Old Fortunatus – Act Three, Scene One

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Enter ORLEANS melancholy, GALLOWAY with him; a Boy after them with a lute.

Be gone.  Leave that with me and leave me to myself.  If the king ask for me, swear to him I am sick, and thou shalt not lie.  Pray thee, leave me.

I am gone, sir.                                                                                                        [Exit.

This music makes me but more out of tune.
O, Agripyna!

Gentle friend, no more.
Thou sayest love is a madness; hate it then,
Even for the name’s sake.

Oh, I love that madness
Even for the name’s sake.

Let me tame this frenzy,
By telling thee thou art a prisoner here,
By telling thee she’s daughter to a king,
By telling thee the king of Cyprus’ son
Shines like a sun, between her looks and tine,
Whilst thou seemst but a star to Apripyne.
He loves her.

If he do, why so do I.

Love is ambitious and loves majesty.

Dear friend, thou art deceived.  Love’s voice doth sing
As sweetly in a beggar as a king.

Dear friend, thou art deceiv’d.  Oh, bid thy soul
Lift up her intellectual eyes to heaven,
And, in this ample book of wonders, read,
Of what celestial mould, what sacred essence,
Herself is form’d, the search whereof will drive
Sounds musical among the jarring spirits
And in sweet tune set that which none inherits.

I’ll gaze on heaven if Agripyne be there;
If not:  fa, la, la, sol, la, &c.

Oh, call this madness in; see from the windows
Of every eye derision thrusts out cheeks,
Wrinkled with idiot laughter; every finger
Is like a dart shot from the hand of scorn,
By which thy name is hurt, thine honour torn.

Laugh they at me, sweet Galloway?

Even at thee.

Ha, ha, I laugh at them.  Are not they mad
That let my true true sorrow make them glad?
I dance and sing only to anger grief,
That in that anger, he might smite life down
With his iron fist.  Good heart, it seemeth then
They laugh to see grief kill me.  Oh, fond men,
You laugh at others’ tears, when others smile,
You tear yourselves in pieces.  Vile, vile, vile!
Ha, ha!  When I behold a swarm of fools
Crowding together to be counted wise,
I laugh because sweet Agripyne’s not there,
But weep because she is not anywhere,
And weep because whether she be or not,
My love was ever and is still forgot.  Forgot, forgot, forgot.

Draw back this stream.  Why should my Orleans mourn?

Look yonder, Galloway.  Dost thou see that sun?
Nay, good friend, stare upon it; mark it well.
Ere he be two hours elder, all that glory
Is banish’d heaven, and then, for grief, this sky
That’s now so jocund, will mourn all in black.
And shall not Orleans mourn?  Alack, alack!
Oh, what a savage tyranny it were
T’enforce care laugh, and woe not shed a tear!
Dead is my love; I am buried in her scorn.
That is my sunset, and shall I not mourn?
Yes, by my troth, I will.

Dear friend, forbear.
Beauty, like sorrow, dwelleth everywhere.
Race out this strong idea of her face
As fair as hers shineth in any place.

Thou art a traitor to that white and red,
Which sitting on her cheeks, being Cupid’s throne,
Is my heart’s sovereign.  Oh, when she’s dead,
This wonder, beauty, shall be found in none.
Now Agripyne’s not mine, I vow to be
In love with nothing but deformity.
Oh, fair Deformity, I muse all eyes
Are not enamor’d of thee.  Thou didst never
Murder men’s hearts, or let them pine like wax.
Melting against the sun of destiny.
Thou art a faithful nurse to chastity.
Thy beauty is not like to Agripyne’s,
For, dead, her beauty will no beauty have,
But thy face looks most lovely in the grave.


See where they come together hand in hand.

Oh, watch, sweet Galloway; when their hands do part,
Between them shalt thou find my murdered heart.

By this then it seems a thing impossible, to know when an English lady loves truly.

Not so, for when her soul steals into her heart, and her heart leaps up to her eyes, and her eyes drop into her hands, then if she say, “Here’s my hand,” she’s your own, else never.

Here’s a pair of your prisoners.  Let’s try their opinion.

