Fiction > Harvard Classics > Beaumont and Fletcher > Philaster
Beaumont and Fletcher.  Philaster.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act the Second
Scene III
Enter ARETHUSA and a Lady 1

  ARE.  Where’s the boy?
  LADY.  Within, madam.
  ARE.  Gave you him gold to buy him clothes?
  LADY.  I did.        4
  ARE.  And has be done’t?
  LADY.  Yes, madam.
  ARE.  ’Tis a pretty sad-talking boy, is it not?
Asked you his name?        8
  LADY.  No, madam.

  ARE.  Oh, you are welcome. What good news?
  GAL.  As good as any one can tell your grace,
That says she has done that you would have wish’d.        12
  ARE.  Hast thou discovered?
  GAL.  I have strain’d a point of modesty for you.
  ARE.  I prithee, how?
  GAL.  In list’ning after bawdry. I see, let a lady live never so modestly, she shall be sure to find a lawful time to hearken after bawdry. Your prince, brave Pharamond, was so hot on’t!        16
  ARE.  With whom?
  GAL.  Why, with the lady I suspected. I can tell the time and place.
  ARE.  Oh, when, and where?
  GAL.  To-night, his lodging.        20
  ARE.  Run thyself into the presence; mingle there again
With other ladies; leave the rest to me.  [Exit GALATEA.]
If destiny (to whom we dare not say,
“Why didst thou this?”) have not decreed it so,        24
In lasting leaves (whose smallest characters
Were never alter’d yet), this match shall break.—
Where’s the boy?
  LADY.  Here, madam.        28

  ARE.  Sir, you are sad to change your service; is’t not so?
  BEL.  Madam, I have not chang’d; I wait on you,
To do him service.
  ARE.        Thou disclaim’st in me.        32
Tell me thy name.
  BEL.  Bellario.
  ARE.  Thou canst sing and play?
  BEL.  It grief will give me leave, madam, I can.        36
  ARE.  Alas, what kind of grief can thy years know?
Hadst thou a curst master when thou went’st to school?
Thou art not capable of other grief;
Thy brows and cheeks are smooth as waters be        40
When no breath troubles them. Believe me, boy,
Care seeks out wrinkled brows and hollow eyes,
And builds himself caves, to abide in them.
Come, sir, tell me truly, doth your lord love me?        44
  BEL.  Love, madam! I know not what it is.
  ARE.  Canst thou know grief, and never yet knew’st love?
Thou art deceiv’d, boy. Does he speak of me
As if he wish’d me well?        48
  BEL.        If it be love
To forget all respect of his own friends
With thinking of your face; if it be love
To sit cross-arm’d and sigh away the day,        52
Mingled with starts, crying your name as loud
And hastily as men i’ the streets do fire;
If it be love to weep himself away
When he but hears of any lady dead        56
Or kill’d, because it might have been your chance;
If, when he goes to rest (which will not be),
’Twixt every prayer he says, to name you once,
As others drop a bead, be to be in love,        60
Then, madam, I dare swear he loves you.
  ARE.  Oh you’re a cunning boy, and taught to lie
For your lord’s credit! But thou know’st a lie
That bears this sound is welcomer to me        64
Than any truth that says he loves me not.
Lead the way, boy.—[To Lady.]  Do you attend me too.—
’Tis thy lord’s business hastes me thus. Away!  Exeunt.
Note 1. Arethusa’s apartment in the palace. [back]


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