Kyd's TRAGEDY OF SOLIMAN AND PERSEDA.

Anonymous, attributed to Thomas Kyd
Modern spelling.
Transcribed by BF. copyright © 2002


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


ACT II

Scene II. 1
[Enter Ferdinando and Lucina.]

FERDINANDO: As fits the time, so now well fits the place
To cool affection with our words and looks,
If in our thoughts be semblant sympathy.

LUCINA: My words, my looks, my thoughts are all on thee;
Ferdinando is Lucina's only joy.

FERDINANDO: What pledge thereof?

LUCINA: ~~~ An oath, a hand, a kiss.

FERDINANDO: O holy oath, fair hand, and sugared kiss:
O never may Ferdinando lack such bliss.
But say, my dear, when shall the gates of heaven
Stand all wide ope[n], for celestial gods ... [II.1.10]
With gladsome looks to gaze at Hymen's robes?
When shall the graces, or Lucina's hand
With rosy chaplets deck thy golden tresses,
And Cupid bring me to thy nuptial bed,
Where thou in joy and pleasure must attend
A blissful war with me, thy chiefest friend?

LUCINA: Full fraught with love and burning with desire,
I long have longed for light of Hymen's lights.

FERDINANDO: Then that same day, whose warm and pleasant sight
Brings in the spring with many gladsome flowers, [II.1.20]
Be our first day of joy and perfect peace:
Till when, receive this precious carcanet,
In sign that, as the links are interlaced,
So both our hearts are still combined in one,
Which never can be parted but by death.
[Enter Basilisco and Perseda.]

LUCINA: And if I live, this shall not be forgot.
But see, Ferdinando, where Perseda comes,
Whom women love for virtue, men for beauty,
All the world loves, none hates but envy.

BASILISCO: All hail, brave cavalier. Good morrow, Madam, ... [II.1.30]
The fairest shine that shall this day be seen
Except Perseda's beauteous excellence,
Shame to love's queen, and empress of my thoughts.

FERDINANDO: Marry, thrice happy is Perseda's chance,
To have so brave a champion to her squire.

BASILISCO: Her squire? Her knight -- and who so else denies
Shall feel the rigor of my sword and lance.

FERDINANDO: O sir, not I.

LUCINA: Here's none but friends; yet let me challenge you
For gracing me with a malignant style, ... [II.1.40]
That I was fairest, and yet Perseda fairer;
We ladies stand upon our beauties much.

PERSEDA: Herein, Lucina, let me buckler him.

BASILISCO: Not Mars himself had ere so fair a buckler.

PERSEDA: Love makes him blind, and blind can judge no colors.

LUCINA: Why then the mends is made and we still friends.

PERSEDA: Still friends? Still foes; she wears my carcanet.
Ah false Erastus, how I am betrayed.

LUCINA: What ails you, madam, that your color changes?

PERSEDA: A sudden qualm; I therefore take my leave. ... [II.1.50]

LUCINA: We'll bring you home.

PERSEDA: ~~~ No, I shall soon get home.

LUCINA: Why then, farewell; Fernando, let's away.
[Exit Ferdinando and Lucina.]

BASILISCO: Say, world's bright star, whence springs this sudden change?
Is it unkindness at the little praise
I gave Lucina with my glozing style?

PERSEDA: No, no; her beauty far surpasseth mine,
And from my neck her neck hath won the praise.

BASILISCO: What is it then? If love of this my person,
By favor and by justice of the heavens,
At last have pierced through thy tra[ns]lucent breast, ... [II.1.60]
And thou misdoubts, perhaps, that I'll prove coy;
O be assured, 'tis far from noble thoughts
To tyrannize over a yielding foe.
Therefore be blithe, sweet love, abandon fear;
I will forget thy former cruelty.

PERSEDA: Ah, false Erastus, full of treachery.

BASILISCO: I always told you that such coward knights
Were faithless swains and worthy no respect.
But tell me, sweet love, what is his offense,
That I with words and stripes may chastise him, ... [II.1.70]
And bring him bound for thee to tread upon.

PERSEDA: Now must I find the means to rid him hence.
Go thou forthwith, arm thee from top to toe,
And come an hour hence unto my lodging;
Then will I tell thee this offense at large,
And thou in my behalf shall work revenge.

