The Usurper, a tragedy as it was acted at the Threatre Royal by His Majesties servants
Howard, Edward, fl. 1669.
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Enter Hugo, Strato, Proclus.
COme let me see your Bills of Mortality: How many
Have dyed this week of the Bloody Sweat?
Three Senatours knock'd o'th'Head at Timoleo•s
Tombe, and four in the Street for not holding
Their peace; Six Senatours drown'd, thrown
From a Precipice into the Sea. Two and twenty buried alive.
How buried alive?
Why, these were Totally plundred, or Compounded
At so high a Rate for their Liberty; they must
Starve presently; Which we call burying alive.
That's right: Well Gentlemen, I have been
Studying for you, and have found out more Employment,
Unless your Conscience have enough, and in that want
Of wit have an inclination to live Honest.
You have better thoughts of us.
What is't dear Sir?
Observe me: I will procure you Commissions
VVhen you please to talk witty Treason.
Thank you; and so when the State please we may▪
Be ingeniously hang'd for't.
Y'are dull Officers, and doe not Reach the Knack;
Yet I'le tell you: You shall insinuate into
The Company of discontented Persons.
You will have the Wit to choose men of a sound
Kidney; that have Estates I mean, and can
Endure to bleed in the Mettal Vein.
What then: We understand this.
Comply with the'r discourses, and Humour every
Complaint upon this turn of State: Ag•ravate
The Insolence of the Court, the want of Trade
In the City, and the heavy oppression of the People.
Page 14 Can't Weep, Drink with'em, Winde up
Their pity into Anger, and with the t'other Cup
Pinch up their Anger into Curses of the present
Government: After you see'em Ripen with some
Impertinent Cautional Parenthesies, which you
Must use (As I hope their's none but Friends)
Whisper a Health to the Confusion of the Usurper.
To his Confusion? Good, and what Follows?
When this is done, or so much as Opportunity
VVill give way too: Embracing some One affectionately,
Dropping into a melancholly posture, Call the Drawer
And pay all the Reckoning.
We pay it all?
By any means you must seem honourable: their's
The Trapan, it will create their Confidence to other
Meetings, to which they may invite more
Of the forlorne Tribe, and perhaps beget a design,
Or some Engagement for the Cause: To be short,
VVhen you have wrought the business to a Height,
Or Schrew'd'em into an Action; send for Souldiers
At the next Guard: Charge'em confidently with
High Treason, and bring'em before me.
But they may Recriminate upon us.
Where are your memories? You shall have a Commission
To be Knaves, talk Treason cum privilegio, like good
Subjects to find our the States Enemies: and if they
Escape climing the Tree for't, their Estates shall Suffer.
Out of which shall be defalk'd large sums for your
Honest Services: And what harm's in all this Now?
None in the world most ingenious Hugo.
[Exeunt. [They embrace him.
Enter Calanthe disguis'd.
Farewell Demaratus; and Farewell Calanthe,
For I am lost too although I walk thus
In this thin shadow that doth shroud my Being,
Compell'd by Tyrany of my Fate like some
Vessel distrest to shift all Sail, and stand
VVhat Winde• are pleas'd to Blow: Nothing is left now,
But in this Cloud to attempt Cleomenes:
VVhose Faith must either guide my Will to live,
Or his neglect lead me a nearer way.Page 15
Enter a Servant to Cleomenes.
To death; Sir, do you serve my Lord Cleomenes
Or I am paid to no purpose.
I'le not examine that: pray give him knowledge,
A Gentleman desires to speak with him.
To avoid impertinent Errands, I'le consider
VVhether your business may be worth his Trouble or no.
That's out of your Commission (I suppose) to Judge.
Young Gentleman, you are mistaken, in such Cases
As yours, I have heard and determin'd my selfe: Hum!
The Governour is at this Time is engag'd to Serious Business.
I know yours then: Here—prethee acquaint him
That I wait.
Cry you mercy, Sir: I find your Business Weighty.
I tremble at my self before I see him.
What if this Lord should now prove false?
Since Friendship but too often follows Fortune,
Perhaps he is involv'd to Act which those
That Rule; and neither Will, nor Dares beyond it.
Where am I then? And which is worse then all
Accounts of Danger, should he when I am known
Give up my Honour, or my Life, to gratifie
The Tyrants Lust!
