Friday, November 19, 2010

Beaumont & Fletcher, Philaster

Beaumont & Fletcher, Philaster

The Works of Beaumont & Fletcher; The Text Formed from a New Collation of the Early Editions. With Notes and a Biographical Memoir by The Rev. Alexander Dyce. In Eleven Volumes. London: Edward Moxon, Dover Street. MDCCCXLIII.

Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding

Philaster was undoubtedly the joint-essay of Beaumont and Fletcher: concerning their respective shares in its composition there is, I think, much uncertainty, though modern critics seem sto agree in assigning the greater portion of it to Beaumont’s pen. (199)

Pharamond: …And I vow
My reign shall be so easy to the subject,
That every man shall be his prince himself
And his own law—yet I his prince and law.
And, dearest lady, to your dearest self
(Dear in the choice of him whose name and luster
Must make you more and mightier) let me say,
You are the blessed’st living; for, sweet princess,
You shall enjoy a man of men to be
Your servant; you shall make him yours, for whom
Great queens must die.
Thrasiline: Miraculous!
Cleremont: This speech calls him Spaniard, being nothing but a large inventory of his own commendations.
Dion: I wonder what’s his price; for certainly
He’ll sell himself, he has so prais’d his shape.

(Philaster, 214-15)

Arethusa: Two things so opposite, so contrary,
As he and I am: if a bowl of blood,
Drawn from this arm of mine, would poison thee,
A draught of his would cure thee. …

(Philaster, 1.2.223)

Arethusa: Philaster, know,
I must enjoy these kingdoms.
Philaster: Madam, both?
Arethusa: Both, or I die; by fate, I die, Philaster,
If I not calmly may enjoy them both.

Arethusa: Nay then, hear:
I must and will have them, and more—
Philaster: What more?
Arethusa: Or lose that little life the gods prepar’d
To trouble this poor piece of earth withal.

(Philaster, 1.2.224)

Philaster: I have a boy,
Sent by the gods, I hope, to this intent,
Not yet seen in the court. Hunting the buck,
I found him sitting by a fountain’s side,
Of which he borrow’d some to quench his thirst,
And paid the nymph again as much in tears.
A garland lay him by, made by himself
Of many several flowers bred in the vale,
Stuck in that mystic order that the rareness
Delighted me; but ever when he turn’d
His tender eyes upon’em, he would weep,
As if he meant to make’em grow again.
Seeing such pretty helpless innocence
Dwell in his face, I ask’d him all his story:
He told me that his parents gentle died,
Leaving him to the mercy of the fields,
Which gave him roots; and of the crystal springs,
Which did not stop their courses; and the sun,
Which still, he thank’d him, yielded him his light.
Then took he up his garland, and did shew
What every flower, as country-people hold,
Did signify, and how all, order’d thus,
Express’d his grief; and, to my thoughts, did read
The prettiest lecture of his country-art
That could be wish’d; so that methought I could
Have studied it. I gladly entertain’d
Him, who was glad to follow; and have got
The trustiest, loving’st, and the gentlest boy
That ever master kept. Him will I send
To wait on your, and bear our hidden love.

(Philaster, 1.2.226-7)

Philaster: The love of boys unto their lords is strange;
I have read wonders of it: yet this boy
For my sake (if a man may judge by looks
And speech) would out-do story. I may see
A day to pay him for his loyalty.

(Philaster, 2.2.232)

Galatea: No, sir, I do not mean to purge you, though
I mean to purge a little time on you.
Pharamond: Do ladies of this country use to give
No more respect to men of my full being?
Galatea: Full being! I understand you not, unless your grace means growing to fatness; and then your only remedy (upon my knowledge, prince) is, in a morning, a cup of neat white wine brewed with carduus; then fast till supper; about eight you may eat: use exercise, and keep a sparrow-hawk; you can shoot in a tiller [i.e. a steel bow, or cross bow]: but, of all, your grace must fly phlebotomy, fresh pork, conger, and clarified whey; they are all dullers of the vital spirits.
Pharamond: Lady, you talk of nothing all this while.
Galatea: ‘Tis very true, sir; I talk of you.

(Philaster, 2.2.234)

Megra: What would your grace talk of?
Pharamond: Of some such pretty subject as yourself:
I’ll go no further than your eye, or lip;
There’s theme enough for one man for an age.
Megra: Sir, they stand right, and my lips are yet even smooth,
Young enough, ripe enough, and red enough,
Or my glass wrongs me.
Pharamond: Oh, they are two twinn’d cherries dy’d in blushes
Which those fair suns above with their bright beams
Reflect upon and ripen! Sweetest beauty,
Bow down those branches, that the longing taste
Of the faint looker-on may meet those blessings,
And taste and live.