BASILISCO: Aye, thus should men of valor be employed;
This is a good argument of thy true love;
I go: make reckoning that Erastus dies,
Unless, forewarned, the weakling coward flies. [Exit Basilisco.] ... [II.1.80]

PERSEDA: Thou foolish coward, flies? Erastus lives,
The fairest-shaped but foulest-minded man
That ere sun saw within our hemisphere.
My tongue to tell my woes is all too weak;
I must unclasp me, or my heart will break;
But inward cares are most pent-in with grief;
Unclasping, therefore, yields me no relief.
Ah, that my moist- and cloud-compacted brain
Could spend my cares in showers of weeping rain;
But scalding sighs, like blasts of boist'rous winds, ... [II.1.90]
Hinder my tears from falling on the ground,
And I must die by closure of my wound.
Ah, false Erastus, how had I misdone,
That thou should'st quite my love with such a scorn? [Enter Erastus.]
Here comes the Sinon to my simple heart:
I'll frame myself to his dissembling art.

ERASTUS: Desire persuades me on; fear pulls me back.
Tush, I will to her; innocence is bold.
How fares Perseda, my sweet second self?

PERSEDA: Well, now Erastus, my heart's only joy, ... [II.1.100]
Is come to join both hearts in union.

ERASTUS: And till I came whereas my love did dwell,
My pleasure was but pain, my solace woe.

PERSEDA: What love means, my Erastus, pray thee tell.

ERASTUS: Matchless Perseda, she that gave me strength
To win late conquest from many victors' hands:
Thy name was conqueror, not my chivalry;
Thy looks did arm me, not my coat of steel;
Thy beauty did defend me, not my force;
Thy favors bore me, not my light-foot steed; ... [II.1.110]
Therefore to thee I owe both love and life.
But wherefore makes Perseda such a doubt,
As if Erastus could forget himself?
Which if I do, all vengeance light on me.

PERSEDA: Aye me, how graceless are these wicked men:
I can no longer hold my patience.
Ah, how thine eyes can forge alluring looks,
And feign deep oaths to wound poor silly maids.
Are there no honest drops in all thy cheeks,
To check thy fraud-full countenance with a blush? ... [II.1.120]
Call'st thou me love, and lovest another better?
If heavens were just, thy teeth would tear thy tongue
For this thy perjured false disloyalty;
If heavens were just, men should have open breasts,
That we therein might read their guileful thoughts.
If heavens were just, that power that forceth love
Would never couple wolves and lambs together.
Yes, heavens are just, but thou art so corrupt
That in thee all their influence doth change,
As in the spider good things turn to poison. ... [II.1.130]
Ah, false Erastus, how had I misdone,
That thou should'st pawn my true affection's pledge
To her whose worth will never equal mine?
What, is Lucina's wealth exceeding mine?
Yet mine is sufficient to encounter thine.
Is she more fair than I? That's not my fault,
Not her desert: what's beauty but a blast,
Soon cropped with age or with infirmities?
Is she more wise? Her years are more than mine.
Whatere she be, my love was more than hers; ... [II.1.140]
And for her chastity let others judge.
But what talk I of her? The fault is thine:
If I were so disgracious in thine eye
That she must needs enjoy my interest,
Why did'st thou deck her with my ornament?
Could nothing serve her but the carcanet
Which, as my life, I gave to thee in charge?
Could'st thou abuse my true simplicity,
Whose greatest fault was over-loving thee?
I'll keep no tokens of thy perjury: ... [II.1.150]
Here, give her this; Perseda now is free,
And all my former love is turned to hate.

ERASTUS: Ah stay, my sweet Perseda; hear me speak.

PERSEDA: What are thy words but siren's guileful songs
That please the ear but seek to spoil the heart?

ERASTUS: Then view my tears that plead for innocence.

PERSEDA: What are thy tears but Circe's magic seas,
Where none scape wracked but blind-fold mariners?

ERASTUS: If words and tears displease, then view my looks
That plead for mercy at thy rigorous hands. ... [II.1.160]

PERSEDA: What are thy looks but like the cockatrice
That seeks to wound poor silly passengers?

ERASTUS: If words, nor tears, nor looks may win remorse,
What then remains? For my perplexed heart
Hath no interpreters but words, or tears, or looks.

PERSEDA: And they are all as false as thou thyself. [Exit Perseda.]

ERASTUS: Hard doom of death, before my case be known;
My judge unjust, and yet I cannot blame her,
Since Love and jealousy mislead her thus:
Myself in fault, and yet not worthy blame, ... [II.1.170]
Because that Fortune made the fault, not Love.
The ground of her unkindness grows, because
I lost the precious carcanet she gave me:
Lucina hath it, as her words import;
But how she got it, heaven knows, not I.
Yet this is some aleavement to my sorrow
That, if I can but get the chain again,
I boldly then shall let Perseda know
That she hath wronged Erastus and her friend.
Ah Love, and if thou beest of heavenly power, ... [II.1.180]
Inspire me with some present stratagem.
It must be so; Lucina's a frank gamester,
And like it is in play she'll hazard it;
For if report but blazon her aright,
She's a frank gamester and inclined to play.
Ho, Piston. [Enter Piston.]

