The Virgin Martyr – Act 4, Scene 2

Return to previous scene

Enter HARPAX, HIRCIUS, and SPUNGIUS.

 HARPAX
Do you like my service not?  Say am not I a master worth attendance?

SPUNGIUS
Attendance!  I had rather lick clean the soles of your dirty boots then wear the richest suit of any infected lord whose rotten life hangs between the two poles.

HIRCIUS
A lord’s suit!  I would not give up the cloak of your service to met the splay-foot estate of any left-eye’d knight above the Antipodes, because they are unlucky to meet.

HARPAX
This day I’ll try your loves to me; ‘tis only
But well to use the agility of your arms.

SPUNGIUS
Or legs, I am lusty at them.

HIRCIUS
Or any other member that has no legs.

SPUNGIUS
Thou’lt run into some hole.

HIRCIUS
If I meet one that’s more then my match, and that I cannot stand in their hands, I must and will creep on my knees.

HARPAX
Here me, my little team of villains, hear me!
I cannot teach you fencing with these cudgels,
Yet you must use them, lay them on but soundly;
That’s all.

HIRCIUS
Nay, if we come to mauling once, puh!

SPUNGIUS
But what walnut tree is it we must beat?

HARPAX
Your mistress.

HIRCIUS
How!  My mistress!  I begin to have a Christian heart made of sweet butter.  I melt.  I cannot strike a woman.

SPUNGIUS
Nor I, unless she scratch; bum my mistress!

HARPAX
Y’are coxcombs!  Silly animals!

HIRCIUS
What’s that?

HARPAX
Drones, asses, blinded moles, that dare not thrust
Your arms out to catch fortune, say you fall off,
It must be done, you are converted rascals
And that once spread abroad, why every slave
Will kick you, call you motley Christians
And half fac’d Christians.

SPUNGIUS
The guts of my conscience begin to be of whitleather.

HIRCIUS
I doubt me I shall have no sweet butter in me.

HARPAX
Deny this and each pagan whom you meet
Shall forked fingers thrust into your eyes.

HIRCIUS
If we be cuckolds.

HARPAX
Do this, and ever god the Gentiles bow to,
Shall aid a fadom to your line of years.

SPUNGIUS
A hundred fadom, I desire no more.

HIRCIUS
I desire but one inch longer.

HARPAX
The senators will as you pass along
Clap you upon your shoulders with this hand,
And wit this hand give you gold.  When you are dead,
Happy that man shall be can get a nail,
The paring—nay the dirt under the nail
Of any of you both, to say this dirt
Belong’d to Spungius or Hircius.

SPUNGIUS
They shall not want dirt under my nails; I’ll keep ‘em long of purpose, for now my fingers itch to be at her.

HIRCIUS
The first thing I do I’ll take her o’er the lips.

SPUNGIUS
And I the hips; we may strike any where?

HARPAX
Yes, any where.

HIRCIUS
Then I know where I’ll hit her.

HARPAX
Prosper and be mine own; stand by, I must not,
To see this done, great business calls me hence.
He’s made can make her curse his violence.

SPUNGIUS
Fear it not; her ribs shall be basted.

HIRCIUS
I’ll come upon her with rounce, robble-hobble, and thwick-twack-thirlery bouncing.

Enter DOROTHEA lead prisoner, a Guard attending, a Hangman with cords in some ugly shape, sets up a pillar in the middle of the stage; SAPRITIUS and THEOPHILUS sit; ANGELO by her.

 SAPRITIUS
According to our Roman customs, bind
That Christian to a pillar.

THEOPHILUS
Infernal furies,
Could they into my hand trust all their whips
To tear thy flesh, thy soul, ‘tis not a torture
Fir to the vengeance I should heap on thee
For wrongs done me; me! for flagitious facts,
By thee done to our gods:  yet so it stands
To great Cæsarea’s governor’s high pleasure,
Bow on thy knee to Jupiter, and offer
Any slight sacrifice; of do but swear
By Cæsar’s fortune, and be free.

SAPRTIUS
Thou shalt.

