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Mel. And what's your resolution?

Cal. Why, this is very fine.

Mel. I cannot tell

What 'tis you mean; but I am apt enough
Rudely to thrust into an ignorant fault.

Cal. You shall have it, soundly, I warrant you. But let me know it: Happily, 'tis nought

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Mel. Were he known,


King. It would be known, Melantius.
Mel. It ought to be: If he got then away,
He must wear all our lives upon his sword.
He need not fly the island; he must leave
No one alive.

King. No; I should think no man
Could kill me, and 'scape clear, but that old man.
Cal. But I heaven bless me! I! should I,
my liege?

King. I do not think thou would'st; but yet
thou might'st;

For thou hast in thy hands the means to escape,
By keeping of the fort. He has, Melantius,
And he has kept it well.

Mel. From cobwebs, sir,

'Tis clean swept: I can find no other art
In keeping of it now: 'Twas ne'er besieged,
Since he commanded it.

Cal. I shall be sure

Of your good word: But I have kept it safe
From such as you.

Mel. Keep your ill temper in :

I speak no malice. Had my brother kept it,
I should have said as much.

King. You are not merry.

Brother, drink wine. Sit you all still!-Calianax,
I cannot trust this: I have thrown out words,
That would have fetched warm blood upon the

Of guilty men, and he is never moved:

He knows no such thing.

Cal. Impudence may 'scape,

When feeble virtue is accused.

King. He must,

If he were guilty, feel an alteration


At this our whisper, whilst we point at him:
You see he does not.

Cal. Let him hang himself:

What care I what he does? This he did say.

King. Melantius, you can easily conceive
What I have meant; for men, that are in fault,
Can subtly apprehend, when others aim
At what they do amiss: But I forgive
Freely, before this man. Heaven do so too!

But misconstruction; and, where I am clear,
I will not take forgiveness of the gods,
Much less of you.

King. Nay, if you stand so stiff,

I shall call back my mercy.

Mel. I want smoothness

To thank a man for pardoning of a crime,
I never knew.

King. Not to instruct your knowledge, but to
shew you

My ears are every where, you meant to kill me,
And get the fort to escape.

Mel. Pardon me, sir;

My bluntness will be pardoned: You preserve
A race of idle people here about you,
Facers and talkers, to defame the worth
Of those, that do things worthy. The man, tha
uttered this,

Had perished without food, be it who it will,
But for this arm, that fenced him from the foe.
And, if I thought you gave a faith to this,
The plainness of my nature would speak more.
Give me a pardon (for you ought to do it)
To kill him, that spake this.

Cal. Ay, that will be

The end of all: Then I am fairly paid
For all my care and service.

Mel. That old man,

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Frantic with age and sorrow, make a breach
Betwixt your majesty and me? "Twas wrong
To hearken to him; but to credit him,
As much, at least, as I have power to bear.
But pardon me—whilst I speak only truth,
Ι may commend myself-I have bestowed
My careless blood with you, and should be loth
To think an action, that would make me lose
That, and my thanks too. When I was a boy,
I thrust myself into my country's cause,
And did a deed, that plucked five years from time,
And styled me man then. And for you, my king,
Your subjects all have fed by virtue of

My arin. This sword of mine hath plowed the ground,

And reaped the fruit in peace;

And you yourself have lived at home in case. so terrible I grew, that, without swords,

My name hath fetched you conquest: And my heart

And limbs are still the same; my will as great
To do you service. Let me not be paid
With such a strange distrust.

King. Melantius,

I held it great injustice to believe
Thine enemy, and did not; if I did,

I do not; let that satisfy. What, struck
With sadness all? More wine!

Cal. A few fine words

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Diagoras knows, he raged, and railed at me,
And called a lady whore, so innocent,
She understood him not. But it becomes
Both you and me too to forgive distraction:
Pardon him, as I do.

Cal. I'll not speak for thee,

For all thy cunning. If you will be safe,
Chop off his head; for there was never known
So impudent a rascal.

King. Some, that love him,

Get him to bed. Why, pity should not let
Age make itself contemptible; we must be
All old; have him away.