PISTON: Here, sir, what would you with me?

ERASTUS: Desire Guelpio and Signior Julio come speak with me,
and bid them bring some store of crowns with them; and,
sirra, provide me four vizards, four gowns, a box, and ... [II.1.190]
a drum, for I intend to go in mummery.

PISTON: I will, sir. [Exit Piston.]

ERASTUS: Ah, virtuous lamps of ever-turning heavens,
Incline her mind to play, and mine to win.
Nor do I covet but what is mine own;
Than shall I let Perseda understand
How jealousy had armed her tongue with malice.
Ah, were she not Perseda, whom my heart
No more can fly than iron can adamant,
Her late unkindness would have changed my mind. ... [II.1.200]
[Enter Guelpio, Julio and Piston.]

GUELPIO: How now, Erastus, wherein may we pleasure thee?

ERASTUS: Sirs, thus it is; we must in mummery
Unto Lucina, neither for love nor hate,
but, if we can, to win the chain she wears;
For though I have some interest therein,
Fortune may make me master of mine own,
Rather than I'll seek justice gainst the Dame;
But this assure yourselves, it must be mine,
By game or change, by one devise or other;
The rest I'll tell you when our sport is done. ... [II.1.210]

JULIO: Why then, let's make us ready, and about it.

ERASTUS: What store of crowns have you brought?

GUELPIO: Fear not for money, man, I'll bear the box.

JULIO: I have some little reply, if need require.

PISTON: Aye, but hear you, master, was not he a fool that went
to shoot and left his arrows behind him?

ERASTUS: Yes, but what of that?

PISTON: Marry, that you may lose your money, and go without
the chain, unless you carry false dice.

GUELPIO: Mas, the fool says true; let's have some got. ... [II.1.220]

PISTON: Nay, I use not to go without a pair of false dice; here
are tall men and little men.

JULIO: High men and low men, thou would'st say.

ERASTUS: Come, sirs, let's go; -- drumsler, play for me, and I'll
reward thee; -- and sirra Piston, mar not our sport with your
foolery.

PISTON: I warrant you, sir, they get not one wise word of me.
[Sound up the drum to Lucina's door.]

LUCINA: Aye, marry, this shows that Charleman is come:
What, shall we play here? Content,
Since Signior Ferdinand will have it so. ... [II.1.230]
[Then they play, and when she hath lost her gold,
Erastus pointed to her chain, and then she said:
]
Aye, were it Cleopatra's union.
[Then Erastus winneth the chain, and loseth his gold, and Lucina says:]
Signior Fernando, I am sure tis you; --
And, gentlemen, unmask ere you depart
That I may know to whom my thanks is due
For this so courteous and unlooked-for sport.
No, wilt not be? Then sup with me tomorrow;
Well, then I'll look for you; till then, farewell. [Exit Lucina.]

ERASTUS: Gentlemen, each thing hath sorted to our wish;
She took me for Fernando, marked you that?
Your gold shall be repaid with double thanks; ... [II.1.240]
And, fellow drumsler, I'll reward you well.

PISTON: But is there no reward for my false dice?

ERASTUS: Yes, sir, a guarded suit from top to toe. [Enter Ferdinando.]

FERDINANDO: Dazzle mine eyes, or is't Lucina's chain?
False treacher, lay down the chain that thou hast stole.

ERASTUS: He lewdly lies that calls me treacherous.

FERDINANDO: That lie my weapon shall put down thy throat.
[Then Erastus slays Ferdinando.]

JULIO: Fly, Erastus, ere the Governor have any news,
Whose near ally he was and chief delight.

ERASTUS: Nay, gentlemen, fly you and save yourselves, ... [II.1.250]
Lest you partake the hardness of my fortune. [Exit Guelpio and Julio.]
Ah, fickle and blind guidress of the world,
What pleasure hast thou in my misery?
Was't not enough when I had lost the chain,
Thou did'st bereave me of my dearest love;
But now when I should repossess the same,
To cross me with this hapless accident?
Ah, if but time and place would give me leave,
Great ease it were for me to purge myself,
And to accuse fell Fortune, Love, and Death; ... [II.1.260]
For all these three conspire my tragedy.
But danger waits upon my words and steps;
I dare not stay, for if the Governor
Surprise me here, I die by marshal law;
Therefore I go; but whether shall I go?
If into any stay adjoining Rhodes,
They will betray me to Philippo's hands,
For love, or gain, or flattery.
To Turkey I must go; the passage short,
The people warlike, and the King renowned ... [II.1.270]
For all heroical and kingly virtues.
Ah, hard attempt, to tempt a foe for aid.
Necessity yet says it must be so,
Or suffer death for Ferdinando's death,
Whom honor's title forced me to misdo
By checking his outrageous insolence.
Piston, here take this chain, and give it to Perseda,
And let her know what hath befallen me;
When thou hast delivered it, take ship and follow me,
I will be in Constantinople. -- ... [II.1.280]
Farewell, my country, dearer than my life;
Farewell, sweet friends, dearer than country soil;
Farewell, Perseda, dearest of them all,
Dearer to me than all the world besides. [Exit Erastus.]