'Tis He: His looks are troubled, but I see no
Line within his Face to doubt his honour.
With me Sir?
Sir, I have a business to you of great Concern.
A Secret too not fit for every Ear.
I am a stranger to you, and perhaps
You may want Faith to Credit my Relation
At first; but when you have heard me out—
It is believ'd in Siracuse that a Sister
To the late King (by name Calanthe)'s dead.
Calanthe! 'Tis so, or at least this Island
Contains her not: But grant her dead.
I must not.
Sir, She is living: to my knowledge, living:
I know upon what Bosom I Repose
This Trust: You have been held a noble Lord,
And Friend to Innocence.
I Smell a Snare.
The Devil is at work already, But
He shall find me Arm'd: To your knowledge living?
Young man, if thou can'st make this clear, and that
The Person thou hast nam'd by any Art
Of thine may be invited hither, Ask
Thy own reward: The King shall thank the for't,
To whom thou canst not doe a service more
Acceptable: and I shall think it Happiness
By thy Consent to be an instrument.
To settle his unquiet Thoughts. Calanthe,
After so strict an inquisition
Brought to our Hands? No Reward can be enough.
Reward, for What?
Betraying to our Justice the Person of Calanthe.
Oh my Heart! My Fears are come about.
Where is she? Speak: I will command a Guard
To wait upon her.
Command all the Furies.
I am mistaken, you are not Cleomenes,
Upon whose Heart I durst have laid my Soul,
VVhose Fame was never Staind with a dishonour:
You are some Monster of the Time: Good Heavens,
VVhy doe you allow him such an honest Face?
How's this? You will discover
VVhere this fair Lady is?
Not to Redeem thee
From that dark place thy Soul is meant for, Hell;
Though I am young I have Fortitude
Above thy malice, and give my self
A Sacrifice to Virtue with more ease
Than thou canst name it: I already see
My confidence hath betrayed me to a Man
That hath sold all the Honour of his Family
To buy the Favour of a bloody Tyrant.
Be not so loud.
Be you less impious, good Heaven!
Open thy Azure Curtain and permit
My Brothers Soul to look down to see me now
Bleeding and panting, at the Feet of once
Page 17 His Friend Cleomenes. Doe not think bad man
One tear of these speaks any grief to die,
But to have found thee false: Here, Take Calanthe,
And carry her a Tryumph to the Rage
Of your new Master.
There's tremblings in my blood: Calanthe! ha!
Though sorrows have endeavoured to destroy
Her Beauty; She retaines enough to make me
Believe she lives: 'Tis the distressed Princess,
Howere that Habit would Obscure her.
Madam, (for I dare call you so) admit
Cleomenes to your Charity and forgive me.
We either seem'd our selves: You for your safety,
And I suspecting a design upon me
From Damocles Agents.
Are you honest then?
And shall be ever: Madam, my Eyes cannot
Be weary of this Happiness to see you.
And dare you Sir protect me? I am too blame
To tempt you with a Care of my Distress
That have been fatall to those Hands preserv'd me:
Honest Damaratus, If I drop a Tear when
I doe mention him, you'l be so kind
To excuse me, and to pardon my Rash Language▪
Dare protect you Madam?
For your sake I will dare the worst of Fortune,
And Act what Honour can expect or dictate:
I think it a high Favour from the Gods,
And could even bless the miseries that brought you,
But prudence will be necessary, till
Things Ripen to your Freedom and just Merit.
You may own me as Page.
It will be safe.
I shall observe my distances.
The King is come to Visit you.
It is a grace to his unworthy Servant.
Enter Damocles attended.
Let one ascend the Platform of the Castle, and
Give me notice when they approach the City.
Cleomenes, I am come to bid a joy
To your new Government.
You are ever bountifull.
Hugo, What pretty Boy is that?
I know not Sir, a very handsome Face, but if
you have a mind to have a Boy, know a Face
VVill tempt you.
Cleomenes, What Youth is that?
A Page of mine.
A very prety Boy, he shall wait on me.
Defend me Goodness.
Come hither prety Youth,
What's thy Name.
I am called Polydore.
'Tis well he ask'd not me.
Sir, The Prince Dyonisius and the Army are now
Marching within clear view of the City.
