to be i’ th’ way still.

Beatrice:Get thee from me.

Deflores:So — why am not I an Ass to devise ways Thus to be railed at? I must see her still, I shall have a mad qualm within this hour again, I know ’t, and like a Common Garden Bull, I do but take breath to be lugged again. What this may bode I know not, I’ll despair the less, Because there’s daily precedents of bad faces Beloved beyond all reason; these foul chops May come into favor one day, ’mongst his fellows: Wrangling has proved the mistress of good pastime, As children cry themselves asleep, I ha’ seen Women have chid themselves abed to men.

Exit Deflores

Beatrice:I never see this fellow, but I think Of some harm towards me, danger’s in my mind still, I scarce leave trembling of an hour after. The next good mood I find my father in, I’ll get him quite discarded: Oh I was Lost in this small disturbance and forgot Affliction’s fiercer torrent that now comes, To bear down all my comforts.

Enter Vermandero, Alonzo, Tomazo.

Vermandero:Y’ are both welcome, But an especial one belongs to you, sir, To whose most noble name our love presents The addition of a son, our son Alonzo.

Alonzo de Piracquo:The treasury of honor cannot bring forth A Title I should more rejoice in, sir.

Vermandero:You have improved it well; daughter prepare, The day will steal upon thee suddenly.

Beatrice:Howe’er, I will be sure to keep the night, If it should come so near me.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Alonzo.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Brother.

Tomazo de Piracquo:In troth I see small welcome in her eye.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Fie, you are too severe a censurer Of love in all points, there’s no bringing on you If Lovers should mark every thing a fault, Affection would be like an ill-set book, Whose faults might prove as big as half the volume.

Beatrice:That’s all I do entreat.

Vermandero:It is but reasonable, I’ll see what my son says to ’t: Son Alonzo, Here’s a motion made but to reprieve A Maidenhead three days longer; the request Is not far out of reason, for indeed The former time is pinching.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Though my joys Be set back so much time as I could wish They had been forward, yet since she desires it, The time is set as pleasing as before, I find no gladness wanting.

Vermandero:May I ever meet it in that point still: Y’ are nobly welcome, sirs.

Exeunt. Vermandero and Beatrice

Tomazo de Piracquo:So, did you mark the dulness of her parting now?

Alonzo de Piracquo:What dulness? Thou art so exceptious still.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Why let it go then I am but a fool To mark your harms so heedfully.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Where’s the oversight?

Tomazo de Piracquo:Come, your faith’s cozened in her, strongly cozened, Unsettle your affection with all speed, Wisdom can bring it too, your peace is ruined else. Think what a torment ’tis to marry one Whose heart is leapt into another’s bosom: If ever pleasure she receive from thee, It comes not in thy name, or of thy gift, She lies but with another in thine arms, He the half father unto all thy children In the conception, if he get ’em not, She helps to get ’em for him, in his passions, and how dangerous And shameful her restraint may go in time to, It is not to be thought on without sufferings.

Alonzo de Piracquo:You speak as if she loved some other then.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Do you apprehend so slowly?

Alonzo de Piracquo:Nay, and that be your fear only, I am safe enough, Preserve your friendship and your counsel brother, For times of more distress, I should depart An enemy, a dangerous, deadly one To any but thyself, that should but think She knew the meaning of inconstancy, Much less the use and practice; yet w’ are friends, Pray let no more be urged, I can endure Much, till I meet an injury to her, Then I am not myself. Farewell sweet brother, How much w’ are bound to heaven to depart lovingly


Tomazo de Piracquo:Why here is love’s tame madness, thus a man Quickly steals into his vexation.


Enter Diaphanta and Alsemero

Diaphanta:The place is my charge, you have kept your hour, And the reward of a just meeting bless you. I hear my Lady coming; complete Gentleman, I dare not be too busy with my praises, Th’ are dangerous things to deal with.


Alsemero:This goes well, these women are the Ladies’ Cabinets, Things of most precious trust are lock into ’em.

Enter Beatrice.

Beatrice:I have within mine eye, all my desires, Requests that holy prayers ascend heaven for And brings ’em down to furnish our defects, Come not more sweet to our necessities, Than thou unto my wishes.

Alsemero:We’re so like in our expressions, Lady, that unless I borrow The same words, I shall never find their equals.

Beatrice:How happy were this meeting this embrace, If it were free from envy? This poor kiss It has an enemy, a hateful one, That wishes poison to ’t: how well were I now If there were none such name known as Piracquo? Nor no such tie as the command of Parents, I should be but too much blessed.

Alsemero:One good service Would strike off both your fears, and I’ll go near it too, Since you are so distressed, remove the cause The command ceases, so there’s two fears blown out With one and the same blast.

Beatrice:Pray let me find you sir. What might that service be so strangely happy?

Alsemero:The honorablest piece ’bout man, Valor. I’ll send a challenge to Piracquo instantly.

Beatrice:How? Call you that extinguishing of fear When ’tis the only way to keep it flaming? Are not you ventured in the action, That’s all my joys and comforts? Pray no more, sir. Say you prevailed, your dangers and not mine then The law would claim you from me, or obscurity Be made the grave to bury you alive. I’m glad these thoughts come forth, O keep not one Of this condition sir; here was a course Found to bring sorrow on her way to death: The tears would ne’er ha’ dried, till dust had choked ’em. Blood-guiltiness becomes a fouler visage, And now I think on one — I was to blame, I ha’ marred so good a market with my scorn; ’T had been done questionless, the ugliest creature Creation framed for some use, yet to see I could not mark so much where it should be.


Beatrice:Why men of Art make much of poison, Keep one to expel another, where was my Art?

Alsemero:Lady, you hear not me.

Beatrice:I do especially sir, the present times are not so sure of our side As those hereafter may be, we must use ’em then As thrifty folks their wealth, sparingly, now till the time opens.

Alsemero:You teach wisdom, Lady.

Beatrice:Within there Diaphanta.

Enter Diaphanta.

Diaphanta:Do you call, Madam?

Beatrice:Perfect your service, and conduct this Gentleman The private way you brought him.

Diaphanta:I shall, Madam.

Alsemero:My love’s as firm as love e’er built upon.

Exeunt Diaphanta and Alsemero

Enter Deflores.

Deflores:I have watched this meeting, and do wonder much What shall become of t’ other, I’m sure both Cannot be served unless she transgress; happily Then I’ll put in for one: for if a woman Fly from one point, from him she makes a husband, She spreads and mounts then like Arithmetic, 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000, proves in time Sutler to an Army Royal. Now do I look to be most richly railed at, Yet I must see her.

Beatrice:Why, put case I loathed him As much as youth and beauty hates a Sepulcher, Must I needs show it? Cannot I keep that secret, And serve my turn upon him? — see he’s here — Deflores.

Deflores:Ha, I shall run mad with joy, She called me fairly by my name Deflores, And neither Rogue nor Rascal.

Beatrice:What ha’ you done to your face a-late? y’ have met with some good Physician, Y’ have pruned yourself methinks, you were not wont To look so amorously.

Deflores:Not I, ’tis the same Phisnomy to a hair and pimple, Which she called scurvy scarce an hour ago: How is this?

Beatrice:Come hither, nearer man.

Deflores:I’m up to the chin in heaven.

Beatrice:Turn, let me see, faugh ’tis but the heat of the liver, I perceive ’t. I thought it had been worse.

Deflores:Her fingers touched me, she smells all Amber.

Beatrice:I’ll make a water for you shall cleanse this within a fortnight.

Deflores:With your own hands, Lady?

Beatrice:Yes, mine own sir, in a work of cure, I’ll trust no other.

Deflores:’Tis half an act of pleasure to hear her talk thus to me.

Beatrice:When w’ are used to a hard face, ’tis not so unpleasing, It mends still in opinion, hourly mends, I see it by experience.

Deflores:I was blessed to light upon this minute, I’ll make use on ’t.

Beatrice:Hardness becomes the visage of a man well, It argues service, resolution, manhood, if cause were of employment.

Deflores:’Twould be soon seen, if e’er your Ladyship had cause to use it. I would but wish the honor of a service so happy as that mounts to.

Beatrice:We shall try you — Oh my Deflores!

Deflores:How’s that? She calls me hers already, my Deflores, You were about to sigh out somewhat, Madam.

Beatrice:No, was I? I forgot — Oh

Deflores:There ’tis again — the very fellow on ’t.

Beatrice:You are too quick, sir.

Deflores:There’s no excuse for ’t, now I heard it twice, Madam, That sigh would fain have utterance, take pity on ’t, And lend it a free word, ’las how it labors For liberty, I hear the murmur yet beat at your bosom.

Beatrice:Would Creation —

Deflores:Ay well said, that’s it.

Beatrice:Had formed me man.

Deflores:Nay, that’s not it.

Beatrice:Oh ’tis the soul of freedom, I should not then be forced to marry one I hate beyond all depths, I should have power Then to oppose my loathings, nay remove ’em for ever from my sight.

Deflores:Oh blessed occasion — Without change to your Sex, you have your wishes. Claim so much man in me.

Beatrice:In thee Deflores? There’s small cause for that.

Deflores:Put it not from me, it’s a service that I kneel for to you.

Beatrice:You are too violent to mean faithfully, There’s horror in my service, blood and danger, Can those be things to sue for?

Deflores:If you knew how sweet it were to me to be employed In any act of yours, you would say then I failed, and used not reverence enough When I receive the charge on ’t.

Beatrice:This is much methinks, belike his wants are greedy, and to such Gold tastes like Angel’s food — Rise.

Deflores:I’ll have the work first.

Beatrice:Possible his need is strong upon him, there’s to encourage thee As thou art forward and thy service dangerous, Thy reward shall be precious.

Deflores:That I have thought on, I have assured myself of that beforehand, and know it will be precious, the thought ravishes.

Beatrice:Then take him to thy fury.

Deflores:I thirst for him.