My kind prisoners, well encountered.  The Prince of Cyprus here and myself have been wrangling about a question of love.  My lord of Orleans, you look lean and likest a lover.  Whether is it more torment to love a lady and never enjoy her, or always to enjoy a lady whom you cannot choose but hate?

To hold her ever I mine arms whom I loathe in my heart were some plague, yet the punishment were no more than to be enjoined to keep poison in my hand, yet never to taste it.

But say you should be compell’d to swallow the poison?

Then a speedy death would end a speeding misery.  But to love a lady and never to enjoy her—oh, it is not death, but worse than damnation.  ‘Tis hell; ‘tis—

No more, no more, good Orleans.  Nay then, I see my prisoner is in love too.

Methinks, soldiers cannot fall into the fashion of love.

Methinks a soldiers is the most faithful lover of all men else, for his affection stands not upon compliment; his wooing is plain homespun stuff.  There’s no outlandish thread in it, no rhetoric.  A soldier casts no figures to get his mistress’ heart; his love is like his valour in the field, when he pays downright blows.

True, madam, but would you receive such payment?

No, but I mean, I love a soldier best, for his plain dealing.

That’s as good as the first.

Be it so, that goodness I like, for what lady can abide to love a spruce silken face courtier that stands every morning two or three hours learning how to look by his glass, how to speak by his glass, how to sigh by his glass, how to court his mistress by his glass?  I would wish him no other plague but to have a mistress as brittle as glass.

And that were as bad as the horn plague.

Are any lovers possess’d with this madness?

What madmen are not possess’d with this love?  Yet by my troth, we poor women do but smile in our sleeves to see all this foppery, yet we all desire to see our lovers attir’d gallantly, to hear them sing sweetly, to behold them dance comely and such like; but this apish money fashion of effeminate niceness—out upon it!  Oh, I hate it worse than to be counted a scold

Indeed, men are most regarded when they least regard themselves.

And women most honoured when they show most mercy to their lovers.

But is’t not a miserable tyranny to see a lady triumph in the passions of a soul languishing through her cruelty?

Methinks it is.

Methinks ‘tis more than tyranny.

So think not I, for as there is no reason to hate any that love us, so it were madness to love all that do not hate us.  Women are created beautiful, only because men should woo them; for ‘twere miserable tyranny to enjoin poor women to woo men.  I would not hear of a woman in love for my father’s kingdom.

I never heard of any woman that hated love.

Nor I.  But we had all rather die than confess we love.  Our glory is to hear men sigh whilst we smile, to kill them with a frown, to strike them dead with a sharp eye, to make you this day wear a feather and tomorrow a sick night-cap.  Oh, why this is rare!  There’s a certain deity in this when a lady by the magic of her looks can turn a man into twenty shapes.

[Aside to GALLOWAY.] Sweet friend, she speaks this but to torture me.

[Aside to ORLEANS.] I’ll teach thee how to plague her.  Love her not.

[Aside.] Poor Orleans, how lamentably he looks.  If he stay, he’ll make me surely love him for pure pity.  I must send him hence, for of all sorts of love I hate the French.  [Aloud.] I pray thee, sweet prisoner, entreat Lord Longaville to come to me presently.

I will, and esteem myself more than happy that you will employ me.          [Exit.

Watch him, watch him for God’s sake if he sigh not or look not back.

He does both.  But what mystery lies in this?

Nay, no mystery.  ‘Tis as plain as Cupid’s forehead.  Why, this is as it should be.  “And esteem myself more than happy that you will employ me.”  My French prisoner is in love overhead and ears.

It’s wonder how he ‘scapes drowning.

With whom, think you?

With his keeper, for a good wager.  Ah, how glad is he to obey?  And how proud am I to command in this empire of affection?  Over him and such spongy-liver’d youths that lie soaking in love I triumph more with mine eye than ever he did over a soldier with his sword.  Is’t not a gallant victory for me to subdue my father’s enemy with a look?  Prince of Cyprus, you were best take heed how you encounter an English lady.

God bless me from loving any of you, if all be so cruel.

God bless me from suff’ring you to love me, if you be not so formable.

Will you command me any service as you have done Orleans?

No other service but this:  that, as Orleans, you love me for no other reason but that I may torment you.

