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 V. SCAENA Vltima.
Timoleon, Archidamus, Cleon, Officers.
Tis wondrous strange! nor can it fall within
The reach of my beliefe, a slaue should be
The owner of a temperance, which this age
Can hardly paralell in free-borne Lords,
Or Kings proud of their purple.
'Tis most true.
And though at first it did appeare a fable,
All circumstances meet to giue it credit;
Which work so on me, that I am compel'd
To be a Sutor, not be deni'de,
Hee may haue aequall hearing.
Sir, you grac'd mee
With the title of your Mistrisse, but my fortune
Is so farre distant from command, that I
Lay by the power you gaue me, and plead humbly
For the preseruer of my fame and honour.
And pray you, Sir, in charity beleeue,
That since I had ability of speach,
My tongue has so much beene enur'd to truth,
I know not, how to lye,
I'll rather doubt
The Oracles of the gods, then question, what
Your innocence deliuers: and as farre
Page [unnumbered]As iustice with mine honour can giue way,
He shall haue fauour. Bring him in, vnbound:
And though Leosthenes may challenge from me,
For his late worthy seruice, credit to
All things he can alleage in his owne cause,
Marullo (so I thinke you call his name)
Shall finde, I doe reserue one eare for him,
To let in mercy. Sit and take your places;
Enter Cleon, Asotus, Diphilus, Olimpia, Corisca.
The right of this faire virgin first determin'd,
Your Bond-men shall be censur'd.
With all rigour,
We doe expect.
Temper'd, I say, with mercie.
Enter at one dore Leosthenes Ti∣magoras at the other Officers with Pisander and Timandra.
Your hand Leosthenes: I cannot doubt
You that haue bin victorious in the war,
should in a combat fought with words come off,
But with assured triumph.
My deserts, Sir,
(If without arrogance I may stile them such)
Arme me from doubt, and feare.
'Tis nobly spoken,
Nor be thou daunted (howsoe're the fortune
Has mark'd thee out a slaue) to speake thy merits;
For vertue though in raggs may challenge more,
Then vice set off with all the trimme of greatnesse.
I had rather fall vnder so iust a iudge,
Then be acquitted by a man corrupt
And partiall in his censure.
Note his language,
It relishes of better breeding then
His present state dares promise.
I obserue it.
Place the faire Lady in the midst, that both
Looking with couetous eies vpon the prize
They are to plead for, may from the faire obiect,
Teach Hermes eloquence.
Am I fall'n so lowe
My birth, my honour, and what's dearest to me,
Page [unnumbered]My loue, and witnesse of my loue, my seruice,
So vnder-valewd, that I must contend
With one, where my excesse of glory must
Make his o'rethrow a conquest? shall my fulnesse
supply defects in such a thing, that neuer
Knew any thing but want and emptinesse?
Giue him a name, and keepe it such from this
Vnequall competition? if my pride
Or any bold assurance of my worth,
Has pluck'd this mountaine of disgrace vpon me,
I am iustly punish'd, and submit; but if
I haue beene modest, and esteem'd my selfe
More iniur'd in the tribute of the praise,
Which no desert of mine priz'd by selfe-loue
Euer exacted; may this cause, and minute
For euer be forgotten. I dwell long
Vpon mine anger, and now turne to you
Ingratefull faire one; and since you are such,
'Tis lawfull for me to proclaime my selfe,
And what I haue deseru'd.
Neglect, and scorne
From me for this proud vaunt.
You nourish, Lady
Your owne dishonour in this harsh replie,
And almost proue what some hold of your sex.
You are all made vp of passion. For if reason
Or iudgement could finde entertainment with you,
Or that you would distinguish of the obiects
You looke on in a true glasse, not feduc'd
By the false light of your too violent will,
I should not need to plead for that, which you
With ioy should offer. Is my high birth a blemish?
Or does my wealth, which all the vaine expence
Of women cannot waste, breed loathing in you?
The honours I can call mine owne thought scandals?