Beatrice:Alonzo de Piracquo.

Deflores:His ends upon him, he shall be seen no more.

Beatrice:How lovely now dost thou appear to me! Never was man dearlier rewarded.

Deflores:I do think of that.

Beatrice:Be wondrous careful in the execution.

Deflores:Why? are not both our lives upon the cast?

Beatrice:Then I throw all my fears upon thy service.

Deflores:They ne’er shall rise to hurt you.

Beatrice:When the deed’s done, I’ll furnish thee with all things for thy flight, thou mayst live bravely in another country.

Deflores:Ay, ay, we’ll talk of that hereafter.

Beatrice:I shall rid myself of two inveterate loathings at one time, Piracquo and his Dog-face.


Deflores:Oh my blood, methinks I feel her in mine arms already. Her wanton fingers combing out this beard, And being pleased, praising this bad face. Hunger and pleasure they’ll commend sometimes Slovenly dishes, and feed heartily on ’em, Nay which is stranger, refuse daintier for ’em. Some women are odd feeders — I’m too loud. Here comes the man goes supperless to bed, Yet shall not rise tomorrow to his dinner.

Enter Alonzo.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Deflores.

Deflores:My kind honorable Lord.

Alonzo de Piracquo:I am glad I ha’ met with thee.


Alonzo de Piracquo:Thou canst show me the full strength of the Castle,

Deflores:That I can sir.

Alonzo de Piracquo:I much desire it.

Deflores:And if the ways and straits of some of the passages be not too tedious for you, I will assure you worth your time and sight, my Lord.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Puh, that shall be no hindrance.

Deflores:I’m your servant then: ’tis now near dinner time, ’gainst your Lordship’s rising I’ll have the keys about me.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Thanks kind Deflores.

Deflores:He’s safely thrust upon me beyond hopes


Act 3


Enter Alonzo and Deflores.

(In the Act time Deflores hides a naked Rapier.)

Deflores:YEs, here are all the keys, I was afraid my Lord, I’d wanted for the postern, this is it. I’ve all, I’ve all, my Lord: this for the Sconce.

Alonzo de Piracquo:’Tis a most spacious and impregnable Fort.

Deflores:You’ll tell me more my Lord: this descent Is somewhat narrow, we shall never pass Well with our weapons, they’ll but trouble us.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Thou sayst true.

Deflores:Pray let me help your Lordship.

Alonzo de Piracquo:’Tis done. Thanks kind Deflores.

Deflores:Here are hooks my Lord, to hang such things on purpose.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Lead, I’ll follow thee.

Exeunt at one door and enter at the other.

Deflores:All this is nothing, you shall see anon a place you little dream on

Alonzo de Piracquo:I am glad I have this leisure: all your master’s house Imagine I ha’ taken a Gondola.

Deflores:All but myself, sir, which makes up my safety, My Lord, I’ll place you at a Casement here, Will show you the full strength of all the Castle. Look, spend your eye a while upon that object.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Here’s rich variety Deflores.

Deflores:Yes, sir.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Goodly munition.

Deflores:Ay, there’s Ordnance sir, no bastard metal, will ring you a peal like Bells at great men’s Funerals; keep your eye straight, my Lord, take special notice of that Sconce before you, there you may dwell awhile.

Alonzo de Piracquo:I am upon ’t.

Deflores:And so am I.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Deflores, oh Deflores, whose malice hast thou put on?

Deflores:Do you question a work of secrecy? I must silence you.

Alonzo de Piracquo:Oh, oh, oh.

Deflores:I must silence you. So, here’s an undertaking well accomplished. This vault serves to good use now — Ha what’s that Threw sparkles in my eye? — Oh ’tis a Diamond He wears upon his finger: it was well found, This will approve the work. What, so fast on? Not part in death? I’ll take a speedy course then, Finger and all shall off. So, now I’ll clear The passages from all suspect or fear.

Exit with Body,

Enter Isabella and Lollio.

Isabella:Why sirrah? Whence have you commission To fetter the doors against me? If you Keep me in a Cage, pray whistle to me, Let me be doing something.

Lollio:You shall be doing, if it please you, I’ll whistle to you if you’ll pipe after.

Isabella:Is it your Master’s pleasure, or your own, To keep me in this Pinfold?

Lollio:’Tis for my master’s pleasure, lest being taken in another man’s Corn, you might be pounded in another place.

Isabella:’Tis very well, and he’ll prove very wise.

Lollio:He says you have company enough in the house, if you please to be sociable, of all sorts of people.

Isabella:Of all sorts? Why here’s none but fools and madmen.

Lollio:Very well: And where will you find any other, if you should go abroad? There’s my master and I to boot too:

Isabella:Of either sort one, a madman and a fool.

Lollio:I would even participate of both then if were as you, I know y’ are half mad already; be half foolish too.

Isabella:Y’ are a brave saucy Rascal, come on sir, Afford me then the pleasure of your Bedlam; You were commending once today to me, Your last come lunatic, what a proper Body there was without brains to guide it, And what a pitiful delight appeared In that defect, as if your wisdom had found A mirth in madness; pray sir let me partake If there be such a pleasure.

Lollio:If I do not show You the handsomest, discreetest madman, one that I may Call, the understanding madman; then say I am a fool.

Isabella:Well, a match, I will say so.

Lollio:When you have a taste of the madman, you shall (if you please) see Fool’s College, o’ th’ side, I seldom lock there, ’tis but shooting a bolt or two, and you are amongst ’em. [Exit Enter presently.] Come on sir, let me see how handsomely you’ll behave yourself now.

Enter Lollio: Franciscus.

Franciscus:How sweetly she looks! Oh but there’s a wrinkle in her brow as deep as Philosophy, Anacreon drink to my Mistress’ health, I’ll pledge it: Stay, stay, there’s a Spider in the cup: No, ’tis but a Grape-stone, swallow it, fear nothing Poet; so, so, lift higher.

Isabella:Alack, alack, ’tis too full of pity To be laughed at; how fell he mad? Canst thou tell?

Lollio:For love, Mistress, He was a pretty Poet too, and that set him forwards first; The Muses then forsook him, he ran mad for a Chambermaid, Yet she was but a dwarf neither.

Franciscus:Hail bright Titania, why standst thou idle on these flow’ry banks? Oberon is dancing with his Dryads, I’ll gather daisies, primrose, violets, and bind them in a verse of Poesy.

Lollio:Not too near, you see your danger.

Franciscus:Oh hold thy hand great Diomed, thou feed’st thy horses well, they shall obey thee; Get up, Bucephalus kneels.

Lollio:You see how I awe my flock, a Shepherd has not his dog at more obedience.

Isabella:His conscience is unquiet, sure that was The cause of this. A proper Gentleman.

Franciscus:Come hither Esculapius, hide the poison.

Lollio:Well, ’tis hid.

Franciscus:Didst thou never hear of one Tiresias a famous Poet?

Lollio:Yes, that kept tame wildgeese.

Franciscus:That’s he, I am the man.


Franciscus:Yes, but make no words on ’t, I was a man seven years ago,

Lollio:A stripling I think you might.

Franciscus:Now I’m a woman, all feminine.

Lollio:I would I might see that.

Franciscus:Juno struck me blind,

Lollio:I’ll ne’er believe that; for a woman they say, has an eye more than a man.

Franciscus:I say she struck me blind.

Lollio:And Luna made you mad, you have two trades to beg with.

Franciscus:Luna is now big bellied, and there’s room for both of us to ride with Hecate; I’ll drag thee up into her silver sphere, and there we’ll kick the Dog, and beat the bush that barks against the Witches of the night, the swift Licanthropi that walks the round, we’ll tear their wolvish skins, and save the sheep.

Lollio:Is ’t come to this? nay then my poison comes forth again, mad slave, indeed, abuse your Keeper!

Isabella:I prithee hence with him, now he grows dangerous.


Franciscus:Sweet love pity me, give me leave to lie with thee.

Lollio:No, I’ll see you wiser first: To your own kennel.

Franciscus:No noise she sleeps, draw all the Curtains round, Let no soft sound molest the pretty soul, But love, and love, creeps in at a mousehole.

Lollio:I would you would get into your hole. [Exit Franciscus] Now Mistress I will bring you another sort, you shall be fooled another while, Tony, come hither Tony, look who’s yonder Tony.

Enter Antonio.

Antonio:Cousin, is it not my Aunt?

Lollio:Yes, ’tis one of ’em Tony.

Antonio:He, he, how do you Uncle?

Lollio:Fear him not Mistress, ’tis a gentle nidget, you may play with him, as safely with him as with his bauble.

Isabella:How long hast thou been a fool?

Antonio:Ever since I came hither, Cousin?

Isabella:Cousin, I’m none of thy Cousins fool.

Lollio:Oh mistress, fools have always so much wit as to claim their kindred.

Madman:[within.] Bounce, bounce, he falls, he falls.

Isabella:Hark you, your scholars in the upper room are out of order.

Lollio:Must I come amongst you there? Keep you the fool mistress, I’ll go up, and play left-handed Orlando amongst the madmen.


Isabella:Well, Sir.

Antonio:’Tis opportuneful now, sweet Lady! nay, Cast no amazing eye upon this change.


Antonio:This shape of Folly shrouds your dearest Love, The truest servant to your powerful beauties, Whose magic had this force thus to transform me.

Isabella:You are a fine Fool indeed.

Antonio:Oh ’tis not strange: Love has an intellect that runs through all The scrutinous Sciences; and like A cunning Poet, catches a quantity Of every Knowledge, yet brings all home Into one mystery, into one secret That he proceeds in.

Isabella:Y’ are a parlous Fool.

Antonio:No danger in me: I bring naught but Love, And his soft wounding shafts to strike you with: Try but one arrow; if it hurt you, I’ll stand you twenty back in recompense.

Isabella:A forward Fool too.

