Robert Greene's
The Comicall Historie of
Alphonsus, King of Aragon
.
As it hath been sundrie times acted. 1599

Modern spelling

Transcribed by BF. copyright © 2002
Edited and designed for the web by Robert Brazil




               LONDON
Brinted [sic.] by Thomas Creede
                1599


Items discussed in the glossary are underlined.
Run on lines (closing open endings) are indicated by ~~~.


DRAMATIS PERSONAE

CARINUS, the rightful heir to the crown of Arragon.
ALPHONSUS, his son.
FLAMINIUS, King of Arragon.
BELINUS, King of Naples.
DUKE OF MILAN.
ALBINIUS.
FABIUS.
LAELIUS.
MILES.
AMURACK, the Great Turk.
ARCASTUS, King of the Moors.
CLARAMONT, King of Barbary.
CROCON, King of Arabia.
FAUSTUS, King of Babylon.
BAJAZET.
Two Priests of Mahomet.
Provost, Soldiers, Janissaries, &c.
FAUSTA, wife to Amurack.
IPHIGINA, her daughter.
MEDEA, an enchantress.
MAHOMET (speaking from the brazen head).
VENUS.
The NINE MUSES.

CONTENTS
Alphonsus King of Arragon
Appendix I
   Glossary
      Vocabulary
      Proper Names
      Place Names
   Sources
   Length
   Style and Dating
   Suggested Reading
Appendix II: Connections
   References by other authors
Apppendix III: Vocabulary, word formation

ACT I

Prologue
[After you have sounded thrice, let Venus be let down from
the top of the Stage, and when she is down, say:
]

VENUS: Poets are scarce, when Goddesses themselves
Are forced to leave their high and stately seats,
Placed on the top of high Olympus Mount,
To seek them out, to pen their Champion's praise.
The time hath been when Homer's sugared Muse
Did make each Echo to repeat his verse,
That every coward that durst crack a spear,
And Tilt and Tourney for his Lady's sake,
Was painted out in colors of such price
As might become the proudest Potentate. ... [I.Pro.10]
But nowadays so irksome idless' slights,
And cursed charms have witched each student's mind,
That death it is to any of them all,
If that their hands to penning you do call:
Oh Virgil, Virgil, wert thou now alive,
Whose painful pen in stout Augustus' days,
Did deign to let the base and silly fly
To 'scape away without thy praise of her.
I do not doubt but long or ere this time,
Alphonsus' fame unto the heavens should climb: ... [I.Pro.20]
Alphonsus' fame, that man of Jove his seed,
Sprung from the loins of the immortal Gods,
Whose sire, although he habit on the Earth,
May claim a portion in the fiery Pole,
As well as anyone whatere he be.
But, setting by Alphonsus' power divine,
What Man alive, or now amongst the ghosts,
Could countervail his courage and his strength?
But thou art dead, yea, Virgil, thou art gone,
And all his acts drowned in oblivion. ... [I.Pro.30]
And all his acts drowned in oblivion?
No, Venus, no, though Poets prove unkind
And loath to stand in penning of his deeds.
Yet rather than they shall be clean forgot,
I, which was wont to follow Cupid's games,
Will put in ure Minerva's sacred Art;
And this my hand, which used for to pen
The praise of love and Cupid's peerless power,
Will now begin to treat of bloody Mars,
Of doughty deeds and valiant victories. ... [I.Pro.40]
[Enter Melpomine, Clio, Erato, with their sisters, playing all
upon sundrie Instruments, Calliope only excepted, who coming
last, hangeth down the head and plays not of her Instrument.
]
But see whereas the stately Muses come,
Whose harmony doth very far surpass
The heavenly Music of Apollo's pipe!
But what means this? Melpomine herself
With all her Sisters sound their Instruments,
Only excepted fair Calliope,
Who, coming last and hanging down her head,
Doth plainly show by outward actions
What secret sorrow doth torment her heart. [Stands aside.]

MELPOMINE: Calliope, thou which so oft didst crake ... [I.Pro.50]
How that such clients clustered to thy Court
By thick and three-fold, as not any one
Of all thy sisters might compare with thee:
Where be thy scholars now become, I trow?
Where are they vanished in such sudden sort,
That, whileas we do play upon our strings,
You stand still lazing, and have nought to do?

