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Cler. That I confess; but he that's now to oppose you,
I know for an arch villain; one that hath lost
All feeling of humanity, one that hates
Goodness in others, 'cause he's ill himself;
A most ungrateful wretch, (the name's too gentle,
All attributes of wickedness cannot reach him,)
Of whom to have deserved, beyond example,
Or precedent of friendship, is a wrong
Which only death can satisfy.
Mont. You describe
A monster to me.
Cler. True, Montrose, he is so.
Afric, though fertile of strange prodigies,
Never produced his equal; be wise, therefore,
And if he fall into your hands, despatch him :
Pity to him is cruelty. The sad father,
That sees his son stung by a snake to death,
May, with more justice, stay his vengeful hand,
And let the worm escape, than you vouchsafe him
A minute to repent: for 'tis a slave
So sold to hell and mischief, that a traitor
To his most lawful prince, a church-robber,
A parricide, who, when his garners are
Cramm'd with the purest grain, suffers his parents,
Being old and weak, to starve for want of bread,
Compared to him are innocent.
Mont. I ne'er heard
Of such a cursed nature; if long-lived,
He would infect mankind : rest you assured,
He finds from me small courtesy.
Cler. And expect
As little from him; blood is that he thirsts for,
Not honourable wounds. Mont. I would I had him
Within my sword's length!
Cler. Have thy wish! Thou hast! [CLEREMOND draws his
Nay, draw thy sword and suddenly: I am [sword.
That monster, temple-robber, parricide,
Ingrateful wretch, friend-hater, or what else
Makes up the perfect figure of the devil,
like man. Banish amazement,
And call thy ablest spirits up to guard thee
From him that's turn'd a fury. I am made
Her minister, whose cruelty but named
Would with more horror strike the pale-cheek'd stars,
Than all those dreadful words which conjurors use
To fright their damn'd familiars. Look not on me
As I am Cleremond; I have parted with
The essence that was his, and entertain'd
The soul of some fierce tigress, or a wolf's
New-hang'd for human slaughter, and 'tis fit:
I could not else be an apt instrument
To bloody Leonora.
Mont. To my knowledge
I never wrong'd her.
Cler. Yes in being a friend
To me, she hated
my best friend, her malice
Would look no lower :--and for being such,
By her commands, Montrose, I am to kill thee.
O, that thou hadst, like others, been all words,
And no performance! or that thou hadst made
Some little stop in thy career of kindness!
Why wouldst thou, to confirm the name of friend,
Snatch at this fatal office of a second,
Which others fled from ?- 'Tis in vain to mourn now,
When there's no help; and therefore, good Montrose,
Rouse thy most manly parts, and think thou stand’st now
A champion for more than king or country ;
Since in thy fall, goodness itself must suffer.
Remember too, the baseness of the wrong
Offer'd to friendship; let it edge thy sword,
And kill compassion in thee; and forget not
I will take all advantages: and so,
Without reply, have at thee. [They fight, CLEREMOND Mont. See, how weak
falls. An ill cause is ! you are already fallen:
What can you look for now?
Cler. Fool, use thy fortune:
And so he counsels thee, that, if we had
Changed places, instantly would have cut thy throat,
Or digg'd thy heart out.
Mont. In requital of
That savage purpose, I must pity you:
Witness these tears, not tears of joy for conquest;
But of true sorrow for your misery.
Live, O live, Cleremond, and, like a man,
Make use of reason, as an exorcist
To cast this devil out, that does abuse you;
This fiend of false affection.
A VERY WOMAN: OR, THE PRINCE OF TARENT: A
TRAGI-COMEDY. BY PHILIP MASSINGER. Don JOHN ANTONIO, Prince of Tarent, in the disguise of a slave, re
counts to the LADY ALMIRA, she not knowing him in that disguise, the story of his own passion for her, and of the anworthy treatment which
he found from her.
John. Not far from where my father lives, a lady,
A neighbour by, blest with as great a beauty
As Nature durst bestow without undoing,
Dwelt, and most happily, as I thought then,
And bless'd the house a thousand times she dwelt in.
This beauty, in the blossom of my youth,
When my first fire knew no adulterate incense,
Nor I no way to flatter but my fondness,
In all the bravery my friends could show me,
In all the faith my innocence could give me,
In the best language my true tongue could tell me,
And all the broken sighs my sick heart lent me,
I sued, and served. Long did I love this lady,
Long was my travail, long my trade, to win her;
With all the duty of my soul I served her.
Alm. How feelingly he speaks! And she loved you too?
It must be so.
John. I would it had, dear lady.
This story had been needless; and this place,
I think, unknown to me.
Alm. Were your bloods equal ?
John. Yes; and, I thought, our hearts too.
Alm. Then she must love.
John. She did; but never me: she could not love me;
She would not love; she hated; more, she scorn'd me:
And in so poor and base a way abused me,
For all my services, for all my bounties,
So bold neglects flung on me
Alm. An ill woman!
you found some rival in your love then ? John. How perfectly she points me to my story! [Aside.
Madam, I did ; and one whose pride and anger,
Ill manners, and worse mien, she doted on;
Doted, to my undoing and my ruin.
And, but for honour to your sacred beauty,
And reverence to the noble sex, though she fall,
(As she must fall, that durst be so unnoble)
I should say something unbeseeming me.
What out of love, and worthy love, I gave her,
(Shame to her most unworthy mind!) to fools,
To girls, and fiddlers, to her boys she flung,
And in disdain of me.
Last, to blot me
From all remembrance, wbat I have been to her,
And how, how honestly, how nobly served her,
'Twas thought she set her gallant to despatch me.
'Tis true, he quarreld, without place or reason ;
We fought; I kill'd him; Heaven's strong hand was
For which I lost my country, friends, acquaintance,
And put myself to sea, where a pirate took me,
And sold me here.
THE UNNATURAL COMBAT: A TRAGEDY,
BY PHILIP MASSINGER. MALÉFORT senior, Admiral of Marseilles, poisons his first wife to make
way for a second. This coming to the knowledge of his son, MALEFORT junior; he challenges his father to fight him. This unnatural combat is performed before the Governor and Court of Marseilles. The spectators retiring to some distance, the father and son parley before the fight commences.
MALEFORT senior. MALEFORT junior. Mal. sen. Now we are alone, sir;
And thou hast liberty to unload the burden
Which thou groan'st under. Speak thy griefs.
Mal. jun. I shall, sir;
But in a perplex'd form and method, which
You only can interpret: would you had not
A guilty knowledge in your bosom of
The language which you force me to deliver,
So I were nothing! As you are my father,
I bend my knee, and uncompell’d profess,
My life and all that 's mine to be your gift,
And that in a son's duty I stand bound
To lay this head beneath your feet, and run
All desperate hazards for your ease and safety.
But, this confess'd on iny part, I rise up;
And not as with a father (all respect,
Love, fear, and reverence, cast off), but as
A wicked man, I thus expostulate with you.
done that which I dare not speak ?
And in the action changed the humble shape
obedience to rebellious
And insolent pride ? and with shut eyes constrain'd me
To run my bark of honour on a shelf,
I must not see, nor, if I saw it, shun it ?
In my wrongs nature suffers, and looks backward!
And mankind trembles to see me pursue
What beasts would fly from: for when I advance
This sword, as I must do, against your head,
Piety will weep, and filial duty mourn,
To see their altars, which you
In a moment razed and ruin'd. That
could (From my grieved soul I wish it) but produce To qualify, not excuse, your deed of horror, One seeming reason; that I might fix here,
And move no further!
Mal. sen. Have I so far lost
power, that I must give account
Of my actions to my son ? or must I plead
As a fearful prisoner at the bar, while he
That owes his being to me sits as judge
To censure that, which only by myself
Ought to be question'd ? mountains sooner fall
Beneath their valleys, and the lofty pine
Pay homage to the bramble, or what else is
Preposterous in nature, ere my tongue
In one short syllable yields satisfaction
doubt of thine ; nay, though it were
A certainty, disdaining argument:
Since, though my deeds were hell's black livery,
To thee they should appear triumphant robes,