DOROTHEA
Not for all Cæsar’s fortune, were it chained
To more worlds, then are kingdoms in the world,
And all those worlds drawn after him.  I defy
Your hangmen; you now show me whither to fly.

SAPRITIUS
Are her tormentors ready?

ANGELO
Shrink not, dear mistress.

SPUNGIUS & HIRCIUS
My lord, we are ready for the business.

DOROTHEA
You two! whom I like foster’d children fed,
And lengthen’d out your starved life with bread,
You be my hangmen! whom when up the ladder
Death hal’d you to be strangled, I fetch’d down,
Cloth’d you, and warmed you—you two my tormentors!

BOTH
Yes, we.

DOROTHEA
Divine powers pardon you!

SAPRITIUS
Strike!  [They strike at her; ANGELO, kneeling, holds her feet.

THEOPHILUS
Beat out her brains!

DOROTHEA
Receive me, you bright angels!

SAPRITIUS
Faster, slaves!

SPUNGIUS
Faster! I am out of breath, I am sure; if I were to beat a buck, I can strike no harder!

HIRCIUS
O mine arms!  I cannot lift ‘em to my head!

DOROTHEA
Joy above joys!  Are my tormentors weary
In torturing me, and in my sufferings
I fainting in no limb!  Tyrants, strike home,
And feast your fury full!

THEOPHILUS
These dogs are curs,                            [come from his seat.
Which snarl, yet bite not.  See, my lord, her face
Has more bewitching beauty then before,
Proud whore!  It smiles, cannot an eye start out
With these?

HIRCIUS
No, sir, nor the bridge of her nose fall; ‘tis full of iron work.

SAPRITIUS
Let’s view the cudgels; are they not counterfeit?

ANGELO
There fix thine eye still; thy glorious crown must come
Not from soft pleasure, but by martyrdom;
There fix thine eye still, when we next do meet,
Not thorns, but roses, shall bear up thy feet.
There fix thine eye still.                                                                     [Exit.

Enter HARPAX sneaking.

 DOROTHEA
Ever, ever, ever!

THEOPHILUS
We are mock’d!  These bats have power down to fell giants,
Yet her skin is not scar’d!

SAPRITIUS
What rogues are these?

THEOPHILUS
Cannot these force a shriek?                                                 [Beats them.

SPUNGIUS
Oh!  A woman has one of my ribs, and now five more are broken!

THEOPHILUS
Cannot this make her roar?                                  [Beat’s t’other; he roars.

SAPRITIUS
Who hir’d these slaves?  What are they?

SPUNGIUS
We serve that noble gentleman there.  He entic’d us to this dry-beating.  Oh, for one half-pot!

HARPAX
My servants!  Two base rogues, and sometimes servants
To her, and for that cause forbear to hurt her

SAPRITIUS
Unbind her, hang up these.

THEOPHILUS
Hand the two hounds on the next tree.

HIRCIUS
Hang us!  Master Harpax, what a devil!  Shall we be use used?

HARPAX
What bandogs but you two would worry a woman!
Your mistress!  I but clapt you, you flew on;
Say I should get your lives, each rascal beggar
Would, when he met you, cry out, “Hellhounds, traitors!”
Spit at you, fling dirt at you, and no woman
Ever endure your sight; ‘tis your best course,
Now had you secret knives, to stab yourselves;
But since you have not, go and be hang’d!

HIRCIUS
I thank you.

HARPAX
‘Tis your best course!

THEOPHILUS
Why stay they trifling here?
To gallows drag ‘em by the heels!  Away!

SPUNGIUS
By the heels!  No, sir, we have legs to do us that service.

HIRCIUS
Ay, ay, if no woman can endure my sight, away with me!     [Exit guarded.

HARPAX
Dispatch ‘em.

SPUNGIUS
The devil dispatch thee!                                                                    [Exit.

SAPRITIUS
Death this day rides in triumph, Theophilus.
See this witch made away too!

THEOPHILUS
My soul thirsts for it.
Come; I myself the hangman’s part could play.

DOROTHEA
Oh, hasten me to my coronation day!                                           [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: