Project Gutenberg's The Maids Tragedy, by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
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Title: The Maids Tragedy
Author: Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
Release Date: January 28, 2004 [EBook #10847]
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MAIDS TRAGEDY ***
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Jayam Subramanian and PG Distributed Proofreaders
Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
Persons Represented in the Play.
Lysippus, brother to the King.
Amintor, a Noble Gentleman.
Evadne, Wife to Amintor.
Diphilius} Brothers to Evadne.
Aspatia, troth-plight wife to Amnitor.
Calianax, an old humorous Lord, and
Father to Aspatia.
Diagoras, a Servant.
Olympias} waiting Gentlewomen to Aspatia.
Dula, a Lady.
* * * * *
Actus primus. Scena prima.
Enter Cleon, Strato, Lysippus, Diphilus.
Cleon. The rest are making ready Sir.
Strat. So let them, there's time enough.
Diph. You are the brother to the King, my Lord, we'll take your word.
Lys. Strato, thou hast some skill in Poetry, What thinkst thou of a Mask? will it be well?
Strat. As well as Mask can be.
Lys. As Mask can be?
Strat. Yes, they must commend their King, and speak in praise of the Assembly, bless the Bride and Bridegroom, in person of some God; th'are tyed to rules of flattery.
Cle. See, good my Lord, who is return'd!
Lys. Noble Melantius!
The Land by me welcomes thy vertues home to Rhodes, thou that with blood abroad buyest us our peace; the breath of King is like the breath of Gods; My brother wisht thee here, and thou art here; he will be too kind, and weary thee with often welcomes; but the time doth give thee a welcome above this or all the worlds.
Mel. My Lord, my thanks; but these scratcht limbs of mine have spoke my love and truth unto my friends, more than my tongue ere could: my mind's the same it ever was to you; where I find worth, I love the keeper, till he let it go, And then I follow it.
Diph. Hail worthy brother!
He that rejoyces not at your return
In safety, is mine enemy for ever.
Mel. I thank thee Diphilus: but thou art faulty;
I sent for thee to exercise thine armes
With me at Patria: thou cam'st not Diphilus: 'Twas
Diph. My noble brother, my excuse
Is my King's strict command, which you my Lord
Can witness with me.
Lys. 'Tis true Melantius,
He might not come till the solemnity
Of this great match were past.
Diph. Have you heard of it?
Mel. Yes, I have given cause to those that
Envy my deeds abroad, to call me gamesome;
I have no other business here at Rhodes.
Lys. We have a Mask to night,
And you must tread a Soldiers measure.
Mel. These soft and silken wars are not for me;
The Musick must be shrill, and all confus'd,
That stirs my blood, and then I dance with armes:
But is Amintor Wed?
Diph. This day.
Mel. All joyes upon him, for he is my friend:
Wonder not that I call a man so young my friend,
His worth is great; valiant he is, and temperate,
And one that never thinks his life his own,
If his friend need it: when he was a boy,
As oft as I return'd (as without boast)
I brought home conquest, he would gaze upon me,
And view me round, to find in what one limb
The vertue lay to do those things he heard:
Then would he wish to see my Sword, and feel
The quickness of the edge, and in his hand
Weigh it; he oft would make me smile at this;
His youth did promise much, and his ripe years
Will see it all perform'd.
[Enter Aspatia, passing by.
Melan. Hail Maid and Wife!
Thou fair Aspatia, may the holy knot
That thou hast tyed to day, last till the hand
Of age undo't; may'st thou bring a race
Unto Amintor that may fill the world
Successively with Souldiers.
Asp. My hard fortunes
Deserve not scorn; for I was never proud