CLIO: Melpomine, make you a why of that?
I know full oft you have [in] Authors read,
The higher tree the sooner is his fall, ... [I.Pro.60]
And they which first do flourish and bear sway,
Upon the sudden vanish clean away.

CALLIOPE: Mock on apace: my back is broad enough
To bear your flouts, as many as they be.
That year is rare that nere feels winter's storms:
That tree is fertile which nere wanteth fruit;
And that same Muse hath heaped well in store
Which never wanteth clients at her door.
But yet, my sisters, when the surgent seas
Have ebbed their fill, their waves do rise again ... [I.Pro.70]
And fill their banks up to the very brims;
And when my pipe hath eased herself a while,
Such store of suitors shall my seat frequent
That you shall see my scholars be not spent.

ERATO: Spent (quoth you), sister? Then we were to blame,
If we should say your scholars all were spent:
But pray now, tell me when your painful pen
Will rest enough?

MELPOMINE: When husbandmen shear hogs.

VENUS: [Coming forward.] Melpomine, Erato, and the rest, ... [I.Pro.80]
From thickest shrubs dame Venus did espy
The mortal hatred which you jointly bear
Unto your sister high Calliope.
What, do you think if that the tree do bend,
It follows therefore that it needs must break?
And since her pipe a little while doth rest,
It never shall be able for to sound?
Yes, Muses, yes, if that she will vouchsafe
To entertain Dame Venus in her school,
And further me with her instructions, ... [I.Pro.90]
She shall have scholars which will dain to be
In any other Muse's Company.

CALLIOPE: Most sacred Venus, do you doubt of that?
Calliope would think her three times blessed
For to receive a Goddess in her school,
Especially so high an one as you,
Which rules the earth, and guides the heavens too.

VENUS: then sound your pipes, and let us bend our steps
Unto the top of high Parnassus hill,
And there together do our best devoir ... [I.Pro.100]
For to describe Alphonsus' warlike fame;
And in the manner of a Comedy,
Set down his noble valor presently.

CALLIOPE: As Venus wills, so bids Calliope.

MELPOMINE: And as you bid, your sisters do agree. [Exeunt.]

Scene I.1: Near Naples
[Enter Carinus the Father, and Alphonsus his son.]

CARINUS: My noble son, since first I did recount
The noble acts your predecessors did
In Aragon, against their warlike foes,
I never yet could see thee joy at all,
But hanging down thy head as malcontent,
Thy youthful days in mourning have been spent.
Tell me, Alphonsus: What might be the cause
That makes thee thus to pine away with care?
Hath old Carinus done thee any offense
In reck'ning up these stories unto thee? ... [I.1.10]
What, nere a word but mum? Alphonsus, speak,
Unless your Father's fatal day you seek.

ALPHONSUS: Although, dear father, I have often vowed
Nere to unfold the secrets of my heart
To any man or woman, who some ere
Dwells underneath the circle of the sky:
Yet do your words so conjure me, dear sire,
That needs I must fulfill that you require.
Then so it is: amongst the famous tales
Which you rehearsed done by our sires in war, ... [I.1.20]
Whenas you came unto your father's days,
With sobbing notes, with sighs and blubb'ring tears,
And much ado, at length you thus began:
'Next to Alphonsus should my father come
For to possess the Diadem by right
Of Aragon, but that the wicked wretch
His younger brother, with aspiring mind,
By secret treason robbed him of his life,
And me his son of that which was my due.'
These words, my sire, did so torment my mind, ... [I.1.30]
As had I been with Ixion in hell,
The ravening bird could never plague me worse;
For ever since my mind hath troubled been
Which way I might revenge this traitorous fact,
And that recover which is ours by right.

CARINUS: Ah my Alphonsus, never think on that.
In vain it is to strive against the stream:
The Crown is lost, and now in huckster's hands,
And all our hope is cast into the dust.
Bridle these thoughts, and learn the same of me: ... [I.1.40]
A quiet life doth pass an Emperie.