Antonio:This was Love’s teaching: A thousand ways she fashioned out my way, And this I found the safest and nearest To tread the Gallaxia to my Star.

Isabella:Profound, withal certain: You dreamed of this; Love never taught it waking.

Antonio:Take no acquaintance of these outward Follies; there is within A Gentleman that loves you.

Isabella:When I see him, I’ll speak with him; so in the meantime Keep your habit, it becomes you well enough As you are a Gentleman, I’ll not discover you; That’s all the favor that you must expect: When you are weary, you may leave the school, For all this while you have but played the Fool.

Enter Lollio.

Antonio:And must again; he, he, I thank you Cousin, I’ll be your Valentine Tomorrow morning.

Lollio:How do you like the Fool, Mistress?

Isabella:Passing well, Sir.

Lollio:Is he not witty, pretty well for a Fool?

Isabella:If he hold on as he begins, he is like to come to something

Lollio:Ay, thank a good Tutor: You may put him to ’t; he begins To answer pretty hard questions. Tony, how many is Five times six?

Antonio:Five times six, is six times five.

Lollio:What Arithmetician could have answered better? how many is One hundred and seven?

Antonio:One hundred and seven, is seven hundred and one, Cousin.

Lollio:This is no wit to speak on; Will you be rid of the Fool now?

Isabella:By no means, let him stay a little:

Madman:[within.] Catch there, catch the last couple in hell.

Lollio:Again, must I come amongst you? Would my Master were come home! I am not able to govern both these Wards together.


Antonio:Why should a minute of Love’s hour be lost?

Isabella:Fie, out again! I had rather you kept Your other posture: you become not your tongue, When you speak from your clothes.

Antonio:How can he freeze, lives near so sweet a warmth? shall I alone Walk through the orchard of the Hesperides. And cowardly not dare to pull an apple? This with the red cheeks I must venture for.

Enter Lollio above.

Isabella:Take heed, there’s Giants keep ’em.

Lollio:How now fool, are you good at that? have you read Lipsius? He’s past Ars Amandi; I believe I must put harder Questions to him, I perceive that —

Isabella:You are bold without fear too.

Antonio:What should I fear, having all joys about me? Do you smile, And Love shall play the wanton on your lip, Meet and retire, retire and meet again: Look you but cheerfully, and in your eyes I shall behold mine own deformity, And dress myself up fairer; I know this shape Becomes me not, but in those bright mirrors I shall array me handsomely.

Lollio:Cuckoo, Cuckoo —


Madmen above, some as birds, others as beasts.

Antonio:What are these?

Isabella:Of fear enough to part us, yet are they but our schools of Lunatics, That act their fantasies in any shapes Suiting their present thoughts; if sad, they cry; If mirth be their conceit, they laugh again. Sometimes they imitate the beasts and birds, Singing, or howling, braying, barking; all As their wild fancies prompt ’em.

Enter Lollio.

Antonio:These are no fears.

Isabella:But here’s a large one, my man.

Antonio:Ha, he, that’s fine sport indeed, cousin:

Lollio:I would my master were come home, ’tis too much for one shepherd to govern two of these flocks; nor can I believe that one Churchman can instruct two benefices at once, there will be some incurable mad of the one side, and very fools on the other. Come Tony.

Antonio:Prithee cousin, let me stay here still.

Lollio:No, you must to your Book now you have played sufficiently.

Isabella:Your fool is grown wondrous witty.

Lollio:Well, I’ll say nothing; but I do not think but he will put you down one of these days.

Exeunt Lollio and Antonio

Isabella:Here the restrained current might make breach, Spite of the watchful bankers, would a woman stray, She need not gad abroad to seek her sin, It would be brought home one ways or other: The Needle’s point will to the fixed North, Such drawing Arctics women’s beauties are.

Enter Lollio.

Lollio:How dost thou sweet rogue?

Isabella:How now?

Lollio:Come, there are degrees, one fool may be better than another

Isabella:What’s the matter?

Lollio:Nay, if thou giv’st thy mind to Fool’s flesh, have at thee.

Isabella:You bold slave you.

Lollio:I could follow now as t’ other fool did, What should I fear, having all joys about me: do you but smile, And love shall play the wanton on your lip, Meet and retire, retire and meet again: Look you but cheerfully, and in your eyes, I shall behold my own deformity, And dress myself up fairer, I know this shape Becomes me not; and so as it follows, but is not this the more Foolish way? Come sweet rogue, kiss me my little Lacedaemonian. Let me feel how thy pulses beat; Thou hast a thing About thee, would do a man pleasure, I’ll lay my hand on ’t.

Isabella:Sirrah, no more I see you have discovered This love’s Knight-errant, who hath made adventure For purchase of my love; be silent, mute, Mute as a statue, or his injunction For me enjoying, shall be to cut thy throat, I’ll do it, though for no other purpose, And be sure he’ll not refuse it.

Lollio:My share, that’s all, I’ll have my fool’s part with you

Isabella:No more your master.

Enter Alibius.

Alibius:Sweet, how dost thou?

Isabella:Your bounden servant, sir.

Alibius:Fie, fie, sweet heart, no more of that.

Isabella:You were best lock me up.

Alibius:In my arms and bosom, my sweet Isabella, I’ll lock thee up most nearly. Lollio, We have employment, we have task in hand, At noble Vermonderos our Castle Captain, There is a nuptial to be solemnized, Beatrice Joanna his fair daughter Bride, For which the Gentleman hath bespoke our pains, A mixture of our madmen and our fools, To finish (as it were) and make the fag Of all the Revels, the third night from the first, Only an unexpected passage over, To make a frightful pleasure, that is all, But not the all I aim at; could we so act it, To teach it in a wild distracted measure, Though out of form and figure, breaking time’s head, It were no matter, ’twould be healed again In one age or other, if not in this, This, this Lollio, there’s a good reward begun, And will beget a bounty be it known.

Lollio:This is easy, sir, I’ll warrant you: you have about you Fools and Madmen that can dance very well, and ’tis no wonder, your best Dancers are not the wisest men, the reason is, with often jumping they jolt their brains down into their feet, that their wits lie more in their heels than in their heads.

Alibius:Honest Lollio, thou giv’st me a good reason, And a comfort in it.

Isabella:Y’ have a fine trade on ’t, Madmen and Fools are a staple commodity.

Alibius:Oh wife, we must eat, wear clothes, and live, Just at the Lawyers’ Haven we arrive, By madmen and by fools we both do thrive.


Enter Vermandero, Alsemero, Jasperino, and Beatrice.

Vermandero:Valencia speaks so nobly of you, sir, I wish I had a daughter now for you.

Alsemero:The fellow of this creature were a partner For a King’s love.

Vermandero:I had her fellow once, sir, But heaven has married her to joys eternal, ’Twere sin to wish her in this vale again. Come sir, your friend and you shall see the pleasures Which my health chiefly joys in.

Alsemero:I hear the beauty of this seat largely.

Vermandero:It falls much short of that.

Exeunt. Manet Beatrice.

Beatrice:So, here’s one step Into my father’s favor, time will fix him, I have got him now the liberty of the House, So wisdom by degrees works out her freedom; And if that eye be darkened that offends me, I wait but that Eclipse; this Gentleman Shall soon shine glorious in my Father’s liking, Through the refulgent virtue of my love.

Enter Deflores.

Deflores:My thoughts are at a banquet for the deed, I feel no weight in ’t, ’tis but light and cheap, For the sweet recompense, that I set down for ’t.



Beatrice:Thy looks promise cheerfully.

Deflores:All things are answerable, time, circumstance, Your wishes and my service.

Beatrice:Is it done then.

Deflores:Piracquo is no more.

Beatrice:My joys start at mine eyes, our sweet’st delights Are evermore born weeping.

Deflores:I’ve a token for you.

Beatrice:For me?

Deflores:But it was sent somewhat unwillingly, I could not get the Ring without the Finger.

Beatrice:Bless me! what hast thou done?

Deflores:Why is that more than killing the whole man? I cut his heart strings. A greedy hand thrust in a dish at Court In a mistake, hath had as much as this.

Beatrice:’Tis the first token my father made me send him,

Deflores:And I made him send it back again For his last token, I was loath to leave it, And I’m sure dead men have no use of Jewels, He was as loath to part with ’t, for it stuck, As if the flesh and it were both one substance.

Beatrice:At the Stag’s fall the Keeper has his fees: ’Tis soon applied, all dead men’s fees are yours, Sir, I pray bury the finger, but the stone You may make use on shortly, the true value, Take ’t of my truth, is near three hundred Ducats.

Deflores:’Twill hardly buy a capcase for one’s conscience though To keep it from the worm, as fine as ’tis. Well, being my fees I’ll take it, Great men have taught me that, or else my merit Would scorn the way on ’t.

Beatrice:It might justly, sir: Why thou mistak’st Deflores, ’tis not given in state of recompense.

Deflores:No, I hope so, Lady, you should soon witness my contempt to ’t then.

Beatrice:Prithee, thou look’st as if thou wert offended.

Deflores:That were strange, Lady, ’tis not possible My service should draw such a cause from you. Offended? Could you think so? That were much For one of my performance, and so warm Yet in my service.

Beatrice:’Twere misery in me to give you cause, sir.

Deflores:I know so much, it were so, misery In her most sharp condition.

Beatrice:’Tis resolved then; look you sir, here’s 3000. golden Florins, I have not meanly thought upon thy merit.

Deflores:What salary? Now you move me.

Beatrice:How Deflores?

Deflores:Do you place me in the rank of verminous fellows, To destroy things for wages? offer gold? The life blood of man; Is any thing Valued too precious for my recompense?

Beatrice:I understand thee not.

Deflores:I could ha’ hired a journeyman in murder at this rate, And mine own conscience might have, And have had the work brought home.

Beatrice:I’m in a labyrinth; What will content him? I would fain be rid of him. I’ll double the sum, sir.

