The Spanish Tragedie
by Thomas Kyd
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By Thomas Kyd


[Edited by John Matthews Manly, 1897. This electronic text is based on the earliest extant edition, which is undated but was printed before 1618. Some bracketed text is verbatim from Manly's edition. However, some bracketed text is taken from alternate editions which Manly originally supplied in footnotes. As the editor of this electronic edition, I have sometimes chosen the clearer of two alternatives, sacrificing the specificity of Manly's footnoted edition in favor of a text that has a better chance of being read and understood by a modern audience. I have also excluded the insertions supposed to have been written by Ben Johnson, as well as the additional dialogue from III.xiii and IV.iii. Some alternate dialogue has been included as has been labeled as such.]

Containing the lamentable end of DON HORATIO, and BEL-IMPERIA: with the pittiful death of olde HIERONIMO.

Newly corrected and amended of such grosse faults as passed in the first impression.

At London

Printed by Edward Allde, for

Edward White


GHOST OF ANDREA REVENGE the Chorus. KING OF SPAIN. VICEROY OF PORTUGAL. DON CIPRIAN, duke of Castile. HIERONIMO, knight-marshall of Spain. BALTHAZAR, the Viceroy's son. LORENZO, Don Ciprian's son [and Bel-imperia's brother]. HORATIO, Hieronimo's son. ALEXANDRO VILLUPPO lords of Portual. PEDRINGANO, servant of Bel-imperia. SERBERINE, servant of Balthazar. Spanish General, Portuguese Embassador, Old Man, Painter Page, Hangman, Citizens, Soldiers, Attendants, &c. BEL-IMPERIA, Lorenzo's sister. ISABELLA, Hieronimo's wife. PAGE. MESSENGER. CHRISTOPHEL. SERVANT. SENEX (DON BAZULTO). CITIZENS.

SCENE: Spain; and Portugal.



Enter the GHOAST OF ANDREA, and with him REUENGE.

GHOAST. When this eternall substance of my soule Did liue imprisond in my wanton flesh, Ech in their function seruing others need, I was a courtier in the Spanish court: My name was Don Andrea; my discent, Though not ignoble, yet inferiour far To gratious fortunes of my tender youth, For there, in prime and pride of all my yeeres, By duteous seruice and deseruing loue, In secret I possest a worthy dame, Which hight sweet Bel-imperia by name. But in the haruest of my sommer ioyes Deaths winter nipt the blossomes of my blisse, Forcing diuorce betwixt my loue and me; For in the late conflict with Portingale My valour drew me into dangers mouth Till life to death made passage through my wounds. When I was slaine, my soule descended straight To passe the flowing streame of Archeron; But churlish Charon, only boatman there, Said that, my rites of buriall not performde, I might not sit amongst his passengers. Ere Sol had slept three nights in Thetis lap, And slakte his smoaking charriot in her floud, By Don Horatio, our knight-marshals sonne, My funerals and obsequies were done. Then was the fariman of hell content To passe me ouer to the slimie strond That leades to fell Auernus ougly waues. There, pleasing Cerberus with honied speech, I past the perils of the formost porch. Not farre from hence, amidst ten thousand soules, Sate Minos, Eacus and Rhadamant; To whome no sooner gan I make approach, To craue a pasport for my wandring ghost, But Minos in grauen leaues of lotterie Drew forth the manner of my life and death. "This knight," quoth he, "both liu'd and died in loue; And for his loue tried fortune of the warres; And by warres fortune lost both loue and life." "Why then," said Eacus, "convey him hence To walke with lovers in our field of loue And the course of euerlasting time Vnder greene mirtle-trees and cipresse shades." "No, no!" said Rhadamant, "it were not well With louing soules to place a martialist. He died in warre, and must to martiall fields, Where wounded Hector liues in lasting paine, And Achilles Mermedons do scoure the plaine." Then Minos, mildest censor of the three, Made this deuice, to end the difference: "Send him," quoth he, "to our infernall king, To dome him as best seemes his Maiestie." To this effect my pasport straight was drawne. In keeping on my way to Plutos court Through dreadfull shades of euer-glooming night, I saw more sights than thousand tongues can tell Or pennes can write or mortall harts can think. Three waies there were: that on the right hand side Was ready way vnto the foresaid fields Where louers liue and bloudie martialists, But either sort containd within his bounds; The left hand path, declining fearfuly, Was ready downfall to the deepest hell, Where bloudie Furies shakes their whips of steele, And poore Ixion turnes an endles wheele, Where vsurers are choakt with melting golde, And wantons are imbraste with ougly snakes, And murderers groane with neuer-killing wounds, And periured wights scalded in boiling lead, And all foule sinnes with torments ouerwhelmd; Twixt these two waies I trod the middle path, Which brought me to the faire Elizian greene, In midst whereof there standes a stately towre, The walles of brasse, the gates of adamant. Heere finding Pluto with his Proserpine, I shewed my pasport, humbled on my knee. Whereat faire Proserpine began to smile, And begd that onely she might giue me doome. Pluto was pleasd, and sealde it with a kisse. Forthwith, Reuenge, she rounded thee in th' eare, And bad thee lead me though the gates of horn, Where dreames haue passage in the silent night. No sooner had she spoke but we weere heere, I wot not how, in the twinkling of an eye.

REUENGE. Then know, Andrea, that thou ariu'd Where thou shalt see the author of thy death, Don Balthazar, the prince of Portingale, Depriu'd of life by Bel-imperia: Heere sit we downe to see the misterie, And serue for Chorus in this tragedie.

[ACT I. SCENE 1.] [The Spanish Court]


KING. Now say, l[ord] generall: how fares our campe?

GEN. All wel, my soueraigne liege, except some few That are deceast by fortune of the warre.

KING. But what portends thy cheerefull countenance And posting to our presence this in hast? Speak, man: hath fortune giuen vs victorie?

GEN. Victorie, my liege, and that with little losse.

KING. Out Portugals will pay vs tribute then?

GEN. Tribute, and wonted homage therewithall.

KING. Then blest be Heauen, and Guider of the heauens, From whose faire influence such iustice flowes!

CAST. O multum dilecte Deo, tibi militat aether, Et coniuratae curato poplite gentes Succumbent: recto soror est victoria iuris!

KING. Thanks to my loving brother of Castille. But, generall, vnfolde in breefe discourse Your forme of battell and your warres successe, That, adding all the pleasure of thy newes Vnto the height of former happines, With deeper wage and gentile dignitie We may reward thy blisfull chiualrie.

GEN. Where Spaine and Portingale do ioyntly knit Their frontiers, leaning on each others bound, There met our armies in the proud aray: Both furnisht well, both full of hope and feare, Both menacing alike with daring showes, Both vaunting sundry colours of deuice, Both cheerly sounding trumpets, drums and fifes, Both raising dreadfull clamors to the skie, That valleis, hils, and riuers made rebound And heauen it-selfe was frighted with the sound. Our battels both were pitcht in squadron forme, Each corner strongly fenst with wings of shot; But, ere we ioyned and came to push of pike, I brought a squadron of our readiest shot From out our rearward to begin the fight; They brought another wing to incounter vs; Meane-while our ordinance plaid on either side, And captaines stroue to haue their valours tride. Don Pedro, their chiefe horsemens corlonell, Did with his cornet brauely make attempt To break our order of our battell rankes; But Don Rogero, worthy man of warre, Marcht forth against him with our musketiers And stopt the mallice of his fell approach. While they maintaine hot skirmish too and fro, Both battailes ioyne and fall to handie blowes, Their violent shot resembling th' oceans rage When, roaring lowd and with a swelling tide, It beats vpon the rampiers of huge rocks, And gapes to swallow neighbor-bounding lands. Now, while Bellona rageth heere and there, Thick stormes of bullets ran like winters haile, And shiuered launces darke the troubled aire; Pede pes & cuspide cuspis, Arma sonant armis vir petiturque viro; On euery side drop captaines to the ground, And souldiers, some ill-maimde, some slaine outright: Heere falls a body sundred from his head; There legs and armes lye bleeding on the grasse, Mingled with weapons and vnboweled steeds, That scattering ouer-spread the purple plaine. In all this turmoyle, three long hovres and more The victory to neither part inclinde, Till Don Andrea with his braue lanciers In their maine battell made so great a breach That, halfe dismaid, the multitude retirde. But Balthazar, the Portingales young prince, Brought rescue and encouragde them to stay. Heere-hence the fight was eagerly renewd, And in that conflict was Andrea slaine,— Braue man-at-arms, but weake to Balthazar. Yet, while the prince, insulting ouer him, Breathd out proud vaunts, sounding to our reproch, Friendship and hardie valour ioyned in one Prickt forth Horatio, our knight-marshals sonne, To challenge forth that prince in single fight. Not long betweene these twain the fight indurde, But straight the prince was beaten from his horse And forcst to yeeld him prisoner to his foe. When he was taken, all the rest fled, And our carbines pursued them to death, Till, Phoebus waning to the western deepe, Our trumpeters were chargd to sound retreat.

KING. Thanks, good l[ord] general, for these good newes! And, for some argument of more to come, Take this and weare it for thy soueraignes sake.

Giue him his chaine.

But tell me now: hast thou confirmed a peace?

GEN. No peace, my liege, but peace conditionall, That, if with homage tribute be well paid, The fury of your forces wilbe staide. And to this peace their viceroy hath subscribde,

Giue the K[ING] a paper.

And made a solemne vow that during life His tribute shalbe truely paid to Spaine.

KING. These words, these deeds become thy person wel. But now, knight-marhsall, frolike with thy king, For tis thy sonne that winnes this battels prize.

HIERO. Long may he liue to serue my soueraigne liege! And soone decay unless he serue my liege!

A [trumpet] a-farre off.

KING. Nor thou nor he shall dye without reward. What meanes this warning of this trumpets sound?

GEN. This tels me that your Graces men of warre, Such as warres fortune hath reseru'd from death, Come marching on towards your royall seate, To show themselues before your Maiestie; For so gaue I in charge at my depart. Whereby by demonstration shall appeare That all, except three hundred or few more, Are safe returnd and by their foes inricht.

The armie enters, BALTHAZAR betweene LORENZO and HORATIO, captiue.

KING. A gladsome sight! I long to see them heere.

They enter and passe by.

Was that the warlike prince of Portingale That by our nephew was in triumph led?

GEN. It was, my liege, the prince of Portingale.

KING. But what was he that on the other side Held him by th' arme as partner of the prize?

HIERO. That was my sonne, my gracious soueraigne; Of whome though from his tender infancie My louing thoughts did neuer hope but well, He neuer pleasd his fathers eyes till now, Nor fild my hart with ouercloying ioyes.

KING. Goe, let them march once more about these walles, That staying them we may conferre and talke With our braue prisoner and his double guard.


Hieoronimo, it greatly pleaseth vs That in our victorie thou haue a share By vertue of thy worthy sonnes exploit.

Enter againe.

Bring hether the young prince of Portingale! The rest martch on, but, ere they be dismist, We will bestow on euery soldier Two duckets, and on euery leader ten, That they may know our largesse welcomes them.

Exeunt all [the army] but BAL[THAZAR], LOR[ENZO], and HOR[ATIO].