ALPHONSUS: Yet, noble father, ere Carinus' brood
Shall brook his foe for to usurp his seat,
He'll die the death with honor in the field,
And so his life and sorrows briefly end.
But did I know my froward fate were such
As I should fail in this my just attempt,
This sword, dear father, should the Author be
To make an end of this my Tragedy.
Therefore, sweet sire, remain you here a while ... [I.1.50]
And let me walk my Fortune to try:
I do not doubt but ere the time be long,
I'll quite his cost, or else myself will die.

CARINUS: My noble son, since that thy mind is such
For to revenge thy father's foul abuse,
As that my words may not a whit prevail
To stay thy journey, go with happy fate;
And soon return unto thy father's Cell
With such a train as Julius Caesar came
To noble Rome, whenas he had achieved ... [I.1.60]
The mighty Monarch of the triple world.
Mean time Carinus in this silly grove
Will spend his days with prayers and orisons
To mighty Jove, to further thine intent:
Farewell, dear Son, Alphonsus, fare you well.

ALPHONSUS: And is he gone? Then hie, Alphonsus, hie,
To try thy fortune where thy fates do call:
A noble mind disdains to hide his head
And let his foes triumph in his overthrow.
[Enter Albinius. Alphonsus make as though thou goest out. Albinius say:]

ALBINIUS: What loit'ring fellow have we spied here? ... [I.1.70]
Presume not, villain, further for to go,
Unless you do at length the same repent.
[Alphonsus comes towards Albinius.]

ALPHONSUS: 'Villain' sayst thou? Nay, 'villain' in thy throat:
What knowest thou, skipjack, whom thou villain call'st?

ALBINIUS: A common vassal I do villain call.

ALPHONSUS: That shall thou soon approve, persuade thyself,
Or else I'll die, or else thou shalt die for me.

ALBINIUS: What, do I dream, or do my dazzling eyes
Deceive me? Is't it Alphonsus that I see?
Doth now Medea use her wonted charms ... [I.1.80]
For to delude Albinius' fantasy?
Or doth black Pluto, King of dark Averne,
Seek [for] to flout me with his counterfeit?
His body like to Alphonsus' framed is:
His face resembles much Alphonsus' hue:
His noble mind declares him for no less.
'Tis he indeed. Woe worth Albinius,
Whose babbling tongue hath caused his own annoy.
Why doth not Jove send from the glitt'ring skies
His Thunderbolts to chastise this offense? ... [I.1.90]
Why doth dame Terra cease with greedy jaws
To swallow up Albinius presently?
What, shall I fly and hide my traitorous head
From stout Alphonsus whom I so misused?
Or shall I yield? Tush, yielding is in vain;
Nor can I fly, but he will follow me.
Then cast thyself down at his grace's feet,
Confess thy fault, and ready make thy breast
To entertain thy well-deserved death. [Albinius kneels down.]

ALPHONSUS: What news, my friend? Why are you so blank, ... [I.1.100]
That erst before did vaunt it to the skies?

ALBINIUS: Pardon, dear Lord! Albinius pardon craves
For this offense, which, by the heavens I vow,
Unwittingly I did unto your grace;
For had I known Alphonsus had been here,
Ere that my tongue had spoke so traitorously,
This hand should make my very soul to die.

ALPHONSUS: Rise us, my friend, thy pardon soon is got;
[Albinius rises up.]
But prithie, tell me what the cause might be
That in such sort thou erst upbraidest me? ... [I.1.110]

ALBINIUS: Most mighty Prince, since first your father's sire
Did yield his ghost unto the sisters three,
And old Carinus forced was to fly
His native soil and royal Diadem,
I, for because I seemed to complain
Against their treason, shortly was forewarned
Nere more to haunt the bounds of Aragon,
On pain of death: then like a man forlorn
I sought about to find some resting-place,
And at the length did hap upon this shore, ... [I.1.120]
Where showing forth my cruel banishment,
By King Belinus I am succored.
But now, my Lord, to answer your demand:
It happens so that the usurping King
Of Aragon makes war upon this land
For certain tribute which he claimeth here,
Wherefore Belinus sent me round about
His Country for to gather up [his] men
For to withstand this most injurious foe;
Which being done, returning with the King, ... [I.1.130]
Despitefully I did so taunt your grace,
Imagining you had some soldier been,
The which, for fear, had sneaked from the camp.

