Read Actus primus. Scena prima of The Mad Lover, free online book, by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, on

Flourish. Enter Astorax King of Paphos, his Sister
Calis, Train, and Cleanthe, Lucippe Gentlewomen, at
one door; at the other
Eumenes a Souldier.

Eume. Health to my Soveraign.

King. Eumenes, welcome: Welcome to Paphos, Souldier, to our love, And that fair health ye wish us, through the Camp May it disperse it self, and make all happy; How does the General, the valiant Memnon, And how his Wars, Eumenes?

Eume. The Gods have giv’n you (Royal Sir) a Souldier, Better ne’re sought a danger, more approv’d In way of War, more master of his fortunes, Expert in leading ’em; in doing valiant, In following all his deeds to Victories, And holding fortune certain there.

King. O Souldier,
Thou speak’st a man indeed; a Generals General,
A soul conceiv’d a Souldier.

Eumen. Ten set Battels Against the strong usurper Diocles (Whom long experience had begot a Leader, Ambition rais’d too mighty) hath your Memnon Won, and won gloriously, distrest and shook him Even from the head of all his hopes to nothing: In three, he beat the Thunder-bolt his Brother, Forc’d him to wall himself up: there not safe, Shook him with warlike Engins like an Earthquake, Till like a Snail he left his shell and crawl’d By night and hideous darkness to destruction: Disarm’d for ever rising more: Twelve Castles, Some thought impregnable; Towns twice as many; Countries that like the wind knew no command But savage wildness, hath this General With loss of blood and youth, through Storms and Tempests Call’d to your fair obedience.

King. O my Souldier That thou wert now within my arms; what drums  Drums Are those that beat Eumenes_?  within._

Eumen. His, my Soveraign; Himself i’th’ head of conquest drawing home, An old man now to offer up his glories, And endless conquest at your shrine.

King. Goe all,
And entertain him with all Cérémonie,
We’l keep him now a Courtier.

Eumen. Sir, a strange one, Pray God his language bear it; by my life, Sir He knows no complement, nor curious casting Of words into fit places e’re he speak ’em, He can say fight well fellow, and I’le thank thee: He that must eat, must fight; bring up the rear there, Or charge that wing of horse home. [Flourish.

King. Goe too, goe too.

Enter Memnon, and a train of Courtiers, and Souldiers,
two Captains
, Chilax.

Valiant and wise are twins Sir: welcom, welcom,
Welcom my fortunate and famous General,
High in thy Princes favour, as in fame,
Welcom to Peace, and Paphos.

Mem. Thank your Grace, And would to God my dull tongue had that sweetness To thank you as I should; but pardon me, My sword and I speak roughly Sir: your battels I dare well say, I have fought well; for I bring ye That lazie end you wish for Peace, so fully, That no more name of war is: who now thinks Sooner or safer these might have been ended, Begin ’em if he dare again; I’le thank him. Souldier and Souldiers Mate these twenty five years, At length your General, (as one whose merit Durst look upon no less,) I have waded through Dangers would damp these soft souls, but to hear of. The maidenheads of thousand lives hang here Sir, Since which time Prince, I know no Court but Marshal, No oylie language, but the shock of Arms, No dalliance but with death; No lofty measures But weary and sad marches, cold and hunger, Larums at midnight Valours self would shake at, Yet I ne’re shrunk: Balls of consuming Wildfire, That lickt men up like lightning, have I laught at, And tost ’em back again like childrens trifles. Upon the edges of my Enemies swords I have marcht like whirle-winds, fury at this hand waiting, Death at my right; Fortune my forlorn hope, When I have grapled with destruction, And tug’d with pale fac’d Ruine, Night and Mischief, Frighted to see a new day break in bloud; And every where I conquer’d; and for you Sir, Mothers have wanted wombs to make me famous, And blown ambition, dangers; Those that griev’d ye, I have taken order for i’th’ earth: those fools That shall hereafter

King. No more wars my Souldier:  K. takes Mem. aside We must now treat of peace Sir.  and talks with him.