(Philaster, 2.2.23)

Cleremont: The gentry do await it, and the people,
Against their nature, are all bent for him,
And like a field of standing corn, that’s mov’d
With a stiff gale, their heads bow all one way.
[against their nature: i.e. contrary to the nature of the discordant multitude]

(Philaster: 3.1.248)

Philaster: Oh, that, like beasts, we could not grieve ourselves
With that we see not! Bulls and rams will fight
To keep their females, standing in their sight;
But take’em from them, and you take at once
Their spleens away; and they will fall again
Unto their pastures, growing fresh and fat;
And taste the waters of the springs as sweet
As’twas before, finding no start in sleep:
But miserable man—

(Philaster, 3.1.252)

Philaster: Why, this is wondrous well:

(Philaster, 3.1.253)

King: Put him away. H’as done you that good service
Shames me to speak of.
Arethusa: Good sir, let me understand you.

King: Do you not blush to ask it? Cast him off,
Or I shall do the same to you. …

Arethusa: What have I done, my lord?
King: ‘Tis a new language, that all love to learn:
The common people speak it well already;
They need no grammar. Understand me well;
There be foul whispers stirring. …

(Philaster, 3.2.258)

Arethusa: Save me, how black
And guiltily, methinks, that boy looks now!
Oh, thou dissembler, that, before thou spak’st,
Wert in thy cradle false, sent to make lies
And betray innocents! Thy lord and thou
May glory in the ashes of a maid
Fool’d by her passion; but the conquest is
Nothing so great as wicked. Fly away!
Let my command force thee to that which shame
Would do without it. If thou understood’st
The loathed office thou hast undergone,
Why, thou wouldst hide thee under heaps of hills,
Lest men should dig and find thee.
Bellario: Oh, what god,
Angry with men, hath sent this strange disease
Into the noblest minds! Madam, this grief
You add unto me is no more than drops
To seas, for which they are not seen to swell;

(Philaster, 3.2.262-3)

Arethusa: Peace guide thee! Thou hast overthrown me once;
Yet, if I had another Troy to lose,
Thou, or another villain with thy looks,
Might talk me out of it, and send me naked,
My hair dishevell’d, through the fiery streets.

(Philaster, 3.2.263)

King: You are cloudy, sir: come, we have forgotten
Your venial trespass; let not that sit heavy
Upon your spirit; here’s none dare utter it.

Cleremont: Is’t possible this fellow should repent? Methinks, that were not noble in him; and yet he looks like a mortified member, as if he had a sick man’s salve in’s mouth. If a worse man had done this fault now, some physical justice or other would presently (without the help of an almanack) have opened the obstructions of his liver, and let him blood with a dog-whip.

(Philaster, 4.1.264-5)

Philaster: Oh, that I had been nourish’d in these woods
With milk of goats and acorns, and not known
The right of crowns nor the dissembling trains
Of women’s looks; but digg’d myself a cave,
Where I, my fire, my cattle, and my bed,
Might have been shut together in one shed;
And then had taken me some mountain-girl,
Beaten with winds, chaste as the harden’d rocks
Whereon she dwelt, that might have strew’d my bed
With leaves and reeds, and with the skins of beasts,
Our neighbors, and have borne at his big breasts
My large coarse issue! This had been a life
Free from vexation.

(Philaster, 4.2.268-9)

Dion: Saw you a lady come this way on a sable horse studded with stars of white?
Second Woodman: Was she not young and tall?
Dion: Yes. Rode she to the wood or to the plain?
Second Woodman: Faith, my lord, we saw none.
Dion: Pox of your questions then!

(Philaster, 4.2.270)

Philaster: [Offers his drawn sword]
And search how temperate a heart I have;
Then you and this your boy may live and reign
In lust without control. Wilt thou, Bellario?
I prithee, kill me: thou art poor, and may’st
Nourish ambitious thoughts; when I am dead,
Thy way were freer. Am I raging now?
If I were mad, I should desire to live.

Bellario: Alas, my lord, your pulse keeps madman’s time!
So does your tongue.
Philaster: You will not kill me, then?
Arethusa: Kill you!
Bellario: Not for a world.
Philaster: I blame not thee, /
Bellario: thou hast done but that which gods
Would have transform’d themselves to do. Begone,
Leave me without reply; this is the last
Of all our meetings. [Exit Bellario]. …

(Philaster, 4.3.274-5)

Bellario: Alas, my lord, my life is not a thing
Worthy your noble thoughts! ’tis not a thing
’Tis but a piece of childhood thrown away.

(Philaster, 5.2.285)

Arethusa: For death can be no bugbear unto me,
So long as Pharamond is not my headsman.

(Philaster, 5.3.289)

Philaster: Your memory shall be as foul behind you,
As you are living; all your better deeds
Shall be in water writ, but this in marble;
No chronicle shall speak you, though your own,
But for the shame of men. No monument,
Though high and big as Pelion, shall be able
To cover this base murder: make it rich
With brass, with purest gold and shining jasper,
Like the Pyramides; lay on epitaphs
Such as make great men gods; my little marble
That only clothes my ashes, not my faults,
Shall far outshine it. And for after-issues,
Think not so madly of the heavenly wisdoms,
That they will give you more for your mad rage
To cut off, unless it be some snake, or something
Like yourself, that in his birth shall strangle you.