Alexius and the rest Rid forth to meet 'em,
Salute my Son from me, and test him it is my VVill
So soon as he Reach the Out-works of the City, that He
And the Prisoners of greatest Quality attend me here
I'th'Castle, the rest Rendevouz without the VValls
Till further Order: I'th'mean time, I'le take
Some prospect of their March.
Exeunt Damoc. And Alexius
VVhat can secure me now?
Madam, I'le send one to convey you hence.
And what will you do then?
So you be safe, Let all the lives of Danger
Meet here, and center in my Heart.
Cleom. officers to go off.
My Lord come back, and hear me; I have thought a way.
Things must not be delay'd; Oh speak it.
It may preserve us both, till some kind Star
Smile on us: Come, you shall present me to him.
I will present this sooner to my Heart.
[Points to his Sword.
Did you propose Cleomenes your Defence
From the fierce Tygar, and do I hear you
Page 19 Bid me now give you up his prey: Did you
So late accuse me in your Jealousie
Of my lost Faith, and after so few minutes
Advise me to betray you?
Alas, my Lord,
There is necessity, I must be undone;
And let me chuse my VVay.
I have to keep the safe, who by denial
Of this small gift maist draw his Rage against thee,
And ruin both.
And i'le be rash as Passion to Oppose it.
VVill that help me in such a straight: who must
Upon his least Command be compel'd from you.
Your Courage is not now my Friend: there is
No time for more dispute: By all thy love,
By thy own Duty, as thou lov'st my Life
And Honour I command thee.
I am charm'd to Obedience, Madam.
I have not Suffer'd to that Height of misery
To throw off all Hopes in Providence: This
VVill confirm thee in the Tyrants thoughts, who may
Suspect me else a VVoman, and perhaps
The same thou would'st preserve: He is
Return'd, be Confident.
Enter Damocles and Hugo.
Now my good Lord—Ha•! still methinks that Boy.
Is full of Beauty: VVilt thou change thy Master?
He cannot Sir, but be ambitious of it,
And I am proud if you accept him from me.
He shall be my Page:
Thou hast too good a Face to be a Boy.
You make me over happy—T••ls talk frights me.
If any blessed Spirits be design'd
To guard poor Mortalls, let'em Hover here
I'le search him if you please.
No 'tis a Boy.
VVould I were sure of a Female with no worse,
Face for this nights Bed-fellow▪
Enter Dyonisius, Alexius, Strato, Dion. Scrophilus.
Sir, The Prince.
VVelcome to Siracuse my Son, and to
Thy Fathers best embrace, who thinks no Blessing
Can drop from Heaven so welcome, as to Hear
Thou hast a Name in VVar.
Sir, I must Owe▪
To Heaven, and your great Precepts what hath made me
Seem worth your▪ Favour; and next them a Debt
We must acknowledge to Cleomenes,
Whose Counsel, and Example made us Fortunate.
Again my thanks to you Sir: But where is
The Queen Timandra? and the more you character'd▪
So brave an Enemy? I desire to see'em,
Enter Timandra and the Moor with Attendants.
The Treasures of the East can't afford
So rich a Present. Madam, you are welcome.
She weeps, and yet looks fair as doth the Face of Day,
VVhen it's wash'd with morning Dews.
Madam, I hope my Son hath made no forfeit
Of his Honour, Since you left your Couutry
Under his Conduct.
Your Son hath us'd me honourably, abating what
The Laws of War oblige him too: You can't
Bar the Resentment of my own condition,
That thus contributes to your Tryumph;
A Queen, your Prisoner.
Nothing can have here:
The face of a Confinement to your Person,
Your are Queen Timandra still; and let me tell you
So far from being a Prisoner, that you have made
Your self a Conquest.
A Victory of me, by those fair Eyes;
So that what Spoil my Souldiers made within
Your Kingdom, you have Reveng'd this very minute
By making me the Conquero•r, your Captive.
I know not what this means.
It shall appear (if you will give a little
Page 21 Truce to your Passion, Madam) that you were
Sent hither by the Gods to make you happy
Still beyond my Understanding,
I cannot be more miserable: Death
Hath not a sting beyond what now afflicts me.
Be wise and tame those Fears: Nothing is meant
Here, but your Honour and a Liberty
Beyond what you enjoy'd: The Crown you wear,
If you but smile shall have a double Lustre,
And call to it another bright Companion;
This Island to Obey you.
