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Rag. Comes he to me with finger in the eye,
To tell a tale against my sister here?
Whom I do know, he greatly hath abufde :
And now like a contentious crafty wretch,
He first begins for to complayne himselfe,
When as himselfe is in the greatest fault.
Ile not be partiall in my sisters cause,
Nor yet beleeue his doting vay e reports:
Who for a trile (safely) I dare say,
Vpon a spleene is stolen thence away :
And here (forsooth) he hopeth to haue harbour,
And to be moan'd and made on like a child :
But ere't be long, his comming he shall curse,
And truely say, he came from bad to worse :
Yet will I make fayre weather, to procure
Conuenient meanes, and then Ile Strike it sure.
Enter messenger folus.
Mef. Now happily I am arriued here,
Before the stately palace of the Cambrian king :
If Leir be here safe-feated, and in rest,
To rowse him from it I will do my beft.
Now bags of gold, your vertue is (no doubt)
To make me in my message bold and stout.
The King of heauen preserue your maiesty.
And send your highnesse euerlasting raigne.
Ra. Thanks, good my friend ; but what imports thy
Mes. Kind greetings from the Cornwall queene :
The residue these letters will declare,
She opens the letters. Rag. How fares our royall after ?
Mes. I did leaue her at my parting, in good health.
She reads the letter, frownes and flames.
See how her colour comes and goes agayne,
Now red as scarlet, now as pale as ah :
She how she knits her brow, and bytes her lips,
And lamps, and makes a dumbe hew of disdayne,
Mixt with reuenge, and violent extreames.
Here will be more worke and more crownes for me.
Rag. Alas, poore soule, and hath he víde her thus?
And is he now come hither, with intent
To set diuorce betwixt my lord and me?
Doth he giue out, that he doth heare report,
That I do rule my husband as I lift,
And therefore meanés to alter so the case,
That I Mall know my lord to be my head ?
Well, it were best for him to take good heed,
Or I will make him hop without a head,
For his presumption, dottard that he is.
In Cornwall he hath made such mutinies,
First, setting of the king against the queene ;
Then stirring vp the commons 'gainst the king;
That had he there continued any longer,
He had bin call'd in question for his fact.
So vpon that occasion thence he fled,
And comes thus Nily stealing vnto vs :
And now already Goce his comming hither,
My lord and he are growne in such a league,
That I can haue no conference with his grace :
I feare, he doth already intimate
Some forged cauillations 'gainst my state :
Tis therefore best to cut him off in time,
Lest Naunderous rumours once abroad disperst,
It is too late for them to be reuerft.
Friend, as the tennour of these letters shewes,
My sister puts great confidence in thee,
Mes. She neuer yet committed trust to me,
But that (I hope) she found me alwayes faythfull :
So will I be to any friend of hers,
That hath occasion to imploy my helpe.
Rag. Hast thou the heart to act a stratagem,
And giue a stabbe or two, if need require;
Mel. I haue a heart compact of adamant,
Which neuer knew what melting pitty meant.
I weigh no more the murdring of a man,
Then I respect the cracking of a flea,
When I doe catch her byting on my skin.
If you will haue your husband or your father,
Or both of them fent to another world,
Do but commaund me doo't, it shall be done.
Rag. It is ynough, we make no doubt of thee :
Meet vs to morrow here, at nyne a clock :
Meane while, farewell, and drink that for my fake.
Mef. I, this is it will make me do the deed :
Oh, had I every day such customers,
This were the gainefullt trade in Christendome !
A purse of gold giu'n for a paltry stabbe!
Why, heres a wench that longs to haue a stabbe.
Wel, I could giue it her, and ne're hurt her neither.
Enter the Gallian king, and Cordella.
King. When will these clouds of sorrow once disperse.
And smiling ioy tryumph vpon thy brow?
When will this scene of sadnesle haue an end,
And pleasant acts insue, to moue delight ?
When will my louely queene cease to lament,
And take some comfort to her grieued thoughts ?
If of thy selfe thou daignft to have no care,
Yet pitty me, whom thy griefe makes despayre.
Cor. O, grieué not you, my lord, you haue no cause;
Let not my passions moue your mind a whit :
For I am bound by nature, to lament
For his ill will, that life to me first lent.
If so the stocke be dryed with disdayne,
Withered and fere the branch must needes remaine.
King. But thou art now graft in another stock ;
I am the stock, and thou the louely branch :
And from my root continuall sap shall flow,
To make thee flourish with perpetual spring.
Forget thy father and thy kindred now,
Since they forsake thee like inhumane beastes,
Thinke they are dead, since all their kindneffe dyes,
And bury them, where black obliuion lyes.
Think not thou art the daughter of old Leir,
Who did vnkindly disinherit thee :
But think thou art the noble Gallian queene,
And wife to him that dearely loueth thee :
Embrace the ioyes that present with thee dwell,
Let forrow packe and hide her selfe in hell.
Cord. Not that I misse my country or my kinne,
My old acquaintance or my ancient friends,
Doth any whit distemperate my mynd,
Knowing you; which are more deare to me,
Then country, kin, and all things els can be.
Yet pardon me, my gracious lord, in this :
For what can stop the course of nature's power?
As easy is it for foure-footed beasts,
To stay themselues vpon the liquid ayre,
And mount aloft into the element,
And ouerstrip the feathered fowles in flight:
As easy is it for the limy filh,
To liue and thriue without the helpe of water :
As easy is it for the blackamoore,
To wash the tawny colour from his skin,
Which alt oppose against the course of nature,
As I am able to forget my father.
King. Myrrour of vertue, Phoenix of our age !
Too kind a daughter for an vnkind father,
Be of good comfort; for I will dispatch
Ambassadors immediately for Brittayné,
Vnto the king of Cornwalls court, whereas
Your father keepeth now his residence,
And in the kindest maner him intreat,
That setting former grieuances apart,
He will be pleasde to come and visit vs.
If no intreaty will suffice the turne,
Ile offer him the halfe of all my crowne:
If that moues not, weele furnish out a fleet,
And sayle to Cornwall for to visit him;
And there you shall be firmely reconcilde
In perfit loue, as earst you were before.
Gor. Where toung cannot sufficient thanks afford,
The king of heauen remunerate my lord.
King. Only be blithe, and frolick (sweet) with me : This and much more Ile do to comfort thee.
Mes. It is a world to see now I am flush, How many friends I purchase euery where ! How many seekes to creepe into my fauour, And kisse their hands, and bend their knees to me! No more, here comes the queene, now shall I know her
mind, And hope for to deriue more crownes from her, NA 2