Swetnam the Woman Hater – Act Four, scene two

 

Return to the previous scene

Enter NICANOR and a Gentleman.

NICANOR
The princess suffers then?

GENTLEMAN
This morning, sir,
Unless the mercy of the king be found
More than is yet expected.

NICANOR
Oh, my heart,
Canst thou endure to hear that heavy sound,
And wilt not burst with grief?

GENTLEMAN
Nay, good my lord.

NICANOR
Oh, worthy sir, you did not know the joys
That we all lost in her. She was the hope
And only comfort of Sicilia;
And the last branch was left of that fair stock;
Which, if she die, is wither’d, quite decay’d.
But I have such a loss.

GENTLEMAN
You have indeed;
Yours is the greatest of a particular
For you have lost a beauteous spouse, my lord;
And yet the rich hopes of a royal crown
Might mitigate your sorrow. You are next.

NICANOR
Do not renew my grief with naming that.
Oh, that it were tomorrow! Happy day,
Bestow’d on some more meritorious,
That might continue long, for I am old.
I should be well-content.

GENTLEMAN
Say not so.
There’s no one merits that more than yourself.
You are elected by the king’s own house,
And general consent of all the realm
For the successor after his decease,
Whose life, pray heaven defend!

NICANOR
Amen, amen,
And send him long to reign. [Aside.] But not on earth.
[Aloud.] Sir, you are near the king; pray, if you hear
His highness ask for me, excuse me, sir.
You see my sorrow’s such, I am unfit
To come into the presence of a king.

GENTLEMAN
I see it, sir, and will report as much.                                                              [Exit.

NICANOR
You will report a lie then. Ha, ha, ha!
My lungs will not afford me wind enough
To laugh my passions out. To gain a crown,
Who would not at a funeral laugh and sing?
All men of wisdom would, and so will I.
Yet to the world’s eye, I am drown’d in tears,
And held most careful of the king and state,
When I mean nothing less. Lorenzo’s dead;
The scornful princess, that refus’d my love,
Is going to her death. The king, I know,
Cannot continue long. Then may I say,
As out Italian heirs at father’s deaths,
“Quid Jude, Rein eta soll.”
The king alone made me the king.
Methinks I feel the royal diadem
Upon my head already, ha, ha, ha!                                                                 [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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