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Cleon. THE rest are making ready, sir. Lys. So let them; there is time enough. Diph. You are the brother to the king, my lord; we will take your word.

Lys. Strato, thou hast some skill in poetry: What think'st thou of the masque? Will it be well? Strat. As well as masque can be. Lys. As masque can be?

Strat. Yes; they must commend their king, and speak in praise of the assembly; bless the bride and bridegroom, in person of some god. They are tied to rules of flattery.

Cle. See, good my lord, who is returned!

WOMEN.

CYNTHIA,
NEPTUNE, masquers.

ÆOLUS,

Scene, Rhodes.

ACT I.

Enter MELANTIUS.

Lys. Noble Melantius! the land, by me, Welcomes thy virtues home to Rhodes. Thou, that with blood abroad buyest us our peace! The breath of kings is like the breath of gods; My brother wished thee here, and thou art here. He will be too kind, and weary thee with | Often welcomes. But the time doth give thee A welcome above his, or all the world's.

Mel. My lord, my thanks; but these scratch'd limbs of mine

Have spoke my love and truth unto my friends, More than my tongue e'er could. My mind's the

same

It ever was to you: Where I find worth

A

I love the keeper till he let it go, And then I follow it.

Diph. Hail, worthy brother!
He, that rejoices not at your return
In safety, is mine enemy for ever.

Mel. I thank thee, Diphilus. But thou art Your virtuous sister. faulty;

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A soldier's measure.

Mel. These soft and silken wars are not for me: The music must be shrill, and all confused, That stirs my blood; and then I dance with arms. But is Amintor wed?

Diph. This day.

Mel. All joys upon him! for he is my friend. Wonder not, that I call a man so young my friend: His worth is great; valiant he is, and temperate; And one that never thinks his life his own, If his friend need it. When he was a boy, As oft as I returned (as, without boast, I brought home conquest) he would gaze upon me, And view me round, to find in what one limb The virtue lay to do those things he heard. Then would he wish to see my sword, and feel The quickness of the edge, and in his hand Weigh it: He oft would make me smile at this. His youth did promise much, and his ripe years Will see it all performed.

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Made me imagine, you had heard the change.
Mel. Who hath he taken then?
Lys. A lady, sir,

That bears the light above her, and strikes dead
With flashes of her eye: the fair Evadne,

[Erit.

Mel. Peace of heart betwixt them! But this is strange.

Lys. The king my brother did it To honour you; and these solemnities Are at his charge.

Mel. It is royal, like himself. But I am sad My speech bears so unfortunate a sound To beautiful Aspatia. There is rage Hid in her father's breast, Calianax,

Bent long against me; and he should not think,
If I could call it back, that I would take
So base revenges, as to scorn the state
Of his neglected daughter. Holds he still
His greatness with the king?

Lys. Yes. But this lady Walks discontented, with her watery eyes Bent on the earth. The unfrequented woods Are her delight; and, when she sees a bank Stuck full of flowers, she, with a sigh, will tell Her servants, what a pretty place it were To bury lovers in; and make her maids Pluck them, and strew her over like a corse. She carries with her an infectious grief, That strikes all her beholders; she will sing The mournfullest things, that ever ear hath heard, And sigh, and sing again; and, when the rest Of our young ladies, in their wanton blood, Tell mirthful tales in course, that fill the room With laughter, she will, with so sad a look, Bring forth a story of the silent death Of some forsaken virgin, which her grief Will put in such a phrase, that, ere she end, She'll send them weeping one by one away.

Mel. She has a brother under my command, Like her; a face as womanish as hers; But with a spirit, that hath much out-grown The number of his years.

Enter AMINTOR.

Cle. My lord, the bridegroom!

Mel. I might run fiercely, not more hastily, Upon my foe. I love thee well, Amintor; My mouth is much too narrow for my heart; I joy to look upon those eyes of thine; Thou art my friend, but my disorder'd speech Cuts off my love.

Amin. Thou art Melantius;

All love is spoke in that. A sacrifice,
To thank the gods Melantius is return'd
In safety! Victory sits on his sword,

As she was wont: May she build there and dwell;
And may thy armour be, as it hath been,
Only thy valour and thy innocence!

What endless treasures would our enemies give,
That I might hold thee still thus !

Mel. I am but poor

In words; but credit me, young man, thy mother

Could do no more but weep for joy to see thee
After long absence: All the wounds, I have,
Fetch'd not so much away, nor all the cries
Of widowed mothers. But this is peace,
And that was war.

Amin. Pardon, thou holy god

Of marriage-bed, and frown not; I am forc'd,
In answer of such noble tears as those,
To weep upon my wedding-day.

Mel. I fear thou art grown too fickle; for I hear A lady mourns for thee; men say, to death; Forsaken of thee; on what terms I know not.

Amin. She had my promise; but the king forbad it, And made me make this worthy change, thy sister, Accompanied with graces far above her; With whom I long to lose my lusty youth, And grow old in her arms.

Mel. Be prosperous!

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Mel. [within.] Open the door.
Diag. Who is there?
Mel. [within] Melantius.