Clean. How he talks,
How gloriously.

Cal. A goodly timber’d fellow,
Valiant no doubt.

Clé. If valour dwell in vaunting; In what a phrase he speaks, as if his actions Could be set off in nothing but a noise; Sure h’as a drum in’s mouth.

Cal. I wonder wenches
How he would speak to us.

Clean. Nothing but Larum,
Tell us whose throat he cut, shew us his sword,
And bless it for sure biting.

Lucippe. And ’t like your Grace, I do not think he knows us what we are, Or to what end; for I have heard his followers Affirm he never saw a woman that exceeded A Sutlers wife yet, or in execution Old bedrid Beldames without teeth or tongues, That would not flie his furie? how he looks.

Clea. This way devoutly.

Cal. Sure his Lordship’s viewing
Our Fortifications.

Lucip. If he mount at me,
I may chance choak his Battery.

Cal. Still his eye
Keeps quarter this way: Venus grant his valour
Be not in love.

Clean. If he be, presently
Expect a Herald and a Trumpet with ye
To bid ye render; we two Perdu’s pay for’t else.

King. I’le leave ye to my sister, and these Ladies To make your welcom fuller: my good souldier We must now turn your sternness into Courtship; When ye have done there, to your fair repose Sir: [Flourish. I know you need it Memnon; welcom Gentlemen. [Exit King.

Luci. Now he begins to march: Madam the Van’s yours,
Keep your ground sure; ’tis for your spurrs.

Mem. O Venus.
 He kneels amaz’d,
Cal._ How he stares on me.  and forgets to speak._

Clean. Knight him Madam, knight him,
He will grow toth’ ground else.

Eumenes. Speak Sir, ’tis the Princess.

1 Cap. Ye shame your self, speak to her.

Cal. Rise and speak Sir.
Ye are welcome to the Court, to me, to all Sir.

Lucip. Is he not deaf?

Cal. The Gentleman’s not well.

Eumen. Fie noble General.

Lucip. Give him fresh air, his colour goes, how do ye?
The Princess will be glad Sir.

Mem. Peace, and hear me.

Clean. Command a silence there.

Mem. I love thee Lady.

Cal. I thank your Lordship heartily: proceed Sir.

Lucip. Lord how it stuck in’s stomach like a surfeit.

Clean. It breaks apace now from him, God be thanked,
What a fine spoken man he is.

Lucip. A choice one, of singular variety in carriage.

Clean. Yes and I warrant you he knows his distance.

Mem. With all my heart I love thee.

Cal. A hearty Gentleman,
And I were e’en an arrant beast, my Lord,
But I lov’d you again.

Mem. Good Lady kiss me.

Clean. I marry, Mars, there thou cam’st close up to her.

Cal. Kiss you at first my Lord? ’tis no fair fashion,
Our lips are like Rose buds, blown with mens breaths,
They lose both sap and savour; there’s my hand Sir.

Eumen. Fie, fie, my Lord, this is too rude.

Mem. Unhand me,
Consume me if I hurt her; good sweet Lady
Let me but look upon thee.

Cal. Doe.

Mem. Yet

Cal. Well Sir,
Take your full view.

Lucip. Bless your eyes Sir.

Cal. Mercy, Is this the man they talkt of for a Souldier, So absolute and Excellent: O the Gods, If I were given to that vanitie Of making sport with men for ignorance, What a most precious subject had I purchas’d! Speak for him Gentlemen: some one that knows, What the man ails; and can speak sense.

Clean. Sure Madam,
This fellow has been a rare Hare finder.
See how his eyes are set.

Cal. Some one goe with me,
I’le send him something for his head, poor Gentleman,
He’s troubled with the staggers.

Lucip. Keep him dark,
He will run March mad else, the fumes of Battels
Ascend into his brains.

Clean. Clap to his feet
An old Drum head, to draw the thunder downward.