Am I deform'd, or for my Fathers sinnes
Mulcted by nature? if you interpret these
As crimes, 'tis fit I should yeeld vp my selfe
Page [unnumbered]Most miserably guiltie. But perhaps
(Which yet I would not credit) you haue seene
This gallant, pitch the barre, or beare a burthen
Would cracke the shoulders of a weaker bond-man;
Or any other boistrous exercise,
Assuring a strong backe to satisfie
Your loose desires, insatiate as the graue.
You are foule mouth'd.
Ill manner'd too.
In the way of supposition, and intreate you
With all the feruor of a constant louer,
That you would free your selfe from these aspersions,
Or any imputation blacke tongu'd Slaunder
Could throwe on your vnspotted virgin-whitenesse;
To which there is no easier way, then by
Vouchsafing him your fauour; him, to whom
Next to the Generall, and the gods, and fautors,
The countrie owes her safetie.
Are you stupid?
'Slight leape into his armes, and there aske pardon.
O, you expect your slaues reply, no doubt
We shall haue a fine oration; I will teach
My Spaniell to howle in sweeter language,
And keepe a better method.
The dignitie of the place.
'Tis your authority giues me a tongue,
I should be dumbe else; and I am secure,
I cannot cloathe my thoughts, and iust defence
In such an abiect phrase, but 'twill appeare
Equall, if not aboue my lowe condition.
I need no bombast language, stolne from such,
As make Nobilitie from prodigious termes
The hearers vnderstand not; I bring with me
No wealth to boast of, neither can I number
Page [unnumbered]Vncertaine fortunes fauours, with my merits;
I dare not force affection, or presume
To censure her discretion, that lookes on mee
As a weake man, and not her fancies Idoll.
How I haue lou'd, and how much I haue suffer'd,
And with what pleasure vndergone the burthen
Of my ambitious hopes (in ayming at
The glad possession of a happinesse,
The abstract of all goodnesse in mankinde
Can at no part deserue) with my confession
Of mine owne wants, is all that can plead for me.
But if that pure desires, not blended with
Foule thoughts, that like a Riuer keepes his course,
Retaining still the cleerenesse of the spring,
From whence it tooke beginning, may be thought
Worthy acceptance; then I dare rise vp
And tell this gay man to his teeth, I neuer
Durst doubt her constancie, that like a rocke
Beats off temptations, as that mocks the fury
Of the proud waues; nor from my iealous feares
Question that goodnesse, to which as an Altar
Of all perfection, he that truly lou'd,
Should rather bring a sacrifice of seruice,
Then raze it with the engines of suspition;
Of which when he can wash an AEthiope white,
Leosthenes may hope to free himselfe;
But till then neuer.
Bold presumptuous villaine.
I will go farther, and make good vpon him
In the pride of all his honours, birth, and fortunes,
Hee's more vnworthy, then my selfe.
Confute him with a whippe, and the doubt decided,
Punish him with a halter.
O the gods!
My ribs, though made of Brasse can not containe
My heart swolne big with rage. The lye! Whippe?
Plucks off his disguise.
Let fury then disperse these clouds, in which
Page [unnumbered]I long haue mask'd disguis'd; that when they know,
Whom they haue iniur'd, they may faint with horror
Of my reuenge, which wretched men expect,
As sure as fate to suffer.
'Tis the bold Theban!
There's no hope for me then:
I thought I should haue put in for a share,
And borne Cleora from them both; but now
This stranger lookes so terrible, that I dare not
So much as looke on her.
Now as my selfe,
Thy equall, at thy best, Leosthenes.
For you, Timagoras; praise heau'n, you were borne
Cleora's brother, 'tis your safest armour.
But I loose time. The base lie cast vpon me,
I thus returne: thou art a periur'd man,
False and perfidious: And hast made a tender
Of loue, and seruice to this Lady; when
Thy soule (if thou hast any) can beare witnesse,
That thou wert not thine owne. For proofe of this,
Looke better on this virgin, and consider
This Persian shape laid by, and she appearing
In a Greekish dresse, such as when first you saw her,
If she resemble not Pisanders sister,
One, call'd Statilia?