Diag. I hope your lordship brings no troop with you; for, if you do, I must return them. Enter MELANTIUS and a Lady.

Mel. None but this lady, sir.

Diag. The ladies are all placed above, save those, that come in the king's troop: The best of Rhodes sit there, and there is room.

Mel. I thank you, sir. When I have seen you placed, madam, I must attend the king; but, the masque done, I'll wait on you again.

Diag. Stand back there-room for my lord Melantius-pray, bear back-this is no place for such youths and their trulls-let the doors shut again.-No!-do your heads itch? I will scratch them for you,-So, now thrust and hang.-Again! who is it now?--I cannot blame my lord Calianax for going away: Would he were here! he would run raging among them, and break a dozen wiser heads than his own, in the twinkling of an eye. What's the news now?

Within.] I pray you, can you help me to the speech of the master-cook?

Diag. If I open the door, I will cook some of your calves heads. Peace, rogues!-Again! who is it?

Mel. [within.] Melantius.
Enter CALIANĄX.

Cal. Let him not in.

Diag. O, my lord, I must. Make room there for my lord. Enter MELANTIUS. Is your lady placed? Mel. Yes, sir,

[To Mel.

I thank you. My lord Calianax, well met.
Your causeless hate to me, I hope, is buried.

Cal. Yes, I do service for your sister here, That brings my own poor child to timeless death: She loves your friend Amintor; such another False-hearted lord as you.

Mel. You do me wrong,

A most unmanly one, and I am slow
In taking vengeance! But be well advised.
Cal. It may be so. Who placed the lady there,
So near the presence of the king?

Mel. I did.

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Mel. Bate the king, and be he flesh and blood, | By which I may discover all the place He lies, that says it! Thy mother at fifteen And persons, and how many longing eyes Was black and sinful to her. Are come to wait on our solemnities. Enter CINTHIA.

Diag. Good my lord!

Mel. Some god pluck threescore years from that fond man,

That I may kill him, and not stain mine honour.
It is the curse of soldiers, that in peace
They shall be braved by such ignoble men,
As, if the land were troubled, would with tears
And knees beg succour from them. 'Would, that
blood,

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If it were temperate; but testy years Are most contemptible.

Amin. Good sir, forbear.

Cal. There is just such another as yourself. Amin. He will wrong you, or me, or any man, And talk as if he ha no life to lose, Since this our match. The king is coming in: I would not for more wealth than I enjoy, He should perceive you raging. He did hear You were at difference now, which hastened him.

Cal. Make room there ! [Hautboys play within.
Enter KING, EVADNE, ASPATIA, lords, and ladies.
King. Melantius, thou art welcome, and my love
Is with thee still: But this is not a place
To brabble in. Calianax, join hands.

Cal. He shall not have my hand.
King. This is no time

To force you to it. I do love you both: Calianax, you look well to your office; And you, Melantius, are welcome home. Begin the masque !

Me!. Sister, I joy to see you, and your choice.
You looked with my eyes, when you took that man:
Be happy in him!
[Recorders play.

Evad. O, my dearest brother!
Your presence is more joyful than this day
Can be unto me.

THE MASQUE.
Night rises in mists.

Night. Our reign is come; for in the raging sea
The sun is drowned, and with him fell the day.
Bright Cinthia, hear my voice; I am the Night,
For whom thou bear'st about thy borrowed light.
Appear; no longer thy pale visage shroud,
But strike thy silver horns quite through a cloud,
And send a beam upon my swarthy face;

How dull and black am I! I could not find
This beauty without thee, I am so blind.
Methinks, they shew like to those eastern streaks,
That warn us hence, before the morning breaks.
Back, my pale servant, for these eyes know how
To shoot far more and quicker rays than thou.

Cinth. Great queen, they be a troop, for whom alone

One of my clearest moons I have put on;
A troop, that looks as if thyself and I
Had plucked our reins in, and our whips laid by,
To gaze upon these mortals, that appear
Brighter than we.

Night. Then let us keep them here; And never more our chariots drive away, But hold our places, and out-shine the day. Cinth. Great queen of shadows, you are pleased to speak

Of more than may be done: We may not break The gods' decrees; but, when our time is come, Must drive away, and give the day our room.

Night. Then shine at full, fair queen, and by thy power Produce a birth, to crown this happy hour, Of nymphs and shepherds: Let their songs dis

cover,

Easy and sweet, who is a happy lover.
Or, if thou woo't, then call thine own Endymion,
From the sweet flowery bed he lies upon,
On Latmus' top, thy pale beams drawn away;
And of this long night let him make a day.

Cinth. Thou dream'st, dark queen; that fair boy was not mine,

Nor went I down to kiss him. Ease and wine

Have bred these bold tales: Poets, when they rage,
Turn gods to men, and make an hour an age.
But I will give a greater state and glory,
And raise to time a noble memory
Of what these lovers are. Rise, rise, I say,
Thou power of deeps; thy surges lade away,
Neptune, great king of waters, and by me
Be proud to be commanded.

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