Mel. Calianax, The king believes you; come, you shall go home, And rest; you have done well.-You'll give it up, When I have used you thus a month, I hope. [Apart.

Cal. Now, now, 'tis plain, sir; he does move me still.

says, he knows I'll give him up the fort,
When he has used me thus a month. I am mad,
Am I not, still ?

Omnes. Ha, ha, ha!

Cal. I shall be mad indeed, if you do thus! Why should you trust a sturdy fellow there (That has no virtue in him; all's in his sword) Before me? Do but take his weapons from him, And he's an ass; and I'm a very fool, Both with him, and without him, as you use me. Omnes. Ha, ha, ha!

King. 'Tis well, Calianax. But if you use This once again, I shall entreat some other To see your offices be well discharged. Be merry, gentlemen; it grows somewhat late. Amintor, thou wouldst be a-bed again,

Amin. Yes, sir.

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Cal. Ay,

Do look for some great punishment for this:
For I begin to forget all my hate,
And take it unkindly, that mine enemy
Should use me so extraordinarily scurvily.
Mel. I shall melt too, if you begin to take
Unkindnesses: I never meant you hurt.

Cal. Thou'lt anger me again. Thou wretched rogue,

Meant me no hurt! Disgrace me with the king; Lose all my offices! This is no hurt,

Is it? I prithee, what dost thou call hurt?

Mel. To poison men, because they love me not; To call the credit of men's wives in question; To murder children betwixt me and land; This is all hurt.

Cal. All this thou think'st, is sport; For mine is worse: But use thy will with me; For, betwixt grief and anger, I could cry.

Mel. Be wise then, and be safe; thou may'st

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Mel. The short is, I will hold thee with the king In this perplexity, till peevishness And thy disgrace have laid thee in thy grave. But, if thou wilt deliver the fort, up

I'll take thy trembling body in my arms,

And bear thee over dangers: Thou shalt hold Thy wonted state.

Cal. If I should tell the king,

Canst thou deny it again?

Mel. Try, and believe.

Cal. Nay, then thou canst bring any thing about. Thou shalt have the fort.

Mel. Why, well:

Here let our hate be buried; and this hand Shall right us both. Give me thy aged breast To compass.

Cal. Nay, I do not love thee yet;

I cannot well endure to look on thee:
And, if I thought it were a courtesy,

Thou should'st not have it. But I am disgraced;
My offices are to be ta'en away;
And, if I did but hold this fort a day,

I do believe, the king would take it from me,
And give it thee, things are so strangely carried.
Ne'er thank me for it; but yet the king shall know
There was some such thing in it I told him of;
And that I was an honest man.

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To do the deed in. I will wash the stain,
That rests upon our house, off with his blood.

Amin. Melantius, now assist me: If thou be'st
That, which thou sayest, assist me. I have lost
All my distempers, and have found a rage
So pleasing! Help me.

Mel. Who can see him thus,

And not swear vengeance? What's the matter, friend?

Amin. Out with thy sword! and, hand in hand with me,

Rush to the chamber of this hated king,
And sink him, with the weight of all his sins,
To hell for ever.

Mel. 'Twere a rash attempt,

Not to be done with safety. Let your reason
Plot your revenge, and not your passion.

Amin. If thou refusest me in these extremes,
Thou art no friend: He sent for her to me;
By Heaven, to me, myself! And, I must tell you,
I love her, as a stranger; there is worth
In that vile woman, worthy things, Melantius;
And she repents. I'll do it myself alone,
Though I be slain. Farewell.

Mel. He'll overthrow

My whole design with madness. Amintor,
Think what thou dost: I dare as much as Valour;
But 'tis the king, the king, the king, Amintor,
With whom thou fightest !-I know he's honest,
And this will work with him.

Amin. I cannot tell

What thou hast said; but thou hast charmed my sword

Out of my hand, and left me shaking here,

Mel. I will take it up for thee.

Amin. What a wild beast is uncollected man! The thing, that we call honour, bears us all Headlong to sin, and yet itself is nothing.

