« AnteriorContinuar »
Enter the Gallian king and queene, and Mumford, with a
basket, disguised like countrey folke.
King. This tedious iourney all on foot, sweet loue,
Cannot be pleasing to your tender ioynts,
Which ne're were vsed to these toylesome walks.
Cord. I neuer in my life tooke more delight
In any iourney, then I do in this :
It did me good, when as we hapt to light
Amongst the merry crue of country folke,
To see what industry and paynes they tooke,
To win them commendations 'mongst their friends.
Lord, how they labour to bestir themselues,
And in their quirks to go beyond the moone,
And so take on them with such antike fits,
That one would think they were beside their wits !
Come away, Roger, with your basket.
Mum. Soft, dame, here comes a couple of old youthes,
I must needs make my selfe fat with iesting at them.
Enter Leir and Perillus very faintly.
Cor. Nay, prithy do not, they do feeme to be
Men much o’regone with griefe and misery.
Let's stand aside, and harken what they say,
Leir. Ah, my Perillus, now I see we both
Shall end our dayes in this vnfruitfull soyle,
Oh, I do faint for want of sustenance:
And thou, I know, in little better case.
No gentle tree affords one taste of fruit,
To comfort vs, vntill we meet with men :
No lucky path conducts our lucklesse steps
Vnto a place where any comfort dwels.
Sweet rest betyde vnto our happy foules ;
For here I see our bodies must haue end.
Per. Ah, my deare lord, how doth my heart lament,
To see you brought to this extremity!
o, if you loue me, as you do professe,
Or ever thought well of me in my life,
He strips up his arme.
Feed on this flesh, whose veynes are not so dry,
But there is vertue left to comfort you.
O, feed on this, if this will do you good,
Ile smile for ioy, to see you suck my bloud.
Leir. I am no Caniball, that I should delight
To fake my hungry iawes with humane felh :
I am no deuill, or ten times worse then so,
To fuck the bloud of such a peerelese friend.
0, do not think that I respcét my life
So dearely, as I do thy loyall loue.'
Ah, Brittayne, I shall neuer see thee more,
That hast vakindly banished thy king :
And yet not thou dost make me to complayne,
But they which were more neere to me then thou.
Cor. What do I heare? this lamentable voyce,
Me thinks, ere now I oftentimes haue heard.
Leir. Ah, Gonorill, was halfe my kingdomes gift
The cause that thou didit feeke to haue my life?
Ah, cruell Ragan, did I giue thee all,
And all could not suffice without my bloud ?
Ah, poore Cordella, did I giue thee nought,
Nor nener shall be able for to giue ?
0, let me warne all ages that insueth,
How they trust flattery, and reiect the trueth.
Well, vnkind girles, I here forgive you both,
Yet the iust heauens will hardly do the like;
And onely craue forgiuenesse at the end
Of good Cordella, and of thee, my friend;
Of God, whose maiesty I haue offended,
By my transgression many thousand wayes :
Of her, deare heart, whom I for no occasion
Turn'd out of all, through flatterers perswasion:
Of thee, kind friend, who but for me, I know,
Hadst neuer come vnto this place of wo.
Cor. Alack, that euer I should live to see
My noble father in this mifery.
King. Sweet loue, reueale not what thou art as yet, Vntill we know the ground of all this ill.
Cor. O, but some meat, some meat: do you not fee,
How neere they are to death for want of food ?
Per. Lord, which didft help thy feruants at their need,
Or now or neuer send vs helpe with speed.
Oh comfort, comfort ! yonder is a banquet,
And men and women, my lord : be of good cheare;
For I see comfort comming very neere.
O my lord, a banquet, and men and women !
Leir. O, let kind pity mollify their hearts,
That they may helpe vs in our great extreames.
Per. God saue you, friends; and if this blessed banquet Affordeth any food or sustenance, Euen for his fake that faued vs all from death, Vouchsafe to faue vs from the gripe of famine.
She bringeth him to the table. Cor. Here father, fit and eat, here, sit and drink : And would it were far better for your fakes.
Perillus takes Leir by the hand to the table. Per. Ile giue you thanks anon : my friend doth faynt, And needeth present comfort.
Mum. I warrant, he ne're ftayes to lay a grace : O, theres no sauce to a good stomake.
Per. The blessed God of heauen hath thought upon vs.
Leir. The thanks be his, and these kind courteous folke, By whose humanity we are preserued.
They eat hungerly, Leir drinkes.
Cor. And may that draught be vnto him, as was
That which old Ejon dranke, which did renue
His withered age, and made him young againe.
And may that meat be vnto him, as was
That which Elias ate, in strength whereof
He walked fourty dayes, and neuer faynted.
Shall I conceale me longer from my father?
Or shall I manifest my selfe to him?
King. Forbcare a while, vntill his strength returne,
Lest being ouer-ioyed with seeing thee,
poore weake lences should forsake their office, And so our cause of ioy be turnd to forrow.
Per. What chere, my lord ? how do you feele your felke ?
Leir. Me thiriks, I neuer ate such fauory meat:
It is as pleasant as the blessed manna,
That raynd from heaven amongst the Israelites :
It hath recall'd my fpirits home agayne,
And made me fresh, as earst I was before.
But how fall we congratulate their kindnesse ?
Per. Infayth, I know not how fufficiently;
But the best meane that I can think on, is this:
Ile offer them my dublet in requitall;
For we haue nothing else to spare.
Leir. Nay, stay, Perillus, for they shall haue mine.
Per. Pardon, my lord, I sweare they thall haue mine.
Perillus proffers his dublet : they will not take it. Leir. Ah, who would think such kindnes should remayne Among such strange and vnacquainted men :
And that such hate should harbour in the brest
Of those, which haue occasion to be best?
Cor. Ah, good old father, tell to me thy griefe,
Ile sorrow with thee, if not adde reliefe. ·
Leir. Ah, good young daughter, I may call thee so; For thou art like a daughter I did owe.
Cor. Do you not owe her still ? what, is the dead?
Leir. No, God forbid: but all my interest's gone,
By shewing my felfe too much vnnaturall :
So haue I lost the title of a father,
And may be call’d a stranger to her rather.
Cor. Your title's good still: for tis alwayes knowne,
A man may do as him list with his owne.
But haue you but one daughter then in all ?
Leir. Yes, I haue more by two, then would I had.
Cor. O, say not so, but rather see the end
They that are bad, may haue the grace to mend:
But how haue they offended you so much?
Leir. If from the first I should relate the cause,
'Twould make a heart of adamant to weepe;
And thou, poore foule, kind-hearted as thou art,
Dost weepe already, ere I do begin.
Cor. For Gods loue tell it, and when you haue done :
Ile tell the reason why I weepe fo foone.
Leir. Then know this first, I am a Brittayne borne,
And had three daughters by one louing wife:
And though I say it, of beauty they were sped;
Especially the youngest of the three,
For her perfections hardly matcht could be:
On these I doted with a ielous loue,
And thought to try which of them lou'd me best,
By asking them, which would do moft for me?
The first and second flattred me with words,
And vowd they lou'd me better then their lives :