« PreviousContinue »
To entertain your friends in a summer's progress?
What thinks my noble lord?
Lov. 'Tis a wholesome air,
And well built, and she,106 that is mistress of it,
Worthy the large revenue.
It may be so for a time: but let my lord
Say only that he but like it, and would have it;
I say, ere long 'tis his.
Over. You do conclude too fast; not knowing me,
Nor the engines that I work by. 'Tis not alone
The lady Allworth's lands: but point out any man's
In all the shire, and say they lie convenient
And useful for your lordship; and once more
I say aloud, they are yours.
What's by unjust and cruel means extorted:
My fame and credit are more dear to me,
Than so to expose 'em to be censur'd by
The public voice.
Over. You run, my lord, no hazard :
Your reputation shall stand as fair
In all good men's opinions as now :
Nor can my actions, though condemn'd for ill,
Cast any foul aspersion upon yours.
For though I do contemn report myself,
As a mere sound; I still will be so tender
Of what concerns you in all points of honour,
That the immaculate whiteness of your fame,
Nor your unquestioned integrity,
Shall e'er be sullied with one taint or spot
That may take from your innocencc and candour.
All my ambition is to have my daughter
Right honourable; which my lord can make her:
And might I live to dance upon my knee
A young lord Lovell, born by her unto you,
I write nil ultra to my proudest hopes.
As for possessions and annual rents,
Equivalent to maintain you in the port
Your noble birth and present state require,
I do remove that burden from your shoulders,
And take it on mine own: for though I ruin
The country to supply your riotous waste,
The scourge of prodigals (want) shall never
Lov. Are you not frighted with the imprecations
And curses of whole families, made wretched
By your sinister practices?
Over. Yes, as rocks are
When foamy billows split themselves against
Their flinty ribs; or as the moon is mov'd
When wolves, with hunger pined, howl at her brightness.
I am of a solid temper, and, like these,
Steer on a constant course: with mine own sword,
If call'd into the field, I can make that right,
Which fearful enemies murmur'd at as wrong.
Now, for those other piddling complaints,
Breath'd out in bitterness; as, when they call me
Extortioner, tyrant, cormorant, or intruder
On my poor neighbour's right, or grand encloser
Of what was common to my private use;
Nay, when my ears are pierc'd with widows' cries,
And undone orphans wash with tears my threshold:
I only think what 'tis to have my daughter
Right honourable; and 'tis a powerful charm,
Makes me insensible of remorse or pity,
Or the least sting of conscience.
The toughness of your nature.
Over. 'Tis for you,
My lord, and for my daughter, I am marble.
THE PICTURE. A TRAGI-COMEDY. BY PHILIP
Matthias, a knight of Bohemia, going to the wars; in parting with his wife, shews her substantial reasons why he should go.
Mat. Since we must part, Sophia, to
Is not alone impertinent, but dangerous.
We are not distant from the Turkish camp
Above five leagues; and who knows but some party
Of his Timariots, that scour the country,
May fall upon us? Be now, as thy name
Truly interpreted10 hath ever spoke thee,
Wise and discreet; and to thy understanding
Marry thy constant patience.
Soph. You put me, sir,
To the utmost trial of it.
Mat. Nay, no melting:
Since the necessity, that now separates us,
We have long since disputed; and the reasons,
Forcing me to it, too oft wash'd in tears.
I grant that you in birth were far above me,
And great men my superiors rivals for you;
But mutual consent of heart, as hands
Join'd by true love, hath made us one and equal:
Nor is it in me mere desire of fame,
Or to be cried up by the public voice
For a brave soldier, that puts on my armour;
Such airy tumours take not me: you know
How narrow our demeans are; and what's more,
Having as yet no charge of children on us,
We hardly can subsist.
Soph. In you alone, sir,
I have all abundance.
Mat. For my mind's content,
In your own language I could answer you.
You have been an obedient wife, a right one;
And to my power, though short of your desert,
I have been ever an indulgent husband.
We have long enjoy'd the sweets of love, and though Not to satiety or loathing, yet
We must not live such dotards on our pleasures,
As still to hug them to the certain loss
Of profit and preferment. Competent means
Maintains a quiet bed, want breeds dissention
Even in good women.
Soph. Have found in me, sir,
Any distaste or sign of discontent,
For want of what's superfluous ?
Mat. No, Sophia;
Nor shalt thou ever have cause to repent
Thy constant course in goodness, if heaven bless
My honest undertakings. 'Tis for thee,
That I turn soldier, and put forth, dearest,
Upon this sea of action as a factor,
To trade for rich materials to adorn
Thy noble parts, and shew 'em in full lustre.
I blush that other ladies, less in beauty
And outward form, but, in the harmony
Of the soul's ravishing musick, the same age
Not to be named with thee, should so outshine thee
In jewels and variety of wardrobes;
While you, to whose sweet innocence both Indies
Compar❜d are of no value, wanting these,
Or in your opinion so, why should you borrow
Additions for me?
Mat. Why? I should be censur'd
Of ignorance, possessing such a jewel,
Above all price, if I forbear to give it
The best of ornaments. Therefore, Sophia,
In few words know my pleasure, and obey me;
As you have ever done. To your discretion
I leave the government of my family,
And our poor fortunes, and from these command
Obedience to you as to myself:
To th' utmost of what's mine, live plentifully:
And, ere the remnant of our store be spent,
With my good sword I hope I shall reap for you
A harvest in such full abundance, as
Shall make a merry winter.
Soph. Since you are not
To be diverted, sir, from what you purpose,
All arguments to stay you here are useless.
Go when you please, sir: eyes, I charge you, waste
One drop of sorrow; look you hoard all up,
Till in my widow'd bed I call upon you:
But then be sure you fail not. Yon blest angels,
Guardians of human life, I at this instant
Forbear t' invoke you at our parting; 'twere
To personate devotion. My soul
Shall go along with you; and when you are
Circled with death and horror, seek and find you;
And then I will not leave a saint unsued to
For your protection. To tell you what
I will do in your absence, would shew poorly;