[KING.] Welcome, Don Balthazar! Welcome nephew! And thou, Horatio, thou art welcome too! Young prince, although thy fathers hard misdeedes In keeping backe the tribute that he owes Deserue but euill measure at our hands, Yet shalt thou know that Spaine is honorable.

BALT. The trespasse that my father made in peace Is now controlde by fortune of the warres; And cards once dealt, it bootes not aske why so. His men are slaine,—a weakening to his realme; His colours ceaz'd,—a blot vnto his name; His sonne distrest,—a corsiue to his hart; These punishments may cleare his late offence.

KING. I, Balthazar, if he obserue this truce, Our peace will grow the stronger for these warres. Meane-while liue thou, though not in libertie, Yet free from bearing any seruile yoake; For in our hearing thy deserts were great. And in our sight thy-selfe art gratious.

BALT. And I shall studie to deserue this grace.

KING. But tell me,—for their holding makes me doubt: To Which of these twaine art thou prisoner?

LOR. To me, my liege.

HOR. To me, my soueraigne.

LOR. This hand first tooke his courser by the raines.

HOR. But first my launce did put him from his horse.

LOR. I ceaz'd the weapon and enioyde it first.

HOR. But first I forc'd him lay his weapons downe.

KING. Let goe his arm, vpon my priviledge!

Let him goe.

Say, worthy prince: to whether didst thou yeeld?

BALT. To him in curtesie; to this perforce; He spake me faire, this other gaue me strokes; He promisde life, this other threatned death; He wan my loue, this other conquerd me; And, truth to say, I yeeld my-selfe to both.

HIERO. But that I [know] your Grace is iust and wise, And might seeme partiall in this difference, Inforct by nature and by law of armes, My tongue should plead for young Horatios right. He hunted well that was a lyons death, Not he that in a garment wore his skin; So hares may pull dead lyons by the beard.

KING. Content thee, marshall; thou shalt haue no wrong, And for thy sake thy sonne shall want to right. Will both abide the censure of my doome?

LOR. I craue no better than your Grace awards.

HOR. Nor I, although I sit beside my right.

KING. Then by iudgement thus your strife shall end: You both deserue and both shall haue reward. Nephew, thou tookst his weapon[s] and his horse: His weapons and his horse are thy reward. Horatio, thou didst force him first to yeeld: His ransome therefore is thy valours fee; Appoint the sum as you shall both agree. But, nephew, thou shalt haue the prince in guard, For thine estate best fitteth such a guest; Horatios house were small for all his traine. Yet, in regard they substance passeth his, And that iust guerdon may befall desert, To him we yeeld the armour of the prince. How likes don Balthazar of this deuice?

BALT. Right well, my liege, if this prouizo were: That Don Horatio beare vs company, Whome I admire and loue for chiualrie.

KING. Horatio, leaue him not that loues thee so. Now let vs hence, to see our souldiers paide, And feast our prisoner as our friendly guest.



[Portugal: the VICEROY'S palace.]


VICE. Is our embassadour dispatcht for Spaine?

ALEX. Two daies, my liege, are past since his depart.

VICE. And tribute paiment gone along with him?

ALEX. I, my good lord.

VICE. Then rest we heere a-while in our vnrest; And feede our sorrowes with inward sighes, For deepest cares break neuer into teares. But wherefore sit I in a regall throne? This better fits a wretches endles moane. Yet this is higher then my fortunes reach, And therefore better then my state deserues.

Falles to the grounde.

I, I, this earth, image of melancholly, Seeks him whome fates [adiudge] to miserie! Heere let me lye! Now am I at the lowest! Qui iacet in terra non habet vnde cadat. In me concumpsit vires fortuna nocendo, Nil superest vt iam possit obesse magis. Yes, Fortune may bereaue me of my crowne— Heere, take it now; let Fortune doe her worst, She shall now rob me of this sable weed. O, no, she enuies none but pleasent things. Such is the folly of despightfull chance, Fortune is blinde and sees not my deserts, So is she deafe and heares not my laments; And, coulde she heare, yet is she willfull mad, And therefore will not pittie my distresse. Suppose that she coulde pittie me, what then? What helpe can be expected at her hands Whose foote is standing on a rowling stone And minde more mutable then fickle windes? Why waile I, then, wheres hope of no redresse? O, yes, complaining makes my greefe seeme lesse. My late ambition hath distaind my faith, My breach of faith occaisioned bloudie warres, Those bloudie warres haue spent my treasur[i]e, And with my treasur[i]e my peoples blood, And with the blood my ioy and best beloued,— My best beloued, my sweet and onely sonne! O, wherefore went I not to warre my-selfe? The cause was mine; I might haue died for both. My yeeres were mellow, but his young and greene: My death were naturall, but his was forced.

ALEX. No doubt, my liege, but still the prince suruiues.

VICE. Suruiues! I, where?

ALEX. In Spaine, a prisoner by michance of warre.

VICE. Then they haue slaine him for his fathers fault.

ALEX. That were a breach to common lawe of armes.

VICE. They recke no lawes that meditate reuenge.

ALEX. His ransomes worth will stay from foule reuenge.

VICE. No; if he liued, the newes would soone be heere.

VILLUP. My soueraign, pardon the author of ill newes, And Ile bewray the fortune of thy sonne.

VICE. Speake on; Ile guerdon thee, what-ere it be. Mine eare is ready to receiue ill newes, My hart growne hard gainst mischiefes battery; Stand vp, I say, and tell thy tale at large.

VILLUP. Then heare that truth which these mine eies have seene: When both the armies were in battell ioyned. Don Balthazar amidst the thickest troupes, To winne renowme, did wondrous feats of armes; Amongst the rest I saw him hand-to-hand In single fight with their lord generall. Till Alexandro, that heere counterfeits Vnder the colour of a duteous freend, Discharged a pistol at the princes back, As though he would haue slaine their generall, But therwithall Don Balthazar fell downe; And when he fell, then we began to flie; But, had he liued, the day had sure bene ours.

ALEX. O wiched forgerie! O traiterous miscreant!

VICE. Hold thou thy peace! But now, Villuppo, say: Where then became the carkasse of my sonne?

VILLUP. I saw them drag it to the Spanish tents.

VICE. I, I, my nightly dreames haue tolde me this! Thou false, vnkinde, vnthankfull, traiterous beast! Wherein had Balthazar offended thee, That thou should betray him to our foes? Wast Spanish golde that bleared so thine eyes That thou couldst see no part of our deserts? Perchance, because thou art Terseraes lord, Thou hadst some hope to weare this diademe If first my sonne and then my-selfe were slaine; But thy ambitious thought shall breake thy neck. I, this was it that made thee spill his bloud!

Take the crowne and put it on againe.

But Ile now weare it till they bloud be spilt.

ALEX. Vouchsafe, dread soueraigne, to heare me speak!

VICE. Away with him! his sight is second hell! Keepe him till we determine his death. If Balthazar be dead, he shall not liue.

[They take him out.]

Villuppo, follow vs for thy reward.


VILLUP. Thus haue I with an enuious forged tale Deceiued the king, betraid mine enemy, And hope for guerdon of my villany.


[Spain: the palace]


BEL. Signior Horatio, this is the place and houre Wherein I must intreat thee to relate The circumstance of Don Andreas death, Who liuing was my garlands sweetest flower, And in his death hath buried my delights.

HOR. For loue of him and seruice to yourself, [Ile not] refuse this heauy dolefull charge; Yet teares and sighes, I feare, will hinder me. When both our armies were enioynd in fight, Your worthie chiualier admist the thikst, For glorious cause still aiming at the fairest, Was at the last by yong Don Balthazar Encountered hand-to-hand. Their fight was long, Their harts were great, their clamours menacing, Their strength alike, their strokes both dangerous; But wrathfull Nemesis, that wicked power, Enuying at Andreas praise and worth, Cut short his life to end his praise and woorth. She, she her-selfe, disguisde in armours maske, As Pallas was before proud Pergamus, Brought in a fresh supply of halberdiers, Which pauncht his horse and dingd him to the ground. Then yong Don Balthazar, with ruthles rage, Taking aduantage of his foes distresse, Did finish what his halberdiers begun; And left not till Andreas life was done. Then, though too late, incenst with iust remorce, I with my band set foorth against the prince, And brought him prisoner from his halba[r]diers.

BEL. Would thou hadst slaine him that so slew my loue! But then was Don Andreas carkasse lost?

HOR. No; that was it for which I cheefely stroue, Nor stept I back till I recouerd him. I tooke him vp, and wound him in mine armes, And, welding him vnto my priuate tent, There laid him downe and dewd him with my teares, And sighed and sorrowed as became a freend. But neither freendly sorrow, sighes and teares Could win pale Death from his vsurped right. Yet this I did, and lesse I could not doe: I saw him honoured with due funerall. This scarfe I pluckt from off his liueles arme, And wear it in remembrance of my freend.

BEL. I know the scarfe: would he had kept it still! For, had he liued, he would haue kept it still, And worne it for his Bel-imperias sake; For twas my fauour at his last depart. But now weare thou it both for him and me; For, after him, thou hast deserued it best. But, for thy kindnes in his life and death, Be sure, while Bel-imperias life endures, She will be Don Horatios thankfull freend.

HOR. And, madame, Don Horatio will not slacke Humbly to serue faire Bel-imperia. But now, if your good liking stand thereto, Ile craue your pardon to goe seeke the prince; For so the duke, your father, gaue me charge.


BEL. I, goe, Horatio; leaue me heere alone, For solitude best fits my cheereles mood.— Yet what auailes to waile Andreas death, From whence Horatio proues my second loue? Had he not loued Andrea as he did, He could not sit in Bel-imperias thoughts. But how can loue finde harbour in my brest, Till I reuenge the death of my beloued? Yes, second loue shall further my reuenge: Ile loue Horatio, my Andreas freend, The more to spight the prince that wrought his end; And, where Don Balthazar, that slew my loue, He shall, in rigour of my iust disdaine, Reape long repentance for his murderous deed,— For what wast els but murderous cowardise, So many to oppresse one valiant knight, Without respect of honour in the fight? And heere he comes that murdred my delight.


LOR. Sister, what meanes this melanchollie walke?

BEL. That for a-while I wish no company.

LOR. But heere the prince is come to visite you.

BEL. That argues that he liues in libertie.

BAL. No madam, but in pleasing seruitude.

BEL. Your prison then, belike, is your conceit.

BAL. I, by conceite my freedome is enthralde.

BEL. Then with conceite enlarge your-selfe againe.

BAL. What if conceite haue laid my hart to gage?

BEL. Pay that you borrowed, and recouer it.

BAL. I die if it returne from whence it lyes.

BEL. A hartles man, and liue? A miracle!

BAL. I, lady, loue can work such miracles.

LOR. Tush, tush, my lord! let goe these ambages, And in plaine tearmes acquaint her with your loue.

BEL. What bootes complaint, when thers no remedy?

BAL. Yes, to your gracios selfe must I complaine, In whose faire answere lyes my remedy, On whose perfection all my thoughts attend, On whose aspect mine eyes finde beauties bowre, In whose translucent brest my hart is lodgde.

