SCENE I.The Camp of Arbaces, on the Frontiers of Armenia.
Enter Mardonius and Bessus.
Mar. Bessus, the king has made a fair hand ont; he has ended the wars at a blow. Would my sword had a close basket hilt, to hold wine, and the blade would make knives; for we shall have nothing but eating and drinking.
Bes. We, that are commanders, shall do well enough.
Mar. Faith, Bessus, such commanders as thou may: I had as lieve set thee perdue for a pudding i th dark, as Alexander the Great.
Bes. I love these jests exceedingly.
Mar. I think thou lovst em better than quarrelling, Bessus; Ill say so much in thy behalf. And yet thourt valiant enough upon a retreat: I think thou wouldst kill any man that stoppd thee, an thou couldst.
Bes. But was not this a brave combat, Mardonius?
Mar. Why, didst thou see it?
Bes. You stood with me.
Mar. I did so; but methought thou winkdst every blow they strake.
Bes. Well, I believe there are better soldiers than I, that never saw two princes fight in lists.
Mar. By my troth, I think so too, Bessus; many a thousand:
Bes. Twas bravely done of our king.
Mar. Yes, if he had not ended the wars. Im glad thou darst talk of such dangerous businesses.
Bes. To take a prince prisoner in the heart of his own country, in single combat!
Mar. See how thy blood cruddles at this! I think thou couldst be contented to be beaten i this passion.
Bes. Shall I tell you truly?
Bes. I could willingly venture for it.
Mar. Hum! no venture neither, good Bessus.
Bes. Let me not live, if I do not think it is a braver piece of service than that Im so famed for.
Mar. Why, art thou famed for any valour?
Bes. I famed? Ay, I warrant you.
Mar. I am very heartily glad ont: I have been with thee ever since thou camst to the wars, and this is the first word that ever I heard ont. Prythee, who fames thee?
Bes. The Christian world.
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