Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE NICE VALOUR;

OR,

THE PASSIONATE MADMAN.

A COMEDY.

The Commendatory Verses by Gardiner ascribe this Play to Fletcher; the Prologue and

Epilogue speak of the Poet singly; Seward (see note 3 on the Commendatory Poems) supposes it to be Beaumont's. It was first printed in the folio of 1647; and bath never been altered, that we are able to discover.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

It grows in fashion of late, in these days, We stabb’d him with keen daggers, when we
To come and beg a suffrage to our plays': pray'd
'Faith, gentlemen, our poet ever writ (wit, Him write a preface to a play well diade.
Language so good, mix'd with such sprightly He could not write these toys; 'twas easier far
He inade the theatre so sovereign

To bring a felon to appear at th' bar With his rare scenes, he scorn'd this crouch- So much he hated baseness; which this day, ing vein.

His scenes will best convince you of in's play. ? A suffrage to our plays.] First folio exhibits suferance.

[blocks in formation]

ACT I.

Or, may

SCENE I.

3 Gent. How the duke graces him! What

is he, brother? Enter Duke, Shamont, and Four Gentlemen.

+ Gent. Don't you yet know him? a vainDuke. SIAMONT, welcoine! we have glorious coxcomb, iniss'd thec ,

As proud as he that fell for't'! Tho'absent but two days: I hope your sports Set but aside his valour”, no virtue, Answer your time and wishes.

Which is indeed not fit for any courtier, Sham. Very nobly, sir;

And we his fellows are as good as he,
We found game worthy your delight, my lord, Perhaps as capable of favour too,
It was so royal.

For one thingor another, if'twere look'd into. Duke. I've enough to hear on't ;

Give me a man, were I a sovereign now, Prithee bestow't upon me in discourse. 'Has a good stroke at tennis, and a stiff one;

1 Gent. What is this gentleman, coz? you Can play at aquinoctium with the line, are a courtier,

As even as the thirteenth of September, Therefore know all their insides.

When day and night lie in a scale together! 2 Gent. No further than the taffaty goes,

I thrive as I deserve at billiards ; good coz,

(part No otherwise at chess, or at primero ! For the most part, wluch is indeed the best These are the parts requir'd; why not adOf the most general inside. Marry, thus far vanc'd ?

[lent pleasure; I can with boldness speak this one man's Duke. Trust me, it was no less than excelcharacter,

And I'm right glad 'twas thine. -How fares And upon bonour pass it for a true one:

our kinsinan ? He has that strength of manly merit in him, Who can resolve us best? That it exceeds his sovereign's power of grac- 1 Gent. I can, my lord. [bounds, ing;

Duke. There, if I had a pity without He's faithfully true to valour, that he hates It might be ill bestowd: a man so lost The man froin Cæsar's time, or further otl, In the wild ways of passion, that he's sensible That ever took disgrace unreveng’d;

Of nought but what torments him ! And if he chance to read his abject story, 1 Gent. True, my lord; He tears his memory out, and holds it virtuous He runs thro' all the passions of mankind, Not to let shame have so much lite amongst And shifts 'em strangely tvo: one while in love; us;

And that so violent, that, for want of business, There is not such a curious piece of courage He'll court the very 'prentice of a laundress, Amongst man's fellowship, or one so jealous Tho' she have kib'd heels; and in's melanOf Honour's loss, or Reputation's glory: choly again,

fairer There's so much perfect of his growing story! He will not brook an empress, tho' thrice

1 Gent. 'Twould make oue dote on Virtue, Than ever Maud was?, or higher-spirited as you tell it.

[it, coz. Than Cleopatra, or your English countess. 2 Gent. I have told it to much loss, believe Then, on a sudden Bie's so merry again, ' As proud as he that fell for't;] i.e. As proud as Lucifer, who fell through pride.

Seucard. 2 Set but uside his valour no virtue: Which is indeed not fit for any courtier.] The old folio points thus,

Set but aside his valour, no virtue
Which is ideed, not fit for any courtier,

And we bis sellows, 8c. This latter is better sense, and therefore restored to the text, but as the construction from the position of the words is a little stiit, and the measure not compleat, perhaps the original might have run,

Set hut aside his valour, which indeed

No virtue is, not fit for any courtier. Seward. .Seward's reading is as stiti as the other. There seeins to be a word or two dropped in the preceding line, which iias more obscured the passage; the sense of which scems to have been to this effect:

As proud as he that fell for't! HE POSSESSES,
Set but aside his valour, no virtue;

Which (i. e. his valour) is indeed not fit for any courtier, &c. It is very cominon with our authors to refer to a remote antecedent. 3 Muud.] The empress diuud, daughter of Henry I. and mother of Henry II. R.

