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Mef. Ile graunt you any thing, except your liues.
Leir. Oh, but assure me by some certayne token,
That my two daughters hyred thee to this deed :
If I were once resolu'd of that, then I
Would with no longer life, but craue to dye.
Mef. That to be true, in sight of heaụen I sweare.
Leir. Sweare not by heauen, for feare of punishmēt : The heauens are guiltlesse of such haynous acts.
Mef. I sweare by earth, the mother of vs all.
Leir. Sweare not by earth; for le abbors to beare Such bastards, as are murtherers of her sonnes.
Mes. Why then, by bell, and all the deuils I sweare.
Leir. Sweare not by hell; for that stands gaping wide, To swallow thee, and if thou do this deed.
Thunder and lightning. Mes. I would that word were in his belly agayne, It hath frighted me euen to the very heart; This old man is some strong magician : His words haue turnd my mind from this exployt. Then neyther heauen, earth, nor hell be witnelle; But let this paper witnesse for them all,
Shewes Gonorils letier. Shall I relent, or shall I prosecute ? Shall I refolue, or were I best recant ? I will not crack my credit with two queenes, To whom I haue already past my word. Oh, but my conscience for this act doth tell, I get heauens hate, earths scorne, and paynes of hell.
They blelle themselues. Per. Oh iuft Iehoua, whose almighty power Doth gouerne all things in this spacious world, How canst thou suffer such outragious acts To be committed without iuft reuenge?
Oviperous generation and accurft,
To seeke his blood, whose blood did make them furft!
Leir. Ah, my true friend in all extremity,
Let vs submit vs to the will of God :
Things past all sence, let vs not feeke to know;
It is Gods will, and therefore must be fo.
My friend, I am prepared for the stroke :
Strike when thou wilt, and I forgive thee here,
Euen from the very bottome of my heart.
Mef. But I am not prepared for to strike.
Leir. Farewell, Perillus, euen the truest friend,
That euer liued in aduersity :
The latest kindnesse Ile request of thee,
Is that thou go-vnto my daughter. Cordella,
And carry her her fathers latest blessing :
Withall de fire her, that she will forgiue me ;
For I haue wrongd her without any cause.
Now, lord, receyue me, for I come to thee,
And dye, I hope, in perfit charity.
Dispatch, I pray thee, I haue liued too long.
Mef. I, but you are unwise, to send an errand
By him that neuer meaneth to deliuer it :
Why, he must go along with you to heauen:
It were not good you should go all alone.
Leir. No doubt, he shal, when by the course of nature,
He must sarrender vp. his due to death :
But that time shall not come, till God permit
Mes. Nay, prefently, to beare you company. I ha a pasport for him in my pocket, Already seald, and he must needs ride poste.
Shew a bagge of money. Leir. The letter which I read, imports not so, It only toucheth me, no word of him.
Mel. I, but the queene commaunds it must be fo,
And I am payd for him, as well as you.
Per. I, who haue borne you company in life,
Most willingly will beare a share in death.
It skilleth not for me, my friend, a whit,
Nor for a hundred such as thou and I.
Mef. Mary, but it doth, fir, by your leaue ; your good dayes are past : though it bee no matter for you, tis a matter fo: me, proper men are not so rife.
Per. Oh, but beware, how thou dos lay thy hand
Vpon the high anoynted of the Lord :
O, be aduised ere thou dost begin :
Dispatch me straight, but meddle not with him.
Leir. Friend, thy commission is to deale with me,
And I am he that hath deserued all :
The plot was layd to take away my life:
And here it is, I do intreat thee take it :
Yet for my fake, and as thou art a man,
Spare this my friend, that hither with me came :
I brought him forth, whereas he had not bin,
But for good will to beare me company.
He left his friends, his country and his goods,
And came with me in most extremity.
Oh, if he should miscarry here and dye,
Who is the cause of it, but only I?
Mes. Why that am I, let that ne're trouble thee.
Leir. O no, tis I. O, bad I now to give thee
The monarchy of all the spacious world
To faue his life, I would bestow it on thee :
But I haue nothing but these teares and prayers,
And the submission of a bended knee.
O, if all this to mercy moue thy mind,
Spare him, in heauen thou shalt like mercy find.
Mes. I am as bard to be moued as another, and yet me thinks the strength of their perswasions stirres me a little.
Per. My friend, if feare of the almighty power
Haue power to moue thee, we haue fayd ynough:
But if thy mind be moueable with gold,
We haue not presently to giue it thee:
Yet to thy selfe thou mayst do greater good,
To keepe thy hands still vndefilde from blood :
For do but well consider with thy selfe,
When thou hast finisht this outragious act,
What horrour still will haunt thee for the deed :
Think this agayne, that they which would incense
Thee for to be the butcher of their father,
When it is done, for feare it should be knowne,
Would make a meanes to rid thee from the world :
Oh, then art thou for euer tyed in chaynes
Of euerlasting torments to indure,
Euen in the hotest hole of grisly hell,
Such paynes, as neuer mortall toung can tell.
It thunders. He quakes, and lets fall the dagger next to
Leir. O, heauens be thanked, he will spare my friend.
Now when thou wilt come make an end of me.
He lets fall the other dagger.
Per. Oh, happy sight! he meanes to saue my
lord. The king of heaven continue this good mind.
Leir. Why stays thou to do execution ?
Mes. I am as wilfull as you for your life: I will not do it, now you do intreat me.
Per. Ah, now I see thou hast some sparke of grace.
Mef. Beshrew you for it, you haue put it in me:
The parlosest old men, that ere I heard.
Well, to be flat, Ile pot meddle with you :
Here I found you, and here Ile leaue you :
If any aske you why the cafe fo stand?
Say that your toungs were better then your hands. -
Per. Farewell. If euer we together meet,
It shall go hard, but I will thee regreet.
Courage, my lord, the worst is ouerpast;
Let vs giue thanks to God, and hye vs hence.
Leir. Thou art deceyued; for I am past the best,
And know not whither for to go from hence :
Death had bin better welcome vnto me,
Then longer life to adde more misery.
Per. It were not good to returne from whence we came,
Vnto your daughter Ragan back againe.
Now let vs go to France, vnto Cordella,
Your youngest daughter, doubtlefse she will succour you.
Leir. Oh, how can I perswade my felfe of that,
Since the other two are quite deuoyd of loue;
To whom I was so kind, as that my gifts,
Might make them loue me, if 'twere nothing else?
Per. No worldly gifts, but grace from God on hye,
Doth, nourish vertue and true charity.
Remember well what words Cordella spake,
What time you askt her, how the lou'd your grace.
She fayd, her loue vnto you was as much,
As ought a child to beare vnto her father.
Leir. But she did find, my loue was not to her,
As should a father beare vnto a child.
Per. That makes not her loue to be any lesse,
If she do loue you as a child should do :
You haue tryed two, try one more for my sake,
Ile nc're intreat you further tryall make.
Remember well the dreame you had of late,
And thinke what comfort it foretels to vs.