Patient Grissel – Act 2, Scene 2

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Enter the MARQUESS and FURIO.


My lord.

Thy faith I oft have tried, thy faith I credit,
For I have found it solid as the rock;
No babbling echo sits upon thy lips,
For silence even in speech doth seal them up.
Wilt thou be trusty, Furio, to thy lord?

I will.

It is enough; those words “I will,”
Yields sweeter music then the gilded sounds,
Which chatting parrots, long toung’d sycophants,
Send from the organs of their siren voice.
Grissil, my wife, thou seest bear in her womb
The joy of marriage.  Furio, I protest,
My love to her is as the heat to fire,
Her love to me as beauty as the sun,
Inseparable adjuncts, in one word,
So dearly love I Grissil, that my life
Shall end, when she doth end to be my wife.

‘Tis well done.

Yet is my bosom burnt up with desires
To try my Grissil’s patience.  I’ll put on
A wrinkled forehead, and turn both mine eyes
Into two balls of fire, and clasp my hand
Like to a mace of iron, to threaten death.
But Furio, when that hand lifts up to strike
It shall fly open to embrace my love.
Yet Grissil must not know this; all my words
Shall smack of wormwood, all my deeds of gall,
My tongue shall jar, my heart be musical;
Yet Grissil must not know this.

  Enter GRISSIL.

Not for me.

Furio, my trial is thy secrecy.
Yonder she comes; on goes this mask of frowns.
Tell her I am angry; men may try your wives.
Love that abides sharp tempests sweetly thrives.

My lord is angry.

Angry?  the heavens forfend!  With whom? for what?
Is it with me?

Not me.

May I presume
To touch the vein of that sad discontent
Which swells upon my dear lord’s angry brow?

Away, away!

Oh, chide me not away!
Your handmaid, Grissil, with unvexed thoughts
And with an unrepining soul, will bear
The burden of all sorrows, of all woe,
Before the smallest grief should wound you so.

I am not beholding to your love for this.
Woman, I love thee not; thine eyes to mine
Are eyes of basilisks, they murder me.

Suffer me to part hence, I’ll tear them out,
Because they work such treason to my love.

Talk not of love.  I hate thee more than poison
That sticks upon the air’s infected wings,
Exhal’d up by the hot breath of the sun.
‘Tis for thy sake that speckled infamy
Sits like a screech-owl on my honoured breast
To make my subjects stare and mock at me.
They swear they’ll never bend their awful knees
To the base issue of thy beggar womb.
‘Tis for my sake they curse me, rail at me.
Thinkst thou then I can love thee?  Oh my soul!
Why didst thou build this mountain of my shame?
Why lie my joys buried in Grissil’s name?

My gracious lord—

Call not me gracious lord!
See, woman, here hangs up thine ancestry,
The monuments of thy nobility.
This is thy russet gentry, coat, and crest;
Thy earthen honours I will never hide,
Because this bridle shall put in thy pride.

Poor Grissil is not proud of these attires.
They are to me but as your livery,
And from your humble servant when you please,
You may take all this outside, which indeed
Is none of Grissil’s; her best wealth is need.
I’ll cast this gayness off, and be content
To wear this russet bravery of my own,
For that’s more warm then this.  I shall look old,
No sooner in course freeze then cloth of gold.

[Aside.] Spite of my soul, she’ll triumph over me.

Your glory, my lord.

Cast down my glove again.
Stoop you for it, for I will have you stoop
And kneel even to the meanest groom I keep.

‘Tis but my duty, if you will have me stoop
Even to your meanest groom I’ll stoop.

Furio, how slovenly thou goest attir’d.

Why so, my lord?

Look here, thy shoes are both untied.
Grissil, kneel you and tie them.

Pardon me.

Quickly, I charge you.

Friend, you do me wrong
To let me hold my lord in wrath so long.
Stand still, I’ll kneel and tie them.  What I do,
Furio, is done to him and not to you.                                        [Ties them.

‘Tis so.

