Fiction > Harvard Classics > Philip Massinger > A New Way to Pay Old Debts
Philip Massinger (1583–1640).  A New Way to Pay Old Debts.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Scene I
[Enter LORD] LOVELL, ALLWORTH, and Servants 1

  LOV.  Walk the horses down the hill: something in private
I must impart to Allworth.  Exeunt Servants.
  ALL.        O, my lord,
What a sacrifice of reverence, duty, watching,        4
Although I could put off the use of sleep,
And ever wait on your commands to serve them;
What dangers, though in ne’er so horrid shapes,
Nay death itself, though I should run to meet it,        8
Can I, and with a thankful willingness suffer!
But still the retribution will fall short
Of your bounties shower’d upon me.
  LOV.        Loving youth,        12
Till what I purpose be put into act,
Do not o’erprize it; since you have trusted me
With your soul’s nearest, nay, her dearest secret,
Rest confident ’tis in a cabinet lock’d        16
Treachery shall never open. I have found you
(For so much to your face I must profess,
Howe’er you guard your modesty with a blush for’t)
More zealous in your love and service to me        20
Than I have been in my rewards.
  ALL.        Still great ones,
Above my merit.
  LOV.        Such your gratitude calls ’em;        24
Nor am I of that harsh and rugged temper
As some great men are tax’d with, who imagine
They part from the respect due to their honours
If they use not all such as follow ’em,        28
Without distinction of their births, like slaves.
I am not so condition’d; I can make
A fitting difference between my footboy
And a gentleman by want compell’d to serve me.        32
  ALL.  ’Tis thankfully acknowledg’d; you have been
More like a father to me than a master.
Pray you, pardon the comparison.
  LOV.        I allow it:        36
And, to give you assurance I am pleas’d in’t,
My carriage and demeanour to your mistress,
Fair Margaret, shall truly witness for me
I can command my passions.        40
  ALL.        ’Tis a conquest
Few lords can boast of when they are tempted—Oh!
  LOV.  Why do you sigh? Can you be doubtful of me?
By that fair name I in the wars have purchas’d,        44
And all my actions, hitherto untainted,
I will not be more true to mine own honour
Than to my Allworth!
  ALL.        As you are the brave Lord Lovell,        48
Your bare word only given is an assurance
Of more validity and weight to me
Than all the oaths, bound up with imprecations,
Which, when they would deceive, most courtiers practise;        52
Yet being a man, (for, sure, to style you more
Would relish of gross flattery,) I am forc’d,
Against my confidence of your worth and virtues,
To doubt, nay, more, to fear.        56
  LOV.        So young, and jealous!
  ALL.  Were you to encounter with a single foe,
The victory were certain; but to stand
The charge of two such potent enemies,        60
At once assaulting you, as wealth and beauty,
And those too seconded with power, is odds
Too great for Hercules.
  LOV.        Speak your doubts and fears,        64
Since you will nourish them, in plainer language,
That I may understand them.
  ALL.        What’s your will,
Though I lend arms against myself, (provided        68
They may advantage you,) must be obeyed.
My much-lov’d lord, were Margaret only fair,
The cannon of her more than earthly form,
Though mounted high, commanding all beneath it,        72
And ramm’d with bullets of her sparkling eyes,
Of all the bulwarks that defend your senses
Could batter none, but that which guards your sight.
But when the well-tun’d accents of her tongue        76
Make music to you, and with numerous 2 sounds
Assault your hearing, (such as if Ulysses,
Now liv’d again, howe’er he stood the Syrens,
Could not resist,) the combat must grow doubtful        80
Between your reason and rebellious passions.
Add this too; when you feel her touch, and breath
Like a soft western wind when it glides o’er
Arabia, creating gums and spices;        84
And, in the van, the nectar of her lips,
Which you must taste, bring the battalia on,
Well arm’d, and strongly lin’d 3 with her discourse,
And knowing manners, to give entertainment;—        88
Hippolytus himself would leave Diana,
To follow such a Venus.
  LOV.        Love hath made you
Poetical, Allworth.        92
  ALL.        Grant all these beat off,
Which if it be in man to do, you’ll do it,
Mammon, in Sir Giles Overreach, steps in
With heaps of ill-got-gold, and so much land,        96
To make her more remarkable, as would tire
A falcon’s wings in one day to fly over.
O my good lord! these powerful aids, which would
Make a mis-shapen negro beautiful,        100
(Yet are but ornaments to give her lustre,
That in herself is all perfection,) must
Prevail for her. I here release your trust;
’Tis happiness enough for me to serve you        104
And sometimes, with chaste eyes, to look upon her.
  LOV.  Why, shall I swear?
  ALL.        O, by no means, my lord;
And wrong not so your judgment to the world        108
As from your fond indulgence to a boy,
Your page, your servant, to refuse a blessing
Divers great men are rivals for.
  LOV.        Suspend        112
Your judgment till the trial. How far is it
To Overreach’s house?
  ALL.        At the most, some half hour’s riding;
You’ll soon be there.        116
  LOV.        And you the sooner freed
From your jealous fears.
  ALL.        O that I durst but hope it!  Exeunt.
Note 1. The country near Overreach’s house. [back]
Note 2. Rhythmical. [back]
Note 3. Reinforced. [back]


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.