BEL. Alas, my lord! there but words of course, And but deuise to driue me from this place.

She, going in, lets fall her gloue, which HORATIO, comming out, takes vp.

HOR. Madame, your gloue.

BEL. Thanks, good Horatio; take it for thy paines.

[BEL-IMPERIA exits.]

BAL. Signior Horatio stoopt in happie time!

HOR. I reapt more grace that I deseru'd or hop'd.

LOR. My lord, be not dismaid for what is past; You know that women oft are humerous: These clouds will ouerblow with little winde; Let me alone, Ill scatter them my-selfe. Meane-while let vs deuise to spend the time In some delightfull sports and reuelling.

HOR. The king, my lords, is comming hither straight To feast the Portingall embassadour; Things were in readiness before I came.

BAL. Then heere it fits vs to attend the king, To welcome hither our embassadour, And learne my father and my countries health.

Enter the banquet, TRUMPETS, the KING, and EMBASSADOUR.

KING. See, lord embassador, how Spaine intreats Their prisoner Balthazar, thy viceroyes sonne: We pleasure more in kindenes than in warres.

EMBASS. Sad is our king, and Portingale laments, Supposing that Don Balthazar is slaine.

BAL. [aside] So am I, slaine by beauties tirannie!— You see, my lord, how Balthazar is slaine: I frolike with the Duke of Castilles sonne, Wrapt euery houre in pleasures of the court, And graste with fauours of his Maiestie.

KING. Put off your greetings till our feast be done; Now come and sit with vs, and taste our cheere.

Sit to the banquet.

Sit downe, young prince, you are our second guest; Brother, sit downe; and nephew, take your placel Signior Horatio, waite thou vpon our cup, For well thou hast deserued to be honored. Now, lordings, fall too: Spaine is Portugall, And Portugall is Spaine; we both are freends; Tribute is paid, and we enioy our right. But where is olde Hieronimo, our marhsall? He promised vs, in honor of our guest, To grace our banquet with some pompous iest.

Enter HIERONIMO with a DRUM, three KNIGHTS, each with scutchin; then he fethces three KINGS; they take their crownes and them captiue.

Hieronimo, this makes contents mine eie, Although I sound well not the misterie.

HIERO. The first arm'd knight that hung his scutchin vp

He takes the scutchin ahd giues it to the KING.

Was English Robert, Earle of Glocester, Who, when King Stephen bore sway in Albion, Arriued with fiue and twenty thousand men In Portingale, and, by successe of warre, Enforced the king, then but a Sarasin, To beare the yoake of the English monarchie.

KING. My lord of Portingale, by this you see That which may comfort both your king and you, And make your late discomfort seeme the lesse. But say, Hieronimo: what was the next?

HIERO. The second knight that hung his scutchin vp

He doth as he did before.

Was Edmond, Earle of Kent in Albion. When English Richard wore the diadem, He came likewise and razed Lisbon walles, And tooke the king of Portingale in fight,— For which, and other suche seruice done, He after was created Duke of Yorke.

KING. This is another speciall argument That Portingale may daine to beare our yoake, When it by little England hath beene yoakt. But now, Hieronimo, what were the last?

HIERO. The third and last, not least in our account,

Dooing as before.

Was, as the rest, a valiant Englishman, Braue Iohn of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, As by his scuthcin plainely may appeare: He with a puissant armie came to Spaine And tooke our Kinge of Castille prisoner.

EMBASS. This is an argument for our viceroy That Spaine may not insult for her successe, Since English warriours likewise conquered Spaine And made them bow their knees to Albion.

KING. Hieronimo, I drinke to thee for this deuice, Which hath pleasde both the embassador and me: Pledge me, Hieronimo, if thou loue the king!

Takes the cup of HORATIO.

My lord, I feare we sit but ouer-long, Vnlesse our dainties were more delicate,— But welcome are to you the best we haue. Now let vs in, that you may be dispatcht; I think our councell is already set.

Exeunt omnes.


ANDREA. Come we for this from depth of vnder ground,— To see him feast that gaue me my deaths wound? These pleasant sights are sorrow to my soule: nothing but league and loue and banqueting!

REUENGE. Be still, Andrea; ere we go from hence, Ile turne their freendship into fell despight, Their loue to mortall hate, their day to night, Their hope into dispaire, their peace in warre, Their ioyes to paine, their blisse to miserie.



[The DUKE's castle.]


LORENZO. My lord, though Bel-imperia seeme thus coy, Let reason holde you in your wonted ioy: In time the sauage bull sustaines the yoake, In time all haggard hawkes will stoope to lure, In time small wedges cleaue the hardest oake, In time the [hardest] flint is pearst with softest shower; And she in time will fall from her disdaine, And rue the sufferance of your freendly paine.

BAL. No; she is wilder, and more hard withall, Then beast or bird, or tree or stony wall! But wherefore blot I Bel-imperias name? It is my fault, not she that merits blame. My feature is not to content her sight; My wordes are rude and worke her no delight; The lines I send her are but harsh and ill, Such as doe drop from Pan and Marsias quill; My presents are not of sufficient cost; And, being worthles, all my labours lost. Yet might she loue me for my valiancie. I; but thats slandred by captiuitie. Yet might she loue me to content her sire. I; but her reason masters [her] desire. Yet might she loue me as her brothers freend. I; but her hopes aime at some other end. Yet might she loue me to vpreare her state. I; but perhaps she [loues] some nobler mate. Yet might she loue me as her beauties thrall. I; but I feare she cannot loue at all.

LOR. My lord, for my sake leaue these extasies, And doubt not but weele finde some remedie. Some cause there is that lets you not be loued: First that must needs be knowne, and then remoued. What if my sister loue some other knight?

BAL. My sommers day will turne to winters night.

LOR. I haue already founde a strategeme To sound the bottome of this doubtfull theame. My lord, for once you shall be rulde by me; Hinder me not what ere you heare or see: By force or faire meanes will I cast about To finde the truth of all this question out. Ho, Pedringano!

PED. Signior.

LOR. Vien qui presto!


PED. Hath your lordship any seruice to command me?

LOR. I, Pedringano, seruice of import. And, not to spend the time in trifling words, Thus stands the case: it is not long, thou knowst, Since I did shield thee from my fathers wrath For thy conueniance in Andreas love, For which thou wert adiudg'd to punishment; I stood betwixt thee and thy punishment, And since thou knowest how I haue favored thee. Now to these fauours will I adde reward, Not with faire woords, but store of golden coyne And lands and liuing ioynd with dignities, If thou but satisfie my iust demaund; Tell truth and haue me for thy lasting freend.

PED. What-ere it be your lordship shall demaund, My bounden duety bids me tell the truth, If case it lye in me to tell the truth.

LOR. Then, Pedringano, this is my demaund; Whome loues my sister Bel-imperia? For she reposeth all her trust in thee. Speak, man, and gaine both freendship and reward: I meane, whome loues she in Andreas place?

PED. Alas, my lord, since Don Andreas death I haue no credit with her as before, And therefore know not if she loue or no.

LOR. Nay, if thou dally, then I am thy foe, And feare shall force what frendship cannot winne. Thy death shall bury what thy life conceales. Thou dyest for more esteeming her than me!

[Draws his sword.]

PED. Oh stay, my lord!

LOR. Yet speak the truth, and I will guerdon thee And shield thee from what-euer can ensue, And will conceale what-euer proceeds from thee; But, if thou dally once againe, thou diest!

PED. If madame Bel-imperia be in loue—

LOR. What, villaine! ifs and ands?

PED. Oh stay, my lord! she loues Horatio!

BALTHAZAR starts back.

LOR. What! Don Horatio, our knight-marshals sonne?

PED. Euen him, my lord.

LOR. Now say but how knoest thou he is her loue, And thou shalt finde me kinde and liberall. Stand vp, I say, and feareles tell the truth.

PED. She sent him letters,—which my-selfe perusde,— Full-fraught with lines and arguments of loue, Perferring him before Prince Balthazar.

LOR. Sweare on this crosse that what thou saiest is true, And that thou wilt conseale what thou hast tolde.

PED. I sweare to both, by him that made vs all.

LOR. In hope thine oath is true, heeres thy reward. But, if I proue thee periurde and vniust, This very sword whereon thou tookst thine oath Shall be the worker of thy tragedie.

PED. What I haue saide is true, and shall, for me, Be still conceald from Bel-imperia. Besides, your Honors liberalitie Deserues my duteous seruice euen till death.

LOR. Let this be all that thou shall doe for me: Be watchfull when and where these louers meete, And giue me notice in some secret sort.

PED. I will, my lord.

LOR. Then thou shalt finde that I am liberall. Thou knowest that I can more aduance thy state Then she: be therefore wise and faile me not. Goe and attend her as thy custome is, Least absence make her think thou doost amisse.


Why, so, Tam armis quam ingenio: Where wordes preuaile not, violence preuailes. But golde doth more than either of them both. How likes Prince Balthazar this strategeme?

BAL. Both well and ill; it makes me glad and sad: Glad, that I know the hinderer of my loue; Sad, that I fear she hates me whome I loue; Glad, that I know on whome to be reueng'd; Sad, that sheele flie me if I take reuenge. Yet must I take reuenge or dye my-selfe; For loue resisted growes impatient. I think Horatio be my destind plague: First, in his hand he brandished a sword, And with that sword he fiercely waged warre, And in that warre he gaue me dangerous wounds, And by those wounds he forced me to yeeld, And by my yeelding I became his slaue; Now, in his mouth he carries pleasing words, Which pleasing wordes doe harbour sweet conceits, Which sweet conceits are lim'd with slie deceits, Which slie deceits smooth Bel-imperias eares, And through her eares diue downe into her hart, And in her hart set him, where I should stand. Thus hath he tane my body by force, And now by sleight would captiuate my soule; But in his fall Ile tempt the Destinies, And either loose my life or winne my loue.

LOR. Lets goe, my lord; [our] staying staies reuenge. Doe but follow me, and gaine your loue; Her fauour must be wonne by his remooue.



[The Duke's Castle]


HOR. Now, madame, since by fauour of your love Our hidden smoke is turnd to open flame, And that with lookes and words we feed our thought,— Two chiefe contents where more cannot be had,— Thus in the midst of loues faire blandeshments Why shew you signe of inward languishments?

PEDRINGANO sheweth all to the PRINCE and LORENZO, placing them in secret.

BEL. My hart, sweet freend, is like a ship at sea: She wisheth port, where, riding all at ease, She may repaire what stormie times haue worne, And, leaning on the shore, may sing with ioy That pleasure followes paine, and blisse annoy. Possession of thy loue is th' onely port Wherein my hart, with feares and hopes long tost, Each howre doth wish and long to make resort, There to repaire the ioyes that it hath lost, And, sitting safe, to sing in Cupids quire That sweetest blisse is crowne of loues desire.


BAL. O sleepe, mine eyes; see not my loue prophande! Be deafe, my ears; heare not my discontent! Dye, hart; another ioyes what thou deseruest!

LOR. Watch still, mine eyes, to see this loue disioyned! Heare still, mine eares, to heare them both lament! Liue, hart, to ioy at fond Horatios fall!

BEL. Why stands Horatio speecheles all this while?