Cal. Look to him Gentlemen: farewel, Lord I am sorry We cannot kiss at this time, but believe it We’l find an hour for all: God keep my Children, From being such sweet Souldiers; Softly wenches, Lest we disturb his dream. [Exeunt Calis and Ladies.

Eumen. Why this is Monstrous.

1 Capt. A strange forgetfulness, yet still he holds it.

2 Capt. Though he ne’re saw a woman of great fashion Before this day, yet methinks ’tis possible He might imagine what they are, and what Belongs unto ’em: meer report of others.

Eumen. Pish, his head had other whimsies in’t: my Lord,
Death I think y’are struck dumb; my good Lord General.

1 Capt. Sir.

Mem. That I do love ye Madam; and so love ye
An’t like your grace.

2 Capt. He has been studying this speech.

Eumen. Who do ye speak to Sir?

Mem. Why where’s the Lady,
The woman, the fair woman?

1 Capt. Who?

Mem. The Princess,
Give me the Princess.

Eumen. Give ye counsel rather To use her like a Princess: Fy my Lord, How have you born your self, how nakedl Laid your soul open, and your ignorance To be a sport to all. Report and honour Drew her to doe you favours, and you bluntly, Without considering what, or who she was, Neither collecting reason, nor distinction.

Mem. Why, what did I my Masters?

Eumen. All that shews
A man unhandsom, undigested dough.

Mem. Did not I kneel unto her?

Eumen. Dumb and sensless, As though ye had been cut out for your fathers tomb, Or stuck a land-mark; when she spoke unto you, Being the excellence of all our Island, Ye star’d upon her, as ye had seen a monster.

Me. Was I so foolish? I confess Eumenes,
I never saw before so brave an outside,
But did I kneel so long?

Eumen. Till they laught at ye, And when you spoke I am asham’d to tell ye What ’twas my Lord; how far from order; Bless me, is’t possible the wild noise of war And what she only teaches should possess ye? Knowledge to treat with her, and full discretion Being at flood still in ye: and in peace, And manly conversation smooth and civil, Where gracefulness and glory twyn together, Thrust your self out an exile? Do you know Sir, what state she carries? What great obedience waits at her beck continually?

Mem. She ne’re commanded
A hundred thousand men, as I have done,
Nor ne’re won battel; Say I would have kist her.

Eumen. There was a dainty offer too, a rare one.

Mem. Why, she is a woman, is she not?

Eumen. She is so.

Mem. Why, very well; what was she made for then? Is she not young, and handsom, bred to breed? Do not men kiss fair women? if they doe, If lips be not unlawfull ware; Why a Princess Is got the same way that we get a begger Or I am cozen’d; and the self-same way She must be handled e’re she get another, That’s rudeness is it not?

2 Capt. To her ’tis held so, & rudeness in that high degree

Mem. ’Tis reason,
But I will be more punctual; pray what thought she?

Eum. Her thoughts were merciful, but she laught at ye, Pitying the poorness of your complement, And so she left ye. Good Sir shape your self To understand the place, and noble persons You live with now.

1 Capt. Let not those great deserts
The King hath laid up of ye, and the people,
Be blasted with ill bearing.

Eume. The whole name of souldier then will suffer.

Mem. She’s a sweet one,
And good sirs leave your exhortations,
They come untimely to me, I have brains
That beat above your reaches: She’s a Princess,
That’s all: I have killed a King, that’s greater.
Come let’s to dinner, if the Wine be good,
You shall perceive strange wisdom in my blood.

[Exeunt all but Chilax.