Oute

a

.

:

Out-laughs a waiting-woman before her first To favour Nature; let her bear her own child;

If she le faulty !

(shame And, turning of a hand, so angry

1 Gent. Monstrous faulty there, sir. H'has almost beat the Northern fellow Sham. I'ın ill at ease already. blind,

(my lord, 1 Gent. Pray bear up, sir. That is for that use only; it'that mood bold, Sham. I prithee let nie take him down with H'had need of a fresh man; I'll undertake speed then,

[upon. lle shall bruise thee a-month.

Like a wild object that I would not look Duke. I pity him dearly;

1 Gent. Then thus; he's one that will enAnd let it be your charge, with liis kind bro- dure as much ther,

As can be laid upon him. To see his moods observ'd: let every passion Sham. That may be noble? Be fed ev'n to a surfeit, which in time I'm kept too long from his acquaintance. May breed a loathing! let hiin have enough

1 Gent. Oh, sir,

[forward Of every object, that his sense is rapt with! Take beed of 'rash repentance! you're too And being once glutted, then the taste of folly To find out virtue where it never settled : Will come into disrelishs.

[Erit. Take the particulars, first, of what he endures; 1 Gent. I shall see

Videlicet, bastinadoes by the greal.
Your charge, my lord, most faithfully effected. Sham. How!
And how does noble Shamont?

1 Gent. Thumps by the dozen, and your Sham. Never ill, man,

kicks by wholesale. Until I bear of baseness; then I sicken:

Sham. No more of him !

[up, I am the healthfull'st man i'th' kingdom else. 1 Gent. The twinges by the postril hesnulis

And holds it the best remedy for sneezing. Enter Lapet.

Sham. Away! 1 Gent. Be arm'd then for a fit! here 1 Gent. H' has been thrice switclid from comes a fellow

seven o'clock till nine;

[fast, Will make you sick at heart, if baseness do't. Yet, with a cart-horse stomach, fell to break

Sham. Let me be gone! What is he? Forgetful of his smart.
1 Gent. Let me tell

you
first;

ham. Nay, the disgrace on't; It can be but a qualm. Pray stay it out, sir ! There is no smart but that: base things are Conne, you've borne more than this.

felt

[know you not; Shum. Borne? never any thing

More by their shames than hurts.--Sir, I That was injurions.

But that you live an injury to Nature, | Gent. Ha! I am far from that.

I'm heartily angry

with

you. Sham. He looks as like a man, as I have Lapet. Pray give your blow or kick, and

il prithee, begone then; What would you speak of him? Speak well, For I ne'er saw you before; and indeed Es’a for humanity's cause.

Have nothing to say to you, for I know you 1 Gent. You'd have it truth tho'? Shum. What else, sir? I have no reason to Sham. Why wouldst thou take a blow?

Lapet. I would not, sir?,

Unless 4 H'has almost beat the Northern fellow blind,

That is for that use only.) This is probably an allusion to Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, the hero of the North, who ascended the throne in 1611. He was one of the greatest and most successful princes which Europe hath seen, either before or since his time. R.

$ His relish.] We have no doubt but this is corrupt, and that we ought to read, changing only one letter, disrelish.

o Take heed' of rash repentance;] i. e. Repentance on account of rashness. I should not have thought an explanation necessary, but that Mr. Syınpson would have discarded the word, and read acquaintance for repentance.

Seuurd. ? 1 would not, sir, Unless 'twere offer'd me; und if from an enemy,

I'd be loth to deny it from a stranger.] The conjunctive particle and in the middle line seems plainly to denote the loss of some sentence previous to it, and the humour seems greatly to suifer by that loss. As to the sentiment, it may, I believe, be restored, but as several expressions will give it, it is impossible to guess how near we shall come to the old reading. I propose,

I would not, sir,
Unless 't were otter'd me; if from a friend
I'd take't in friendship, and if from an enemy
I would be lóth to deny it from a stranger.

