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Crot. Dally not further; I will know the reason That speeds thee to this journey.
Org. “Reason?” good sir, I can yield many.
Crot. Give me one, a good one; Such I expect, and ere we part must have: : “ Athens!" pray, why to Athens? you intend not To kick against the world, turn cynic, stoic, Or read the logic lecture, or become An Areopagite, and judge in cases Touching the commonwealth; for, as I take it, The budding of
of your chin cannot prognosticate So grave an honour.
Org. All this I acknowledge.
Crot. You do! then, son, if books and love of
Inflame you to this travel, here in Sparta
You may as freely study.
Org. 'Tis not that, sir.
Crot. Not that, sir! As a father, I command
To acquaint me with the truth.
Org. Thus, I obey you. After so many quarrels, as dissension, Fury, and rage had broach'd in blood, and some
With death to such confederates, as sided
With now dead Thrasus and yourself, my lord;
Our present king, Amyclas, reconciled
Your eager swords, and seald a gentle peace:
Friends you profess'd yourselves; which to con-
A resolution for a lasting league
Betwixt your families, was entertained,
By joining, in a Hymenean bond,
Me and the fair Penthea, only daughter
Crot. What of this?
Org. Much, much, dear sir. A freedom of converse, an interchange Of holy and chaste love, so fix'd our souls In a firm growth of union," that no time Can eat into the pledge:-we had enjoy'd The sweets our vows expected, had not cruelty Prevented all those triumphs we prepared for, By Thrasus his untimely death.
* In a firm growth of union.] I have omitted holy before union, which had evidently crept in from the preceding line, and wholly destroys the metre.
Crot. Most certain.
Org. From this time sprouted up that poisonous
Of aconite, whose ripened fruit hath ravish'd
All health, all comfort of a happy life:
For Ithocles, her brother, proud of youth,
And prouder in his power, nourish'd closely
The memory of former discontents,
To glory in revenge. By cunning partly,
Partly by threats, he woos at once and forces
His virtuous sister to admit a marriage
With Bassanes, a nobleman, in honour
And riches, I confess, beyond my fortunes-
Crot. All this is no sound reason to importune
My leave for thy departure.
Org. Now it follows.
Beauteous Penthea, wedded to this torture
By an insulting brother, being secretly
Compell’d to yield her virgin freedom up
To him, who never can usurp her heart,
Before contracted mine; is now so yoked
To a most barbarous thraldom, misery,
Affliction, that he savours not humanity,
Whose sorrow melts not into more than pity,
In hearing but her name.
Crot. As how, pray?
The man that calls her wife, considers truly
What heaven of perfections he is lord of,
By thinking fair Penthea his; this thought
Begets a kind of monster-love, which love
Is nurse unto a fear so strong, and servile,
As brands all dotage with a jealousy.
All eyes who gaze upon that shrine of beauty,
He doth resolve,' do homage to the miracle;
Some one, he is assured, may now or then
(If opportunity but sort) prevail:
So much, out of a self-unworthiness,
His fears transport him!--not that he finds cause
In her obedience, but his own distrust.
Crot. You spin out your discourse.
Org. My griefs are violent-
For knowing how the maid was heretofore
Courted by me, his jealousies grow wild
That I should steal again into her favours,
And undermine her virtues; which the gods
Know, I nor dare, nor dream of: hence, from
I undertake a voluntary exile;
First, by my absence to take off the cares
Of jealous Bassanes; but chiefly, sir,
To free Penthea from a hell on earth:.
Lastly, to lose the memory of something,
Her presence makes to live in me afresh.
Crot. Enough, my Orgilus, enough. To Athens,
I give a full consent;—alas, good lady!--
We shall hear from thee often?
Thy sister comes to give a farewell.
3 He doth resolve.] i. e. he doth satisfy, convince, himself.
Enter EUPHRANEA.. Euph. Brother! !
Org. Euphranea, thus upon thy cheeks I print A brother's kiss; more careful of thine honour, Thy health, and thy well-doing, than my life. Before we part, in presence of our father, I must prefer a suit t' you.
Euph. You may stile it, My brother, a command.
Org. That you will promise +
Never to pass to any man, however
Worthy, your faith, till, with our father's leave,
I give a free consent.
Crot. An easy motion!
I'll promise for her, Orgilus.
Org. Your pardon;
Euphranea's oath must yield me satisfaction.
Euph. By Vesta's sacred fires, I swear.
Crot. And I,
By great Apollo's beams, join in the vow;
Not, without thy allowance, to bestow her
On any living
Org. Dear Euphranea,
Mistake me not; far, far 'tis from my thought,
* That you will promise, &c.] Orgilus seems to entertain some suspicion of Ithocles; but the exaction of such a promise appears not altogether consistent in one who had just been describing the misery of bis own sufferings from the power and influence of a brother. This however is an admirable introductory scene: and, in justice to the author, it should be observed, that few of his contemporaries open the plot of their drama so happily as he occasionally does.