I will, conditionally:  that in all company I may call you my tormentor.

You shall, conditionally:  that you never beg for mercy.  Come, my sweet lord of Galloway.

Come, sweet madam.                                        [Exeunt.  Manent CYPRUS.

The ruby-colour’d portals of her speech
Were clos’d by mercy; but upon her eye,
Attir’d in frowns, sat murd’ring cruelty.

Enter AGRIPYNE and listens.

She’s angry that I durst so high aspire.
Oh, she disdains that any strangers breast
Should be a temple for her deity.
She’s full of beauty, full of bitterness.
Till now, I did but dally with love’s fire,
And when I thought to try his flames indeed,
I burnt me even to cinders.  Oh, my stars!
Why from my native shore did your beams guide me
To make me dote on her that doth deride me?   [She kneels; he walks musing.

Hold him in this mind, sweet Cupid, I conjure thee.  Oh, what music these hay-hoes make!  I was about to cast my little little self into a great love trance for him, fearing his heart had been flint, but since I see ‘tis pure virgin wax he shall melt his belly full, for now I know how to temper him.                            [Exit.  He spies her.

Never beg mercy!  Yet, be my tormentor.
I hope she heard me not.  Doubtless she did,
And now will she insult upon my passions
And vex my constant love with mockeries.
Nay, then I’ll be mine own physician
And outface love and make her think that I
Mourn’d thus because I saw her standing by.


What news, my lord of Cornwall?

This, fair prince:
One of your countrymen is come to court.
A lusty gallant brave in Cyprus Ile,
With fifty bard horses prawncing at his heels
Back’d by as many strong-limb’d Cypriots,
All of whom he keeps in pay; whose offered service
Out king with arms of gladness hath embrac’d.

Born in the Ile of Cyprus?  What’s his name?

His servants call him Fortunatus’ son.

Rich Fortunatus son?  Is he arriv’d?


This he bestowed on me.

And this on me.

And this his bounteous hand enforc’d me take.

I prize this jewel at a hundred marks,
Yet would he needs bestow this gift on me.

My lords, whose hand hath been thus prodigal?

Your countryman, my lord, a Cypriot.

The gallant sure is all compact of gold.
To every lady hath he given rich jewels,
And sent to every servant in the court
Twenty fair English angels.

This is rare.


My lords, prepare yourselves for revelling.
‘Tis the king’s pleasure that this day be spent
In royal pastimes; that this golden lord,
For so all that behold him christen him,
May taste the pleasures of our English court.
Here comes the gallant, shining like the sun.

Trumpets sound.  Enter ATHELSTANE, ANDELOCIA, AGRIPYNE, ORLEANS, Ladies, and other attendants and INSULTADO, a  .  Music sounds within.

For these your royal favours done to me,
Being a poor stranger, my best powers shall prove,
By acts of worth, the soundness of my love.

Herein your love shall best set out itself,
By staying with us.  If our English isle
Hold any object welcome to your eyes,
Do but make choice and claim it as your prize.

[ATHELSTANE and CYPRUS confer aside.

I thank your grace.  Would he durst keep his word,
I know what I would claim.  Tush, man, be bold.
Were she a saint, she may be won with gold.

‘Tis strange, I must confess, but in this pride,
His father Fortunatus, if he live,
Consumes his life in Cyprus.  Still he spends,
And still his coffers with abundance swell,
But how he gets these riches none can tell.

[Coming forward.] Hold him in talk.  Come hither, Apripyne.

[ATHELSTANE and AGRIPYNE confer aside.

But what entic’d young Andelocia’s soul
To wander hither?

That which did allure
My sovereign’s son, the wonder of the palace.

This curious heap of wonders, which an empress
Gave him, he gave me, and by Venus’ hand,
The warlike Amorato needs would swear
He left his country Cyprus for my love.

If by the sovereign magic of thine eye
Thou canst enchant his looks to keep the circles
Of thy fair cheeks, be hold to try thy charms,
Feed him with hopes, and find the royal vein
That leads this Cypriot to his golden mine.
Here’s music spend in vain; lords, fall to dancing.

My fair tormentor, will you lend a hand?

I’ll try this stranger’s cunning in a dance.

My cunning is but small, yet who’ll not prove
To shame himself for such a lady’s love? [ANDELOCIA and AGRIPYNE dance.

[Aside.] These Cypriots are the devils that torment me.
He courts her, and she smiles, but I am born
To be her beauty’s slave and her love’s scorn.

I shall never have the face to ask the question twice.

What’s the reason?  Cowardliness or pride?

Neither, but ‘tis the fashion of us Cypriots, both men and women, to yield at first assault and we expect others should do the like.

It’s a sign that either your women are very black and are glad to be sped, or your men very fond, and will take no denial.

Indeed, our ladies are not so fair as you.

But your men more vent’rous at a breach than you, or else they are all dastardly soldiers.

He that fights under these sweet colours and yet turns coward, let him be shot to death with the terrible arrows of fair ladies’ eyes.                     [They stop dancing.

Nay, Insultado, you must not deny us.

Mi Corazon es muy pesado, mi anima muy atormentada.  No por los Cielos: El pie de Español no hace  musica en tierra ingles.  [Translation:  My heart is heavy, my spirit much vexed :  no, by heaven, the foot of the Spaniard does not dance to such music on English soil.]

Sweet, Insultado, let us see you dance.
I have heard the Spanish dance is full of state.

Verdad, Señor:  la danza Española es muy alta.  Majestica y para monarcas:  vuestra Inglesa, Baja, fantastica, y muy humilde.  [In truth, sir, the Spanish dance is very dignified, majestic, and therefore suitable for monarchs.  Your English dance is vulgar, fantastic, and very trifling.]

Doth my Spanish prisoner deny to dance?  He has sworn to me by the cross of his pure Toledo to be my servant.  By that oath, my Castilian prisoner, I conjure you to show your cunning, though all your body be not free, I am sure your heels are at liberty.

Nolo quiero contra deseo:  vuestro ojo hace conquista á prisionero.  Oyerer la a pavan española; sea vuestra musica y gravidad, y majestad.  Paje daime tobacco, toma ma capa y my espada.  Mas alta, mas alta:  Desviaios, desviaios, compañeros, mas alta, mas alta. [I do not desire to do contrary to your wish.   Your eye has conquered your prisoner.  I shall endeavor to execute the Spanish Pavan, but for that purpose your music be slow and majestic.  Page, give me tobacco; take my cloak and my sword.  Higher, higher; make way, make way, friends, higher, higher.]                 [He dances.

Thanks, Insultado.

‘Tis most excellent.

The Spaniard’s dance is as his deeds be, full of pride.

The day grows old, and what remains unspent
Shall be consum’d in banquets.  Agripyne,
Leave us awhile.  If Andelocia please,
God bear our beauteous daughter company.

Fortune, I thank thee; now thou smil’st upon me.

[Exeunt AGRIPYNE and ANDELCIA and Ladies.

This Cypriot bears a gallant princely mind.
My lord, of what birth is your countryman?
Think not, sweet prince, that I propound this question
To wrong you in your love to Agripyne.
Our favours grace him to another end.
Not let the wings of your affection droop
Because she seems to shun love’s gentle lure.
Believe it on our word, her beauty’s prize
Only shall yield a conquest to your eyes.
But tell me, what’s this Fortunatus’ son?

Of honourable blood, and more renown’d
In foreign kingdoms—whither his proud spirit
Plum’d with ambitious feathers carries him—
Then in his native country.  But last day
The father and the sons were through their riots,
Poor and disdain’d of all, but now they glister
More bright than Midas.  If some damned fiend
Fed not his bags, this golden pride would end.

His pride we’ll somewhat tame, and curb the head
Of his rebellious prodigality.
He hath invited us and all our peers
To feast with him tomorrow.  His provision,
I understand, may entertain three kings.
But Lincoln, let out subjects secretly
Be charg’d on pain of life that not a man
Sell any kind of fuel to his servants.

This policy shall clip his golden wings
And teach his price what ‘tis to strive with kings.