Seward. Seward makes this proposed interpolation : but the old text gives very complete sense; and there is no saying where arbitrary variations would end, if insertions, omissions, or altera

tions,

seen one:

not.

a

wrong Heav'n

e

[it?

here,

Unless 'twere ofer'd me; and if from an enemy, If he were not kick'd to th' church o'th' I would be loath to deny it from a stranger. wedding day,

[wise; Sham. What! a blow?

I'll never come at court. Can be no others Endure a blow! and shall he live that gives Perhaps he was rich; speak, inistress Lapet,

Lapet. Many a fair year: why not, sir? was't not so?
Sham. Let nie wonder!

Wife. Nay, that's without all question. As full a man to see-to, and as perfect!

Shum. Oh, ho! he would not want kickers I prithee live not long

enough then. Lapet. How!

If you are wise, I much suspect your honesty, Shum. Let me entreat it! [mankind, For wisdom never fastens constantly, Thou dost not know what wrong thou dost But upon merit : if you incline to fool, To walk so long here; not to die betimes. You are alike unfit for his society; Let me advise thce, while thou hast to live Nay, if it were not boldness in the man

[more! That honours you, to advise you, troth, his Ev'n for man's honour sake, take not a blow company

Lapet. You should advise them not to Should not be frequent with you. strike me then, sir;

[given. Wife. Tis good counsel, sir. For I'll take none, I assure you, 'less they're Sham. Oh, I'm so careful where I reverence,

Sham. How fain would I preserve man's So just to goodness, and her precious purity, torm from shame,

I am as equally jealous, and as fearful,
And cannot get it done! However, sir, That any undeserved stain might fall
I charge thee live not long.

Upon her sanctified whiteness, as of the sin Lapet. This is worse than beating. [sir, That comes by wilsulness.

Sham. Of what profession art thou, tell me, Wife. Sir, I love your thoughts, Besides a taylor? for I'll know the truth. And honour you for your counsel and your Lupet. A taylor? I'm as good a gentle- Sham. We are your servants.

[care. Can shew my arms and all. inan- Wife. He's but a gentleman

Sham. How black and blue they are : O'th'chamber; he might have kiss'd me, faith! Is that your manifestation? Upon pain Where shall one sind less courtesy than at Of pounding thee to dust, assume not wr 08

court? tully

Say, I have an undeserver to my husband, The name of gentleman, because I'm one That's ne'er the worse for him : well, strangeThat must not let thee live!

lip'd man, Lapet. I've done, I've done, sir.

'Tis but a kiss lost; there'll more come If there be any harm, beshrew the herald! again.

[Erit. I'm sure I ba'not been so long a gentleman,

Enter the Passionate Lord; he makes To make this anger: I have nothing, nowhere, But what I dearly pay for.

congee or two to nothing. Sham. Groom, begone! [Exit Lapet. 1 Gent. Look, who comes here, sir! his I never was so heart-sick yet of man.

love-tit's upon him :

I know it, by that set smile, and those congees. Enter the Lady, and Lapet's Wife.

How courieous he's to nothing? ich indeed 1 Gent. Here comes a cordial, sir, from Is thic next kin to woman, only shadow, th' other sex,

The elder sister of the twain, because 'tis Able to make a dying face look chearful. Shum. The blessedness of ladies!

See how it kisses the fore-finger still!
Lady. You're well met, sir. (from me, Which is the last edition, and, being come
Sham. The sight of you has put an evil So near the thumb, every cobler has got it.
Whose breath was able to make virtue sicken. Sham. What a ridiculous piece humanity

Lady. I'm glad I came so fortunately. Here makes itself!
What was it, sir?

[eats after it, 1 Gent. Nay, good, give leave a little, sir; Sham. A thing that takes a blow, lives and You're so precise a manhoodIn very good health: you ha' not seen the Sham. It aiflicts me like, madam;

When I behold unseemliness in an image A monster worth your sixpence, lovely worth. So near the godhead! 'Tis an injury Lady. Speak low, sir! by all likelihoods To glorious eternity. 'tis her husband,

i Gent. Pray use patience, sir! That now bestow'd a visitation on

Pas. I do confess it freely, precious lady; Farewell, sir!

[Erit. And love's suit is so, the longer it hangs Sham. Husband? is't possible that he has The worse it is: better cut off, sweet madam. a wife?

[match! Oh, that same drawing-in your nether lip Would any creature have him? 'tis sume forc'd there, tions were made, whenever the critick thinks it might improve the passages under his consideration. An editor should give the author's text, not his own.