Mel. Alas, how variable are thy thoughts! Amin. Just like my fortunes: I was run to that I purposed to have chid thee for. Some plot, I did distrust, thou hadst against the king, By that old fellow's carriage. But take heed; There's not the least limb growing to a king, But carries thunder in it.

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Enter EVADNE, and a Gentleman.

Ecad. SIR, is the king a-bed?

Gent. Madam, an hour ago.

Evad. Give me the key then, and let none be


'Tis the king's pleasure.

Gent. I understand you, madain; 'would 'twere mine.

I must not wish good rest unto your ladyship.
Ecad. You talk, you talk.

Gent. 'Tis all I dare do, madam; but the king Will wake, and then

Eced. Saving your imagination, pray, good night, sir.

Geat. A good night be it then, and a long one, madam. I am gone. [Exit. [King a-bed. Ecnd. The night grows horrible; and all about


Like my black purpose. Oh, the conscience
Of a lost virgin! whither wilt thou pull me?
To what things, dismal as the depth of hell,
Wilt thou provoke me? Let no woman dare
From this hour be disloyal, if her heart be flesh,
If she have blood, and can fear: 'Tis a daring
Above that desperate fool's, that left his peace,
And went to sea to fight. Tis so many sins,
An age cannot repent them; and so great,
The gods want mercy for! Yet, I must thro'

I have begun a slaughter on my honour,
And I must end it there. He sleeps. Good Hea-


Why give you peace to this untemperate beast, That hath so long transgressed you? I must kill him,

And I will do it bravely: The mere joy
Tells me, I merit in it. Yet I must not
Thus tamely do it, as he sleeps; that were
To rock him to another world: My vengeance
Sall take him waking, and then lay before him
The number of his wrongs and punishments.
I'll shake his sins like furies, till I waken
His evil angel, his sick conscience,
And then I'll strike him dead. King, by your
[Ties his arm to the bed.
I dare not trust your strength. Your grace and I
Mast grapple upon even terms no more.
So: If he rail me not from my resolution,
I shall be strong enough. My lord the king!
My lord! He sleeps, as if he meant to wake
No more. My lord! Is he not dead already?
Sir! My lord!

King. Who's that?

Evad. Oh, you sleep soundly, sir!
King. My dear Evadne,

I have been dreaming of thée.

Come to bed.

Ecad. I am come at length, sir; but how welcome?

King. What pretty new device is this, Evadne? What, do you tie me to you? By my love, This is a quaint one. Come, my dear, and kiss me; I'll be thy Mars; to bed, my queen of love: Let us be caught together, that the gods May see, and envy our embraces,

Evad. Stay, sir, stay;

You are too hot, and I have brought you physic To temper your high veins.

King. Prithee, to bed then; let me take it warm; There thou shalt know the state of my body bet


Evad. I know you have a surfeited foul body; And you must bleed.

King. Bleed!

Evad. Ay, you shall bleed! Lie still; and, it the devil,

Your lust, will give you leave, repent. This steel Comes to redeem the honour, that you stole, King, my fair name; which nothing but thy death Can answer to the world.

King. How is this, Evadne?

Evad. I am not she; nor bear I in this breas:
So much cold spirit to be called a woman.
I am a tyger; I am any thing

That knows not pity. Stir not! If thou dost,
I'll take thee unprepared; thy fears upon thee,
That make thy sins look double; and so send thee
(By my revenge, I will) to look those torments,
Prepared for such black souls.

King. Thou dost not mean this; 'tis impossible Thou art too sweet and gentle,

Evad. No, I am not.

I am as foul as thou art, and can number
As many such hells here. I was once fair,
Once I was lovely; not a blowing rose
More chastely sweet, till thou, thou, thou foul

(Stir not) didst poison me. I was a world of virtue, Till your curst court and you (hell bless you for it!) With your temptations on temptations,

Made me give up mine honour; for which, king, I'm come to kill thee.

King. No!

Evad. I am.

King. Thou art not!

I prithee speak not these things: Thou art gentle, And wert not meant thus rugged.

Evad. Peace, and hear me.