HOR. The lesse I speak, the more I meditate.

BEL. But whereon doost thou cheifely meditate?

HOR. On dangers past and pleasures to ensue.

BAL. On pleasures past and dangers to ensue!

BEL. What dangers and what pleasures doost thou mean?

HOR. Dangers of warre and pleasures of our loue.

LOR. Dangers of death, but pleasures none at all!

BEL. Let dangers goe; thy warre shall be with me, But such a [warre] as breakes no bond of peace. Speake thou faire words, Ile crosse them with faire words; Send thou sweet looks, Ile meet them with sweet looks; Write louing lines, Ile answere louing lines; Giue me a kisse, Ile counterchecke thy kisse: Be this our warring peace, or peacefull warre.

HOR. But, gratious madame, then appoint the field Where triall of this warre shall first be made.

BAL. Ambitious villaine, how his boldenes growes!

BEL. Then be thy fathers pleasant bower in the field,— Where first we vowd a mutuall amitie. The court were dangerous; that place is safe. Our howre shalbe when Vesper ginnes to rise, That summons home distresfull trauellers. There none shall heare vs but the harmeles birds: Happelie the gentle nightingale Shall carroll vs a-sleepe ere we be ware, And, singing wit the prickle at her breast, Tell our delight and mirthfull dalliance. Till then, each houre will seeme a yeere and more.

HOR. But, honie-sweet and honorable loue, Returne we now into your fathers sight; Dangerous suspition waits on our delight.

LOR. I, danger mixt with iealous despite Shall send thy soule into eternalle night!



[The Spanish court.]


KING. Brother of Castille, to the princes loue What saies your daughter Bel-imperia?

CIP. Although she coy it, as becomes her kinde, And yet dissemble that she loues the prince, I doubt not, I, but she will stoope in time; And, were she froward,—which she will not be,— Yet heerin shall she follow my aduice, Which is to loue him or forgoe my loue.

KING. Then, lord embassadour of Portingale, Aduise thy king to make this marriage vp For strengthening of our late-confirmed league; I know no better meanes to make vs freends. Her dowry shall be large and liberall; Besides that she is daughter and halfe heire Vnto our brother heere, Don Ciprian, And shall enioy the moitie of his land, Ile grace her marriage with an vnckles gift, And this is it: in case the match goe forward, The tribute which you pay shalbe releast; And, if by Balthazar she haue a sonne, He shall enioy the kingdome after vs.

EMBAS. Ile make the motion to my soueraigne liege, And worke it if my counsaile may preuaile.

KING. Doe so, my lord; and, if he giue consent, I hope his presence heere will honour vs In celebration of the nuptiall day,— And let himselfe determine of the time.

EM. Wilt please your Grace command me ought besid?

KING. Commend me to the king; and so, farewell! But wheres Prince Balthazar, to take his leaue?

EM. That is perfourmd alreadie, my good lord.

KING. Amongst the rest of what you haue in charge, The princes raunsome must not be forgot: Thats none of mine, but his that tooke him prisoner,— And well his forwardnes deserues reward: It was Horatio, our knight-marshalls sonne.

EM. Betweene vs theres a price already pitcht, And shall be send with all conuenient speed.

KING. Then once againe farewell, my lord!

EM. Farwell, my lord of Castile, and the rest!


KING. Now, brother, you must make some little paines To winne faire Bel-imperia from her will; Young virgins must be ruled by their freends. The prince is amiable, and loues her well; If she neglect him and forgoe his loue, She both will wrong her owne estate and ours. Therefore, whiles I doe entertaine the prince With greatest pleasure that our court affoords, Endeauor you to winne your daughters thought. If she giue back, all this will come to naught.



[HORATIO's garden.]


HOR. Now that the night begins with sable wings To ouer-cloud the brightnes of the sunne, And that in darkenes pleasures may be done, Come, Bel-imperia, let vs to the bower, And there is safetie passe a pleasant hower.

BEL. I follow thee, my loue, and will not backe, Although my fainting hart controles my soule.

HOR. Why, make you doubt of Pedringanos faith?

BEL. No; he is as trustie as my second selfe. Goe, Pedringano, watch without the gate, And let vs known if any make approach.

PED. [aside] In-steed of watching, Ile deserue more golde By fetching Don Lorenzo to this match.


HOR. What means my loue?

BEL. I know not what, my-selfe; And yet my hart foretels me some some mischaunce.

HOR. Sweet, say not so; faire Fortune is our freend, And heauens haue shut vp day to pleasure vs. The starres, thou seest, holde back their twinckling shine And Luna hides her-selfe to pleasure vs.

BEL. Thou hast preuailed! Ile conquer my misdoubt, And in thy loue and councell drowne my feare. I feare no more; loue now is all my thoughts! Why sit we not? for pleasure asketh ease.

HOR. The more thou sitst within these leauy bowers, The more will Flora decke it with her flowers.

BEL. I; but, if Flora spye Horatio heere, Her iealous eye will think I sit too neere.

HOR. Harke, madame, how the birds record by night, For ioy that Bel-imperia sits in sight!

BEL. No; Cupid counterfeits the nightingale, To frame sweet musick to Horatios tale.

HOR. If Cupid sing, then Venus is not farre,— I, thou art Venus, or some fairer starre!

BEL. If I be Venus, thou must needs be Mars; And where Mars raigneth, there must needs be warres.

HOR. Then thus begin our wars: put forth thy hand, That it may combat with my ruder hand.

BEL. Set forth thy foot to try the push of mine.

HOR. But, first, my lookes shall combat against thee.

BEL. Then ward thy-selfe! I dart this kiss as thee.

HOR. Thus I [return] the dart thou threwest at me!

BEL. Nay then, to gaine the glory of the field, My twining armes shall yoake and make thee yeeld.

HOR. Nay then, my armes are large and strong withall: Thus elmes by vines are compast till they fall.

BEL. O, let me goe, for in my troubled eyes Now maist thou read that life in passion dies!

HOR. O, stay a-while, and I will dye with thee; So shalt thou yeeld, and yet haue conquerd me.

BEL. Whose there? Pedringano? We are betraide!


LOR. My lord, away with her! take her aside! O sir, forbeare, your valour is already tride. Quickly dispatch, my maisters.

Th[e]y hang him in the arbor.

HOR. What, will you murder me?

LOR. I; thus! and thus! these are the fruits of loue!

They stab him.

BEL. O, saue his life, and let me dye for him! O, saue him, brother! saue him, Balthazar! I loued Horatio, but he loued not me.

BAL. But Balthazar loues Bel-imperia.

LOR. Although his life were still ambitious, proud, Yet is he at the highest now he is dead.

BEL. Murder! murder! helpe! Hieronimo, helpe!

LOR. Come, stop her mouth! away with her!


Enter HIERONIMO in his shirt, &c.

HIERO. What outcried pluck me from my naked bed, And chill my throbbing hart with trembling feare, Which neuer danger yet could daunt before? Who cals Hieronimo? speak; heare I am! I did not slumber; therefore twas no dreame. No, no; it was some woman cride for helpe. And heere within this garden did she crie, And in this garden must I rescue her. But stay! what murderous spectacle is this? A man hanged vp, and all the murderers gone! And in the bower, to lay the guilt on me! This place was made for pleasure not for death.

He cuts him downe.

Those garments that he weares I oft haue seene,— Alas! it is Horatio, my sweet sonne! O, no; but he that whilome was my sonne! O, was it thou that call'dst me from my bed? O, speak, if any sparke of life remaine! I am thy father. Who hath slaine my sonne? What sauadge monster, not of humane kinde, Hath heere beene glutted with thy harmeles blood, And left they bloudie corpes dishonoured heere, For me amidst these darke and dreadfull shades To drowne thee with an ocean of my teares? O heauens, why made you night, to couer sinne? By day this deed of darknes had not beene. O earth, why didst thou not in time deuoure The [vile] prophaner of this sacred bower? O poore Horatio, what hadst thou misdoone To leese thy life ere life was new begun? O wicked butcher, what-so-ere thou wert, How could thou strangle vertue and desert? Ay me, most wretched! that haue lost my ioy In leesing my Horatio, my sweet boy!


ISA. My husbands absence makes my hart to throb. Hieronimo!

HIERO. Heere, Isabella. Helpe me to lament; For sighes are stopt, and all my teares are spent.

ISA. What worlde of griefe—my sonne Horatio! O wheres the author of this endles woe?

HIERO. To know the author were some ease of greefe, For in reuenge my hart would finde releefe.

ISA. Then is he gone? and is my sonne gone too? O, gush out, teares! fountains and flouds of teares! Blow, sighes, and raise and euerlasting storme; For outrage fits our cursed wretchedness.

HIERO. Sweet louely rose, ill pluckt before thy time! Faire, worthy sonne, not conquerd, but betraid! Ile kisse thee now, for words with teares are [stainde].

ISA. And Ile close vp the glasses of his sight; For once these eyes were onely my delight.

HIERO. Seest thou this handkercher besmerd with blood? It shall not from me till I take reuenge; Seest thou those wounds that yet are bleeding fresh? Ile not intombe them till I haue reueng'd: Then will I ioy amidst my discontent, Till then, my sorrow neuer shalbe spent.

ISA. The heauens are iust, murder cannot be hid; Time is the author of both truth and right, And time will bring this trecherie to light.

HIERO. Meane-while, good Isabella, cease thy plaints, Or, at the least, dissemble them awhile; So shall we sooner finde the practise out, And learne by whome all this was brought about. Come, Isabell, now let vs take him vp.

They take him vp.

And beare him in from out this cursed place. Ile say his dirge,—singing fits not this case. O aliquis mihi quas pulchrum ver educet herbas

HIERO[NIMO] sets his brest vnto his sword.

Misceat, et nostro detur medicina dolori; Aut siqui faciunt annorum obliuia succos Prebeat; ipse metam megnum quaecunque per orbem Gramina sol pulchras eiecit lucis in oras. Ipse bibam quicquid meditatur saga veneni, Quicquid et irarum ui caeca nenia nectit. Omnia perpetiar, lethum quoque, dum semel omnis Nost in extincto moriatur pectore sensus. Ergo tua perpetuus speeliuit limunia somnus? Emoriar tecum: sic, sic iuuat ire sub vmbras! Attamen absistam properato cedere letho, Ne mortem vindicta tuam tum nulla sequatur.

Heere he throwes it from him and beares the body away.


ANDREA. Broughtst thou me hether to increase my paine? I lookt that Balthazar should haue been slaine; But tis my freend Horatio that is slaine, And they abuse faire Bel-imperia, On whom I doted more then all the world, Because she lou'd me more then all the world.

REUENGE. Thou talkest of haruest, when the corne is greene; The end is [growne] of euery worke well done; The sickle comes not till the corne be ripe. Be still, and, ere I lead thee from this place, Ile shew thee Balthazar in heauy case.



[The Portuguese court.]


VICEROY. Infortunate condition of kings, Seated amidst so many helples doubts! First,we are plast vpon extreamest height, And oft supplanted with exceeding hate, But euer subiect to the wheele of chance; And at our highest neuer ioy we so As we doubt and dread our ouerthrow. So striueth not the waues with sundry winds As fortune toyleth in the affaires of kings, That would be feard, yet feare to be beloued, Sith feare and loue to kings is flatterie. For instance, lordings, look vpon your king, By hate depriued of his dearest sonne, The only hope of our successiue line.