Dionisi. Oh my Fate!
He Courts her: Have I for this
Stifl'd my thoughts of Love so long, in Hope
To gain him for my Advocate? and do I hear
His passionate Addresses?
Now I conclude you mock me Sir, this shadow
You have in your pocession, but my Soul
Can never be your Captive
In this Angelique form I see you have
The passion of a Women: You are Angry,
When you have better thought upon't you may
Call in this cold neglect, and think me worthy
Your highest Favours:—Son, you may attend the Queen,
Call back that Moor: your Name?
Exit Dionisius. and Timandra.
A Lybian born: my Extraction Honourable,
I was bred up in King Ophella's Court,
After whose death (before unripe for Action)
It pleas'd the Queen to think me worthy of
Her chief Command of Horse against your Army:
How I behav'd me in that Trust your own
Souldiers inform you; I am now your Prisoner,
Ready for Death or Ransom.
It may be in your own power to deserve
[Whispers [Exit Moor.
Your Freedom: Think on't: Withdraw.
Sir, I have an humble Suit.
I must deny thee nothing: But deferr it,
Page 22 I have something that is near me to Consider.
Near you Sir, I am your Son.
Do you affect the Queen?
'Tis in my Heart confest: and Sir, I hope,
You will consent to make me further happy.
Call in those thoughts, and be your self Remove.—
I bid him be himself, and ca•ot Curb
My own effeminate Passion.—Now she's gone,
I am at ease: Why, how now Damocles?
Hast thou beheld the Horror of a Battle?
Stood all the danger of the Sea and Fire?
Heard grones that shook the Dead unmov'd and constant?
And shall the magick of a Voice or Face,
That perhaps owes its Beauty to a Pencil,
Betray thee into paleness, and a fear
Of every frown, and think it Happiness,
If she but Counterfeit a Smile upon thee?
Wake, wake, my Soul, and do thy noble Office
Upon my Heart, that now is Shrunk and Creeping
To be a Females Scorn. Who will Obey me,
When I Un-king my self? Ha! I am arm'd
Against her Charmes: It is too like a Virtue
To be Love: Who waites? Where is the Queen?
Enter D•onysius and Cleomenes leading the Queen by the Hand, with Cleander.
The Devil has a Claw within me still.
[Starts at their Approach.
There is some Witchcraft in her Eyes and person
That softens me agen—Dionysius.
Now I commend thy prudence that dost offer
With thy own Hand what is so pretious to me.
If you please, this may have other Application:
I can Challenge no Affection from the Queen,
But for your Kingdom I wonot leave my
Hopes, she may at last look kindly
On my Intentions.
What if I love her?
You will not be my Rival?
With your pardon;
If you be not Cruel to your Son,
Deny me not what every Souldier looks on,
The purchase of his Sword: She is my Prisoner▪
The Law of Armes gives her to me,
Fools will be Clerks before they Read: I blush at thee;
The Law of Armes gives no propriety
Of persons: when we make 'em Prisoners,
The Ransome they may Challenge: If thou hast
An Avarice so low it shall be paid thee.
Cherish no other Hopes, lest I be angry.
This my Reward?
Sir, I intreat, your Son may not, for his
Civilities to me, meet with your Anger.
His best Regards to you became his Honour,
I hope, you will not Frown on mine. I have
This Madam only more to say; You shall
But change your Pallace for •y Court, Which will
Receive new Honour by your presence, Whilst
I change the name of King to be your •ervant.
This I expected not, and blush a little,
To find my self deceiv'd: I only pray,
This noble Moor, whose Fate hath suffer'd much
In mine, may have a part in your high Favour
Sir, you have it: Now, Madam, I'le wait on you.
Exeunt Dam. leading Tima. and Cleandra.
Cleomenes, hast thou Art to give a name to this Affront?
I am sorry Sir to witness it, his passion wonot last, pray let me follow you.
My Lord, I have found your Love; Loose not the King.
O my enraged Soul beats to get forth:
[Cleom. goes off.
It is too full of Flame to come abroad yet,
But• I must not grow old with this Dishonour,
His Act hath disoblig'd my Blood, which will
Admit no Calm, until by Force or Art,
I tear the fair Timandra from his Heart.