Chil. Well, would thou wert i’ the wars again Old Memnon, there thou wouldst talk toth’ purpose, And the proudest of all these Court Camelions Would be glad to find it sense too: pla[gu]e of this Dead peace, this Bastard breeding, lowzie, lazie idleness, Now we must learn to pipe, and pick our livings Out of old rotten ends: these twenty five years I have serv’d my Country, lost my youth and bloud, Expos’d my life to dangers more than dayes; Yet let me tell my wants, I know their answers, The King is bound to right me, they good people Have but from hand to mouth. Look to your wives Your young trim wives, your high-day wives, your marchpanes, For if the souldiers find not recompence, As yet there’s none a hatching; I believe You men of wares, the men of wars will nick ye, For starve nor beg they must not; my small means Are gone in fumo: here to raise a better Unless it be with lying, or Dog flattering, At which our Nation’s excellent; observing Dog-days, When this good Lady broyles and would be basted By that good Lord, or such like moral learnings, Is here impossible; Well; I will rub among ’em If any thing for honestie be gotten, Though’t be but bread and cheese I can be satisfied: If otherwise the wind blow, stiff as I am Yet I shall learn to shuffle: There’s an old Lass That shall be nameless yet alive, my last hope, Has often got me my pocket full of crowns. If all fail Jack-Dawes, are you alive still? Then I see the coast clear, when fools and boyes can prosper.

Enter Fool, and Page.

Page. Brave Lieutenant.

Fool. Hail to the man of worship.

Chi. You are fine sirs,
Most passing fine at all points.

Fool. As ye see Sir, Home-bred and handsome, we cut not out our clothes Sir At half sword as your Taylors doe, and pink ’em With Pikes and Partizans, we live retir’d Sir Gentlemen like, and jealous of our honours.

Chi. Very fine Fool, and fine Boy, Peace playes with you,
As the wind playes with Feathers, dances ye,
You grind with all gusts, gallants.

Page. We can bounce Sir,
When you Soldados bend i’th’ hams, and frisk too.

Fool. When twenty of your trip-coats turn their tippets, And your cold sallets without salt or vineger Be wambling in your stomachs; hemp and hobnails Will bear no price now, hangings and old harness Are like to over-run us.

Pa. Whores and hot houses.

Fool. Surgeons and Syringes ring out your sance-bells.

Page. Your Jubile, your Jubile.

Fool. Prob Deum.
How our St. Georges will bestride the Dragons,
The red and ramping Dragons.

Page. Advanc’t fool

Fool. But then the sting i’th’ tail boy.

Page. Tanto Melior.
For so much the more danger, the more honour.

Chi. You’re very pleasant with our occupation Gent. Which very like amongst these fierie Serpents May light upon a Blind-worm of your blood, A Mother or a Sister.

Fool. Mine’s past saddle, You should be sure of her else: but say Sir Huon, Now the Drums dubbs, and the sticks turn’d bed-staves, All the old Foxes hunted to their holes, The Iron age return’d to Erebus, And Honorificabilitudinitatibus Thrust out o’th’ Kingdom by the head and shoulders, What trade do you mean to follow?

Chi. That’s a question.

Fool. Yes and a learned question if ye mark it,
Consider and say on.

Chi. Fooling as thou dost, that’s the best trade I take it.

Fool. Take it straight then For fear your fellows be before ye, hark ye Lieutenant Fooling’s the thing, the thing worth all your fightings, When all’s done ye must fool Sir.

Chi. Well, I must then.

Fool. But do you know what fooling is? true fooling, The circumstances that belong unto it? For every idle knave that showes his teeth, Wants and would live, can juggle, tumble, fiddle, Make a dog face, or can abuse his fellow, Is not a fool at first dash; you shall find Sir Strange turnings in this trade; to fool is nothing As fooling has been, but to fool the fair way, The new way, as the best men fool their friends, For all men get by fooling, meerly fooling, Desert does nothing, valiant, wise, vertuous, Are things that walk by without bread or breeches.

Chi. I partly credit that.

Fool. Fine wits, fine wits Sir, There’s the young Boy, he does well in his way too, He could not live else in his Masters absence; He tyes a Ladyes garters so, so prettily, Say his hand slip, but say so.

Chi. Why let it slip then.

Fool. ’Tis ten to one the body shall come after,
And he that works deserves his wages.

Chi. That’s true.

