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PHILASTER; OR, LOVE LIES A BLEEDING.
TRAGI-COMEDY. BY FRANCIS
AND JOHN FLETCHER.
Philaster tells the Princess Arethusa how he first found the boy Bellario.
I have a boy sent by the gods,
Not yet seen in the court; hunting the buck,
Of which he borrow'd some to quench his thirst,
Which gave him roots; and of the crystal springs,
Exprest his grief: and to my thoughts did read
That could be wish'd, so that, methought, I could
A a 2
That ever master kept him will I send
To wait on you, and bear our hidden love.
Philaster prefers Bellario to the Service of the Princess
Phi. And thou shalt find her honourable, boy, Full of regard unto thy tender youth,
For thine own modesty; and for my sake,
Apter to give, than thou wilt be to ask, aye, or deserve. Bell. Sir, you did take me up when I was nothing, And only yet am something by being yours;
You trusted me unknown; and that which you are apt
Perhaps might have been craft, the cunning of a boy
I never can expect to serve a lady
That bears more honour in her breast than you.
Phi. But, boy, it will prefer thee; thou art young, And bear'st a childish overflowing love
To them that clap thy cheeks and speak thee fair yet.
That placed thee in the noblest way of life:
She is a princess I prefer thee to.
Bell. In that small time that I have seen the world,
I never knew a man hasty to part
With a servant he thought trusty; I remember,
To greater men than he, but did it not
Bell. Sir, if I have made
A fault of ignorance, instruct my youth;
For once; what master holds so strict a hand
Phi. Thy love doth plead so prettily to stay,
With joy receive thee; as I live, I will;
Bell. I am gone;
But since I am to part with you, my lord,
And none knows whether I shall live to do
Heaven bless your loves, your fights, all your designs.
Are. Sir, you are sad to change your service, is't not so?
To do him service.
Are. Thou disclaim'st in me;
Tell me thy name.
Are. Thou can'st sing and play?
Bell. If grief will give me leave, madam, I can.
Are. Alas! what kind of grief can thy years know? Had'st thou a curst master when thou went'st to school? Thou art not capable of any other grief;
Thy brows and cheeks are smooth as waters be,
When no breath troubles them: believe me, boy,
Care seeks out wrinkled brows, and hollow eyes,
Come, sir, tell me truly, does your lord love me?
Are. Canst thou know grief, and never yet knew'st love
Bell. If it be love,
To forget all respect of his own friends,
In thinking of your face; if it be love,
Or kill'd, because it might have been your chance ;
Philaster is jealous of Bellario with the Princess.
The princess doth commend her love, her life,
Phi. O Bellario,
Now I perceive she loves me, she does shew it
Phi. Thou art grown courtly, boy. O let all women That love black deeds learn to dissemble here.
Here by this paper she does write to me
As if her heart were mines of adamant
To all the world besides, but unto me
A maiden snow that melted with my looks.
Tell me, my boy, how doth the princess use thee?
Bell. Scarce like her servant, but as if I were
As mothers fond do use their only sons;
Phi. Why this is wond'rous well:
But what kind language does she feed thee with?
With all her loving secrets, and does call me
Her pretty servant, bids me weep no more
and such words of that soft strain,
That I am nearer weeping when she ends
Phi. This is much better still.
Bell. Are you ill, my
Phi. Ill? No, Bellario.
Bell. Methinks your words
Fall not from off your tongue so evenly,
Nor is there in your looks that quietness,
That I was wont to see.
Phi. Thou art deceiv'd, boy.-And she strokes thy head?
Phi. And she does clap thy cheeks?
Bell. She does, my lord.
Phi. And she does kiss thee, boy, ha?
Bell. How, my lord?
Phi. She kisses thee?
Bell. Not so, my lord.
Phi. Come, come, I know she does.