Withdraw awhile.                                             [Exeunt.  Manent ATHELSTANE.
None fill’d his hands with gold, for we set spies
To watch who fed his prodigality.
He hung the marble bosom of our court
As thick with glist’ring spangles of pure gold
As ere the spring hath stuck the earth with flowers.
Unless he melt himself to liquid gold,
Or he be some god, some devil, or can transport
A mint about him by enchanted power,
He cannot rain such showers.  With his own hands
He threw more wealth abroad in every street
Than could be trust into a chariot.
He’s a magician sure, and to some fiend,
His soul, by infernal covenants, has he sold,
Always to swim up to the chin in gold.
Be what he can be, if those doting fires
Wherein he burns for Agripyne’s love
Want power to melt from him this endless mine,
Then, like a slave, we’ll chain him in our tower
Where tortures shall compel his sweating hands
To cast rich heaps into our treasury.

Music sounding still.  A curtain being drawn, where ANDELOCIA lies sleeping in AGRIPYNE’s lap; she has his purse, and herself and another Lady tie another like it in the place, and then rise from him.

I have found the sacred spring that never ebbs.
Leave us.                                                                                                 [Exit Lady.
But I’ll not show’t your majesty,
Till you have sworn by England’s royal crown
To let me keep it.

By my crown, I swear,
None but fair Apripyne the gem shall wear.

Then is this mine.  See, father, here’s the fire
Whose gilded beams still burn.  This is the sun
That ever shines, the tree that never dies.
Here grows the garden of Hesperides.
The outside mocks you, makes you think ‘tis poor;
But ent’ring it, you find eternal store.

Art sure of this?  How didst thou drive it out?

Fear not his waking yet.  I made him drink
That soporiferous juice which was compos’d
To make the queen, my mother, relish sleep
When her last sickness summon’d her to heaven.
He sleeps profoundly.  When his amorous eyes
Had sing’d their wings in Cupid’s wanton flames,
I set him all on fire and promis’d love.
In pride whereof, he drew me forth this purse
And swore, by this he multiplied his gold.
I tried and found it true, and secretly
Commanded music with her silver tongue
To chime soft lullabies into his soul,
And whilst my fingers wanton’d with his hair,
T’entice the sleepy juice to charm his eyes,
In all points was there made a purse like his
Which counterfeit is hung in place of this.

More than a second kingdom hast thou won.
Leave him, that when he wakes he may suspect
Some else had robb’d him.  Come, dear Agripyne.
It this strange purse his sacred virtues hold,
We’ll circle England with a waste of gold.                                                     [Exeunt.

Music still.  Enter SHADOW very gallant, reading a bill, with empty bags in his hand, singing.

These English occupiers are mad Trojans.  Let a man pay them never so much, they’ll give him nothing but the bag.  Since my master created me steward over his fifty men, and his one and fifty horse, I have rid over much business, yet never wall gall’d, I thank the Destinies.  Music?  Oh, delicate warble.  Oh, these courtiers are most sweet triumphant creatures.  Signior, sir?  Monsieur, sweet Signior.  This is the language of the accomplishment.  Oh, delicious strings, these heavenly wire-drawers have stretched my master even out at length, yet at length he must wake.  Master?

Wake me not yet, my gentle Agripyne.

One word, sir, for the billets and I vanish.

There’s heaven in these tunes. Throw the musicians
A bounteous largess of three hundred angels.

Why, sir, I have but ten pound left.                              [ANDELOCIA starts up.

Ha, Shadow?  Where’s the Princess Agripyne?

I am not Apollo, I cannot reveal.

Was not the princess here when thou camst in?

Here was no princess by my princely self.

In faith?

No, in faith, sir.

Where are you hid?  Where stand you wantoning?  Not here?  Gone, i’faith?  Have you given me the slip?  Well, ‘tis but an amorous trick and so I embrace it.  My horse, Shadow, how far my horse?

Upon the best oats my understeward can buy.

I mean, are they lusty, sprightly, gallant, wanton, fiery?

They are as all horses are, caterpillars to the commonwealth; they are ever munching.  But, sir, for these billets and these faggots and bavins?

S’hart, what billets?  What faggots?  Dost thou make me a woodmonger?