Foreshey

[ocr errors]

seen too.

a

:

me.

Foreshews no goodness, lady; make you

Of
my

belief in you, and that quits me; question on't?

It lies upon your faishood. Shame on me, but I love you!

Pas. Does it so!

[contract. 1 Gent, Who is't, sir,

You shall not carry her tho', sir; she's my You are at all this pains for? may I know her? Sham. I prithee, thou four elements illa

Pas. For thee, thou fairest, yet the falsest brued, woman,

Torment none but thyself! Away, I say, That ever broke man's heart-strings. Thou beast of passion, as the drunkard is

1 Gent. How? how's this, sir? [apparel? The beast of wine! Dishonour to thy making,

Pas. What, the old trick of ladies? man's Thou man in fragments! Will't ne'er be left amongst you? Steal from Pas. Hear me, precious madam! court in't!

Sham. Kneel for thy wits to Heav'n. 1 Gent. I see the fit grows stronger.

Pas. Lady, I'll father it, Pas. Pray let's talk a little.

Whoe'er begot it: 'tis the course of greatness. Sham. I can endure no more!

Shum. How virtue groans at this! 1 Gent. Good, let's alone a little!

Pus. I'll raise the court, but I will stay You are so exact a work! love light things your flight. somewhat, sir.

Sham. How wretched is that piece? Sham. They're all but shames.

[Erit Pas. 1 Gent. What is't you'd say to me, sir? 1 Gent. He's the duke's kinsinan, sir. Pas. Can you be so forgetful to enquire Sham. That cannot take a passion away, 1 Gent. Yes, truly, sir. [it, lady?

sir, Pas. The more I adınire

your

flintiness! Nor cut a fit but one poor hour shorter; What cause have I given you, illustrious He must endure as much as the poorest madam,

beggar,

{equality To play this strange part with me?

That cannot change his money; there's the i Gent. Cause enough:

In our impartial essence.

What's the news Do but look back, sir, into your meinory,

now? Your love to other women. Oh, lewd man,

Enter a Servant. 'T has almost kill'd my heart; you see I'm chang'd with it;

[on't! Sero. Your worthy brother, sir, has left I ha’lost the fashion of my sex with grief And come to see you.

[his charge, When I have seen you courting of a dowdy

Enter the Soldier. (Compar'd with me), and kissing your forefinger

[not this

Sham. Oh, the noblest welcome To one o'th'black-guard's mistresses; would That ever came from man, meet thy deCrack a poor lady's heart, that believ'd love, servings!

(now. And waited for the comfort? But'twas said, sir, Methinks, I've all joy's treasure in mine arms A lady of my hair cannot want pitying ;

Sold. You are so fortunate in prevention, The country's coming up: farewell to you,

brother, Pas. Whither intend you, sir?

(sir ! You always leave the answerer barren, sir, 1 Gent. A long journey, sir :

You comprehend in few words so much worth. The truth is, I'm with-child, and go to travel.

Sham. 'Tis all too little for thee: come, Pas. With-child ? I never got it.

thou'rt welcome!

(pray, 1 Gent. I heard you were busy

So I include all. Take especial knowledge, At the same time, sir; and was loth to Of this dear gentleman, my absolute friend,

[cellent madam? That loves a soldier far above a mistress! Pas. Why, are not you a whore then, ex- Thou excellently faithful to 'em both! 1 Gent. Öh, by no means; 'twas done, sir, But love to manhood owns the purer troth, in the state

Ereunt.

ACT

trouble you.

* You ure so eract a work: love light things somewhat, sir.] It seems probable that worth was the true word instead of work, as Shamont calls the lady before--lovely worth, and one of the gentlemen in the first page of the play says of Shamont, There is not such a curious piece

of

courage. Notwithstanding this, work being good sense may still be the true reading. The advice to Shamont to love light things a little, is to laugh and divert himself at the absurdities and phrensies of men. Mr. Sympson thought it obscure, and that it wanted explanation.

Seward seems mistaken in supposing Shumont calls the lady lovely wortu: he tells hier the sight is lovely [i. e. well] worth sixpence:

-You ha' not seen the like, madam;

A monster worth your sixpence, LOVELY worth, ? That loves a soldier far above a mistress, Thou excellently

faithful to 'em both.] The emendation here of thou to tho' (although the

old

« PreviousContinue »