SCENE V. [An apartment in the palace. ]



King. Is it appeas'd?

Dion. Sir, all is quiet as this dead of night,

As peaceable as sleep. My lord Philaster

Brings on the prince himself.

King. Kind gentleman!

I will not break the least word I have given

In promise to him. I have heap'd a world

Of grief upon his head, which yet I hope

To wash away.


Cle. My lord is come.

King. My son!

Blest be the time that I have leave to call

Such virtue mine! Now thou art in mine arms,

Methinks I have a salve unto my breast

For all the stings that dwell there. Streams of grief

That I have wrong'd thee, and as much of joy

That I repent it, issue from mine eyes;

Let them appease thee. Take thy right; take her;

She is thy right too; and forget to urge

My vexed soul with that I did before.

Phi. Sir, it is blotted from my memory,

Past and forgotten.—For you, prince of Spain,

Whom I have thus redeem'd, you have full leave

To make an honourable voyage home.

And if you would go furnish'd to your realm

With fair provision, I do see a lady,

Methinks, would gladly bear you company.

How like you this piece?

Meg. Sir, he likes it well,

For he hath tried it, and hath found it worth

His princely liking. We were ta'en abed;

I know your meaning. I am not the first

That nature taught to seek a fellow forth;

Can shame remain perpetually in me,

And not in others? Or have princes salves

To cure ill names, that meaner people want?

Phi. What mean you?

Meg. You must get another ship,

To bear the princess and her boy together.

Dion. How now!

Meg. Others took me, and I took her and him.

Ship us all four, my lord; we can endure

Weather and wind alike.

King. Clear thou thyself, or know not me for father.

Are. This earth, how false it is! What means is left for me

To clear myself? It lies in your belief.

My lords, believe me; and let all things else

Struggle together to dishonour me.

Bel. Oh, stop your ears, great King, that I may speak

As freedom would! Then I will call this lady

As base as are her actions. Hear me, sir;

Believe your heated blood when it rebels

Against your reason, sooner than this lady.

Meg. By this good light, he bears it handsomely.

Phi. This lady! I will sooner trust the wind

With feathers, or the troubled sea with pearl,

Than her with any thing. Believe her not.

Why, think you, if I did believe her words,

I would outlive 'em? Honour cannot take

Revenge on you; then what were to be known

But death?

King. Forget her, sir, since all is knit

Between us. But I must request of you

One favour, and will sadly〖Shall be sorry to be denied.〗 be denied.

Phi. Command, whate'er it be.

King. Swear to be true

To what you promise.

Phi. By the powers above,

Let it not be the death of her or him,

And it is granted!

King. Bear away that boy

To torture; I will have her clear'd or buried.

Phi. Oh, let me call my word back, worthy sir!

Ask something else: bury my life and right

In one poor grave; but do not take away

My life and fame at once.

King. Away with him! It stands irrevocable.

Phi. Turn all your eyes on me. Here stands a man,

The falsest and the basest of this world.

Set swords against this breast, some honest man,

For I have liv'd till I am pitied!

My former deeds were hateful; but this last

Is pitiful, for I unwillingly

Have given the dear preserver of my life

Unto his torture. Is it in the power

Of flesh and blood to carry this, and live? Offers to stab himself.

Are. Dear sir, be patient yet! Oh, stay that hand!

King. Sirs, strip that boy.

Dion. Come, sir; your tender flesh

Will try your constancy.

Bel. Oh, kill me, gentlemen!

Dion. No.—Help, sirs,

Bel. Will you torture me?

King. Haste there;

Why stay you?

Bel. Then I shall not break my vow,

You know, just gods, though I discover all.

King. How's that? Will he confess?

Dion. Sir, so he says.

King. Speak then.

Bel. Great King, if you command

This lord to talk with me alone, my tongue,

Urg'd by my heart, shall utter all the thoughts

My youth hath known; and stranger things than these

You hear not often.

King. Walk aside with him.

[DION and BELLARIO walk apart.]

Dion. Why speak'st thou not?

Bel. Know you this face, my lord?

Dion. No.

Bel. Have you not seen it, nor the like?

Dion. Yes, I have seen the like, but readily

I know not where.

Bel. I have been often told

In court of one Euphrasia, a lady,

And daughter to you; betwixt whom and me

They that would flatter my bad face would swear

There was such strange resemblance, that we two

Could not be known asunder, drest alike.

Dion. By Heaven, and so there is!

Bel. For her fair sake,

Who now doth spend the spring-time of her life

In holy pilgrimage, move to the King,

That I may scape this torture.

Dion. But thou speak'st

As like Euphrasia as thou dost look.

How came it to thy knowledge that she lives

In pilgrimage?

Bel. I know it not, my lord;

But I have heard it, and do scarce believe it.