Deflores:You take a course to double my vexation, that’s the good you do.

Beatrice:Bless me! I am now in worse plight than I was, I know not what will please him: for my fear’s sake I prithee make away with all speed possible. And if thou be’st so modest not to name The sum that will content thee, paper blushes not, Send thy demand in writing, it shall follow thee, But prithee take thy flight.

Deflores:You must fly too then.


Deflores:I’ll not stir a foot else.

Beatrice:What’s your meaning?

Deflores:Why are not you as guilty, in I’m sure As deep as I? and we should stick together. Come, your fears counsel you but ill, my absence Would draw suspect upon you instantly, There were no rescue for you.

Beatrice:He speaks home.

Deflores:Nor is it fit we two engaged so jointly, Should part and live asunder.

Beatrice:How now sir? This shows not well.

Deflores:What makes your lip so strange? This must not be betwixt us.

Beatrice:The man talks wildly.

Deflores:Come kiss me with a zeal now.

Beatrice:Heaven I doubt him.

Deflores:I will not stand so long to beg ’em shortly.

Beatrice:Take heed Deflores of forgetfulness, ’twill soon betray us.

Deflores:Take you heed first; Faith y’ are grown much forgetful, y’ are to blame in ’t.

Beatrice:He’s bold, and I am blamed for ’t.

Deflores:I have eased you of your trouble, think on ’t, I’m in pain, And must be eased of you; ’tis a charity, Justice invites your blood to understand me.

Beatrice:I dare not.


Beatrice:Oh I never shall, speak it yet further of that I may lose What has been spoken, and no sound remain on ’t. I would not hear so much offense again for such another deed.

Deflores:Soft, Lady, soft; the last is not yet paid for, oh this act Has put me into spirit; I was as greedy on ’t As the parched earth of moisture, when the clouds weep. Did you not mark, I wrought myself into ’t. Nay sued and kneeled for ’t: Why was all that pains took? You see I have thrown contempt upon your gold, Not that I want it, for I do piteously, In order I will come unto ’t, and make use on ’t, But ’twas not held so precious to begin with; For I place wealth after the heels of pleasure, And were I not resolved in my belief That thy virginity were perfect in thee, I should but take my recompense with grudging. As if I had but half my hopes I agreed for.

Beatrice:Why ’tis impossible thou canst be so wicked, Or shelter such a cunning cruelty, To make his death the murderer of my honor. Thy language is so bold and vicious, I cannot see which way I can forgive it with any modesty.

Deflores:Push, you forget yourself, a woman dipped in blood, and talk of modesty.

Beatrice:O misery of sin! would I had been bound Perpetually unto my living hate In that Piracquo, than to hear these words. Think but upon the distance that Creation Set ’twixt thy blood and mine, and keep thee there.

Deflores:Look but into your conscience, read me there, ’Tis a true Book, you’ll find me there you equal: Push, fly not to your birth, but settle you In what the act has made you, y’ are no more now, You must forget your parentage to me, Y’ are the deed’s creature, by that name You lost your first condition, and I challenge you, As peace and innocency has turned you out, And made you one with me.

Beatrice:With thee, foul villain?

Deflores:Yes, my fair murd’ress; Do you urge me? Though thou writ’st maid, thou whore in thy affection, ’Twas changed from thy first love, and that’s a kind Of whoredom in thy heart, and he’s changed now, To bring thy second on thy Alsemero, Whom (by all sweets that ever darkness tasted, If I enjoy thee not) thou ne’er enjoy’st, I’ll blast the hopes and joys of marriage, I’ll confess all, my life I rate at nothing.


Deflores:I shall rest from all lovers’ plagues then, I live in pain now: that shooting eye Will burn my heart to cinders.

Beatrice:O sir, hear me.

Deflores:She that in life and love refuses me, In death and shame my partner she shall be.

Beatrice:Stay, hear me once for all, I make thee master Of all the wealth I have in gold and jewels, Let me go poor unto my bed with honor, And I am rich in all things.

Deflores:Let this silence thee, The wealth of all Valencia shall not buy my pleasure from me, Can you weep Fate from its determined purpose? So soon may weep me.

Beatrice:Vengeance begins; Murder I see is followed by more sins. Was my creation in the womb so cursed, It must engender with a Viper first?

Deflores:Come, rise, and shroud your blushes in my bosom, Silence is one of pleasure’s best receipts: Thy peace is wrought for ever in this yielding. ’Las how the Turtle pants! Thou ’lt love anon, What thou so fear’st, and faint’st to venture on.


Act 4


Enter Gentlemen, Vermandero meeting them with action of wonderment at the flight of Piracquo. Enter Alsemero, with Jasperino, and Gallants, Vermandero points to him, the Gentlemen seeming to applaud the choice, Alsemero, Jasperino, and Gentlemen; Beatrice the Bride following in great state, accompanied with Diaphanta, Isabella, and other Gentlewomen: Deflores after all, smiling at the accident; Alonzo’s Ghost appears to Deflores in the midst of his smile, startles him, showing him the hand whose finger he had cut off. They pass over in great solemnity.

Enter Beatrice:

Beatrice:THis fellow has undone me endlessly, Never was Bride so fearfully distressed; The more I think upon th’ ensuing night, And whom I am to cope with in embraces, One both ennobled both in blood and mind, So clear in understanding, that’s my plague now, Before whose judgement will my fault appear Like malefactors’ crimes before Tribunals, There is no hiding on ’t, the more I dive Into my own distress; how a wise man Stands for a great calamity, there’s no venturing Into his bed, what course soe’er I light upon, Without my shame, which may grow up to danger; He cannot but in justice strangle me As I lie by by him, as a cheater use me; ’Tis a precious craft to play with a false Die Before a cunning Gamester; here’s his closet, The key left in ’t, and he abroad i’ th’ Park, Sure ’twas forgot, I’ll be so bold as look in ’t. Bless me! A right Physician’s closet ’tis, Set round with viols, every one her mark too. Sure he does practice Physic for his own use, Which may be safely called your great man’s Wisdom. What manuscript lies here? The Book of Experiment, Called Secrets in Nature: so ’tis, ’tis so, How to know whether a woman be with child or no. I hope I am not yet; if he should try though Let me see folio forty-five Here ’tis; the leaf tucked down upon ’t, the place suspicious. If you would know whether a woman be with child, or not, Give her two spoonfuls of the white water in Glass C. Where’s that Glass C: O yonder I see ’t now, and if she be with child, She sleeps full twelve hours after, if not, not None of that water comes into my belly. I’ll know you from a hundred, I could break you now Or turn you into milk, and so beguile The master of the mystery, but I’ll look to you. Ha that which is next, is ten times worse. How to know whether a woman be a maid, or not; If that should be applied, what would become of me? Belike he has a strong faith of my purity, That never yet made proof; but this he calls A merry slight, but true experiment, the Author Antonius Mizaldus. Give the party you suspect the quantity of a spoonful of the water, In the glass M. which upon her that is maid, makes three several effects, ’twill make her incontinently gape, then fall into a sudden sneezing, last into a violent laughing, else dull, heavy and lumpish. Where had I been? I fear it, yet ’tis seven hours to bed time.

Enter Diaphanta

Diaphanta:Cuds Madam, are you here?

Beatrice:Seeing that wench now A trick comes in my mind, ’tis a nice piece, Gold cannot purchase; I come hither wench, To look my Lord.

Diaphanta:Would I had such a cause to look him too. Why he’s i’ th’ Park Madam.

Beatrice:There let him be.

Diaphanta:Ay madam, let him compass, Whole Parks and Forests, as great Rangers do, At roosting time a little lodge can hold ’em. Earth-conquering Alexander, that thought the world Too narrow for him, in the end had but his pit-hole.

Beatrice:I fear thou art not modest, Diaphanta.

Diaphanta:Your thoughts are so unwilling to be known, Madam, ’Tis ever the Bride’s fashion towards bedtime, To set light by her joys, as if she owed ’em not.

Beatrice:Her joys; her fears thou wouldst say.

Diaphanta:Fear of what?

Beatrice:Art thou a maid, and talk’st so to a maid? You leave a blushing business behind, Beshrew your heart for ’t.

Diaphanta:Do you mean good sooth, madam?

Beatrice:Well, if I’d thought upon the fear at first, Man should have been unknown.

Diaphanta:Is ’t possible?

Beatrice:I will give a thousand Ducats to that woman Would try what my fear were, and tell me true Tomorrow, when she gets from ’t: as she likes I might perhaps be drawn to ’t.

Diaphanta:Are you in earnest?

Beatrice:Do you get the woman, then challenge me, And see if I’ll fly from ’t; but I must tell you This by the way, she must be a true maid, Else there’s no trial, my fears are not hers else.

Diaphanta:Nay, she that I would put into your hands, madam shall be a maid.

Beatrice:You know I should be shamed else, because she lies for me.

Diaphanta:’Tis a strange humor: But are you serious still? Would you resign Your first night’s pleasure, and give money too?

Beatrice:As willingly as live; alas, the gold Is but a by-bet to wedge in the honor.

Diaphanta:I do not know how the world goes abroad For faith or honesty, there’s both required in this. Madam, what say you to me, and stray no further, I’ve a good mind in troth to earn your money.

Beatrice:Y’ are too quick, I fear, to be a maid.

Diaphanta:How? not a maid? nay then you urge me madam, Your honorable self is not a truer With all your fears upon you.

Beatrice:Bad enough then.

Diaphanta:Than I with all my lightsome joys about me.

Beatrice:I’m glad to hear ’t then, you dare put your honesty Upon an easy trial.

Diaphanta:Easy? — anything.

Beatrice:I’ll come to you straight.

Diaphanta:She will not search me? will she? Like the forewoman of a female Jury.

Beatrice:Glass M. Ay, this is it; look Diaphanta, You take no worse than I do.