ALPHONSUS: Enough, Albinius, I do know thy mind:
But may it be that these thy happy news
Should be of truth, or have you forged them?

ALBINIUS: The gods forbid that ere Albinius' tongue
Should once be found to forge a feigned tale,
Especially unto his sovereign Lord;
But if Alphonsus think that I do feign, ... [I.1.140]
Stay here a while, and you shall plainly see
My words be true, whenas you do perceive
Our royal army march before your face,
The which, if't please my Noble Lord to stay,
I'll hasten on with all the speed I may.

ALPHONSUS: Make haste, Albinius, if you love my life;
But yet beware, whenas your Army comes,
You do not make as though you do me know,
For I a while a soldier base will be,
Until I find time more convenient ... [I.1.150]
To show, Albinius, what is mine intent.

ALBINIUS: Whatere Alphonsus fittest doth esteem,
Albinius for his profit best will deem.

ALPHONSUS: Now do I see both Gods and fortune too
Do join their powers to raise Alphonsus' fame;
For in this broil I do not greatly doubt
But that I shall my Cousin's courage tame.
But see whereas Belinus' Army comes,
And he himself, unless I guess awry:
Whoere it be, I do not pass a pin, ... [I.1.160]
Alphonsus means his soldier for to be. [He stands aside.]

Scene I.2: The Camp of Belinus
[Enter Belinus King of Naples, Albinius, Fabius,
marching with their soldiers (and make a stand).
]

BELINUS: Thus far, my Lords, we trained have our Camp
For to encounter haughty Aragon,
Who with a mighty power of straggling mates
Hath traitorously assailed this our land,
And burning Towns, and sacking Cities fair,
Doth play the devil where some ere he comes.
Now, as we are informed of our Scouts,
He marcheth on unto our chiefest Seat,
Naples, I mean, that City of renown,
For to begirt it with his bands about; ... [1.2.10]
And so at length, the which high Jove forbid,
To sack the same, as erst he other did.
If which should hap, Belinus were undone,
His country spoiled and all his subjects slain.
Wherefore your Sovereign thinketh it most meet
For to prevent the fury of the foe,
And Naples succor, that distressed Town,
By ent'ring in ere Aragon doth come,
With all our men, which will sufficient be
For to withstand their cruel battery. ... [I.2.20]

ALBINIUS: The silly serpent, found by Country swain
And cut in pieces by his furious blows,
Yet if her head do 'scape away untouched,
As many write, it very strangely goes
To fetch an herb, with which in little time
Her battered corpse again she doth conjoin;
But if by chance the plowman's sturdy staff
Do hap to hit upon the Serpent's head
And bruise the same, though all the rest be sound,
Yet doth the Silly Serpent lie for dead, ... [I.2.30]
Nor can the rest of all her body serve
To find a salve which may her life preserve.
Even so, my Lord, if Naples once be lost,
Which is the head of all your grace's land,
Easy it were for the malicious foe
To get the other Cities in their hand;
But if from them that Naples Town be free,
I do not doubt but safe the rest shall be.
And therefore, Mighty King, I think it best
To succor Naples rather than the rest. ... [I.2.40]

BELINUS: 'Tis bravely spoken: by my Crown I swear,
I like thy counsel and will follow it. [Point toward Alphonsus.]
But hark, Albinius, dost thou know the man
That doth so closely overthwart us stand?

ALBINIUS: Not I, my Lord, nor never saw him yet.

BELINUS: Then, prithee, go and ask him presently
What countryman he is, and why he comes
Into this place? Perhaps he is someone
That is sent hither as a secret spy
To hear and see in secret what we do. ... [I.2.50]
[Albinius and Fabius go toward Alphonsus.]

ALBINIUS: My friend, what art thou, that so like a spy
Dost sneak about Belinus' royal Camp?

ALPHONSUS: I am a man.

FABIUS: A man? We know the same:
But prithee, tell me, and set scoffing by:
What countryman thou art and why you came,
That we may soon resolve the King thereof?

ALPHONSUS: Why, say, I am a soldier.

FABIUS: Of whose band?

ALPHONSUS: Of his that will most wages to me give. ... [I.2.60]

FABIUS: But will you be
Content to serve Belinus in his wars?