NOB. I had not thought that Alexandros hart Had beene enuenomde with such extreame hate; But now I see that words haue seuerall workes, And theres no credit in the countenance.

VIL. No, for, my lord, had you beholde the traine That fained loue had coloured in his lookes When he in campe consorted Balthazar, Farre more inconstant had you thought the sunne, That howerly coasts the center of the earth, Then Alexandros purpose to the prince.

VICE. No more, Villuppo! thou hast said enough, And with thy words thou saiest our wounded thoughts. Nor shall I longer dally with the world, Procrastinating Alexandros death. Goe, some of you, and fetch the traitor forth, That, as he is condemned, he may dye.


NOB. In such extreames will nought but patience serue.

ALEX. But in extreames what patience shall I vse? Nor discontents it me to leaue the world, With whome there nothing can preuaile but wrong.

NOB. Yet hope the best.

ALEX. Tis heauen my hope: As for the earth, it is too much infect To yeeld me hope of any of her mould.

VICE. Why linger ye? bring froth that daring feend, And let him die for his accursed deed.

ALEX. Not that I feare the extremitie of death— For nobles cannot stoop to seruile feare— Doo I, O king, thus discontented liue; But this, O this, torments my labouring soule, That thus I die suspected of a sinne Whereof, as Heauens haue knowne my secret thoughts, So am I free from this suggestion!

VICE. No more, I say; to the tortures! when? Binde him, and burne his body in those flames,

They binde him to the stake.

That shall prefigure those vnquenched fiers Of Phlegiton prepared for his soule.

ALEX. My guiltles death will be aueng'd on thee! On thee, Villuppo, that hath malisde thus, Or for thy meed hast falsely me accusde!

VIL. Nay, Alexandro, if thou menace me, Ile lend a hand to send thee to the lake Where those thy words shall perish with thy workes, Iniurious traitour, monstrous homicide!


[EM.] Stay! hold a-while! and heer, with pardon of His Maiestie, lay hands vpon Villuppo!

VICE. Embassadour, what newes nath vrg'd this sodain entrance?

EM. Know, soueraigne l[ord], that Balthazar doth liue.

VICE. What saiest thou? liueth Balthazar, our sonne?

EM. Your Highnes sonne, L[ord] Balthazar doth liue, And, well intreated in the court of Spaine, Humbly commends him to your Maiestie. These eies beheld; and these my followers, With these, the letters of the kings commend,

Giues him letters

Are happie witnesses of his Highnes health.

The KING lookes on the letters, and proceeds.

VICE. [reads] "Thy sonne doth liue; your tribute is receiu'd; Thy peace is made, and we are satisfied. The rest resolue vpon as things proposde For both our honors and they benefite."

EM. These are his Highnes farther articles.

He giues him more letters.

VICE. Accursed wrech to intimate these ills Against the life and reputation Of noble Alexandro! come, my lord, vnbinde him! [To ALEXANDRO] Let him vnbinde thee that is bounde to death, To make a quitall for thy discontent.

They vnbinde him.

ALEX. Dread lord, in kindnes you could do no lesse, Vpon report of such a damned fact; But thus we see our innocence hath sau'd The hopeles like which thou, Villuppo, sought By thy suggestions to haue massacred.

VICE. Say, false Villuppo, wherefore didst thou thus Falsely betray Lord Alexandros life? Him whom thou knowest that no vnkindenes els But euen the slaughter of our deerest sonne Could once haue moued vs to haue misconceaued.

ALEX. Say, trecherous Villuppo; tell the King! Or wherein hath Alexandro vsed thee ill?

VIL. Rent with remembrance of so foule a deed, My guiltie soule submits me to thy doome, For, not for Alexandros iniuries, But for reward and hope to be preferd, Thus haue I shamelesly hazarded his life.

VICE. Which, villaine, shalbe ransomed with thy death, And not so meane a torment as we heere Deuised for him who thou saidst slew our sonne, But with the bitterest torments and extreames That may be yet inuented for thine end.

ALEX[ANDRO] seemes to intreat.

Intreat me not! Goe, take the traitor hence!


And, Alexandro, let vs honor thee With publique notice of thy loyaltie. To end those things articulated heere By our great l[ord], the mightie king of Spaine, We with our councell will deliberate. Come, Alexandro, keepe vs company.



[Spain: near the DUKE's castle.]


HIERO. Oh eies! no eies but fountains fraught with teares; Oh life! no life, but liuely fourme of death; Oh world! no world, but masse of publique wrongs, Confusde and filde with murder and misdeeds; Oh sacred heauens, if this vnhallowed deed, If this inhumane and barberous attempt, If this incomparable murder thus Of mine, but now no more my sonne Shall pass vnreueald and vnreuenged passe, How should we tearme your dealings to be iust, If you vniustly deale with those that in your iustice trust? The night, sad secretary to my mones, With direfull visions wake my vexed soule, And with the wounds of my distresfull sonne Solicite me for notice of his death; The ougly feends do sally forth of hell, And frame my hart with fierce inflamed thoughts; The cloudie day my discontents records, Early begins to regester my dreames And driue me forth to seeke the murtherer. Eies, life, world, heauens, hel, night and day, See, search, show, send, some man, some meane, that may!

A letter falleth.

Whats heere? a letter? Tush, it is not so! A letter for Hieronimo. [Reads] "For want of incke receiue this bloudie writ. Me hath my haples brother hid from thee. Reuenge thy-selfe on Balthazar and him, For these were they that murdered thy sonne. Hieronimo, reuenge Horatios death, And better fare then Bel-imperia doth!"— What meanes this vnexpected miracle? My sonne slaine by Lorenzo and the prince? What cause had they Horatio to maligne? Or what might mooue thee, Bel-imperia, To accuse they brother, had he beene the meane? Hieronimo, beware! thou art betraide, And to intrap they life this traine is laide. Aduise thee therefore, be not credulous: This is deuised to endanger thee, That thou, by this, Lorenzo shoulst accuse. And he, for thy dishonour done, show draw Thy life in question and thy name in hate. Deare was the life of my beloved sonne, And of his death behoues me to be aueng'd: Then hazard not thine own, Hieronimo, But liue t'effect thy resolution! I therefore will by circumstances trie What I can gather to confirme this writ, And, [harken] neere the Duke of Castiles house, Close if I can with Belimperia, To listen more, but nothing to bewray.


Now, Predringano!

PED. Now, Hieronimo!

HIERO. Wheres thy lady?

PED. I know not; heers my lord.


LOR. How now, whose this? Hieronimo?

HIERO. My lord.

PED. He asketh me for my lady Bel-imperia.

LOR. What to doo, Hieronimo? Vse me.

[Dialogue from the undated and the 'A' manuscript.]

HIERO. Oh, no, my lord, I dare not, it must not be; I humbly thank your lordship.

[End of insertion.]

[Dialogue from the 1618, 1623, and 1633 editions.]

HIERO. Who? You, my lord? I reserue your favour for a greater honour; This is a very toy, my lord, a toy.

LOR. All's one, Hieronimo; acquaint me with it.

HIERO. Y faith, my lord, tis an idle thing. I must confesse I ha bin too slacke, too tardy, To remisse vnto your Honour.

LOR. How now, Hieronimo?

HIERO. In troth, my lord, it is a thing of nothing: The murder of a sonne or so, my lord,— A thing of nothing.

[End of insertion.]

LOR. Why then, farewell!

HIERO. My griefe in hart, my thoughts no tung can tell.


LOR. Come hither, Pedringano; seest thou this?

PED. My lord, I see it, and suspect it too.

LOR. This is that damned villain Serberine, That hath, I feare, reuealde Horatios death.

PED. My lord, he could not; twas so lately done, And since he hath not left my company.

LOR. Admit he haue not; his conditions such As feare or flattering words may make him false. I know his humour, and there-with repent That ere I vsde him in this enterprise. But, Pedringano, to preuent the worst, And cause I know thee secret as my soule, Heere, for thy further satisfaction, take thou this!

Giues him more golde.

And harken to me; thus it is deuisde: This night thou must—and prithee so resoule— Meet Serberine at St. Luigis Parke,— Thou knowest tis heere hard by behinde the house; There take thy stand, and see thou strike him sure, For dye he must, if we do meane to liue.

PED. But how shall Serberine be there, my lord?

LOR. Let me alone, Ile send him to meet The prince and me where thou must doe this deed.

PED. It shalbe done, my l[ord]; it shall be done; And Ile goe arme my-selfe to meet him there.

LOR. When things shall alter, as I hope they wil, Then shalt thou mount for this, thou knowest my minde.


Che le Ieron!

Enter PAGE.

PAGE. My lord.

LOR. Goe, sirra, To Serberine, and bid him forthwith meet The prince and me at S. Luigis Parke, Behinde the house, this euening, boy.

PAGE. I goe, my lord.

LOR. But, sirra, let the houre be eight a-clocke. Bid him not faile.

PAGE. I flye, my lord.


LOR. Now to confirme the complot thou hast cast Of all these practices, Ile spread the watch, Vpon precise commandement from the king Strongly to guard the place where Pedringano This night shall murder haples Serberine. Thus must we worke that will auoide distrust, Thus must we practice to preuent mishap, And thus one ill another must expulse. This slie enquiry of Hieronimo For Bel-imperia, breeds suspition; And [thus] suspition boads a further ill. As for my-selfe, I know my secret fault, And so doe they, but I haue dealt for them. They that for coine their soules endangered To saue my life, for coyne shall venture theirs; And better tis that base companions dye Then by their life to hazard our good haps. Nor shall they liue for me to feare their faith; Ile trust my-selfe, my-selfe shall be my freend; For dye they shall,— Slaues are ordein[e]d to no other end.



[San Luigi's Park.]

Enter PEDRINGANO with a pistoll.

PED. Now, Pedringano, bid thy pistoll holde; And holde on, Fortune! Once more fauour me! Giue but successe to mine attempting spirit, And let me shift for taking of mine aime. Heere is the golde! This is the golde proposde! It is no dreame that I aduenture for, But Pedringano is possest thereof. And he that would not straine his conscience For him that thus his liberall purse hath sretcht, Vnworthy such a fauour may he faile, And, wishing, want when such as I preuaile! As for the feare of apprehension, I know, if need should be, my noble lord Will stand betweene me and ensuing harmes. Besides, this place is free from all suspect. Heere therefore will I stay and take my stand.

Enter the WATCH.

I WATCH. I wonder much to what intent it is That we are thus expresly chargd to watch.

II WATCH. This by commandement in the kings own name.

III WATCH. But we were neuer wont to watch and ward So neere the duke his brothers house before.

II WATCH. Content your-selfe, stand close, theres somewhat int.


SER. [aside] Heere, Serberine, attend and stay thy pace; For heere did Don Lorenzos page appoint That thou by his command shouldst meet with him. How fit a place, if one were so disposde, Me thinks this corner is to close with one.

PED. [aside] Heere comes the bird that I must ceaze vpon; Now, Pedringano, or neuer play the man!