[Aside.] Oh strange, oh admirable patience!
I fear when Grissil’s bones sleep in her grave
The world a second Grissil ne’er will have.
[To GRISSIL.] Now, get you in.

I go, my gracious lord.                                                              [Exit.

Didst thou not hear her sigh?  Did not one frown
Contract her beauteous forehead?

I saw none.

Did not one drop fall down from sorrow’s eyes
To blame my heart for these her injuries?

Faith, not a drop.  I fear she’ll frown on me
For doing me service.

Furio, that I’ll try.
My voice may yet o’ertake her.  Grissil!  Grissil!


She comes at first call.

Did my lord call?

Woman, I call’d thee not.
I said this slave was like to Grissil, Grissil,
And must you therefore come to torture me?
Nay stay, here’s a companion fit for you.
Thou vexest me, so doth this villainy too,
But ere the sun to his highest throne ascend,
My indignation in his death shall end.

Oh, pardon him, my lord! for mercy’s wings
Bears round about the world the fame of kings.
Temper your wrath, I beg it on my knee,
Forgive his fault though you’ll not pardon me.

Thank her.

Thanks, madam.

I have not true power
To wound thee with denial.  Oh my Grissil!
How dearly should I love thee,
Yea, die to do thee good, but that my subjects
Upbraid me with by birth, and call it base,
And grieve to see thy father and thy brother
Heav’d up to dignities.

Oh, cast them down,
And send poor Grissil poorly home again.
High cedars fall, when low shrubs safe remain.

 Enter at the same door, MARIO and LEPIDO.

Fetch me a cup of wine.                                                                        [Exit GRISSIL.

She’s a saint sure.

Oh, Furio, now I’ll boast that I have found
An angel upon earth.  She shall be crown’d
The empress of all women.  Lepido?
Mario?  what was she that passed by you?

Your virtuous wife.


Call her not virtuous,
For I abhor her.  Did not her swol’n eyes
Look red with hate or scorn?  Did she not curse
My name or Furio’s name?

No, my dear lord.

For he and I rail’d at her, spit at her.
I’ll burst her heart with sorrow, for I grieve
To see you grieve that I have wrong’d my state
By loving one whose baseness now I hate.

 Enter GRISSIL with wine.

Come faster if you can.  Forbear, Mario,
‘Tis but her office; what she does to me
She shall perform to any of you three.
I’ll drink.

I am glad to see her pride thus trampled down.

Now serve Mario, then serve Lepido,
And as you bow to me, so bend to them.

I’ll not deny it to win a diadem.

Your wisdom I commend, that have the power
To raise or throw down as you smile or lower.

Your patience I commend that can abide
To hear a flatterer speak, but never chide.

Hence, hence!  Dare you control them whom I grace?
Come not within my sight.

I will obey,
And if you please, ne’er more behold the day.                                              [Exit.


My lord.

Watch her where she goes,
And mark how in her looks this trial shows.

I will                                                                                                             [Exit.

Mario, Lepido, I loathe this Grissil
As sick men loathe the bitterest potion
Which the physician’s hand holds out to them.
For God’s sake, frown upon her when she smiles;
For God’s sake, smile for joy to see her frown;
For God’s sake, scorn her, call her beggar’s brat,
Torment her with your looks, your words, your deeds.
My heart shall leap for joy that her heart bleeds.
Wilt thou do this Mario?

If you say,
Mario, do this, I must in it obey.

I know you must, so, Lepido, must you.
‘Tis well; but counsel me what’s best to do.
How shall I please my subjects?  Do but speak.
I’ll do it though Grissil’s heart in sunder break.

Your subjects do repine at nothing more
Then to behold Janicola her father
And her base brother lifted up so high.

To banish them from court were policy.

Oh rare, oh profound wisdom, dear Mario!
It forthwith shall be done, they shall not stay,
Though I may win by them a kingdom’s sway.                           [Exit.

Mario, laugh at this.

Why, so I do.
Headlong I had rather fall to misery,
Then see a beggar rais’d to dignity.                                         [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene


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