Diaphanta:And in so doing I will not question what ’tis, but take it

Beatrice:Now if the experiment be true, ’twill praise itself, And give me noble ease: — Begins already, There’s the first symptom; and what haste it makes To fall into the second, there by this time Most admirable secret, on the contrary It stirs not me a whit, which most concerns it

Diaphanta:Ha, ha, ha.

Beatrice:Just in all things and in order, As if ’twere circumscribed, one accident gives way unto another.

Diaphanta:Ha, ha, ha.

Beatrice:How now wench?

Diaphanta:Ha, ha, ha, I am so so light at heart, ha, ha, ha. so pleasurable. But one swig more, sweet Madam.

Beatrice:Ay, tomorrow, we shall have time to sit by ’t.

Diaphanta:Now I’m sad again.

Beatrice:It lays itself so gently too; Come wench, most honest Diaphanta I dare call thee now.

Diaphanta:Pray tell me, madam, what trick call you this?

Beatrice:I’ll tell thee all hereafter; we must study the carriage of this business:

Diaphanta:I shall carry ’t well, because I love the burden.

Beatrice:About midnight you must not fail to steal forth gently, That I may use the place.

Diaphanta:Oh fear not, Madam, I shall be cool by that time: the bride’s place, And with a thousand Ducats; I’m for a Justice now, I bring a portion with me, I scorn small fools.


Enter Vermandero and Servant.

Vermandero:I tell thee knave, mine Honor is in question, A thing till now free from suspicion, Nor ever was there cause; who of my Gentlemen are absent? Tell me and truly how many, and who.

Servant:Antonio, Sir, and Franciscus.

Vermandero:When did they leave the Castle?

Servant:Some ten days since, sir, the one intending to Briamata, Th’ other for Valencia.

Vermandero:The time accuses ’em, a charge of murder Is brought within my Castle gate, Piracquo’s murder, I dare not answer faithfully their absence: A strict command of apprehension Shall pursue ’em suddenly, and either wipe The stain off clear, or openly discover it. Provide me winged warrants for the purpose. See, I am set on again.

Exit Servant.

Enter Tomazo.

Tomazo de Piracquo:I claim a brother of you.

Vermandero:Y’ are too hot, seek him not here.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Yes, ’mongst your dearest bloods, If my peace find no fairer satisfaction, This is the place must yield account for him, For here I left him, and the hasty tie Of this snatched marriage, gives strong testimony Of his most certain ruin.

Vermandero:Certain falsehood; This is the place indeed, his breach of faith, Has too much marred both my abused love, The honorable love I reserved for him, And mocked my daughter’s joy; the prepared morning Blushed at his infidelity, he left Contempt and scorn to throw upon those friends Whose belief hurt ’em: oh ’twas most ignoble To take his flight so unexpectedly, And throw such public wrongs on those that loved him

Tomazo de Piracquo:Then this is all your answer.

Vermandero:’Tis too fair for one of his alliance; and I warn you That this place no more see you.


Enter Deflores.

Tomazo de Piracquo:The best is, there is more ground to meet a man’s revenge on. Honest Deflores.

Deflores:That’s my name indeed. Saw you the Bride? Good sweet sir, which way took she?

Tomazo de Piracquo:I have blessed mine eyes from seeing such a false one.

Deflores:I’d fain get off, this man’s not for my company, I smell his brother’s blood when I come near him.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Come hither kind and true one; I remember My brother loved thee well.

Deflores:O purely, dear sir, methinks I am now again a-killing on him. He brings it so fresh to me.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Thou canst guess sirrah, One honest friend has an instinct of jealousy At some foul guilty person.

Deflores:’Las sir, I am so charitable, I think none Worse than myself — You did not see the Bride then?

Tomazo de Piracquo:I prithee name her not. Is she not wicked?

Deflores:No, no, a pretty easy round-packed sinner, As your most Ladies are, else you might think I flattered her; but sir, at no hand wicked, Till th’ are so old their sins and vices meet, And they salute Witches; I am called, I think sir: His company even o’erlays my conscience.


Tomazo de Piracquo:That Deflores has a wondrous honest heart. He’ll bring it out in time, I’m assured on ’t. O here’s the glorious master of the day’s joy. I will not be long till he and I do reckon sir.

Enter Alsemero.

Alsemero:You are most welcome.

Tomazo de Piracquo:You may call that word back, I do not think I am, nor wish to be.

Alsemero:’Tis strange you found the way to this house then.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Would I’d ne’er known the cause, I’m none of those sir, That come to give you joy, and swill your wine, ’Tis a more precious liquor that must lay The fiery thirst I bring.

Alsemero:Your words and you appear to me great strangers.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Time and our swords may make us more acquainted; This the business. I should have a brother in your Place, How treachery and malice have disposed of him, I’m bound to inquire of him which holds his right: Which never could come fairly.

Alsemero:You must look to answer for that word, sir.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Fear you not, I’ll have it ready drawn at our next meeting. Keep your day solemn. Farewell, I disturb it not, I’ll bear the smart with patience for a time.


Alsemero:’Tis somewhat ominous this, a quarrel entered Upon this day, my innocence relieves me, [Enter Jasperino.] I should be wondrous sad else — Jasperino, I have news to tell thee, strange news.

Jasperino:I ha’ some too, I think as strange as yours, would I might keep Mine, so my faith and friendship might be kept in ’t. Faith sir, dispense a little with my zeal, And let it cool in this.

Alsemero:This puts me on, and blames thee for thy slowness.

Jasperino:All may prove nothing, Only a friendly fear that leapt from me, sir.

Alsemero:No question it may prove nothing; let’s partake it though.

Jasperino:’Twas Diaphanta’s chance, for to that wench I pretend honest love, and she deserves it, To leave me in a back part of the house, A place we chose for private conference; She was no sooner gone, but instantly I heard your bride’s voice in the next room to me; And lending more attention, found Deflores Louder than she.

Alsemero:Deflores? Thou art out now.

Jasperino:You’ll tell me more anon.

Alsemero:still I’ll prevent thee, the very sight of him is poison to her.

Jasperino:That made me stagger too, but Diaphanta At her return confirmed it.


Jasperino:Then fell we both to listen, and words passed Like those that challenge interest in a woman:

Alsemero:Peace, quench thy zeal, ’tis dangerous to thy bosom

Jasperino:Then truth is full of peril.

Alsemero:Such truths are — O were she the sole glory of the earth, Had eyes that could shoot fire into Kings’ breasts, And touched, she sleeps not here, yet I have time Though night be near, to be resolved hereof, And prithee do not weigh me by my passions.

Jasperino:I never weighed friend so.

Alsemero:Done charitably, that key will lead thee to a pretty secret By a Chaldean taught me, and I’ve My study upon some, bring from my closet A glass inscribed there with the letter M. And question not my purpose.

Jasperino:It shall be done sir.


Alsemero:How can this hang together? Not an hour since? Her woman came pleading her Lady’s fears, Delivered her for the most timorous virgin That ever shrunk at man’s name, and so modest, She charged her weep out her request to me, That she might come obscurely to my bosom.

Enter Beatrice.

Beatrice:All things go well, my woman’s preparing yonder For her sweet voyage, which grieves me to lose, Necessity compels it; I lose all else.

Alsemero:Push, Modesty’s shrine is set in yonder forehead. I cannot be too sure though my Joanna.

Beatrice:Sir, I was bold to weep a message to you, Pardon my modest fears.

Alsemero:The Dove’s not meeker. She’s abused questionless. — Oh are you come, sir?

Enter Jasperino.

Beatrice:The glass upon my life; I see the letter.

Jasperino:Sir, this is M.

Alsemero:’Tis it

Beatrice:I am suspected.

Alsemero:How fitly our Bride comes to partake with us!

Beatrice:What is ’t, my Lord?

Alsemero:No hurt.

Beatrice:Sir, pardon me, I seldom taste of any composition.

Alsemero:But this upon my warrant you shall venture on.

Beatrice:I fear ’twill make me ill.

Alsemero:Heaven forbid that.

Beatrice:I’m put now to my cunning, th’ effects I know. If I can now but feign ’em handsomely.

Alsemero:It has that secret virtue it ne’er missed, sir, Upon a virgin.

Jasperino:Treble qualitied

Alsemero:By all that’s virtuous it takes there, proceeds.

Jasperino:This is the strangest trick to know a maid by.

Beatrice:Ha, ha, ha, you have given me joy of heart to drink my Lord.

Alsemero:No, thou hast given me such joy of heart, That never can be blasted.

Beatrice:What’s the matter sir?

Alsemero:See now ’tis settled in a melancholy, Keep both the time and method, my Joanna: Chaste as the breath of heaven, or morning’s womb, That brings the day forth, thus my love encloses thee.


Enter Isabella and Lollio.

Isabella:Oh heaven! is this the waiting moon? Does love turn fool, run mad, and all once? Sirrah, here’s a madman, akin to the fool too, A lunatic lover.

Lollio:No, no, not he I brought the Letter from.

Isabella:Compare his inside with his out, and tell me.

Lollio:The out’s mad, I’m sure of that, I had a taste on ’t. To the bright Andromeda, chief Chambermaid to the Knight of the Sun, at the sign of Scorpio, in the middle Region, sent by the Bellows-mender of Aeolus. Pay the Post. This is stark madness.

Isabella:Now mark the inside. Sweet Lady, having now cast off this Counterfeit Cover of a madman, I appear to your best Judgement a true and faithful Lover of your beauty.

Lollio:He is mad still.

Isabella:If any fault you find, chide those perfections in you, which have have made me imperfect; ’Tis the same Sun that causeth to grow, and enforceth to wither.

Lollio:Oh Rogue!

Isabella:Shapes and transhapes, destroys and builds again, I come in winter to you dismantled of my proper ornaments, by the sweet splendor of your cheerful smiles, I spring and live a lover.

Lollio:Mad Rascal still.