(Philaster, 5.3.290)

Cleremont: The city up! this was above our wishes.
Dion: Ay, and the marriage too. By my life,
This noble lady has deceiv’d us all.
A plague upon myself, a thousand plagues,
For having such unworthy thoughts of her dear honour!
Oh, I could beat myself! Or do you beat me,
And I’ll beat you; for we had all one thought.

(Philaster, 5.3.291)

Thrasiline: What, if a toy [i.e. whim] take’em i’the heels now, and they run all away, and cry “the devil take the hindmost?”
Dion: Then the same devil take the foremost too, and souse him for his breakfast! If they all prove cowards, my curses fly amonst them, and be speeding! … may they know no language but that gibberish they prattle to their parcels, unless it be the goatish Latin they write in their bonds—and may they write that false, and lose their debts! (5.3.292-3)

Dion: …nay, you shall cozen me, and I’ll thank you, and send you brawn and bacon, and soil you every long vacation a brace of foremen, that at Michaelmas shall come up fat and kicking. [Aside]
[soil you every long vacation a brace of foremen: “soil” to fatten completely.” “soiling, the last fattening food given to fowls when they are taken up from the stack or barn-door, and cooped for a few days.” Forby’s Vocab of East Anglia. Foremen can only be a sort of cant name for geese.]

(Philaster, 5.3.293)

Captain: Dearly beloved of spic’d cake and custard,

(Philaster, 5.4.295)

Pharamond: Why, you rude slave, do you know what you do?
Captain: My pretty prince of puppets, we do know;
And give your greatness warning that you talk
No more such bug’s-words, or that solder’d crown
Shall be scratch’d with a mustket.

(Philaster, 5.4.296-7)

Pharamond: Gods keep me from these hell-hounds!
First Citizen: Shall’s geld him, captain?
Captain: No, you shall spare his dowcets, my dear donsels;
As you respect the ladies, let them flourish:
The curses of a longing woman kill
As speedy as a plague, boys.
First Citizen: I’ll have a leg, that’s certain.
Second Citizen: I’ll have an arm.
Third Citizen: I’ll have his nose, and at mine own charge build
A college and clap it upon the gate.
Fourth Citizen: I’ll have his little gut to string a kit with:
For certainly a royal gut will sound like silver.
Pharamond: Would they were in thy belly, and I past my pain once!
Fifth Citizen: Good captain, let me have his liver to feet ferrets.
Captain: Who will have parcels else? Speak.

(Philaster: 5.4.298-9)

All: Long live Philaster, the brave prince Philaster!
Philaster: I thank you, gentlemen. But why are these
Rude weapons brought abroad, to teach your hands
Uncivil trades?
Captain: My royal Rosicleer,
We are thy myrmidons, thy guard, thy roarers;
And when thy noble body is in durance,
Thus do we clap our musty murrions [plain steel helmets] on,
And trace the streets in terror. Is it peace,
Thou Mars of men? Is the King sociable,
And bids thee live? Art thou above thy foemen,
And free as Phoebus? Speak. If not, this stand
Of royal blood shall be abroach, a-tilt,
And run even to the lees of honour.
Philaster: Hold, and be satisfied: I am myself;
Free as my thoughts are; by the gods, I am!
Captain: Art thou the dainty darling of the King?
Art thou the Hylas to our Hercules?
Do the lords bow, and the regarded scarlets
Kiss their gumm’d golls, and cry “We are your servants” ?
[their hands, fists, paws, to which some sort of gum had been applied either for its perfume or its bleaching quality. Jonson speaks of effeminate persons “bleaching their hands at midnight, gumming and bridling their beards,” &c in Discoveries, Works, (by Gifford), ix, 202.]
Is the court navigable, and the presence stuck
With flags of friendship? If not, we are thy castle,
And this man sleeps.

(Philaster, 5.4.300)

Philaster: Away, away, there is no danger in him:
Alas, he had rather sleep to shake his fit off!
Look you, friends, how gently he leads! Upon my word,
He’s tame enough, he needs no further watching.
Good my friends, go to your houses,
And by me have your pardons and my love;
And know there shall be nothing in my power
You may deserve, but you shall have your wishes:
To give you more thanks, were to flatter you.
Continue still your love; and, for an earnest,
Drink this. [Gives money]

(Philaster, 5.5.302)

Philaster: …For you, prince of Spain,
Whom I have thus redeem’d, you have full leave
To make an honourable voyage home.
And if you would go furnish’d to your realm
With fair provision, I do see a lday,
Methinks, would gladly bear you company:
How like you this piece?
Megra: Sir, he likes it well,
For he hath tried it, and hath found it worth
His princely liking. …

(Philaster, 5.5.304)


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