SCENE I. [The country near Overreach's house. ]_ACT III_A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS_ELIZABETHAN DRAMA

SCENE I. [The country near Overreach's house. ]

[Enter LORD] LOVELL, ALLWORTH, and Servants

Lov. Walk the horses down the hill: something in private

I must impart to Allworth. Exeunt Servants.

All. O, my lord,

What a sacrifice of reverence, duty, watching,

Although I could put off the use of sleep,

And ever wait on your commands to serve them;

What dangers, though in ne'er so horrid shapes,

Nay death itself, though I should run to meet it,

Can I, and with a thankful willingness suffer!

But still the retribution will fall short

Of your bounties shower'd upon me.

Lov. Loving youth,

Till what I purpose be put into act,

Do not o'erprize it; since you have trusted me

With your soul's nearest, nay, her dearest secret,

Rest confident 'tis in a cabinet lock'd

Treachery shall never open. I have found you

(For so much to your face I must profess,

Howe'er you guard your modesty with a blush for't)

More zealous in your love and service to me

Than I have been in my rewards.

All. Still great ones,

Above my merit.

Lov. Such your gratitude calls 'em;

Nor am I of that harsh and rugged temper

As some great men are tax'd with, who imagine

They part from the respect due to their honours

If they use not all such as follow 'em,

Without distinction of their births, like slaves.

I am not so condition'd; I can make

A fitting difference between my footboy

And a gentleman by want compell'd to serve me.

All. 'Tis thankfully acknowledg'd; you have been

More like a father to me than a master.

Pray you, pardon the comparison.

Lov. I allow it:

And, to give you assurance I am pleas'd in't,

My carriage and demeanour to your mistress,

Fair Margaret, shall truly witness for me

I can command my passions.

All. 'Tis a conquest

Few lords can boast of when they are tempted—Oh!

Lov. Why do you sigh? Can you be doubtful of me?

By that fair name I in the wars have purchas'd,

And all my actions, hitherto untainted,

I will not be more true to mine own honour

Than to my Allworth!

All. As you are the brave Lord Lovell,

Your bare word only given is an assurance

Of more validity and weight to me

Than all the oaths, bound up with imprecations,

Which, when they would deceive, most courtiers practise;

Yet being a man, (for, sure, to style you more

Would relish of gross flattery,) I am forc'd,

Against my confidence of your worth and virtues,

To doubt, nay, more, to fear.

Lov. So young, and jealous!

All. Were you to encounter with a single foe,

The victory were certain; but to stand

The charge of two such potent enemies,

At once assaulting you, as wealth and beauty,

And those too seconded with power, is odds

Too great for Hercules.

Lov. Speak your doubts and fears,

Since you will nourish them, in plainer language,

That I may understand them.

All. What's your will,

Though I lend arms against myself, (provided

They may advantage you,) must be obeyed.

My much-lov'd lord, were Margaret only fair,

The cannon of her more than earthly form,

Though mounted high, commanding all beneath it,

And ramm'd with bullets of her sparkling eyes,

Of all the bulwarks that defend your senses

Could batter none, but that which guards your sight.

But when the well-tun'd accents of her tongue

Make music to you, and with numerous〖Rhythmical.〗 sounds

Assault your hearing, (such as if Ulysses,

Now liv'd again, howe'er he stood the Syrens,

Could not resist,) the combat must grow doubtful

Between your reason and rebellious passions.

Add this too; when you feel her touch, and breath

Like a soft western wind when it glides o'er

Arabia, creating gums and spices;

And, in the van, the nectar of her lips,

Which you must taste, bring the battalia on,

Well arm'd, and strongly lin'd〖Reinforced.〗 with her discourse,

And knowing manners, to give entertainment;—

Hippolytus himself would leave Diana,

To follow such a Venus.

Lov. Love hath made you

Poetical, Allworth.

All. Grant all these beat off,

Which if it be in man to do, you'll do it,

Mammon, in Sir Giles Overreach, steps in

With heaps of ill-got-gold, and so much land,

To make her more remarkable, as would tire

A falcon's wings in one day to fly over.

O my good lord! these powerful aids, which would

Make a mis-shapen negro beautiful,

(Yet are but ornaments to give her lustre,

That in herself is all perfection,) must

Prevail for her. I here release your trust;

'Tis happiness enough for me to serve you

And sometimes, with chaste eyes, to look upon her.

Lov. Why, shall I swear?

All. O, by no means, my lord;

And wrong not so your judgment to the world

As from your fond indulgence to a boy,

Your page, your servant, to refuse a blessing

Divers great men are rivals for.

Lov. Suspend

Your judgment till the trial. How far is it

To Overreach's house?

All. At the most, some half hour's riding;

You'll soon be there.

Lov. And you the sooner freed

From your jealous fears.

All. O that I durst but hope it! Exeunt.

All Directories