ALPHONSUS: Aye, if he'll reward me as I do deserve,
And grant whatere I win, it shall be mine
Incontinent.

ALBINIUS: Believe me, sir, your service costly is:
But stay a while, and I will bring you word
What King Belinus says unto the same.
[Albinius go towards Belinus.]

BELINUS: What news, Albinius? Who is that we see?

ALBINIUS: It is, my Lord, a soldier that you see, ... [I.2.70]
Who fain would serve your grace in these your wars,
But that, I fear, his service is too dear.

BELINUS: Too dear, why so: what doth the soldier crave?

ALBINIUS: He craves, my Lord, all things that with his sword
He doth obtain, whatever that they be.

BELINUS: Content, my friend. If thou wilt succor me,
Whatere you get, that challenge as thine own,
Belinus gives it frankly unto thee,
Although it be the Crown of Aragon.
Come on, therefore, and let us hie apace ... [I.2.80]
To Naples Town, whereas by this I know
Our foes have pitched their tents against our walls.

ALPHONSUS: March on, my Lord, for I will follow you,
And do not doubt but, ere the time be long,
I shall obtain the Crown of Aragon. [Exeunt.]

ACT II

Prologue
[Enter Belinus, Albinius, Fabius, Alphonsus, with the soldier; as
soon as they are in, strike up alarum a while, and then enter Venus
.]

VENUS: Thus from the pit of pilgrim's poverty
Alphonsus 'gins by step and step to climb
Unto the top of friendly Fortune's wheel:
From banished State, as you have plainly seen,
He is transformed into a soldier's life
And marcheth in the Ensign of the King
Of worthy Naples, which Belinus hight;
Not for because that he doth love him so,
But that he may revenge him on his foe.
Now on the top of lusty barbed steed ... [II.Pro.10]
He mounted is, in glittering Armor clad,
Seeking about the troops of Aragon,
For to encounter with his traitorous Niece,
How he doth speed, and what doth him befall:
Mark this our Act, for it doth show it all. [Exit Venus.]

Scene II.1: A Battle Field
[Strike up alarum. Enter Flaminius at one door, Alphonsus at
another; they fight; Alphonsus kill Flaminius and say
:]

ALPHONSUS: Go pack thou hence unto the Stygian lake,
And make report unto thy traitorous sire
How well thou hast enjoyed the Diadem
Which he by treason set upon thy head.
And if he ask thee who did send thee down,
Alphonsus say, who now must wear thy Crown.

[Strike up alarum. Enter Laelius, who seeing that his King is slain,
upbraids Alphonsus in this sort.
]

LAELIUS: Traitor, how darest thou look me in the face,
Whose mighty King thou traitorously hast slain?
What, dost thou think Flaminius hath no friends
For to revenge his death on thee again? ... [II.1.10]
Yes, be you sure that, ere you 'scape from hence,
Thy gasping ghost shall bear him company;
Or else myself, fighting for his defense,
Will be content by those thy hands to die.

ALPHONSUS: Laelius, few words would better thee become,
Especially as now the case doth stand;
And didst thou know whom thou dost threaten thus,
We should you have more calmer out of hand:
For, Laelius, know that I Alphonsus am,
The son and heir to old Carinus, whom ... [II.1.20]
The traitorous father of Flaminius
Did secretly bereave his Diadem.
But see the just revenge of mighty Jove!
The father dead, the son is likewise slain
By that man's hand who they did count as dead,
Yet doth survive to wear the Diadem,
When they themselves accompany the ghosts
Which wander round about the Stygian fields.
[Laelius gaze upon Alphonsus.]
Muse not hereat, for it is true, I say:
I am Alphonsus, whom thou hast misused. ... [II.1.30]

[LAELIUS]: The man whose death I did so oft lament? [Kneel down.]
Then pardon me for these uncourteous words,
The which I in my rage did utter forth,
Pricked by the duty of a loyal mind:
Pardon, Alphonsus, this my first offense,
And let me die if ere I fight again.

ALPHONSUS: Laelius, I fain would pardon this offense,
And eke accept thee to my grace again,
But that I fear that, when I stand in need
And want your help, you will your Lord betray: ... [II.1.40]
How say you, Laelius: May I trust to thee?

