Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Beaumont & Fletcher, Cupid's Revenge

Beaumont & Fletcher, Cupid’s Revenge, The Works of Beaumont & Fletcher, Volume II, Ed. The Rev. Alexander Dyce, London, Edward Moxon, Dover Street, 1843.

…this play was acted at court in 1613, we may confidently assign the date of its original representation to that year.” This remark only shows how dangerous it is to be confident in matters of such uncertainty. An authentic document is now before me, which proves that the present tragedy is of an earlier date: a MS. Booke of the Reuells records that “The Sunday ffollowing [after “Neweres night,” 1611-12] A play called Cupids Reuenge” was acted by the Children of Whitefriars.” (351)

That this drama was written by Beaumont and Fletcher conjointly, there is every reason to believe. The Arcadia furnished the groundwork of the plot: … Sidney’s narrative (351)

Hidaspes: Many ages before this,
When every man got to himself a trade,
And was laborious in that chosen course,
Hating an idle life far worse than death,
Some one that gave himself to wine and sloth,
Which breed lascivious thoughts, and found himself
Contemn’d for that by every painful man,
To take his stain away, fram’d to himself
A god, whom he pretended to obey,
In being thus dishonest; for a name,
He call’d him Cupid. This created god
(Man’s nature being ever credulous
Of any vice that takes part with his blood)
Had ready followers enow; and since
In every age they grew, especially
Amongst your subjects, who do yet remain
Adorers of that drowsy deity,
Which drink invented; …

(CR, 1.1.359)

Nisus: How like you this request, my lords?
Dorialus: I know not yet, I am so full of wonder:

(CR, 1.1.361)

Dorialus: The duke, he’s old and past it; he would neer
Have brought such a plague upon the land else;
’Tis worse than sword and famine. Yet, to say truth,
we have deserv’d it, we have liv’d so wickedly,

And cried out to the god for endless pleasures:
He heard us, and supplied us, and our women
Were new still, as we needed’em; yet we,
Like beasts, still cried, “Poor men can number their whores,
Give us abundance!” we had it, and this curse withal.

(CR, 1.1.362)

Cupid: Am I, whose bow struck terror through the earth
No less than thunder, and in this exceeding
Even gods themselves, who kneel before my altars,
Now shook off and contemn’d by such whose lives
Are but my recreation? …

(CR, 1.3.366)

And on the first heart that despis’d my greatness
Lay a strange misery, …

(CR, 1.3.366)

…nor shall the prayers,
Nor sweet smokes on my altars, hold my hand,
Till I have left this a most wretched land.

(CR, 1.3.366)

Cleophila: The princess is besides her grace, I think,
To talk thus with a fellow that will hardly
Serve i’the dark when one is drunk. [Aside

(CR, 1.3.369)

Ismenus: The wars will hurt thy face; there’s no semsters,
Shoemakers, nor tailors, nor almond-milk i’the morning,
Nor poached eggs to keep your worship soluble,
No man to warm your shirt, and blow your roses,
Nor none to reverence your round lace breeches.

(CR, 1.4.371; roses: i.e. the (sometimes preposterously large and costly) knots of ribands on the shoes.)

Leontius: … Beasts, you are only blest,
That have that happy dullness to forget
What you have made! Your young ones grieve not you;
They wander where they list, and have their ways
Without dishonour to you; …

(CR, 1.4.374)

Leucippus: My greatness, or gold, could nothing move her.

(CR, 2.2.382)

Nisus: I wonder from whence this [race] of the dwarfs first sprung?
Dorialus: From an old lecherous pair of breeches, that lay upon a wench to keep her warm; for certainly they are no man’s work:

(CR, 2.4.386)

Leontius: Before the gods, I am lightsome, very lightsome!—
How dost thou like me, widow?

(CR, 2.4.392)

Bacha: Sir, you may
Command an unwilling woman to obey you;
But Heaven knows—
Leontius: No more:
These half-a-dozen kisses, and this jewel
[Kissing her, and giving jewel.
And every thing I have, and away with me,
And clap it us, and have a boy by morning!—
Timantus, let one be sent
Post for my son again and for Ismenus;
They are scarce twenty miles on their way yet:
By that time we’ll be married.

(CR, 2.1.394)

Leucippus: You are a strumpet1
Bacha: Nay, I care not
For all your railings; they will batter walls
And take in towns, as soon as trouble me:
Tell him, I care not; I shall undo you only,

(CR, 3.2.403)

Agenor: All the land
Holds in that tenure too, in woman’s service:
Sure, we shall learn to spin.
Dorialus: No, that’s too honest;
We shall have other liberal sciences
Taught us too soon: lying flattering,
Those are the studies now; and murder shortly

(CR, 3.3.405)

Dorialus: This is one of her ferrets that she boults business out withal: this fellow, if he were well ript, has all the linings of a knave within him; how sly he looks!
Nisus: Have we nothing about our clothes that he may catch at?
Agenor: O’ my conscience, there’s no treason in my doubtlet: if there be, my elbows will discover it,--they are out.

(CR, 3.4.406)

Dorialus: Thunder in January, or a good woman; that’s stranger than all the monsters in Afric.

(CR, 3.4.412)

Bacha: The duke you know is old, and rather subject
To ease and prayers now, than all those troubles,
Cares, and continual watchings, that attend
A kingdom’s safety; …

(CR, 3.4.412)

Dorialus: I was never cozen’d in a woman before;
For commonly they are like apples; if once they bruise,
They will grow rotten through, and serve for nothing
But to assuage swellings. [Aside

(CR, 3.4.413)

Ismenus: Take heed; this is your mother’s scorpion,
That carries stings even in his tears, whose soul
Is a rank poison through: touch not at him;
If you do, you are gone, if you had twenty lives.
I knew him from a roguish boy,
When we would poison dogs, and keep tame toads;
He lay with his mother, and infected her,
And now she begs i’the hospital, with a patch
Of velvet where her nose stood, like the queen of spades,
And all her teeth in her purse.
The devil and this fellow are so near,
’Tis not yet known which is the eviler angel.

(CR, 4.1.420)

First Citizen: I’ll give thee a pint of bastard and a roll
For that bare word.

(CR, 4.3.427; bastard: Was a sweetish wine, (approaching to the muscadel wine in flavour, and perhaps made from a bastard species of muscadine grape,) which was brought form some of the countries bordering the Mediterranean. There were two sorts, white and brown. See Henderson’s Hist. of Wine, pp. 290-1.)

Dorialus: I care not if my throat were next; for to live still, and live here, were but to grow fat for the shambles.

(CR, 4.4.430)

Ismenus: ... if you should play the scurvy, harlotry, little pocky baggage now, and cozen me, what then?

(CR, 5.1.437)

Ismenus: I would have thee, in vengeance of this man,
Whose peace is made in heaven by this time,
Tied to a post, and dried i’the sun, and after
Carried about, and shewn at fairs for money,
With a long story of the devil thy father,
That taught thee to be whorish, envious, bloody!

(CR, 5.2.440)

Cupid: The time now of my revenge draws near;
Nor shall it lessen, as I am a god,
With all the cries and prayers that have been,
…, though they be infinite
In need and number.

(CR, 5.3.440)

Leucippus: But stir up thyself: look what a jewel here is,
See how it glisters! What a pretty show
Will this make in thy little ear! Ha, speak!
Eat but a bit, and take it.

(CR, 5.4.445)

Ismenus: Monstrous woman! Mars would weep at this,
And yet she cannot.

(CR, 5.4.447)


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