The Birth of Merlin, or, the Childe Hath Found His Father
ACT III SCENE VI
Enter Prince and Artesia
Come, come, you do but flatter;
What you term love is but a dream of blood,
Wakes with enjoying, and with open eyes
Forgot, contemn'd, and lost.
I must be wary, her words are dangerous.--
True, we'l speak of love no more, then.
Nay, if you will, you may;
'Tis but in jest, and yet so children play
With fiery flames, and covet what is bright,
But, feeling his effects, abhor the light.
Pleasure is like a building, the more high,
The narrower still it grows; cedars do dye
Soonest at top.
How does your instance suit?
From art and nature to make sure the root,
And lay a fast foundation, e're I try
The incertain changes of a wavering skie.
Make your example thus.--You have a kiss,--
Was it not pleasing?
Above all name to express it.
Yet now the pleasure's gone,
And you have lost your joys possession.
Yet when you please, this flood may ebb again.
But where it never ebbs, there runs the main.
Who can attain such hopes?
Ile show the way to it, give you
A taste once more of what you may enjoy. (Kiss.
I were more false than atheism can be,
Should I not call this high felicity.
If I should trust your faith, alas, I fear,
You soon would change belief.
I would covet martyrdom to make't confirm'd.
Give me your hand on that you'l keep your word?
Enough: Help, husband, king Aurelius, help!
Rescue betraid Artesia!
Nay, then 'tis I that am betraid, I see;
Yet with thy blood Ile end thy treachery.
How now! what troubles you? Is this you, sir,
That but even now would suffer martyrdom
To win your hopes, and is there now such terror
In names of men to fright you? nay, then I see
What mettle you are made on.
Ha! was it but tryal? then I ask your pardon:
What a dull slave was I to be so fearful!--
Ile trust her now no more, yet try the utmost.--
I am resolved, no brother, no man breathing,
Were he my bloods begetter, should withhold
Me from your love; I'd leap into his bosom,
And from his brest pull forth that happiness
Heaven had reserved in you for my enjoying.
I, now you speak a lover like a prince!--
Help, Saxon princes: treason!
Enter Ostorius, Octa, etc.
Rescue the queen: strike down the villain.
Enter Edol, Aurelius, Donobert, Cador, Edwin, Toclio, Oswold, at the other door.
Call in the guards: the prince in danger!
Fall back, dear sir, my brest shall buckler you.
Beat down their weapons!
Slave, wert thou made of brass, my sword shall bite thee.
Withdraw, on pain of death: where is the traitor?
Oh, save your life, my lord; let it suffice,
My beauty forc't mine own captivity.
Who did attempt to wrong thee?
Hear me, sir.
Oh, my sad soul! was't thou?
Oh, do not stand to speak; one minutes stay
Prevents a second speech for ever.
Make our guards strong:
My dear Artesia, let us know thy wrongs
And our own dangers.
The prince your brother, with these Brittain lords,
Have all agreed to take me hence by force
And marry me to him.
The devil shall wed thee first:
Thy baseness and thy lust confound and rot thee!
He courted me even now, and in mine ear
Sham'd not to plead his most dishonest love,
And their attempts to seize your sacred person,
Either to shut you up within some prison,
Or, which is worse, I fear, to murther you.
'Tis all as false as hell.
And as foul as she is.
You know me, sir?
Yes, deadly sin, we know you,
And shall discover all your villany.
Their treasons, sir, are plain:
Why are their souldiers lodg'd so near the court?
Nay, why came he in arms so suddenly?
You fleering anticks, do not wake my fury.
Ratsbane, do not urge me.
Good sir, keep farther from them.
Oh, my sick heart!
She is a witch by nature, devil by art.
Bite thine own slanderous tongue; 'tis thou art false.
I have observ'd your passions long ere this.
Stand on your guard, my lord, we are your friends,
And all our force is yours.
To spoil and rob the kingdom.
Sir, be silent.
Silent! how long? till Doomsday? shall I stand by,
And hear mine honor blasted with foul treason,
The state half lost, and your life endanger'd,
Yet be silent?
Yes, my blunt lord, unless you speak your treasons.
Sir, let your guards, as traitors, seize them all,
And then let tortures and devulsive racks
Force a confession from them.
Wilde-fire and brimstone eat thee! Hear me, sir.
Sir, Ile not hear you.
But you shall. Not hear me!
Were the worlds monarch, Cesar, living, he
Should hear me.
I tell you, sir, these serpents have betraid
Your life and kingdom: does not every day
Bring tidings of more swarms of lowsie slaves,
The offal fugitives of barren Germany,
That land upon our coasts, and by our neglect
Settle in Norfolk and Northumberland?
They come as aids and safeguards to the king.
Has he not need, when Vortiger's in arms,
And you raise powers, 'tis thought, to joyn with him?
Peace, you pernicious rat.
Away! suffer a gilded rascal,
A low-bred despicable creeper, an insulting toad,
To spit his poison'd venome in my face!
Do not reply, you cur; for, by the gods,
Tho' the kings presence guard thee, I shall break all patience,
And, like a lion rous'd to spoil, shall run
Foul-mouth'd upon thee, and devour thee quick.--
Speak, sir: will you forsake these scorpions,
Or stay till they have stung you to the heart?
Y'are traitors all. This is our wife, our queen:
Brother Ostorius, troop your Saxons up,
We'l hence to Winchester, raise more powers,
To man with strength the Castle Camilot.--
Go hence, false men, joyn you with Vortiger,
The murderer of our brother Constantine:
We'l hunt both him and you with dreadful vengance.
Since Brittain fails, we'l trust to forrain friends,
And guard our person from your traitorous ends. (Exeunt Aurelius, Ostorius, Octa, Artesia, Toclio, Oswald.
He's sure bewitcht.
What counsel now for safety?
Onely this, sir: with all the speed we can,
Preserve the person of the king and kingdom.
Which to effect, 'tis best march hence to Wales,
And set on Vortiger before he joyn
His forces with the Saxons.
On, then, with speed for Wales and Vortiger!
That tempest once o'reblown, we come, Ostorius,
To meet thy traiterous Saxons, thee and them,
That with advantage thus have won the king,
To back your factions and to work our ruines.
This, by the gods and my good sword, I'le set
In bloody lines upon thy burgonet. (Exeunt.
On to Act IV, Scene I
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