Isabella:Tread him not under foot, that shall appear an honor to your bounties. I remain — mad till I speak with you, from whom I expect my cure. Yours all, or one beside himself, Franciscus.

Lollio:You are like to have a fine time on ’t, my Master and I may give over our professions, I do not think but you can cure fools and madmen faster than we, with little pains too.

Isabella:Very likely.

Lollio:One thing I must tell you Mistress, you perceive, that I am privy to your skill, if I find you minister once and set up the trade, I put in for my thirds, I shall be mad or fool else.

Isabella:The first place is thine, believe it, Lollio, If I do fall.

Lollio:I fall upon you.


Lollio:Well I stand to my venture.

Isabella:But thy counsel now, how shall I deal with ’em:

Lollio:We do you mean to deal with ’em.

Isabella:Nay, the fair understanding, how to use ’em.

Lollio:Abuse ’em, that’s the way to mad the fool, and make a fool of the madman, and than you use ’em kindly.

Isabella:’Tis easy, I’ll practice, do thou observe it, The key of thy Wardrobe

Lollio:There fit yourself for ’em, and I’ll fit ’em both for you.

Isabella:Take thou no further notice, than the outside.


Lollio:Not an inch, I’ll put you to the inside.

Enter Alibius.

Alibius:Lollio, art there, will all be perfect think’st thou Tomorrow night, as if to close up the solemnity: Vermandero expects us:

Lollio:I mistrust the madmen most, the fools will do well enough: I have taken pains with them.

Alibius:Tush they cannot miss; the more absurdity, The more commends it, so no rough behaviors Affright the Ladies; they are nice things thou know’st.

Lollio:You need not fear, Sir, so long as we are there with our commanding pizzles, they’ll be as tame as the ladies themselves.

Alibius:I will see them once more rehearse before they go.

Lollio:I was about it, Sir; look you to the madmen’s Morris, and let me alone with the other; there is one or two that I mistrust their fooling; I’ll instruct them, and then they shall rehearse the whole measure.

Alibius:Do so, I’ll see the music prepared: but, Lollio. By the way, how does my wife brook her restraint: Does she not grudge at it.

Lollio:So, so, she takes some pleasure in the house, she would abroad else, you must allow her a little more length, she’s kept too short.

Alibius:She shall along to Vermandero’s with us, That will serve her for a month’s liberty.

Lollio:What’s that on your face, Sir?

Alibius:Where, Lollio, I see nothing.

Lollio:Cry you mercy, Sir, ’tis your nose, it showed like the trunk of a young Elephant.

Alibius:Away, Rascal: I’ll prepare the music, Lollio

Exit Alibius:

Lollio:Do, Sir; and I’ll dance the whilst; Tony, where art thou Tony?

Enter Antonio.

Antonio:Here, Cousin, where art thou?

Lollio:Come, Tony, the footmanship I taught you.

Antonio:I had rather ride, Cousin.

Lollio:Ay, a whip take you; but I’ll keep you out, Vault in; look you, Tony, Fa, la la la la.

Antonio:Fa, la la la la.

Lollio:There, an honor.

Antonio:Is this an honor, Coz?

Lollio:Yes, and it please your worship.

Antonio:Does honor bend in the hams, Coz?

Lollio:Marry does it, as low as worship, squireship, nay yeomandry Itself sometimes, from whence it first stiffened, There rise a caper.

Antonio:Caper after an honor, Coz.

Lollio:Very proper, for honor is but a caper, rise as fast and high, Has a knee or two, and falls to th’ ground again, You can remember your figure, Tony?


Antonio:Yes, Cousin, when I see thy figure, I can remember mine.

Enter Isabella.

Isabella:Hey, how she treads the air, shoo shoo, t’ other way, He burns his wings else, here’s wax enough below Icarus, More than will be canceled these eighteen moons; He’s down, he’s down, what a terrible fall he had, stand up, Thou son of Cretan Dedalus, and let us tread the lower Labyrinth; I’ll bring thee to the Clue.

Antonio:Prithee, Coz let me alone.

Isabella:Art thou not drowned, About thy head I saw a heap of Clouds Wrapped like a Turkish Turbant on thy back, A crooked Chameleon-colored rainbow hung, Like a Tiara down unto thy hams. Let me suck out those Billows in thy belly, Hark how they roar and rumble in the streets. Bless thee from the Pirates.

Antonio:Pox upon you, let me alone.

Isabella:Why shouldst thou mount so high as Mercury, Unless thou hadst reversion of his place? Stay in the Moon with me Endymion, And we will rule these wild rebellious waves, That would have drowned my love.

Antonio:I’ll kick thee if again thou touch me, Thou wild unshapen Antic; I am no fool, You Bedlam.

Isabella:But you are as sure as I am, mad. Have I put on this habit of a frantic, With love as full of fury to beguile The nimble eye of watchful jealousy, And am I thus rewarded?

Antonio:Ha dearest beauty.

Isabella:No, I have no beauty now, Nor never had, but what was in my garments. You a quick-sighted lover, come not near me. Keep your Caparisons, y’ are aptly clad, I came a feigner to return stark mad.


Enter Lollio.

Antonio:Stay, or I shall change condition, And become as you are.

Lollio:Why Tony, whither now? why fool?

Antonio:Whose fool, usher of Idiots, you Coxcomb. I have fooled too much.

Lollio:You were best be mad another while then.

Antonio:So I am, stark mad, I have cause enough, And I could throw the full effects on thee, And beat thee like a Fury.

Lollio:Do not, do not, I shall not forbear the Gentleman under the fool, if you do; alas, I saw through your Fox-skin before now: Come, I can give you comfort, My Mistress loves you, and there is as arrant a madman i’ th’ house, as you are a fool; your Rival, whom she loves not; if after the mask we can rid her of him, You earn her love she says, and the fool shall ride her.

Antonio:May I believe thee?

Lollio:Yes, or you may choose whether you will or no.

Antonio:She’s eased of him, I have a good quarrel on ’t.

Lollio:Well, keep your old station yet, and be quiet.

Antonio:Tell her I will deserve her love.

Lollio:And you are like to have your desire.

Enter Franciscus.

Franciscus:Down, down, down a-down a-down, and then with a horse-trick , To kick Latona’s forehead, and break her bowstring.

Lollio:This is t’ other counterfeit, I’ll put him out of his humor, Sweet Lady, having now cast this counterfeit cover of a madman. I appear to your best judgement a true and faithful lover of your beauty. This is pretty well for a madman.

Franciscus:Ha what’s that?

Lollio:Chide those perfections in you which made me imperfect.

Franciscus:I am discovered to the fool.

Lollio:I hope to discover the fool in you, ere I have done with you. Yours all, or one beside himself, Franciscus. This madman will mend sure.

Franciscus:What? Do you read sirrah?

Lollio:Your destiny sir, you’ll be hanged for this trick, and another that I know.

Franciscus:Art thou of counsel with thy mistress?

Lollio:Next her Apron strings.

Franciscus:Give me thy hand.

Lollio:Stay, let me put yours in my pocket first: your hand is true, is it not? It will not pick, I partly fear it, because I think it does lie.

Franciscus:Not in a syllable.

Lollio:So, if you love my mistress so well as you have handled the matter here, you are like to be cured of your madness.

Franciscus:And none but she can cure it.

Lollio:Well, I’ll give you over then, and she shall cast your water next.

Franciscus:Take for thy pains past.

Lollio:I shall deserve more, sir, I hope, my mistress loves you, but must have some proof of your love to her.

Franciscus:There I meet my wishes.

Lollio:That will not serve, you must meet her enemy and yours.

Franciscus:He’s dead already.

Lollio:Will you tell me that, and I parted but now with him?

Franciscus:Show me the man.

Lollio:Ay that’s a right course now, see him before you kill him in any case, and yet it needs not go so far neither; ’tis but a fool that haunts the house, and my mistress in the shape of an idiot, bang but his fool’s coat well-favoredly, and ’tis well.

Franciscus:Soundly, soundly.

Lollio:Only reserve him till the masque be passed; and if you find him not now in the dance yourself, I’ll show you. In — in my master.

Franciscus:He handles him like a feather. Hey!

Enter Alibius.

Alibius:Well said, in a readiness Lollio.

Lollio:Yes, sir.

Alibius:Away then, and guide them in Lollio, Entreat your Mistress to see this sight. Hark is there not one incurable fool That might be begged? I have friends.

Lollio:I have him for you, one that shall deserve it too.

Alibius:Good boy Lollio. [The Madmen and Fools dance.] ’Tis perfect well fit, but once these strains, We shall have coin and credit for our pains.


Act 5


Enter Beatrice. A Clock strikes one.

Beatrice:ONe struck, and yet she lies by ’t — Oh my fears, This strumpet serves her own ends, ’tis apparent now, Devours the pleasure with a greedy appetite, And never minds my honor or my peace, Makes havoc of my right; but she pays dearly for ’t, No trusting of her life with such a secret, That cannot rule her blood, to keep her promise. Beside, I have some suspicion of her faith to me, Because I was suspected of my Lord, And it must come from her — Hark by my horrors, Another clock strikes two.

Strike two.

Enter Deflores.

Deflores:Pist, where are you?


Deflores:Ay — Is she not come from him yet?

Beatrice:As I am a living soul not.

Deflores:Sure the Devil Hath sowed his itch within her, who’d trust a waiting-woman?

Beatrice:I must trust somebody.

Deflores:Push, they are Termagants. Especially when they fall upon their Masters And have their Lady’s first fruits, th’ are mad whelps, You cannot stave ’em off from game Royal, then You are so harsh and hardy ask no counsel And I could have helped you to a Apothecary’s daughter Would have fall’n off before eleven, and thank you too.

Beatrice:O me, not yet, this whore forgets herself

Deflores:The Rascal fares so well, look y’ are undone, The Day star by this hand, see Bosphorus plain yonder.

Beatrice:Advise me now to fall upon some ruin, There is no counsel safe else.

