SCENE I.Before the Palace.
Enter MARDONIUS and LYGONES.
Mar. Sir, the king has seen your commission, and believes it; and freely by this warrant gives you power
to visit prince Tigranes, your noble master.
Lyg. I think his grace, and kiss his hand.
Mar. But is the main of all your business ended in this?
Lyg. I have another, but a worse; I am ashamed! It is a business
Mar. You serve a worthy person; and a stranger, I am sure you are: You may employ me, if you please,
without your purse; such offices should ever be their own rewards.
Lyg. I am bound to your nobleness.
Mar. I may have need of you, and then this courtesy,
If it be any, is not ill bestowd.
But may I civilly desire
I shall not be a hurter, if no helper.
Lyg. Sir, you shall know: I have lost a foolish daughter,
And with her all my patience: pilferd away
mean captain of your kings.
Mar. Stay there, sir:
If he have reachd the noble worth of captain,
He may well claim a worthy gentlewoman,
she were yours, and noble.
Lyg. I grant all that too: But this wretched fellow
Reaches no further than the empty name,
That serves to
feed him. Were he valiant,
Or had but in him any noble nature,
That might hereafter promise him a good
My cares were so much lighter, and my grave
A span yet from me.
Mar. I confess, such fellows
Be in all royal camps, and have and must be,
To make the sin of coward
In the mean soldier, that with such a foil
Sets off much valour. By description,
I should now
guess him to you; it was Bessus,
I dare almost with confidence pronounce it.
Lyg. Tis such a scurvy name as Bessus;
And, now I think, tis he.
Mar. Captain do you call him?
Believe me, sir, you have a misery
Too mighty for your age: A pox upon
For that must be an end of all his service.
Your daughter was not mad, sir?
Lyg. No; would she had been!
The fault had had more credit. I would do something.
Mar. I would fain counsel you; but to what I know not.
Hes so below a beating, that the women
not worthy of their distaves, and
To hang him were to cast away a rope.
Hes such an airy, thin, unbodied
That no revenge can catch him.
Ill tell you, sir, and tell you truth; this rascal
Fears neither God nor
man; has been so beaten,
Sufferance has made him wainscot; he has had,
Since he was first a slave,
least three hundred daggers set ins head,
As little boys do new knives in hot meat.
Theres not a rib ins
body, o my conscience,
That has not been thrice broken with dry beating!
And now his sides look like two
Every way bended;
Children will shortly take him for a wall,
And set their stone-bows in his
He is of so base a sense,
I cannot in a week imagine what
Shall be done to him.
Lyg. Sure, I have committed some great sin,
That this base fellow should be made my rod.
I would see
him; but I shall have no patience.
Mar. Tis no great matter, if you have not: If a laming of him, or such a toy, may do you pleasure, sir,
he has it for you; and Ill help you to him. Tis no news to him to have a leg broken, or a shoulder out,