Fool. He riddles finely to a waiting Gentlewoman, Expounds dreams like a Prophet, dreams himself too, And wishes all dreams true; they cry Amen, And there’s a Memorandum: he can sing too Bawdy enough to please old Ladies: he lies rarely, Pawns ye a sute of clothes at all points, fully, Can pick a pocket if ye please, or casket; Lisps when he lists to catch a Chambermaid, And calls his Hostess mother, these are things now, If a man mean to live: to fight and swagger, Beaten about the Ears with bawling sheepskins, Cut to the soul for Summer: here an arm lost, And there a leg; his honourable head Seal’d up in salves and cereclothes, like a packet, And so sent over to an Hospital, stand there, charge there, Swear there, whore there, dead there, And all this sport for cheese, and chines of dog-flesh, And mony when two wednesdayes meet together, Where to be lowzie is a Gentleman, And he that wears a clean shirt has his shrowd on.

Chi. I’le be your scholar, come if I like fooling.

Fool. You cannot choose but like it, fight you one day I’le fool another, when your Surgeon’s paid, And all your leaks stopt, see whose slops are heaviest, I’le have a shilling for a can of wine, When you shall have two Sergeants for a Counter.

Boy. Come learn of us Lieutenant, hang your Iron up,
We’l find you cooler wars.

Chi. Come let’s together,
I’le see your tricks, and as I like ’em. [Exeunt.

Enter Memnon, Eumenes, and Captains.

Mem. Why was there not such women in the camp then
Prepar’d to make me know ’em?

Eum. ’Twas no place Sir.

1 Capt. Why should they live in Tumults? they are creatures
Soft and of sober natures.

Mem. Cou’d not your wives,
Your Mothers, or your Sisters have been sent for
To exercise upon?

Eume. We thank your Lordship.

2 Capt. But do you mean?

Mem. I do mean.

2 Capt. What Sir?

Mem. To see her, And see thee hang’d too an thou anger’st me, And thousands of your throats cut, get ye from me, Ye keep a prating of your points of manners, And fill my head with lowzie circumstances, Better have Ballads in’t, your courtly worships, How to put off my hat, you, how to turn me, And you (forsooth) to blow my nose discreetly; Let me alone, for I will love her, see her, Talk to her, and mine own way.

Eume. She’s the Princess.

Mem. Why let her be the Devil, I have spoke
When Thunder durst not check me, I must love,
I know she was a thing kept for me.

Eume. And I know Sir,
Though she were born yours, yet your strange behaviour
And want

Mem. Thou liest.

Eum. I do not.

Mem. Ha!

Eume. I do not lye Sir,
I say you want fair language, nay ’tis certain
You cannot say good morrow.

Mem. Ye Dog-whelps,
The proudest of your prating tongues

Eume. Doe, kill us, Kill us for telling truth: for my part, General, I would not live to see men make a may-game Of him I have made a Master, kill us quickly, Then ye may

Mem. What?

Eume. Doe what you list, draw your sword childishly
Upon your Servants that are bound to tell ye;
I am weary of my life.

1 Capt. And I.

2 Capt. And all Sir.

Eume. Goe to the Princess, make her sport, cry to her
I am the glorious man of war.

Mem. Pray ye leave me,
I am sorry I was angry, I’le think better,
Pray no more words.

Eume. Good Sir.

Mem. Nay then.

2 Capt. We are gone Sir. [Exeunt Eume. and Capt.

Enter Princess Calis, Lucippe, Cleanthe.

Cal. How came he hither? see for Heavens sake wenches,
What face, and what postures he puts on,  Mem. walks aside
I do not think he is perfect.  full of strange

Clé. If your love
Have not betray’d his little wits, he’s well enough,
As well as he will be.

Cal. Mark how he muses.

Lucip. H’as a Batalia now in’s brains, he draws out, now
Have at ye Harpers.

Clé. See, see, there the fire fails.

Lucip. Look what an Alphabet of faces he runs through.

Clé. O love, love, how amorously thou look’st
In an old rusty armour.

Clé. I’ll away, for by my troth I fear him.