Stir nothing but your tongue, and that for mercy
To those above us; by whose lights I vow,
Those blessed fires, that shot to see our sin,
If thy hot soul had substance with thy blood,
I would kill that too; which, being past my steel,
My tongue shall reach. Thou art a shameless vil-

A thing out of the overcharge of nature;
Sent, like a thick cloud, to disperse a plague
Upon weak catching women! such a tyrant,
That for his lust would sell away his subjects;
Ay, all his heaven hereafter!

King. Hear, Evadne,

Thou soul of sweetness, hear! I am thy king. Evad. Thou art my shame! Lie still, there's

none about you,

Within your cries: All promises of safety
Are but deluding dreams. Thus, thus, thou foul

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1. Run forth and call.

2. Treason, treason!

1. This will be laid on us:

Who can believe a woman could do this!


Cleon. How now! Where's the traitor?



Lys. See where he stands, as boldly confident, As if he had his full command about him.

Stra. He looks as if he had the better cause, Sir; Under your gracious pardon, let me speak it! Though he be mighty spirited, and forward To all great things; to all things of that danger Worse men shake at the telling of; yet, certainly, I do believe him noble; and this action Rather pulled on, than sought: His mind was ever As worthy as his hand.

Lys. 'Tis my fear, too.

Heaven forgive all ! Summon him, lord Cleon. Cleon. Ho, from the walls there.

Mel. Worthy Cleon, welcome.

We could have wished you here, lord: You are honest.

Cal. Well, thou art as flattering a knave, though I dare not tell thee so

Lys. Melantius!

Mel. Sir.


Lys. I am sorry, that we meet thus; our old love Never required such distance. Pray Heaven,

1. Fled, fled away; but there her woeful act You have not left yourself, and sought this safety

lies still.

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Stra. Never follow her;

For she, alas! was but the instrument.
News is now brought in that Melantius
Has got the fort, and stands upon the wall;
And with a loud voice calls those few, that pass
At this dead time of night, delivering
The innocence of this act.

Lys, Gentlemen, I am your king.
Stra. We do acknowledge it.

Lys. I would I were not! Follow, all; for this Must have a sudden stop. [Exeunt. Enter MELANTIUS, DIPHILUS, and CALIANAX, on the wall.

Mel. If the dull people can believe I am armed, (Be constant, Diphilus!) now we have time, Either to bring our banished honours home, Or create new ones in our ends.

Diph. I fear not.

My spirit lies not that way. Courage, Calianax.
Cal.'Would I had any! you should quickly know it.
Mel. Speak to the people: Thou art eloquent.
Cal. 'Tis a fine eloquence to come to the gallows!
You were born to be my end. The devil take you!
Now must I hang for company. Tis strange,
I should be old, and neither wise nor valiant.

More out of fear than honour! You have lost
A noble master; which your faith, Melantius,
Some think, might have preserved: Yet you
know best.

Cal. When time was, I was mad; some, that dares fight,

I hope will pay this rascal.

Mel. Royal young man, whose tears look lovely on thee,

Had they been shed for a deserving one,

They had been lasting monuments! Thy brother,
While he was good, I call'd him king; and serv'd him
With that strong faith, that most unwearied va-

Pulled people from the farthest sun to seek him,
And beg his friendship. I was then his soldier.
And brand my noble actions with his lust
But since his hot pride drew him to disgrace me,
(That never cured dishonour of my sister,
Base stain of whore! and, which is worse,
The joy to make it still so), like myself,
And stand here mine own justice, to revenge
Thus I have flung him off with my allegiance;
What I have suffered in him; and this old man,
Wronged almost to lunacy.

Cal. Who I?

You would draw me in. I have had no wrong, 'I do disclaim ye all.

Mel. The short is this:
Tis no ambition to lift up myself
Urgeth me thus; I do desire again
To be a subject, so I may be free.
If not, I know my strength, and will unbuild
This goodly town. Be speedy, and be wise,
In a reply.

Stra. Be sudden, sir, to tie

All up again: What's done is past recall,
And past you to revenge; and there are thousands,

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