Deflores:Peace, I ha ’t now, For we must force a rising, there’s no remedy.

Beatrice:How? take heed of that.

Deflores:Tush, be you quiet, or else give over all.

Beatrice:Prithee I ha’ done then.

Deflores:This is my reach, I’ll set some part a-fire of Diaphanta’s chamber .

Beatrice:How? fire sir, that may endanger the whole house.

Deflores:You talk of danger when your fame’s on fire.

Beatrice:That’s true, do what thou wilt now.

Deflores:Push, I aim at a most rich success, strikes all dead sure, The chimney being a-fire, and some light parcels Of the least danger in her chamber only, If Diaphanta should be met by chance then, Far from her lodging, which is now suspicious, It would be thought her fears and affrights then, Drove her to seek for succor, if not seen Or met at all, as that’s the likeliest, For her own shame she’ll hasten towards her lodging, I will be ready with a piece high-charged, As ’twere to cleanse the chimney: there ’tis proper now, But she shall be the mark.

Beatrice:I’m forced to love thee now, ’Cause thou provid’st so carefully for my honor.

Deflores:’Slid it concerns the safety of us both, Our pleasure and continuance.

Beatrice:One word now prithee, how for the servants?

Deflores:I’ll dispatch them some one way, some another in the hurry, For Buckets, Hooks, Ladders; fear not you; The deed shall find its time, and I’ve thought since Upon a safe conveyance for the body too. How this fire purifies wit! Watch you your minute.

Beatrice:Fear keeps my soul upon ’t, I cannot stray from ’t.

Enter Alonzo’s Ghost:

Deflores:Ha What art thou that tak’st away the light ’Twixt that star and me? I dread thee not, ’Twas but a mist of conscience — All’s clear again.


Beatrice:Who’s that, Deflores? Bless me! it slides by, Some ill thing haunts the house, ’t has left behind it, A shivering sweat upon me; I’m afraid now This night hath been so tedious; Oh this strumpet! Had she a thousand lives, he should not leave her Till he had destroyed the last — Lift oh my terrors, Three struck by St. Sebastian’s.

Struck three o’clock

Within:Fire, fire, fire.

Beatrice:Already! How rare is that man’s speed! How heartily he serves me! his face loathes one, But look upon his care, who would not love him? The East is not more beauteous than his service.

Within:Fire, fire, fire.

Enter Deflores servants: pass over, ring a Bell.

Deflores:Away, dispatch, hooks, buckets, ladders; that’s well said, The fire bell rings, the chimney works, my charge; The piece is ready,


Enter Diaphanta.

Beatrice:Here’s a man worth loving — oh y’ are a jewel.

Diaphanta:Pardon frailty, Madam, In troth I was so well, I even forgot myself.

Beatrice:Y’ have made trim work.


Beatrice:Hie quickly to your chamber, your reward follows you.

Diaphanta:I never made so sweet a bargain.


Enter Alsemero.

Alsemero:Oh my dear Joanna, Alas, art thou risen too, I was coming, My absolute treasure.

Beatrice:When I missed you, I could not choose but follow.

Alsemero:Th’ art all sweetness, the fire is not so dangerous.

Beatrice:Think you so sir?

Alsemero:I prithee tremble not Believe me ’tis not.

Enter Vermandero, Jasperino.

Vermandero:Oh bless my house and me.

Alsemero:My Lord your father.

Enter Deflores with a Piece.

Vermandero:Knave, whither goes that piece?

Deflores:To scour the chimney,


Vermandero:Oh well said, well said, That fellow’s good on all occasions.

Beatrice:A wondrous necessary man, my Lord.

Vermandero:He hath a ready wit, he’s worth ’em all, sir, Dog at a house of fire, I ha’ seen him singed ere now: Ha, there he goes.

The piece goes off.

Beatrice:’Tis done.

Alsemero:Come sweet to bed now; alas, thou wilt get cold.

Beatrice:Alas, the fear keeps that out; My heart will find no quiet till I hear How Diaphanta my poor woman fares; It is her chamber sir, her lodging chamber.

Vermandero:How should the fire come there?

Beatrice:As good a soul as ever Lady countenanced, But in her chamber negligent and heavy. She ’scaped a Mine twice.


Beatrice:Strangely twice, sir.

Vermandero:Those sleepy sluts are dangerous in a house, And they be ne’er so good.

Enter Deflores.

Deflores:Oh poor virginity! thou hast paid dearly for ’t.

Vermandero:Bless us! What’s that?

Deflores:A thing you all knew once, Diaphanta’s burnt.

Beatrice:My woman, oh my woman!

Deflores:Now the flames are Greedy of her, burnt, burnt, burnt to death sir.

Beatrice:Oh my presaging soul!

Alsemero:Not a tear more, I charge you by the last embrace I gave you in bed before this raised us.

Beatrice:Now you tie me, Were it my sister now she gets no more.

Vermandero:How now?

Enter Servant.

Servant:All danger’s passed, you may now take your rests, my Lords, The fire is thoroughly quenched; ah poor Gentlewoman, How soon was she stifled!

Beatrice:Deflores, what is left of her inter, And we as mourners all will follow her: I will entreat that honor to my servant, Even of my Lord himself.

Alsemero:Command it sweetness.

Beatrice:Which of you spied the fire first?

Deflores:’Twas I, Madam.

Beatrice:And took such pains in ’t too? a double goodness! ’Twere well he were rewarded.

Vermandero:He shall be, Deflores, call upon me.

Alsemero:And upon me, sir.


Deflores:Rewarded? precious, here’s a trick beyond me; I see in all bouts both of sport and wit, Always a woman strives for the last hit:


Enter Tomazo:

Tomazo de Piracquo:I cannot taste the benefits of life With the same relish I was wont to do. Man I grow weary of, and hold his fellowship A treacherous bloody friendship, and because I am ignorant in whom my wrath should settle, I must think all men villains; and the next I meet, whoe’er he be, the murderer Of my most worthy brother — Ha What’s he? [Enter Deflores, passes over the Stage.] Oh the fellow that some call honest Deflores; But methinks honesty was hard bested To come there for a lodging, as if a Queen Should make her Palace of a Pest-house, I find a contrariety in nature Betwixt that face and me, the least occasion Would give me game upon him; yet he’s so foul One would scarce touch with a sword he loved, And made account of, so most deadly venomous, He would go ne’er to poison any weapon That should draw blood on him, one must resolve Never to use that sword again in fight In way of honest manhood, that strikes him; Some river must devour ’t, ’twere not fit That any man should find it. — What again? [Enter Deflores.] He walks o’ purpose by, sure to choke me up, To infect my blood.

Deflores:My worthy noble Lord.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Dost offer to come near and breath upon me?

Deflores:A blow.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Yea, are you so prepared? I’ll rather like a soldier die by th’ sword Than like a Politician by thy poison.

Deflores:Hold, my Lord, as you are honorable.

Tomazo de Piracquo:All slaves that kill by poison, are still cowards.

Deflores:I cannot strike, I see his brother’s wounds Fresh bleeding in his eye, as in a Crystal, I will not question this, I know y’ are noble. I take my injury with thanks given, Sir. Like a wise Lawyer; and as a favor, Will wear it for the worthy hand that gave it: Why this from him, that yesterday appeared, So strangely loving to me? Oh but instinct is of a subtler strain, Guilt must not walk so near his lodge again, He came near me now. [Exit.]

Tomazo de Piracquo:All league with mankind I renounce for ever, Till I find this murderer; Not so much As common courtesy, but I’ll lock up: For in the state of ignorance I live in, A brother may salute his brother’s murderer. And wish good speed t’ th’ villain in a greeting.

Enter Vermandero Alibius and Isabella.

Vermandero:Noble Piracquo.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Pray keep on your way, sir, I’ve nothing to say to you.

Vermandero:Comforts bless you sir.

Tomazo de Piracquo:I have forsworn compliment, in troth I have, sir; As you are merely man, I have not left A good wish for you, nor any here.

Vermandero:Unless you be so far in love with grief, You will not part from ’t upon any terms, We bring that news will make a welcome for us.

Tomazo de Piracquo:What news can that be?

Vermandero:Throw no scornful smile Upon the zeal I bring you, ’tis worth more sir, Two of the chiefest men I kept about me, I hide not from the law, or your just vengeance.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Ha

Vermandero:To give your peace more ample satisfaction, Thank these discoverers.

Tomazo de Piracquo:If you bring that calm, Name but the manner I shall ask forgiveness in For that contemptuous smile upon you: I’ll perfect it with reverence that belongs Unto a sacred altar.

Vermandero:Good sir rise, Why now you overdo as much a’ this hand, As you fell short a’ t’ other. Speak Alibius;

Alibius:’Twas my wife’s fortune, as she is most lucky At a discovery to find out lately Within our Hospital of Fools and madmen, Two counterfeits slipped into these disguises; Their names Franciscus and Antonio.

Vermandero:Both mine sir, and I ask no favor for ’em.

Alibius:Now that which draws suspicion to their habits, The time of their disguisings agrees justly With the day of the murder.

Tomazo de Piracquo:O blessed revelation!

Vermandero:Nay more, nay more sir, I’ll not spare mine own In way of justice; They both feigned a journey To Bramata, and so wrought out their leaves, My love was so abused in ’t.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Time’s too precious To run in waste now; you have brought a peace The riches of five kingdoms could not purchase, Be my most happy conduct, I thirst for ’em, Like subtle lightning will I wind about ’em, And melt their marrow in ’em.


Enter Alsemero and Jasperino

Jasperino:Your confidence I’m sure, is now of proof. The prospect from the Garden has showed Enough for deep suspicion.

Alsemero:The black mask That so continually was worn upon ’t, Condemns the face for ugly ere ’t be seen, Her despite to him, and so seeming bottomless.