Dion. Oh, my shame! is it possible? Draw near,

That I may gaze upon thee. Art thou she,

Or else her murderer?〖In some barbarous countries, it was believed that the murderer inherited the form and qualities of his victim.—Mason.〗 Where wert thou born?

Bel. In Syracusa.

Dion. What's thy name?

Bel. Euphrasia.

Dion. Oh, 'tis just, 'tis she!

Now I do know thee. Oh, that thou hadst died,

And I had never seen thee nor my shame!

How shall I own thee? Shall this tongue of mine

E'er call thee daughter more?

Bel. Would I had died indeed! I wish it too;

And so I must have done by vow, ere publish'd

What I have told, but that there was no means

To hide it longer. Yet I joy in this,

The princess is all clear.

King. What, have you done?

Dion. All is discovered.

Phi. Why then hold you me?

All is discovered! Pray you, let me go. Offers to stab himself.

King. Stay him.

Are. What is discovered?

Dion. Why, my shame.

It is a woman: let her speak the rest.

Phi. How? That again!

Dion. It is a woman.

Phi. Blessed be you powers that favour innocence!

King. Lay hold upon that lady. [MEGRA is seized.]

Phi. It is a woman, sir!—Hark, gentlemen,

It is a woman!—Arethusa, take

My soul into thy breast, that would be gone

With joy. It is a woman! Thou art fair,

And virtuous still to ages, in despite

Of malice.

King. Speak you, where lies his shame?

Bel. I am his daughter.

Phi. The gods are just.

Dion. I dare accuse none; but, before you two,

The virtue of our age, I bend my knee

For mercy. [Kneels.]

Phi. [raising him] Take it freely; for I know,

Though what thou didst were undiscreetly done,

'Twas meant well.

Are. And for me,

I have a power to pardon sins, as oft

As any man has power to wrong me.

Cle. Noble and worthy!

Phi. But, Bellario,

(For I must call thee still so,) tell me why

Thou didst conceal thy sex. It was a fault,

A fault, Bellario, though thy other deeds

Of truth outweigh'd it: all these jealousies

Had flown to nothing, if thou hadst discovered

What now we know.

Bel. My father oft would speak

Your worth and virtue; and, as I did grow

More and more apprehensive, 〖Quick to understand.〗 I did thirst

To see the man so prais'd. But yet all this

Was but a maiden-longing, to be lost

As soon as found; till, sitting in my window,

Printing my thoughts in lawn, I saw a god,

I thought, (but it was you,) enter our gates.

My blood flew out and back again, as fast

As I had puff'd it forth and suck'd it in

Like breath. Then was I called away in haste

To entertain you. Never was a man,

Heav'd from a sheep-cote to a sceptre, rais'd

So high in thoughts as I. You left a kiss

Upon these lips then, which I mean to keep

From you for ever. I did hear you talk,

Far above singing. After you were gone,

I grew acquainted with my heart, and search'd

What stirred it so: alas, I found it love!

Yet far from lust; for, could I but have liv'd

In presence of you, I had had my end.

For this I did delude my noble father

With a feign'd pilgrimage, and dress'd myself

In habit of a boy; and, for I knew

My birth no match for you, I was past hope

Of having you; and, understanding well

That when I made discovery of my sex

I could not stay with you, I made a vow,

By all the most religious things a maid

Could call together, never to be known,

Whilst there was hope to hide me from men's eyes,

For other than I seem'd, that I might ever

Abide with you. Then sat I by the fount,

Where first you took me up.

King. Search out a match

Within our kingdom, where and when thou wilt,

And I will pay thy dowry; and thyself

Wilt well deserve him.

Bel. Never, sir, will I

Marry; it is a thing within my vow:

But, if I may have leave to serve the princess,

To see the virtues of her lord and her,

I shall have hope to live.

Are. I, Philaster,

Cannot be jealous, though you had a lady

Drest like a page to serve you; nor will I

Suspect her living here.—Come, live with me;

Live free as I do. She that loves my lord,

Curs'd be the wife that hates her!

Phi. I grieve such virtue should be laid in earth

Without an heir.—Hear me, my royal father:

Wrong not the freedom of our souls so much,

To think to take revenge of that base woman;

Her malice cannot hurt us. Set her free

As she was born, saving from shame and sin.

King. Set her at liberty.—But leave the court;

This is no place for such.—You, Pharamond,

Shall have free passage, and a conduct home

Worthy so great a prince. When you come there,

Remember 'twas your faults that lost you her,

And not my purpos'd will.

Pha. I do confess,

Renowned sir.

King. Last, join your hands in one. Enjoy, Philaster,

This kingdom, which is yours, and, after me,

Whatever I call mine. My blessing on you!

All happy hours be at your marriage-joys,

That you may grow yourselves over all lands,

And live to see your plenteous branches spring

Wherever there is sun! Let princes learn

By this to rule the passions of their blood;

For what Heaven wills can never be withstood. Exeunt omnes.

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