SER. [aside] I wonder that his lordship staies so long, Or wherefore should he send for me so late.

PED. For this, Serberine; and thou shalt ha'te!

Shootes the dagge.

So, there he lyes; my promise is performde.


I WATCH. Harke, gentlemen, this is a pistol shot!

II WATCH. And heeres one slaine; stay the murderer!

PED. Now, by the sorrowes of the soules in hell,

He striues with the WATCH.

Who first laies hands on me, Ile be his priest!

III WATCH. Sirra, confesse, and therein play the priest. Why hast thou thus vnkindely kild the man?

PED. Why, because he walkt abroad so late.

III WATCH. Come sir, you had bene better kept your bed Then haue committed this misdeed so late.

II WATCH. Come to the marshalls with the murderer!

I WATCH. On to Hieronimos! helpe me heere To bring the murdred body with vs too.

PED. Hieronimo? Carry me before whom you will; What ere he be, Ile answere him and you. And doe your worst, for I defie you all!



[The DUKE's castle]


BAL. How now, my lord? what makes you rise so soone?

LOR. Feare of preuenting our mishaps too late.

BAL. What mischiefe is it that we not mistrust?

LOR. Our greatest ils we least mistrust, my lord, And [unexpected] harmes do hurt vs most.

BAL. Why, tell me, Don Lorenz,—tell me, man, If ought concernes our honor and your owne!

LOR. Nor you nor me, my lord, but both in one; But I suspect—and the presumptions great— That by those base confederates in our fault Touching the death of Don Horatio We are all betraide to olde Hieronimo.

BAL. Betraide, Lorenzo? tush! it cannot be.

LOR. A guiltie conscience vrged with the thought Of former euils, easily cannot erre: I am perswaded—and diswade me not— That als reuealed to Hieronimo. And therefore know that I haue cast it thus—

[Enter PAGE.]

But heeres the page. How now? what newes with thee?

PAGE. My lord, Serberine is slaine.

BAL. Who? Serberine, my man?

PAGE. Your Highnes man, my lord.

LOR. Speak, page: who murdered him?

PAGE. He that is apprehended for the fact.

LOR. Who?

PAGE. Pedringano.

BAL. Is Serberine slaine, that lou'd his lord so well? Iniurious villaine! murderer of his freend!

LOR. Hath Pedringano murdered Serberine? My lord, let me entreat you to take the paines To exasperate and hasten his reuenge With your complaints vnto my l[ord] the king. This their dissention breeds a greater doubt.

BAL. Assure thee, Don Lorenzo, he shall dye, Or els his Highnes hardly shall deny. Meane-while, Ile haste the marshall sessions, For die he shall for this damned deed.


LOR. [aside] Why, so! this fits our former pollicie; And thus experience bids the wise and deale. I lay the plot, he prosecutes the point; I set the trap, he breakes the worthles twigs, And sees not that wherewith the bird was limde. Thus hopefull men, that means to holde their owne, Must look, like fowlers, to their dearest freends. He runnes to kill whome I haue hope to catch, And no man knowes it was my reaching [fetch]. Tis hard to trust vnto a multitude,— Or any one, in mine opinion, When men themselues their secrets will reueale.

Enter a MESSENGER with a letter.

LOR. Boy.

PAGE. My lord.

LOR. Whats he?

MES. I haue a letter to your lordship.

LOR. From whence?

MES. From Pedringanos that's imprisoned.

LOR. So he is in prison then?

MES. I, my good lord.

LOR. What would he with vs?

[Reads the letter.]

He writes vs heere To stand good l[ord] and help him in distres. Tell him I haue his letters, know his minde; And what we may, let him assure him of. Fellow, be gone; my boy shall follow thee.


[Aside] This works like waxe! Yet once more try thy wits.— Boy, goe conuay this purse to Pedringano,— Thou knowest the prison,—closely giue it him, And be aduisde that none here there-about. Bid him be merry still, but secret; And, though the marshall sessions be to-day, Bid him not doubt of his deliuerie. Tell him his pardon is already signde, And thereon bid him boldely be resolued; For, were he ready to be turned off,— As tis my will the vttermost be tride,— Thou with his pardon shalt attend him still. Shew him this boxe, tell him his pardons int; But opent not, and if thou louest thy life, But let him wisely keepe his hopes vnknowne. He shall not want while Don Lorenzo liues. Away!

PAGE. I goe, my lord, I runne!

LOR. But, sirra, see that this be cleanely done.

Exit PAGE.

Now stands our fortune on a tickle point, And now or neuer ends Lorenzos doubts. One only thing is vneffected yet, And thats to see the executioner,— But to what end? I list not trust the aire With vtterance of our pretence therein, For feare the priuie whispring of the winde Conuay our words amongst vnfreendly eares, That lye too open to aduantages. Et quel che voglio io, nessun lo sa, Intendo io quel [che] mi bastera.



[A street.]

Enter BOY with the boxe.

[BOY.] My maister hath forbidden me to look in this box, and, by my troth, tis likely, if he had not warned me, I should not haue had so much idle time; for wee [men-kinde] in our minoritie are like women in their vncertaintie; that they are most forbidden, they wil soonest attempt; so I now. By my bare honesty, heeres nothing but the bare emptie box! Were it not sin against secrecie, I would say it were a peece of gentlemanlike knauery. I must goe to Pedringano and tell him his pardon is in this boxe! Nay, I would haue sworne it, had I not seene the contrary. I cannot choose but smile to thinke how the villain wil flout the gallowes, scorne the audience, and descant on the hangman, and all presuming of his pardon from hence. Wilt not be an odde iest, for me to stand and grace euery iest he makes, pointing my figner at this boxe, as who [should] say: "Mock on, heers thy warrant!" Ist not a scuruie iest that a man should iest himselfe to death? Alas, poor Pedringano! I am in a sorte sorie for thee, but, if I should be hanged with thee, I [could not] weep.



[The court of justice.]


HIERO. Thus must we toyle in others mens extreames That know not how to rememdie our owne, And doe them iusties, when vniustly we For all our wrongs can compasse no redrese. But shall I neuer liue to see the day That I may come by iustice to the Heauens To know the cause that may my cares allay? This toyles my body, this consumeth age, That onley I to all men iust must be, And neither gods nor men be iust to me!

DEP. Worthy Hieronimo, your office askes A care to punish such as doe transgresse.

HIERO. So ist my duety to regarde his death Who when he liued deserued my dearest blood. But come; for that we came for, lets begin; For heere lyes that which bids me to be gone.

Enter OFFICERS, BOY, & PEDRINGANO with a letter in his hand, bound.

DEPU. Bring forth the prisoner for the court is set.

PED. Gramercy, boy! but it was time to come, For I had written to my lord anew A neerer matter that concerneth him, For feare his lordship had forgotten me; But, sith he hath rememberd me so well, Come, come, come on! when shall we to this geere?

HIERO. Stand forth, thou monster, murderer of men, And heere, for satisfaction of the world, Confesse thy folly and repent thy fault, For ther's thy place of execution.

PED. This is short worke! Well, to your martiallship First I confesse, nor feare I death therefore, I am the man,—twas I slew Serberine. But, sir, then you think this shalbe the place Where we shall satisfie you for this geare?

DEPU. I, Pedrigano.

PED. No I think not so.

HEIRO. Peace, impudent! for thou shalt finde it so; For blood with blood shall, while I sit as iudge, Be satisfied, and the law dischargde. And, though my-selfe cannot receiue the like, Yet will I see that others haue their right. Dispatch! the fault approued and confest, And by our law he is condemned to die.

HANG. Come on, sir! are you ready?

PED. To do what, my fine officious knaue?

HANG. To goe to this geere.

PED. O, sir, you are to forward; thou woulst faine furnish me with a halter, to disfurnish me of my habit. So should I goe out of this geere, my raiment, into that geere, the rope. But, hangman, now I spy your knauery, Ile not change without boot; thats flat.

HANG. Come, sir.

PED. So then I must vp?

HANG. No remedie.

PED. Yes, but there shalbe for my comming downe.

HANG. Indeed heers a remedie for that.

PED. How? be turnd off?

HANG. I, truly. Come, are you ready? I pray [you], sir, dispatch, the day goes away.

PED. What, doe you hang by the howre? If you doo, I may chance to break your olde custome.

HANG. Faith, you haue [no] reason, for I am like to break your yong neck.

PED. Dost thou mock me, hangman? Pray God I be not preserued to break your knaues-pate for this!

HANG. Alas, sir, you are a foot too low to reach it, and I hope you will neuer grow so high while I am in office.

PED. Sirra, dost see yonder boy with the box in his hand?

HANG. What, he that points to it with his finger?

PED. I, that companion.

HANG. I know him not; but what of him?

PED. Doost thou think to liue till his olde doublet will make thee a new truss?

HANG. I, and many a faire yeere after, to trusse vp many an honester man then either thou or he.

PED. What hath he in his boxe, as thou thinkst?

HANG. Faith, I cannot tell, nor I care not greatly. Me thinks you should rather hearken to your soules health.

PED. Why, sirra hangman, I take it that that is good for the body is likewise good for the soule: and it may be in that box is balme for both.

HANG. Wel, thou art euen the meriest peece of mans flesh that ere gronde at my office-doore.

PED. Is your roaguery become an office, with a knaues name?

HANG. I, and that shall all they witnes that see you seale it with a theeues name.

PED. I prithee, request this good company to pray [for] me.

HANG. I, mary, sir, this is a good motion! My maisters, you see heers a good fellow.

PED. Nay, nay, now I remember me, let them alone till some other time; for now I haue no great need.

HIERO. I haue not seen a wretch so impudent. O monstrous times where murders are so light, And where the soule that should be shrinde in heauen Solelie delights in interdicted things, Still wandring in the thornie passages That intercepts it-selfe of hapines! Murder? O bloudy monster! God forbid A fault so foule should scape vnpunished! Dispatch and see this execution done; This makes me to remember thee, my sonne.


PED. Nay, soft! no hast!

DEPU. Why, wherefore stay you? haue you hope of life?

PED. Why, I?

HANG. As how?

PED. Why, rascall, by my pardon from the king.

HANG. Stand you on that? then you shall off with this.

He turnes him off.

DEPU. So, executioner, conuey him hence; But let his body be vnburied. Let not the earth be chokt or infect What that which Heauens contemnes and men neglect.



[HIERONIMO's house.]


HIER. Where shall I run to breath abroad my woes,— My woes whose weight hath wearied the earth, Or mine exclaimes that haue surcharged the aire With ceasles plaints for my deceased sonne? The blustring winds, conspiring with my words, At my lament haue moued to leaueless trees, Disroabde the medowes of their flowred greene, Made mountains marsh with spring-tides of my teares, And broken through the brazen gates of hell; Yet still tormented is my tortured soule With broken sighes and restles passions, That, winged, mount, and houering in the aire, Beat at the windowes of the brightest heauens, Soliciting for iustice and reuenge. But they are plac't in those imperiall heights, Where, countermurde with walles of diamond, I finde the place impregnable, and they Resist my woes and giue my words no way.

Enter HANGMAN with a letter.