'Tis the same! my guilt
So chokes my spirits, I can not denie
My falshood, nor excuse it.
This is shee
To whom thou wert contracted: this the Lady,
That when thou wert my prisoner fairely taken
In the Spartan warre, that beg'd thy libertie,
And with it gaue her selfe to thee vngratefull.
No more, Sir, I intreate you; I perceiue
True sorrow in his lookes, and a consent
To make me reparation in mine honour,
And then I am most happy.
The wrong done her,
Drew mee from Thebes with a full intent to kill thee:
But this faire obiect, met me in my furie
And quite disarm'd mo, being deni'd to haue her
By you my Lord Archidamus, and not able
To liue farre from her, loue (the Mistrisse of
All quaint deuices, prompted me to treat
With a friend of mine, who as a Pirate sold me
For a slaue to you my Lord, and gaue my Sister
As a present to Cleora.
There how I bare my selfe needs no relation.
But if so farre descending from the height
Of my then flourishing fortunes, to the lowest
Condition of a man, to haue meanes only
To feed my eye, with the sight of what I honour'd,
The dangers to I vnderwent; the suffrings;
The cleerenesse of my interest may deserue
A noble recompence in your lawfull fauour.
Now 'tis apparent that Leosthenes
Can claime no interest in you, you may please
To thinke vpon my seruice.
Sir, my want
Of power to satisfie so great a debt,
Makes me accuse my fortune - but if that
Out of the bountie of your minde, you thinke,
A free surrender of my selfe full payment,
I gladly tender it.
With my consent to
All iniuries forgotten.
I will studie
In my future seruice to descerue your fauour
And good opinion.
Thus I gladly fee
This Aduocate to plead for me.
You will finde me
An easie iudge, when I haue yeelded reasons
Of your Bond-mens falling off from their obedience,
Page [unnumbered]And after, as you please, determine of me.
I found their natures apt to mutinie
From your too cruell vsage; and made triall
How farre they might be wrought on; to instruct you
To looke with more preuention, and care
To what they may hereafter vndertake
Vpon the like occasions. The hurt's little
They haue committed, nor was euer cuer
But with some paine effected. I confesse
In hope to force a grant of faire Cleora
I vrg'd them to defend the Towne against you;
Nor had the terror of your whips, but that
I was preparing of defence else-where
So soone got entrance; in this I am guiltie,
Now as you please, your censure.
Bring them in,
And though you haue giu'n me power, I doe intreate
Such as haue vndergone their insolence,
It may not be offensiue though I studie
Pitty more then reuenge.
'Twill best become you.
I must consent.
For me I'le finde a time
To be reueng'd hereafter.
Gracculo, Cimbrio, Poliphron, Zanthia, and the rest with Halters.
Giue me leaue,
I'le speake for all.
What canst thou say to hinder
The course of iustice?
Nothing. You may see
Wee are prepar'd for hanging, and confesse
We haue deseru'd it. Our most humble suite is
We may not twice be executed.
'Twice? how meanest thou!
At the Gallowes first, and after in a Ballad
Page [unnumbered]Sung to some villanous tune. There are ten-grot-Rimers
About the Towne growne fat on these occasions.
Let but a Chappell fall, or a street be fir'd,
A foolish louer hang himselfe for pure loue,
Or any such like accident, and before
They are cold in their graues, some damn'd Dittie's made
Which makes their ghosts walke. Let the State take order
For the redresse of this abuse, recording
'Twas done by my aduice, and for my part
I'le cut as cleane a caper from the Ladder,
As euer merry Greeke did.
Yet I thinke
You would shew more actiuity to delight
Your Master for a pardon.
O, I would dance
As I were all ayre, and fire.
And euer be
Obedient and humble?
As his Spaniell,
Though he kickt me for exercise, and the like
I promise for all the rest.
Rise then, you haue it.
All slaues. Timoleon, Timoleon!
Cease these clamors.
And now the warre being ended to our wishes,
And such as went the pilgrimage of loue,
Happy in full fruition of their hopes,
'Tis lawfull thankes paid to the powers diuine,
To drowne our cares in honest mirth, and Wine.