Act II

SCENE I.The Capital of Iberia. An Apartment in the Palace.

Enter GOBRIAS, BACURIUS, ARANE, PANTHEA, and MENDANE, Waiting-women and Attendants.

Gob. My Lord Bacurius, you must have regard
Unto the queen; she is your prisoner;
’Tis at your peril, if she make escape.

Bac. My Lord, I know’t; she is my prisoner,
From you committed: Yet she is a woman;
And, so I keep her safe, you will not urge me
To keep her close. I shall not shame to say,
I sorrow for her.

Gob. So do I, my lord:
I sorrow for her, that so little grace
Doth govern her, that she should stretch her arm
Against her king; so little womanhood
And natural goodness, as to think the death
Of her own son.

Ara. Thou know’st the reason why,
Dissembling as thou art, and wilt not speak.

Gob. There is a lady takes not after you;
Her father is within her; that good man,
Whose tears paid down his sins. Mark, how she weeps;
How well it does become her! And if you
Can find no disposition in yourself
To sorrow, yet, by gracefulness in her,
Find out the way, and by your reason weep.
All this she does for you, and more she needs,
When for yourself you will not lose a tear.
Think, how this want of grief discredits you;
And you will weep, because you cannot weep.

Ara. You talk to me, as having got a time
Fit for your purpose; but you know, I know
You speak not what you think.

Pan. I would my heart
Were stone, before my softness should be urged
Against my mother! A more troubled thought
No virgin bears about her! Should I excuse
My mother’s fault, I should set light a life,
In losing which a brother and a king
Were taken from me: If I seek to save
That life so loved, I lose another life,
That gave me being; I should lose a mother;
A word of such a sound in a child’s ear,
That it strikes reverence through it. May the will
Of Heaven be done, and if one needs must fall,
Take a poor virgin’s life to answer all!

Ara. But, Gobrias, let us talk. You know, this fault
Is not in me as in another woman.

[They walk apart.

Gob. I know it is not.

Ara. Yet you make it so.

Gob. Why, is not all that’s past beyond your help?

Ara. I know it is.

Gob. Nay, should you publish it
Before the world, think you ’twould be believed?

Ara. I know, it would not.

Gob. Nay, should I join with you,
Should we not both be torn, and yet both die

Ara. I think we should.

Gob. Why, then,
Take you such violent courses? As for me,
I do but right in saving of the king
From all your plots.

Ara. The king!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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