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Had robb’d the earth of more than all the world,
Valasco was the man appointed by
That goodly sister to steal Berinthia,
And lord himself of this possession,
Just at that time; ut hear, and tre ble at it,
She by a cunning poison should have breath'd
Her soul into his arms within two hours,
And so Valasco should have borne the shame
Of theft and murder.
Seb. You amaze me, sir.
Ant. Tis true, by honour's self: hear it confirm'd; And when you will, I am ready.
Seb. I cannot but believe it. Oh Berinthia,
I'm wounded ere I fight.
Ant. Holds your resolve yet constant ? if you have
Better opinion of your sword, than truth,
I am bound to answer: but I would I had
Such an advantage 'gainst another man,
As the justice of my cause; all valour fights
But with a sail against it.
Seb. But will you back with me then?
Ber. Excuse me, brother; I shall fall too soon
Upon my sister's malice, whose foul guilt
Will make me expect more certain ruin.
Ant. Now Sebastiano
Puts on his judgment, and assumes his nobleness,
Whilst he loves equity.
Seb. And shall I carry shame
To Villarezo's house, neglect of father,
Whose precepts bind me to return with her
Or leave my life at Elvas ? I must on.
I have heard you to no purpose. Shall Berinthia
Back to Avero?
Ant. Sir, she must not yet ; "Tis dangerous.
Seb. Chuse thee a second then: this count and I
Mean to leave honour here,
Vill. Honour me, sir.
Ant. 'T'is done. Sebastiano shall report Antonio just: and, noble Sforza, swear Upon my sword (Oh, do not hinder me) If victory crown Sebastiano's arm, I charge thee by thy honesty restore This lady to him; on whose lip I seal My unstain'd faith. Antonio falls in a duel by the sword of Sebastiano. Sebas
tiano is disconsolate for having killed his friend. I his penitence, he is visited by Antonio's sister, Castabella, disguised as a page.
Cast. He that hath sent you, sir, this gift, did lore
You'll say yourself he did.
Seb. Ha, name him prithee.
Cast. The friend I came from was Antonio.
Seb. Who hath sent thee
To tempt Sebastiano's soul to act on thee
Another death, for thus affrighting me?
Cast. Indeed I do not mock, nor come to affright you;
Heaven knows my heart. I know Antonio's dead.
But 'twas a gift he in his life design'd
To you, and I have brought it.
Seb. Thou dost not promise cozenage: what gift is 't!
Cast. It is myself, sir; whilst Antonio liv'd,
I was his boy; but never did boy lose
So kind a master; in his life he promis'd
He would bestow me (so much was his love
To my poor merit) on his dearest friend,
And named you, sir, if heaven should point out
To over-live him, for he knew
Love me the better for his sake : indeed
I will be very honest to you, and
Refuse no service to procure your love
And good opinion to me.
Seb. Can it be
Thou wert his boy? Oh, thou should'st hate me then.
Thou art false, I dare not trust thee; unto him
Thou shew'st thee now unfaithful, to accept
Of me: I kill'd thy master. 'Twas a friend
He could commit thee to; I only was,
Of all the stock of men, his enemy,
His cruel’st enemy.
Cast. Indeed I am sure it was; he spoke all truth;
And, had he liv'd to have made his will, I know
He had bequeath'd me as a legacy,
To be your boy; alas, I am willing, sir,
To obey him in it: had he laid on me
Command, to have mingled with his sacred dust
My unprofitable blood, it should have been
A most glad sacrifice, and 't had been honour
To have done him such a duty: sir, I know
You did not kill him with a heart of malice,
But in contention with your very soul
To part with him.
Seb. All is as true
As oracle by heaven; dost thou believe so ?
Cast. Indeed I do.
Seb. Yet be not rash;
"Tis no advantage to belong to me:
I have no power nor greatness in the court
To raise thee to a fortune worthy of
So much observance, as I shall expect
When thou art mine.
Cast. All the ambition of my thoughts shall be
To do my duty, sir.
Seb. Besides, I shall afflict thy tenderness With solitude and passion : for I am Only in love with sorrow, never merry, Wear out the day in telling of sad tales, Delight in sighs and tears; sometimes I walk To a wood or river, purposely to challenge The boldest echo to send back my groans In th' height I break them. , Come, I shall undo thee.,
Cast. Sir, I shall be most happy to bear part In any
your sorrows; I ne'er had So hard a heart but 'I could shed a tear
To bear my master company:
Seb. I will not leave thee, if thou'll dwell with me, For wealth of Indies : be my loved boy Come in with me; thus I'll begin to do Some recompence for dead Antonio.
Berinthia kills her brother Sebastiano sleeping.
Cast. Sir, if the opportunity I use
To comfort you be held a fault, and that
I keep not distance of a servant, lay it
Upon my love; indeed, if it be an error,
It springs out of my duty.
Seb. Prithee boy, he patient.
The more I strive throw off the remembrance
Of dead Antonio, love still rubs the wounds
To make them bleed afresh.
Cast. Alas, they are past ;
Bind up your own for honour's sake, and shew
Love to yourself; pray do not lose your reason,
To make your grief so fruitless. I have procur'd
Some music, sir, to quiet those sad thoughts
That make such war within you.
Seb. Alas, good boy, it will but add more weight
Of dullness on me! I am stung with worse
Than the tarantula, to be cur'd with music;
It has th' exactest unity, but it cannot
Accord my thoughts.
Cast. Sir, this your couch
Seems to invite some small repose :
Oh, I beseech you taste it. I will beg
A little leave to sing.
Berinthia enters softly.
Cast: Sweet sleep charm his sad senses :
And gentle thoughts let fall
Your flowing numbers here ; and round about
Hover celestial angels with your wings,
That none offend his quiet. Sleep begins
To cast his nets o'er me too ; I'll obey,
And dream on him that dreams not wliat I am.
rShe lies down by him.)
Ber. Nature doth wrestle with me, but revenge
Doth arm my love against it; justice is
Above all tie of blood. Sebastiano,
Thou art the first shall tell Antonio's ghost,
How much I lov'd him.
(She stabs him upon his couch.) Seb. (waking.) Oh, stay thy hand, Berinthia! no: Thou'st done't. I wish thee heaven's forgiveness. I can
Tarry to hear thy reasons; at many
My life runs out, and yet Berinthia
Doth in her name give me more wounds than these.
Antonio, Oh, Antonio : we shall now
Be friends again.