Swetnam the Woman Hater – Act Two, scene three

Return to the previous scene

Enter LISANDRO and LEONIDA.

LISANDRO
‘Tis late, dear love.

LEONIDA
You shall not part from me,
Good sooth, you shall not. Friar Anthony,
You say, is faithful; for Loretta’s truth
I dare engage my life.

LISANDRO
Why, so you do.
Should she prove false, both yours and mine, you know,
Are forfeit to the law.

LEONIDA
You are secure.
Mistrust not then. True love is void of fear.
No danger can afflict a constant mind.
This is no durance, no imprisonment,
Rather a paradise in joying thee.
My liberty alone consists in thee.

LISANDRO
That is the reason I’m so jealous, sweet,
Since in my freedom both our lives remain.
As for myself, what peril could be thought,
I would not undergo to gain your love?
Were it to scale the flaming Ætna’s top,
Whose sulphurous smoke kills with infection,
Cut through the northern seas, or shoot the gulf,
Or—

LEONIDA
I do believe thee, sweet.

LISANDRO
But yet this hour
Is not frequented by your confessor;
There lies the danger.

LEONIDA
I ha’ confess’d to thee from morn till night,
From night till morn again, all my transgression.

LISANDRO
Were I your confessor, I know you would
Both sin and be confess’d.

NICANOR
[From without.] Break ope the door.

LISANDRO
By heaven, we are betray’d!

LEONIDA
Oh, my dear love!

LISANDRO
My thoughts presag’d as much. What shall we do?

Enter NICANOR and a Guard.

LEONIDA
Do not resist, Lisandro. Stand; the worst,
We can but die.
Oh, this Loretta, false, inhumane wretch!

NICANOR
Lay hands upon them both. Is’t so indeed?
Is this the zeal of your confession?
I fear, death give the absolution.

LEONIDA
Hence, doting fool, more welcome far is death,
Than to be link’d to age’s leprosy!

[Exeunt LISANDRO and LEONIDA, guarded.

NICANOR
Bear ‘em away into their several wards.
Let them be guarded strongly, till such time
I shall acquaint my sovereign with this plot.
Rather than lose the royal dignity,
I’ll strive to ruin a whole progeny.                                                                              [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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