The bond-man an antient storie. As it hath been often acted with good allowance, at the Cock-pit in Drury-lane: by the most excellent princesse, the Lady Elizabeth her Seruants. By Phillip Massinger.
Massinger, Philip, 1583-1640.
ACTVS III. SCAENA II.
Cleora, Timandra, a Chaire, a shout within.
They are at our gates, my heart! affrights & horrors
Increase each minute: No way left to saue vs;
No flattering hope to comfort vs, or meanes
By miracle to redeeme vs from base lust,
And lawlesse rapine. Are there Gods, yet suffer
Such innocent sweetnesse to be made the spoile
Of brutish appetite? Or, since they decree
To ruine Natures master-peece (of which
they haue not left one patterne) must they choose,
To set their tyrannie of, slaues to pollute
The spring of chastitie, and poyson it
With their most loath'd embraces? and of those
He that should offer vp his life to guard it?
Marullo, curs'd Marullo, your owne Bond-man
Purchas'd to serue you, and fed by your fauours.
Nay, start not; it is he, hee the grand Captaine
Page [unnumbered]Of these libidinous beasts, that haue not left
One cruell act vndone, that Barbarous conquest,
Yet euer practis'd in a captiue Citie.
He doting on your beauty, and to haue fellowes
In his foule sinne, hath rais'd these mutinous slaues,
Who haue begun the game by violent Rapes,
Vpon the Wiues and Daughters of their Lords:
And he to quench the fire of his base lust,
By force comes to enioy you: doe not wring
Cleora wrings her hands.
Your innocent hands, 'tis bootlesse; vse the meanes
That may preserue you. 'Tis no crime to breake
A vow, when you are forc'd to it; shew your face,
And with the maiestie of commanding beautie,
Strike dead his loose affections; if that faile,
Giue libertie to your tongue, and vse entreaties,
There cannot be a breast of flesh, and bloud,
Or heart so made of flint, but must receiue
Impression from your words; or eies so sterne,
But from the cleere reflection of your teares
Must melt, and beare them company: will you not
Doe these good offices to your selfe? poore I then,
Can onely weepe your fortune; here he comes.
He that aduances
Enter Pisander speaking at the doore.
A foot beyond this, comes vpon my sword
You haue had your wayes, disturbe not mine.
Her feares may kill her else.
Now loue inspire me!
Still shall this Canopie of enuious night
Obscure my Suns of comfort? and those dainties
Of purest white and red, which I take in at
My greedy eyes, deny'd my famish'd senses?
The Organs of your hearing yet are open;
And you infringe no vow, though you vouchsafe,
To giue them warrant, to conuey vnto
Your vnderstanding parts the story of
A tortur'd and dispairing Louer, whom
Not Fortune but affection markes your slaue.
Page [unnumbered]Shake not, best Lady; for (belee•'t) you are
As farre from danger as I am from force.
All violence I'le offer, tendes no farther
Then to relate my suffrings, which I dare not
Presume to doe, till by some gratious signe
You shew, you are pleas'd to heare me.
If you are,
Hold forth your right hand.
Cleora holdes forth her right hand.
So, 'tis done, and I
With my glad lips seale humbly on your foot,
My soules thankes for the fauour: I forbeare
To tell you who I am, what wealth, what honours
I made exchange of to become your seruant:
And though I knew, worthy Leosthenes
(For sure he must be worthy, for whose loue
You haue endur'd so much) to be my riuall,
When rage, and iealousie counsail'd me to kill him,
(Which then I could haue done with much more ease,
Then now, in feare to grieue you, I dare speake it)
Loue seconded with duty boldly told me,
The man I hated, faire Cleora fauour'd,
And that was his protection.
See, she bowes
Her head in signe of thankfulnesse.
By th'occasion of the war (my fires increasing
By being clos'd, and stop'd vp) franticke affection
prompted me to doe something in his absence,
That might deliuer you into my power,
Which you see is effected, and euen now,
When my rebellious passions chide my dulnesse,
And tell me how much I abuse my fortunes;
Now 'tis in my power to beare you hence,
Or take my wishes here, (nay, feare not Madam
True loue's a seruant, brutish lust a Tyrant)
I dare not touch those viands, that ne're taste well,
But when they are freely offred: only thus much,
Be pleas'd I may speake in my owne deare cause,
Page [unnumbered]And thinke it worthy your consideration.
I haue lou'd truly, (cannot say deseru'd,
Since duty must not take the name of merit)
That I so farre prise your content, before
All blessings, that my hopes can fashion to mee,
That willingly I entertaine despayre,
And for your sake embrace it. For I know,
This opportunity lost, by no endeauour
The like can be recouer'd. To conclude,
Forget not, that I lose my selfe, to saue you.
For what can I expect, but death and torture
The warre being ended? and, what is a taske
Would trouble Hercules to vndertake,
I doe deny you to my selfe, to giue you
A pure vnspotted present to my riuall.
I haue said, if it distaste not, best of Virgins,
Reward my temperance with some lawfull fauour,
Though you contemne my person.
Cleora kneeles, then puls off her Gloue, and offers her hand to Pisander.
See, she kneeles
And seemes to call vpon the gods to pay
The debt she owes your vertue. To performe which
As a sure pledge of friendship, she vouchsafes you
Her faire right hand.
Makes a lowe curtsie, as she goes off.
I am payd for all my suffrings.
Now when you please, passe to your priuate Chamber:
My loue, and dutie, faithfull guards, shall keepe you
From all disturbance; and when you are sated
With thinking of Leosthenes, as a fee
Due to my seruice, spare one sigh for me.