No, sweet signior, but you have bid the king and his peers to dinner and he has commanded that no woodmonger sell you a stick of wood, and that no collier shall cozen you of your measure, but must tie up the mouth of their sacks lest their coals kindle your choler.

Is’t possible?  Is’t true, or hast thou learnt of the English gallants to gull?

He’s a gull that would be taught by such gulls.

Not a stick of wood?  Some child of envy has buzz’d this stratagem into the king’s ear of purpose to disgrace me.  I have invited his majesty and though it cost me a million, I’ll feast him.  Shadow, thou shalt hire a hundred or two of carts; with them post to all the grocers in London; but up all the cinnamon, cloves, nutmegs, liquorish and all other spices that have any strong heart, and with them make fires to prepare our cookery.
Ere Fortunatus son look red with shame,
He’ll dress a king’s feast in a spiced flame.

This device, sir, will be somewhat a kin to Lady Pride; ‘twill ask cost.

Fetch twenty porters.  I’ll laid all with gold.

First, master, fill these bags.

Come then, hold up.  How now?  Tricks, new crochets, Madam Fortune?  Dry as an eelskin?  Shadow, take thou my gold out.

Why, sir, here’s none in.

Ha, let me see.   Oh, here’s a bastard cheek.
I see now ‘tis not mine, ‘tis counterfeit.
‘Tis so.  Slave, thou hast robb’d thy master.

Not of a penny.  I have been as true a steward—

Vengeance on thee and on thy stewardship!
Yet wherefore curse I thee?  Thy leaden soul
Had never power to mount up to the knowledge
Of the rich mystery clos’d in my purse.
Oh, no.  I’ll curse myself; mine eyes I’ll curse.
They have betray’d me.  I will curse my tongue
That hath betray’d me.  I’ll curse Agripyne;
She hath betray’d me.  Sirens cease to sing;
Your charms have ta’en effect, for now I see
All your enchantments were to cozen me.          [Music ceaseth.

What shall I do with this ten pound, sir?

Go buy with it a chain and hang thyself.
Now think I on my father’s prophesy.
“Tell none,” quoth he, “the virtue; if you do,
Much shame, much grief, much danger follows you.”
With tears I credit his divinity.
Oh, fingers, were you upright justices,
You would tear out mine eyes.  Had not they gaz’d
On the frail colour of a painted cheek,
None had betray’d me.  Henceforth I’ll defy
All beauty, and will call a lovely eye
A sun whose scorching beams burn up our joys
Or turn them black like Ethiopians.
Oh, woman, wherefore are you born men’s woe?
Why are your faces fram’d angelical?
Your hearts of sponges, soft and smooth in show,
But touch’d with poison they do overflow.
Had sacred wisdom been my father’s fate,
He had died happy, I liv’d fortunate.
Shadow, bear this to beauteous Agripyne,     [Gives him the purse.
With it this message:  tell her I’ll reprove
Her covetous sin the less, because for gold
I see that most men’s souls too cheap are sold.

Shall I buy these spices today or tomorrow?

Tomorrow?  Ay, tomorrow thou shalt buy them;
Tomorrow tell the princess I will love her;
Tomorrow tell the king, I’ll banquet him;
Tomorrow, Shadow, will I give thee gold;
Tomorrow pride goes bare and lust acold;
Tomorrow will the rich man feed the poor,
And vice tomorrow virtue will adore.
Tomorrow beggars shall be crowned kings;
This no-time, morrow’s time, no sweetness sings.
I pray thee hence.  Bear that to Agripyne.

I’ll go hence, because you sent me, but I’ll go weeping hence, for grief that I must turn villain as many do, and leave you when you are up to the ears in adversity.                                                                                                               [Exit.

She hath robb’d me, and now I’ll play the thief.
I’ll steal from hence to Cyprus, for black shame
Here, through my riots, brands my lofty name.
I’ll sell this pride for help to bear me thither,
So pride and beggary shall walk together.
This world is but a school of villainy,
Therefore I’ll rob my brother—not of gold,
Nor of his virtues—virtue none will steal—
But, if I can, I’ll steal his wishing hat.
And with that, wand’ring round about the world,
I’ll search all corners to find misery,
And where she dwells, I’ll dwell, languish, and die.                                    [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene


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