Lucip. Fear the gods, Madam, And never care what man can do, this fellow With all his frights about him and his furies, His Larums, and his Launces, Swords, and Targets, Nay case him up in armour Cap-a-pe, Yet durst I undertake within two hours, If he durst charge, to give him such a shake, Should shake his Valour off, and make his shanks to ake.

Clé. For shame no more.

Cal. He muses still.

Clé. The Devil
Why should this old dryed timber chopt with thunder

Cal. Old Wood burns quickest.

Lucip. Out, you would say Madam,
Give me a green stick that may hold me heat,
And smoak me soundly too; He turns, and sees ye.  Memnon
 comes to her.
Clé. There’s no avoiding now, have at ye.

Mem. Lady.
The more I look upon ye. [Stays her.

Clé. The more you may, Sir.

Cal. Let him alone.

Mem. I would desire your patience.
The more I say I look, the more [Stays her.

Lucip. My Fortune,
’Tis very apt, Sir.

Mem. Women, let my Fortune
And me alone I wish ye, pray come this way,
And stand you still there Lady.

Cal. Leave the words Sir, and leap into the meaning.

Mem. Then again:
I tell you I do love ye.

Cal. Why?

Mem. No questions: pray no more questions.
I do love you, infinitely: why do you smile?
Am I ridiculous?

Cal. I am monstrous fearful, no, I joy you love me.

Mem. Joy on then, and be proud on’t, I do love you, Stand still, do not trouble me you Women. He loves you Lady at whose feet have kneel’d Princes to beg their freedoms, he whose valour Has overrun whole Kingdoms.

Cal. That makes me doubt, Sir,
’Twill overrun me too.

Mem. He whose Sword.

Clé. Talk not so big, Sir, you will fright the Princess.

Mem. Ha.

Lucippe. No forsooth.

Cal. I know ye have done wonders.

Mem. I have and will do more and greater, braver;
And for your beauty miracles, name that Kingdom
And take your choice.

Cal. Sir I am not ambitious.

Mem. Ye shall be, ’tis the Child of Glory: she that I love
Whom my desires shall magnifie, time stories,
And all the Empires of the Earth.

Clé. I would fain ask him

Lucip. Prithee be quiet, he will beat us both else.

Clé. What will ye make me then, Sir?

Mem. I will make thee
Stand still and hold thy peace; I have a heart, Lady.

Cal. Ye were a monster else.

Mem. A loving heart,
A truly loving heart.

Cal. Alas, how came it?

Mem. I would you had it in your hand, sweet Lady,
To see the truth it bears you.

Cal. Do you give it.

Lucip. That was well thought upon.

Clé. ’Twill put him to’t Wench.

Cal. And you shall see I dare accept it, Sir, Tak’t in my hand and view it: if I find it A loving and a sweet heart, as you call it, I am bound, I am.

Mem. No more, I’ll send it to ye,
As I have honour in me, you shall have it.

Clé. Handsomly done, Sir, and perfum’d by all means,
The Weather’s warm, Sir.

Mem. With all circumstance.

Lucip. A Napkin wrought most curiously.

Mem. Divinely.

Clé. Put in a Goblet of pure Gold.

Mem. Yes in Jacinth
That she may see the Spirit through.

Lucip. Ye have greas’d him
For chewing love again in haste.

Clé. If he should do it.

Cal. If Heaven should fall we should have larks; he do it!

Clé. See how he thinks upon’t.

Cal. He will think these three years
Ere he prove such an Ass, I lik’t his offer,
There was no other way to put him off else.

Mem. I will do it
Lady expect my heart.

Cal. I do, Sir.

Mem. Love it, for ’tis a heart that and so I leave ye.
[Exit Mem.

Clé. Either he is stark mad,
Or else I thinks he means it.

Cal. He must be stark mad Or else he will never do it, ’tis vain Glory, And want of judgment that provokes this in him; Sleep and Society cures all: his heart? No, no, good Gentleman there’s more belongs to’t, Hearts are at higher prices, let’s go in And there examine him a little better. Shut all the doors behind for fear he follow, I hope I have lost a lover, and am glad on’t. [Ex. Lady.