LAELIUS: Aye, noble Lord, by all the Gods I vow;
For first shall heavens want stars, and foaming seas
Want wat'ry drops, before I'll traitor be
Unto Alphonsus, whom I honor so.

ALPHONSUS: Well then, arise; and for because I'll try
If that thy words and deeds be both alike,
Go haste and fetch the youths of Aragon,
Which now I hear have turned their heels and fled:
Tell them your chance, and bring them back again ... [II.1.50]
Into this wood, where in ambushment lie
Until I send or come for you myself.

LAELIUS: I will, my Lord. [Exit Laelius.]

ALPHONSUS: Full little thinks Belinus and his Peers
What thoughts Alphonsus casteth in his mind;
For if they did, they would not greatly haste
To pay the same the which they promised me.
[Enter Belinus, Albinius, Fabius, with their solders, marching.]

BELINUS: Like simple sheep, when shepherd absent is
Far from his flock, assailed by greedy wolves,
Do scatt'ring fly about, some here, some there, ... [II.1.60]
To keep their bodies from their ravening jaws,
So do the fearful youths of Aragon
Run round about the green and pleasant plains,
And hide their heads from Neapolitans:
Such terror have their strong and sturdy blows
Struck to their hearts, as for a world of gold
I warrant you they will not come again.
But, noble Lords, where is the Knight become
Which made the blood besprinkle all the place
Whereas he did encounter with his foe? ... [II.1.70]
My friend, Albinius, know you where he is?

ALBINIUS: Not I, my Lord, for since in thickest ranks
I saw him chase Flaminius at the heels,
I never yet could set mine eyes on him.
[ Albinius spies out Alphonsus, and shows him to Belinus.]
But see, my Lord, whereas the warrior stands,
Or else my sight doth fail me at this time.

BELINUS: 'Tis he indeed, who, as I do suppose,
Hath slain the King, or else some other Lord;
For well I wot a carcass I do see
Hard at his feet, lie struggling on the ground. ... [II.1.80]
[Belinus and Albinius go towards Alphonsus.]
Come on, Albinius, we will try the truth.
[Belinus say to Alphonsus:]
Hail to the noble victor of our foes.

ALPHONSUS: Thanks, mighty Prince, but yet I seek not this.
It is not words must recompense my pain,
But deeds: when first I took up Arms for you,
Your promise was, whatere my sword did win
In fight, as his Alphonsus should it crave.
[Show Belinus Flaminius, who lieth all this while dead at his feet.]
See then where lies thy foe Flaminius,
Whose Crown my sword hath conquered in the field:
Therefore, Belinus, make no long delay, ... [II.1.90]
But that discharge you promised for to pay.

BELINUS: Will nothing else satisfy thy conquering mind
Besides the Crown? Well, since thou hast it won,
Thou shalt it have, though far against my will.
[Alphonsus sit in the Chair; Belinus takes the Crown off
Flaminius' head and puts it on that of Alphonsus.
]
Here doth Belinus Crown thee with his hand
The King of Aragon. What, are you pleased?
[Sound Trumpets and Drums within.]

ALPHONSUS: Not so, Belinus, till you promise me
All things belonging to the royal Crown
Of Aragon, and make your Lordings swear
For to defend me to their utmost power ... [II.1.100]
Against all men that shall gainsay the same.

BELINUS: Mark, what belonged erst unto the Crown
Of Aragon, that challenge as thine own:
Belinus gives it frankly unto thee,
And swears by all the powers of glittering skies
To do my best for to maintain the same
So that it be not prejudicial
Unto mine honor, or my Country soil.

ALBINIUS: And by the sacred seat of mighty Jove,
Albinius swears that first he'll die the death, ... [II.1.110]
Before he'll see Alphonsus suffer wrong.

FABIUS: What erst Albinius vowed, we jointly vow.

ALPHONSUS: Thanks, mighty Lords, but yet I greatly fear
That very few will keep the oaths they swear.
But what, Belinus, why stand you so long
And cease from offering homage unto me?
What, know you not that I thy sovereign am,
Crowned by thee and all thy other Lords,
And now confirmed by your solemn oaths? ... [II.1.120]
Feed not thyself with fond persuasions,
But presently come yield thy Crown to me
And do me homage, or by heavens I swear
I'll force thee to it maugre all thy train.