HANG. O Lord, sir! God blesse you, sir! The man, sir,— Petergade, sir: he that was so full of merie conceits—

HIER. Wel, what of him?

HANG. O Lord, sir! he went the wrong way; the fellow had a faire commission to the contrary. Sir, heere is his pasport, I pray you, sir; we haue done him wrong.

HIERO. I warrant thee; giue it me.

HANG. You will stand between the gallowes and me?


HANG. I thank your l[ord] worship.


HIERO. And yet, though somewhat neerer me concernes I will, to ease the greefe that I sustaine, Take truce with sorrow while I read on this. [Reads] "My lord, I writ, as mine extreames require, That you would labour my deliuerie: If you neglect, my life is desperate, And in my death I shall reueale the troth. You know, my lord, I slew him for your sake, And was confederate with the prince and you; Wonne by rewards and hopefull promises, I holpe to murder Don Horatio too."— Holpe he to murder mine Horatio? And actors in th' accursed tragedie Wast thou, Lorenzo? Bathazar and thou, Of whome my sone, my sonne deseru'd so well? What haue I heard? what haue mine eies behelde? O sacred heauens, may it come to passe That such a monstrous and detested deed, So closely smootherd and so long conceald, Shall thus by this be [revenged] or reuealed? Now see I, what I durst not then suspect, That Bel-imperias letter was not fainde, Nor fained she, though falsly they haue wrongd Both her, my-selfe, Horatio and themselues. Now may I make compare twixt hers and this Of euerie accident. I neere could finde Till now, and now I feelingly perceiue, They did what Heauen vnpunisht [should] not leaue. O false Lorenzo! are these thy flattering lookes? Is this honour that thou didst my sonne? And, Balthazar,—bane to thy soule and me!— What this the ransome he reseru'd [for thee]? Woe to the cause of these constrained warres! Woe to thy basenes and captiuitie! Woe to thy birth, thy body and thy soule, Thy cursed father, and thy conquerd selfe! And band with bitter execrations be The day and place where he did pittie thee! But wherefore waste I mine vnfruitfull words, When naught but blood will satisfie my woes? I will goe plaine me to my lord the king, And cry aloud for iustice through the court, Wearing the flints with these my withered feet, And either purchase iustice by intreats Or tire them all with my reuenging threats.



[HIERONIMO's house.]

Enter ISABELL and her MAID.

ISA. So that you say this hearb will purge the [eyes], And this the head? ah! but none of them will purge the hart! No, thers no medicine left for my disease, Nor any physick to recure the dead.

She runnes lunatick.

Horatio! O, wheres Horatio?

MAIDE. Good madam, affright not thus your-selfe With outrage for your sonne Horatio; He sleepes in quiet in the Elizian fields.

ISA. Why did I not giue you gownes and goodly things, Bought you a wistle and a whipstalke too, To be reuenged on their villanies?

MAIDE. Madame, these humors doe torment my soule.

ISA. My soule? poore soule, thou talkes of things Thou knowest not what! My soule hath siluer wings, That mounts me vp vnto the highest heauens— To heauen? I, there sits up Horatio, Backt with troup of fierry cherubins Dauncing about his newly healed wounds, Singing sweet hymns and chaunting heauenly notes, Rare harmony to greet his innocence, That dyde, I, dyde a mirrour in our daies! But say, where shall I finde, the men, the murderers, That slew Horatio? whether shall I runne To finde them out, that murdered my sonne?



[The DUKE's castle.]

BEL-IMPERIA at a window.

BEL. What meanes this outrage that is offred me? What am I thus sequestred from the court? No notice? shall I not know the cause Of these my secret and suspitious ils? Accursed brother! vnkinde murderer! Why bends thou thus thy minde to martir me? Hieronimo, why writ I of they wrongs, Or why art thou so slack in thy reuenge? Andrea! O Andrea, that thou sawest Me for thy freend Horatio handled thus, And him for me thus causeles murdered! Well, force perforce, I must constraine my-selfe To patience, and apply me to the time, Till Heauen, as I haue hoped, shall set me free.


CHRIS. Come, Madame Bel-imperia, this [must] not be!


[ACT III. Scene 10.]

[A room in the DUKE's castle.]


LOR. Boy, talke no further; thus farre things goe well. Thou art assurde that thou sawest him dead?

PAGE. Or els, my lord, I liue not.

LOR. Thats enough. As for this resolution at his end, Leaue that to him with whom he soiourns now. Heere, take my ring, and giue it [Christophel], And bid him let my sister be enlarg'd, And bring her hither straight.

Exit PAGE.

This that I did was for a policie, To smooth and keepe the murder secret, Which as a nine daies wonder being ore-blowne, My gentle sister will I now enlarge.

BAL. And time, Lorenzo; for my lord the duke, You heard, enquired for her yester-night.

LOR. Why! and, my lord, I hope you have heard me say Sufficient reason why she kept away; But thats all one. My lord, you loue her?


LOR. Then in your loue beware; deale cunningly; Salue all suspititons; only sooth me vp, And, if she hap to stand on tearmes with vs, As for her sweet-hart, and concealement so, Iest with her gently; vnder fained iest Are things concealde that els would breed vnrest. But heere she comes.


LOR. Now, sister.

BEL. Sister? No! Thou art no brother, but an enemy, Els wouldst thou not haue vsde thy sister so: First, to affright me with thy weapons drawne, And with extreames abuse my company; And then to hurry me like whirlwinds rage Amidst a crew of thy confederates, And clap my vp where none might come at me, Nor I at any to reueale my wrongs. What madding fury did possesse thy wits? Or wherein ist that I offended thee?

LOR. Aduise you better, Bel-imperia; For I haue done you no disparagement,— Vnlesse, by more discretion then deseru'd, I sought to saue your honour and mine owne.

BEL. Mine honour? Why, Lorenzo, wherein ist That I neglect my reputation so As you, or any, need to rescue it?

LOR. His Highnes and my father were resolu'd To come conferre with olde Hieronimo Concerning certaine matters of estate That by the viceroy was determined.

BEL. And wherein was mine honour toucht in that?

BAL. Haue patience, Bel-imperia; heare the rest.

LOR. Me, next in sight, as messenger they sent To giue him notice that they were so nigh: Now, when I came, consorted with the prince, And vnexpected in an arbor there Found Bel-imperia with Horatio—

BEL. How then?

LOR. Why, then, remembring that olde disgrace Which you for Don Andrea had indurde, And now were likely longer to sustaine By being found so meanely accompanied, Thought rather, for I knew no readier meane, To thrust Horatio forth my fathers way.

BAL. And carry you obscurely some-where els, Least that his Highnes should haue found you there.

BEL. Euen so, my lord? And you are witnesse That this is true which he entreateth of? You, gentle brother, forged this for my sake? And you, my lord, were made his instrument? A worke of worth! worthy the noting too! But whats the cause that you concealde me since?

LOR. Your melancholly, sister, since the newes Of your first fauorite Don Andreas death My fathers olde wrath hath exasperate.

BAL. And better wast for you, being in disgrace, To absent your-selfe and giue his fury place.

BEL. But why I had no notice of his ire?

LOR. That were to adde more fewell to your fire, Who burnt like Aetne for Andreas losse.

BEL. Hath not my father then enquird for me?

LOR. Sister, he hath; and this excusde I thee.

He whispereth in her eare.

But, Bel-imperia, see the gentle prince; Looke on thy loue; beholde yong Balthazar, Whose passions by the presence are increast, And in whose melachollie thou maiest see Thy hate, his loue, thy flight, his following thee.

BEL. Brother, you are become an oratour— I know not, I, by what experience— Too politick for me, past all compare, Since I last saw you. But content your-selfe; The prince is meditating higher things.

BAL. Tis of thy beauty, then, that conquers kings, Of those thy tresses, Ariadnes twines, Wherewith my libertie thou hast surprisde, Of that thine iuorie front, my sorrowes map, Wherein I see no hauen to rest my hope.

BEL. To loue and feare, and both at once, my lord, In my conceipt, are things of more import Then womens wit are to be busied with.

BAL. Tis that I loue thee.

BEL. Whome?

BAL. Bel-imperia.

BEL. But that I feare?

BAL. Whome?

BEL. Bel-imperia.

LOR. Feare your-selfe?

BEL. I, brother.

LOR. How?

BEL. As those That, [when] they loue, are loath and feare to loose.

BAL. Then, faire, let Balthazar your keeper be.

BEL. No, Balthazar doth feare as well as we; Et tremulo metui pauidum iunxere timorem, Et vanum stolidae proditionis opus.


LOR. Nay, and you argue things so cunningly, Weele goe continue this discourse at court.

BAL. Led by the loadstar of heauenly lookes, Wends poore oppressed Balthazar, As ore the mountains walkes the wanderer Incertain to effect his pilgrimage.



[A street.]

Enter two PORTINGALES, and HIERONIMO meets them.

I PORT. By your leaue, sir.

[The following is inserted in the 1618, 1623, and 1633 editions.]

HIER. Tis neither as you thinke, nor as you thinke, Nor as you thinke, you'r wide all: These slippers are not mine, they were my sonne Horatios. My sonne? And what's a sonne? A thing begot Within a paire of minutes, there-about; A lump bred up in darknesse, and doth serue To ballance those light creatures we call women, And at nine monethes end creepes foorth to light. What is there yet in a sonne to make a father Dote, rave or runne mad? Being born, it pouts, Cries, and breeds teeth. What is there yet in a sonne? He must be fed, be taught to goe and speake. I, and yet? Why might not a man love A calfe as well, or melt in passion over A frisking kid, as for a sonne? Me thinkes A young bacon or a fine smooth little horse-colt Should moove a man as much as doth a son; For one of these in very little time Will grow to some good use, whereas a sonne, The more he growes in stature and in yeeres, The more unsquar'd, unlevelled he appeares, Reckons his parents among the ranke of fooles, Strikes cares upon their heads with his mad ryots, Makes them looke old before they meet with age.— This is a son! And what a losse were this, Considered truely! Oh, but my Horatio Grew out of reach of those insatiate humours: He lovd his loving parents, he was my comfort And his mothers joy, the very arme that did Hold up our house, our hopes were stored up in him. None but a damned murderer could hate him! He had not seene the backe Of nineteene yeere, when his strong arme unhorst The proud prince Balthazar; and his great minde, Too full of honour tooke him unto mercy, That valient but ignoble Portingale. Well! Heaven is Heaven still! And there's Nemesis, and Furies, And things called whippes, and they sometimes doe meet With murderers! They doe not alwayes scape,— That is some comfort! I, I, I; and then Time steales on, and steales and steales, till violence Leapes foorth like thunder wrapt in a ball of fire, And so doth bring confusion to them all.

[End of insertion.]

Good leaue haue you; nay, I pray you goe, For Ile leaue you, if you can leaue me so.

II PORT. Pray you, which is the next way to my l[ord] the dukes?

HIERO. The next way from me.

I PORT. To the house, we meane.

HIERO. O hard by; tis yon house that you see.

II PORT. You could not tell vs if his sonne were there?

HIERO. Who? my lord Lorenzo?

I PORT. I, sir.

He goeth in at one doore and comes out at another.