Jasperino:Touch it home then, ’tis not a shallow probe Can search this ulcer soundly, I fear you’ll find it Full of corruption, ’tis fit I leave you, She meets you opportunely from that walk She took the back door at his parting with her.

Exit Jasperino

Alsemero:Did my fate wait for this unhappy stroke At my first sight of woman? — she’s here.

Enter Beatrice.


Alsemero:How do you?

Beatrice:How do I? Alas! how do you? you look not well.

Alsemero:You read me well enough, I am not well.

Beatrice:Not well sir? Is ’t in my power to better you?


Beatrice:Nay, then y’ are cured again.

Alsemero:Pray resolve me one question, Lady.

Beatrice:If I can.

Alsemero:None can so sure. Are you honest?

Beatrice:Ha, ha, ha, that’s a broad question, my Lord,

Alsemero:But that’s not a modest answer, my Lady: Do you laugh? My doubts are strong upon me

Beatrice:’Tis innocence that smiles, and no rough brow Can take away the dimple in her cheek. Say I should strain a tear to fill the vault, Which would you give the better faith to?

Alsemero:’Twere but hypocrisy of a sadder color, But the same stuff, neither your smiles nor tears Shall move or flatter me from my belief, You are a Whore.

Beatrice:What a horrid sound it hath! It blasts a beauty to deformity; Upon what face soever that breath falls, It strikes it ugly: oh you have ruined What you can ne’er repair again.

Alsemero:I’ll all demolish and seek out truth within you, If there be any left, let your sweet tongue, Prevent your heart’s rifling; there I’ll ransack And tear out my suspicion.

Beatrice:You may sir, ’tis an easy passage, yet if you please. Show me the ground whereon you lost your love. My spotless virtue may but tread on that Before I perish.

Alsemero:Unanswerable, A ground you cannot stand on, you fall down Beneath all grace and goodness, when you set Your ticklish heel on ’t; there was a vizor O’er that cunning face, and that became you, Now Impudence in triumph rides upon ’t; How comes this tender reconcilement else ’Twixt you and your despite, your rancorous loathing Deflores? He that your eye was sore at sight of, He’s now become your arms’ supporter, your lips’ Saint.

Beatrice:Is there the cause?

Alsemero:Worse, your lust’s Devil, your adultery.

Beatrice:Would any but yourself say that, ’Twould turn him to a villain.

Alsemero:’Twas witnessed by the counsel of your bosom Diaphanta.

Beatrice:Is your witness dead then?

Alsemero:’Tis to be feared, It was the wages of her knowledge, poor soul, She lived not long after the discovery.

Beatrice:Then hear a story of not much less horror, Than this your false suspicion is beguiled with, To your bed’s scandal, I stand up innocence, Which even the guilt of one black other deed, Will stand for proof of, your love has made me A cruel murd’ress:


Beatrice:A bloody one. I have kissed poison for ’t, stroked a serpent, That thing of hate, worthy in my esteem, Of no better employment, and him most worthy To be so employed; I caused to murder That innocent Piracquo, having no Better means than that worst, to assure Yourself to me.

Alsemero:Oh the place itself e’er since Has crying been for vengeance, the Temple Where blood and beauty first unlawfully Fired their devotion, and quenched the right one, ’Twas in my fears at first, ’twill have it now, Oh thou art all deformed.

Beatrice:Forget not sir, It (for your sake) was done, shall greater dangers Make the less welcome?

Alsemero:Oh thou shouldst have gone A thousand leagues about to have avoided This dangerous bridge of blood, here we are lost.

Beatrice:Remember I am true unto your bed.

Alsemero:The bed itself’s a Charnel, the sheets shrowds For murdered Carcases, it must ask pause What I must do in this, meantime you shall Be my prisoner only, enter my Closet. [Exit Beatrice] I’ll be your Keeper yet; Oh in what part Of this sad story shall I first begin? — Ha This same fellow has put me in — Deflores.

Enter Deflores.

Deflores:Noble Alsemero!

Alsemero:I can tell you news sir, my wife has her commended to you

Deflores:That’s news indeed my Lord, I think she would Commend me to the gallows if she could, She ever loved me so well, I thank her.

Alsemero:What’s this blood upon your band Deflores?

Deflores:Blood? No sure, ’twas washed since.

Alsemero:Since when man?

Deflores:Since t’ other day I got a knock In a Sword and Dagger School; I think ’tis out.

Alsemero:Yes, ’tis almost out, but ’tis perceived though. I had forgot my message; this it is, What price goes murder?

Deflores:How sir?

Alsemero:I ask you sir, My wife’s behind hand with you, she tells me, For a brave bloody blow you gave for her sake Upon Piracquo.

Deflores:Upon? ’Twas quite through him sure, Has she confessed it?

Alsemero:As sure as death to both of you, And much more than that:

Deflores:It could not be much more, ’Twas but one thing, and that she’s a Whore.

Alsemero:I could not choose but follow, oh cunning Devils! How should blind men know you from fair faced saints?

Beatrice:[within.] He lies, the villain does belie me.

Deflores:Let me go to her, sir.

Alsemero:Nay, you shall to her. Peace crying Crocodile, your sounds are heard, Take your prey to you, get you into her sir. [Exit Deflores] I’ll be your pander now, rehearse again Your Scene of lust, that you may be perfect When you shall come to act it to the black audience Where howls and gnashings shall be music to you. Clip your adult’ress freely, ’tis the pilot Will guide you to the Mare mortuum, Where you shall sink to fathoms bottomless.

Enter Vermandero, Alibius, Isabella, Tomazo, Franciscus, and Antonio.

Vermandero:Oh Alsemero. I have a wonder for you

Alsemero:No sir, ’tis I, I have a wonder for you

Vermandero:I have suspicion near as proof itself For Piracquo’s murder.

Alsemero:Sir, I have proof Beyond suspicion, for Piracquo’s murder.

Vermandero:Beseech you hear me, these two have been disguised E’er since the deed was done.

Alsemero:I have two other That were more close disguised than your two could be, E’er since the deed was done.

Vermandero:You’ll hear me, these mine own servants.

Alsemero:Hear me, those nearer than your servants That shall acquit them, and prove them guiltless.

Franciscus:That may be done with easy truth, sir:

Tomazo de Piracquo:How is my cause bandied through your delays! ’Tis urgent in blood, and calls for haste; Give me a brother alive or dead; Alive, a wife with him, if dead for both. A recompense for murder and adultery.

Beatrice:[within.] Oh, oh, oh.

Alsemero:Hark, ’tis coming to you.

Deflores:[within.] Nay, I’ll along for company.

Beatrice:[within.] Oh, oh.

Vermandero:What horrid sounds are these?

Alsemero:Come forth you twins of mischief.

Enter Deflores bringing in Beatrice.

Deflores:Here we are, if you have any more To say to us, speak quickly, I shall not, Give you the hearing else, I am so stout yet, And so I think that broken rib of mankind.

Vermandero:An Host of enemies entered my Citadel, Could not amaze like this, Joanna, Beatrice, Joanna.

Beatrice:O come not near me sir, I shall defile you, I am that of your blood was taken from you For your better health, look no more upon ’t, But cast it to the ground regardlessly, Let the common shower take it, from distinction, Beneath the stars, upon yon Meteor Ever hang my fate, ’mongst things corruptible, I ne’er could pluck it from him, my loathing Was Prophet to the rest, but ne’er believed Mine honor fell with him, and now my life. Alsemero, I am a stranger to your bed, Your bed was cozened on the nuptial night, For which your false-bride died.


Deflores:Yes, and the while I coupled with your mate At barleybreak; now we are left in hell.

Vermandero:We are all there, it circumscribes here.

Deflores:I loved this woman in spite of her heart, Her love I earned out of Piracquo’s murder.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Ha, my brother’s murderer.

Deflores:Yes, and her honor’s prize Was my reward, I thank life for nothing But that pleasure, it was so sweet to me, That I have drunk up all, left none behind For any man to pledge me.

Vermandero:Horrid Villain! Keep life in him for further tortures

Deflores:No, I can prevent you, here’s my penknife still, It is but one thread more, — and now ’tis cut. Make haste Joanna by that token to thee. Canst not forget so lately put in mind, I would not go to leave thee far behind.


Beatrice:Forgive me Alsemero, all forgive, ’Tis time to die, when ’tis a shame to live.


Vermandero:Oh my name is entered now in that record, Where till this fatal hour ’twas never read.

Alsemero:Let it be blotted out, let your heart lose it, And it can never look you in the face, Nor tell a tale behind the back of life, To your dishonor, justice hath so right The guilty hit, that innocence is quit By proclamation, and may joy again. Sir, you are sensible of what truth hath done, ’Tis the best comfort that your grief can find.

Tomazo de Piracquo:Sir, I am satisfied, my injuries Lie dead before me, I can exact no more, Unless my soul were loose, and could o’ertake Those black fugitives, that are fled from thence To take a second vengeance; but there are wraths Deeper than mine (’tis to be feared) about ’em.

Alsemero:What an opacous body had that moon: That last changed on us? here’s beauty changed To ugly whoredom: here servant obedience To a master-sin, imperious murder I a supposed husband changed embraces With wantonness, but that was paid before; Your change is come too, from an ignorant wrath To knowing friendship. Are there any more on’s?

Antonio:Yes sir, I was changed too, from a little Ass as I was, to a great Fool as I am; and had like to ha’ been changed to the gallows, but that you know my Innocence always excuses me.

Franciscus:I was changed from a little wit to be stark mad, Almost for the same purpose.

Isabella:Your change is still behind, but deserve best your transformation . You are a jealous Coxcomb, keep Schools of Folly, And teach your Scholars how to break your own head.

Alibius:I see all apparent wife, and will change now Into a better husband, and never keep Scholars That shall be wiser than myself.

Alsemero:Sir, you have yet a son’s duty living, Please you accept it, let that your sorrow As it goes from your eye, go from your heart, Man and his sorrow at the grave must part.