BELINUS: How now, base brat! What, are thy wits thine own,
That thou darest thus abraid me in my land?
'Tis best for thee these speeches to recall,
Or else by Jove I'll make thee to repent
That ere thou settest thy foot in Naple's soil.

ALPHONSUS: 'Base brat," sayest thou? As good a man as thou.
But say I came but of a base descent, ... [II.1.130]
My deeds shall make my glory for to shine
As clear as Luna in a winter's night.
But for because thou braggest so of thy birth,
I'll see how it shall profit thee anon.

FABIUS: Alphonsus, cease from these thy threat'ning words,
And lay aside this thy presumptuous mind,
Or else be sure thou shalt the same repent.

ALPHONSUS: How now, sir boy, will you be prattling too?
'Tis best for thee to hold thy tattling tongue,
Unless I send someone to scourge thy breech: ... [II.1.140]
Why, then, I see, 'tis time to look about,
When every boy Alphonsus dares control;
But be they sure, ere Phoebus' golden beams
Have compassed the circle of the sky,
I'll clog their tongues, since nothing else will serve
To keep those vilde and threatening speeches in.
Farewell, Belinus, look thou to thyself:
Alphonsus means to have thy Crown ere night. [Exit Alphonsus.]

BELINUS: Is he gone? The devil break his neck,
The fiends of hell torment his traitorous corpse. ... [II.1.150]
Is this the quittance of Belinus' grace,
Which he did show unto that thankless wretch,
That runagate, that rakehell, yea that thief?
For well I wot, he hath robbed me of a Crown.
If ever he had sprung from gentle blood,
He would not thus misuse his favorer.

ALBINIUS: 'That runagate,' 'that rachell,' 'yea, that thief''?
Stay there, sir King, your mouth runs over-much:
It ill becomes the subject for to use
Such traitorous terms against his sovereign. ... [II.1.160]
Know thou, Belinus, that Carinus' son
Is neither rachell, [no], nor runagate.
But be thou sure that ere the darksome night
Do drive God Phoebus to his Thetis' lap,
Both thou and all the rest of this thy train
Shall well repent the words which you have sayne.

BELINUS: What, traitorous villain, dost thou threaten me?
Lay hold on him, and see he do not 'scape:
I'll teach the slave to know to whom he speaks.

[ALBINIUS]: To thee I speak, and to thy fellows all; ... [II.1.170]
And though as now you have me in your power,
Yet doubt I not but that in little space
These eyes shall see thy treason recompensed,
And then I mean to vaunt our victory.

BELINUS: Nay, proud Albinius, never build on that,
For though the Gods do chance for to appoint
Alphonsus victor of Belinus' land,
Yet shalt thou never live to see that day; --
And therefore, Fabius, stand not lingering,
But presently slash off his traitorous head. ... [II.1.180]

ALBINIUS: Slash off his head? As thou Albinius' head
Were then so easy to be slashed off.
In faith, sir, no: when you are gone and dead,
I hope to flourish like the pleasant spring.

BELINUS: Why, how now, Fabius? What, do you stand in doubt
To do the deed? What fear you? Who dares seek
For to revenge his death on thee again,
Since that Belinus did command it so?
Or are you waxed so dainty that you dare
Not use your sword for staining of your hands? [II.1.190]
If it be so, then let me see thy sword,
And I will be his butcher for this time.
[Fabius gives Belinus thy sword drawn; Belinus say as followeth.]
Now, sir Albinius, are you of the mind
That erst you were? What, do you look to see
And triumph in Belinus' overthrow?
I hope the very sight of this my blade
Hath changed your mind into another tune.

ALBINIUS: Not so, Belinus, I am constant still;
My mind is like to the Asbeston stone,
Which, if it once be heat in flames of fire, ... [II.1.200]
Denieth to becomen cold again.
Even so am I, and shall be till I die;
And though I should see Atropos appear
With knife in hand to slit my throat in twain,
Yet nere Albinius should persuaded be
But that Belinus he should vanquished see.

BELINUS: Nay, then, Albinius, since that words are vain
For to persuade you from this heresy,
This sword shall sure put you out of doubt.
[Belinus offers to strike off Albinius' head: strike up alarum; enter Alphonsus
and his men: fly Belinus and Fabius, follow Alphonsus and Albinius.
]

Scene II.2
[Enter Laelius, Miles, and his servants.]