HIERO. Oh, forbeare, For other talke for vs far fitter were! But, if you be importunate to know The way to him and where to finde him out, Then list to me, and Ile resolue your doubt: There is a path vpon your left hand side That leadeth from a guiltie conscience Vnto a forrest of distrust and feare,— A darksome place and dangerous to passe,— There shall you meet with melancholy thoughts Whose balefull humours if you but [behold], It will conduct you to dispaire and death: Whose rockie cliffes when you haue once behelde, Within a hugie dale of lasting night, That, kindled with worlds of iniquities, Doth cast vp filthy and detested fumes,— Not far from thence where murderers haue built A habitation for their cursed soules, There, in a brazen caldron fixed by Iove In his fell wrath vpon a sulpher flame, Your-selues shall finde Lorenzo bathing him In boyling lead and blood of innocents.

I PORT. Ha, ha, ha!

HIERO. Ha, ha, ha! why, ha, ha, ha! Farewell, good ha, ha, ha!


II PORT. Doubtles this man is passing lunaticke, Or imperfection of his age doth make him dote. Come, lets away to seek my lord the duke.



[The Spanish court.]

Enter HIERONIMO with a ponyard in one hand, and a rope in the other.

HIERO. Now, sir, perhaps I come to see the king, The king sees me, and faine would heare my sute: Why, is this not a strange and seld-seene thing That standers by with toyes should strike me mute? Go too, I see their shifts, and say no more; Hieronimo, tis time for thee to trudge! Downe by the dale that flowes with purple gore Standeth a firie tower; there sits a iudge Vpon a seat of steele and molten brasse, And twixt his teeth he holdes afire-brand, That leades vnto the lake where he doth stand. Away, Hieronimo; to him be gone: Heele doe thee iustice for Horatios death. Turne down this path, thou shalt be with him straite; Or this, and then thou needst not take thy breth. This way, or that way? Soft and faire, not so! For, if I hang or kill my-selfe, lets know Who will reuenge Horatios murther then! No, no; fie, no! pardon me, ile none of that:

He flings away the dagger & halter.

This way Ile take; and this way comes the king,

He takes them up againe.

And heere Ile haue a fling at him, thats flat! And, Balthazar, Ile be with thee to bring; And thee, Lorenzo! Heeres the king; nay, stay! And heere,—I, heere,—there goes the hare away!


KING. Now shew, embassadour, what our viceroy saith: Hath hee receiu'd the articles we sent?

HIERO. Iustice! O, iustice to Hieronimo!

LOR. Back! seest thou not the king is busie?

HIERO. O! is he so?

KING. Who is he that interrupts our busines?

HIERO. Not I! [aside] Hieronimo, beware! goe by, goe by!

EMBAS. Renowned king, he hath receiued and read thy kingly proffers and thy promist league, And, as a man exreamely ouer-ioyd To heare his sonne so princely entertainde, Whose death he had so solemnely bewailde, This, for thy further satisfaction And kingly loue, he kindely lets thee know: First, for the marriage of his princely sonne With Bel-imperia, thy beloued neece, The newes are more delightfull to his soule Then myrrh or incense to the offended Heauens. In person, therefore, will be come himselfe To see the marriage rites solemnized And in the presence of the court of Spaine To knit a sure [inextricable] band Of kingly loue and euerlasting league Betwixt the crownes of Spaine and Portingale. There will he giue his crowne to Balthazar, And make a queene of Bel-imperia.

KING. Brother, how like you this our vice-roies loue?

CAST. No doubt, my lord, it is an argument Of honorable care to keepe his freend And wondrous zeale to Balthazar, his sonne. Nor am I least indebted to his Grace, That bends his liking to my daughter thus.

EM. Now last, dread lord, heere hath his Highnes sent— Although he send not that his sonne returne— His ransome doe to Don Horatio.

HIERO. Horatio? who cals Horatio?

KING. And well remembred, thank his Maiestie! Heere, see it giuen to Horatio.

HIERO. Iustice! O iustice! iustice, gentle king!

KING. Who is that? Hieronimo?

HIERO. Iustice! O iustice! O my sonne! my sonne! My sonne, whom naught can ransome or redeeme!

LOR. Hieronimo, you are not well aduisde.

HIERO. Away, Lorenzo! hinder me no more, For thou hast made me bankrupt of my blisse! Giue me my sonne! You shall not ransome him! Away! Ile rip the bowels of the earth,

He diggeth with his dagger.

And ferrie ouer th' Elizian plaines And bring my sonne to shew his deadly wounds. Stand from about me! Ile make a pickaxe of my poniard, And heere surrender vp my marshalship; For Ile goe marshall vp the feends in hell, To be auenged on you all for this.

KING. What means this outrage? Will none of you restraine his fury?

HIERO. Nay, soft and faire; you shall not need to striue! Needs must he goe that the diuels driue.


KING. What accident hath hapt [to] Hieronimo? I haue not seene him to demeane him so.

LOR. My gratious lord, he is with extreame pride Conceiued of yong Horatio, his sonne, And couetous of hauing himselfe The ransome of the yong prince, Balthazar, Distract, and in a manner lunatick.

KING. Beleeue me, nephew, we are sorie for 't; This is the loue that fathers beare their sonnes. But, gentle brother, goe giue to him this golde, The princes raunsome; let him haue his due; For what he hath, Horatio shall not want. Happily Hieronimo hath need thereof.

LOR. But if he be thus helpelesly distract, Tis requisite his office be resignde And giuen to one of more discretion.

KING. We shall encrease his melanchollie so. Tis best that we see further in it first; Till when, our-selfe will exempt the place. And, brother, now bring in the embassadour, That he may be a witnes of the match Twixt Balthazar and Bel-imperia, And that we may prefixe a certaine time Wherein the marriage shalbe solemnized, That we may haue thy lord the vice-roy heere.

EM. Therein your Highnes highly shall content His maiestie, that longs to heare from hence.

KING. On then, and heare you, lord embassadour.



[HIERONIMO's house.]

Enter HIERONIMO with a book in his hand.

[HIERO.] Vindicta mihi. I, heauen will be reuenged of euery ill, Nor will they suffer murder vnrepaide! Then stay, Hieronimo, attend their will; For mortall men may not appoint their time. Per scelus semper tutum est sceleribus iter: Strike, and strike home, where wrong is offred thee; For euils vnto ils conductors be, And death's the worst of resultion. For he that thinks with patience to contend To quiet life, his life shall easily end. Fata si miseros iuuant, habes selutem; Fata si vitam negant, habes sepulchrum: If destinie thy miseries doe ease, Then hast thou health, and happie shalt thou be; If destinie denie thee life, Hieronimo, Yet shalt thou be assured of a tombe; If neither, yet let this thy comfort be: Heauen couereth him that hath no buriall. And, to conclude, I will reuenge his death! But how? Not as the vulgare wits of men, With open, but ineuitable ils; As by a secret, yet a certaine meane, Which vnder kindeship wilbe cloked best. Wise men will take their opportunitie, Closely and safely fitting things to time; But in extreames aduantage hath no time; And therefore all times fit not for reuenge. Thus, therefore, will I rest me in unrest, Dissembling quiet in vnquietnes, Not seeming that I know their villanies, That my simplicitie may make them think That ignorantly I will let all slip; For ignorance, I wot, and well they know, Remedium malorum iners est. Nor ought auailes it me to menace them. Who, as a wintrie storme vpon a plaine, Will beare me downe with their nobilitie. No, no, Hieronimo, thou must enioyne Thine eies to obseruation, and thy tung To milder speeches then thy spirit affoords, Thy hart to patience, and thy hands to rest, Thy cappe to curtesie, and they knee to bow, Till to reuenge thou know when, where and how. How now? what noise, what coile is that you keepe?

A noise within.

Enter a SERVANT.

SER. Heere are a sort of poore petitioners That are importunate, and it shall please you, sir, That you should plead their cases to the king.

HIERO. That I should plead their seuerall actions? Why, let them enter, and let me see them.


I CIT. So I tell you this: for learning and for law There is not any aduocate in Spaine That can preuaile or will take halfe the paine That he will in pursuite of equitie.

HIERO. Come neere, you men, that thus importune me! [Aside] Now must I beare a face of grauitie, For thus I vsde, before my marshalship, To pleide the causes as corrigedor.— Come on, sirs, whats the matter?

II CIT. Sir, an action.

HIERO. Of batterie?

I CIT. Mine of debt.

HIERO. Giue place.

II CIT. No, sir, mine is an action of the case.

III CIT. Mine an eiectionae firmae by a lease.

HIERO. Content you, sirs; are you determined That I should plead your seuerall actions?

I CIT. I, sir; and heeres my declaration.

II CIT. And heere is my band.

III CIT. And heere is my lease.

They giue him papers.

HIERO. But wherefore stands you silly man so mute, With mournfall eyes and hands to heauen vprearde? Come hether, father; let me know thy cause.

SENEX, [DON BAZULTO]. O worthy sir, my cause but slightly knowne May mooue the harts of warlike Myrmydons, And melt the Corsicke rockes with ruthfull teares!

HIERO. Say, father; tell me whats thy sute!

[BAZULTO]. No, sir, could my woes Giue way vnto my most distresfull words, Then should I not in paper, as you see, With incke bewray what blood began in me.

HIERO. Whats heere? "The Humble Supplication Of Don Bazulto for his Murdered Sonne."

[BAZULTO]. I, sir.

HIERO. No, sir, it was my murdred sonne! Oh, my sonne, my sonne! oh, my sonne Horatio! But mine or thine, Bazulto, be content; Heere, take my hand-kercher and wipe thine eies, Whiles wretched I in thy mishaps may see The liuely portraict of my dying selfe.

He draweth out a bloudie napkin.

O, no; not this! Horatio, this was thine! And when I dyde it in thy deerest blood, This was a token twixt thy soule and me That of thy death reuenged I should be. But heere: take this, and this! what? my purse? I, this and that and all of them are thine; For all as one are our extremeties.

I CIT. Oh, see the kindenes of Hieronimo!

II CIT. This gentlenes shewes him a gentleman.

HIERO. See, see, oh, see thy shame, Hieronimo! See heere a louing father to his sonne: Beholde the sorrowes and the sad laments That he deliuereth for his sonnes dicease. If loues effects so striues in lesser things, If loue enforce such moodes in meaner wits, If loue expresse such power in poor estates, Hieronimo, as when a raging sea, Tost with the winde and tide, ore-turneth then The vpper-billowes, course of waues to keep, Whilest lesser waters labour in the deepe, Then shamest thou not, Hieronimo, to neglect The [swift] reuenge of thy Horatio? Though on this earth iustice will not be found, Ile downe to hell and in this passion Knock at the dismall gates of Plutos court, Getting by force, as once Alcides did, A troupe of furies and tormenting hagges, To torture Don Lorenzo and the rest. Yet, least the triple-headed porter should Denye my passage to the slimy strond, The Thracian poet thou shalt counterfeite; Come on, old father, be my Orpheus; And, if thou canst no notes vpon the harpe, Then sound the burden of thy sore harts greefe Till we do gaine that Proserpine may graunt Reuenge on them that murd[er]red my sonne. Then will I rent and teare them thus and thus, Shiuering their limmes in peeces with my teeth!

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