LAELIUS: My noble Lords of Aragon, I know
You wonder much what might the occasion be
That Laelius, which erst did fly the field,
Doth egg you forwards now unto the wars;
But when you hear my reason, out of doubt
You'll be content with this my rash attempt.
When first our King, Flaminius I do mean,
Did set upon the Neapolitans,
The worst of you did know and plainly see
How far they were unable to withstand ... [II.2.10]
The mighty forces of our royal Camp,
Until such time as froward fates we thought --
Although the fates ordained it for our gain --
Did send a stranger stout, whose sturdy blows
And force alone did cause our overthrow.
But to our purpose: this same martial Knight
Did hap to hit upon Flaminius,
And lent our King then such a friendly blow
As that his gaping ghost to Limbo went:
Which when I saw, and seeking to revenge, ... [II.2.20]
My noble Lords, did hap on such a prize
As never King nor Kaisar got the like.

MILES: Laelius, of force we must confess to thee,
We wondered all, whenas you did persuade
Us to return unto the wars again;
But since our marvel is increased much
By these your words, which sound of happiness,
Therefore, good Laelius, make no tarrying,
But soon unfold thy happy chance to us.

LAELIUS: Then, friends and fellow soldiers, hark to me. ... [II.2.30]
When Laelius thought for to revenge his King
On that same Knight, instead of mortal foe
I found him for to be our chiefest friend.

MILES: Our chiefest friend? I hardly can believe
That he, which made such bloody massacres
Of stout Italians, can in any point
Bear friendship to the Country or the King.

LAELIUS: As for your Kind, Miles, I hold with you,
He bear no friendship to Flaminius,
But hated him as bloody Atropos. ... [II.2.40]
But for your country, Laelius doth avow
He loves as well as any other land:
Yes sure he loves it best of all the world;
And for because you shall not think that I
Do say the same without a reason why,
Know that the Knight Alphonsus hath to name,
Both Son and heir to old Carinus, whom
Flaminius' sire bereaved of his Crown:
Who did not seek the ruin of our host
For any envy he did bear to us, ... [II.2.50]
But to revenge him on his mortal foe,
Which by the help of high celestial Jove
He hath achiev'd with honor in the field.

MILES: Alphonsus, man? I'll nere persuaded be
That ere Alphonsus may survive again,
Who with Carinus many years ago
Was said to wander in the Stygian fields.

LAELIUS: Truth, Noble Miles: these mine ears have heard,
For certainty reported unto me,
That old Carinus with his peerless son ... [II.2.60]
Had felt the sharpness of the sisters' shears;
And had I not of late Alphonsus seen
In good estate, though all the world should say
He is alive, I would not credit them;
But, fellow soldiers, wend you back with me,
And let us lurk within the secret shade
Which he himself appointed unto us;
And if you find my words to be untruth,
Then let me die to recompense the wrong.

[Strike up alarum: Enter Albinius with his sword drawn, and say:]

ALBINIUS: Laelius, make haste: soldiers of Aragon, ... [II.2.70]
Set ling'ring by, and come and help your King.
I mean Alphonsus, who, whilest that he did
Pursue Belinus at the very heels,
Was suddenly environed about
With all the troops of mighty Milan land.

MILES: What news is this? And is it very so?
Is our Alphonsus yet in human state,
Whom all the world did judge for to be dead?
Yet can I scarce give credit to the same.
Give credit? Yes, and since the Milan Duke ... [II.2.80]
Hath broke his league of friendship, be he sure,
Ere Cynthia, the shining lamp of night,
Doth scale the heavens with her horned head,
Both he and his shall very plainly see
The league is burst that caused long the glee.

LAELIUS: And could the traitor harbor in his breast
Such mortal treason gainst his sovereign,
As when he should with fire and sword defend
Him from his foes, he seeks his overthrow?
March on, my friends: I nere shall joy at all ... [II.2.90]
Until I see that bloody traitor's fall. [Exeunt.]
[Strike up alarum: fly Belinus, follow Laelius: fly Fabius,Albinius: fly the Duke of Milan, follow Miles.]


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