PISTON: Now am I growing into a doubtful agony, what I were
best to do -- to run away with this chain, or deliver it, and
follow my master. If I deliver it and follow my master,
I shall have thanks, but they will make me never the fatter;
If I run away with it, I may live upon credit all the while
I wear this chain, or dominere with the money when I ... [II.1.290]
have sold it. Hitherto all goes well; but if I be taken --
Aye, marry, sir, then the case is altered, aye, and haltered too.
Of all things I do not love to preach with a halter about
my neck. Therefore for this once, I'll be honest against my
will; Perseda shall have it; but before I go, I'll be so bold
as to dive into this gentleman's pocket, for good luck sake,
if he deny me not: -- how say you, sir, are you content? -- A
plain case: Qui tacet consitiri videtur.
[Enter Philippo and Julio.]

JULIO: See where his body lies.

PHILIPPO: Aye, aye, I see his body all too soon; ... [II.1.300]
What barbarous villainy is't that rifles him?
Ah, Ferdinand, the stay of my old age,
And chief remainder of our progeny --
Ah, loving cousin, how art thou misdone
By false Erastus -- ah no, by treachery,
For well thy valor hath been often tried.
But, while I stand and weep, and spend the time
In fruitless plaints, the murtherer will escape
Without revenge, sole salve for such a sore. --
Say, villain, wherefore did'st thou rifle him? ... [II.1.310]

PISTON: Faith, sir, for pure good will; seeing he was going towards
heaven, I thought to see if he had a passport to S. Nicholas
or no.

PHILIPPO: Some sot he seems to be; 'twere pity to hurt him.
Sirrah, can'st thou tell who slew this man?

PISTON: Aye, sir, very well; it was my master Erastus.

PHILIPPO: Thy master? And whether is he gone now?

PISTON: To fetch the sexton to bury him, I think.

PHILIPPO: 'Twere pity to imprison such a sot.

PISTON: Now it fits my wisdom to counterfeit the fool. ... [II.1.320]

PHILIPPO: Come hither, sirrah; thou knowest me
For the Governor of the City, dost thou not?

PISTON: Aye, forsooth, sir.

PHILIPPO: Thou art a bondman, and would'st fain be free?

PISTON: Aye, forsooth, sir.

PHILIPPO: Then do but this, and I will make thee free,
And rich withal; learn where Erastus is,
And bring me word, and I'll reward thee well.

PISTON: That I will, sir; I shall find you at the Castle, shall I not?

PISTON: Yes. ... [II.1.330]

PISTON: Why, I'll be here, as soon as ever I come again. [Exit Piston.]

PHILIPPO: But for assurance that he may not scape,
We'll lay the ports and havens round about,
And let a proclamation straight be made
That he that can bring forth the murtherer
Shall have three thousand ducats for his pains.
Myself will see the body borne from hence
And honored with balm and funeral. [Exit.]

Scene II. 2
[Enter Piston.]

PISTON: God sends fortune to fools. Did you ever see wise man
escape as I have done? I must betray my master? Aye, but
when, can you tell? [Enter Perseda.]
See where Perseda comes, to save me a labor. -- After my
most hearty commendations, this is to let you understand
that my master was in good health at the sending thereof.
Yours for ever and ever and ever, in most humble wise.
Piston.
[Then he delivered he the chain.]

PERSEDA: This makes me think that I have been too cruel.
How got he this from of Lucina's arm? ... [II.2.10]

PISTON: Faith, in a mummery, and a pair of false dice. I was one
of the mummers myself, simple as I stand here.

PERSEDA: I rather think it cost him very dear.

PISTON: Aye, so it did, for it cost Ferdinando his life.

PERSEDA: How so?

PISTON: After we had got the chain in mummery,
And lost our box in counter cambio,
My master wore the chain about his neck;
Then Ferdinando met us on the way,
And reviled my master, saying he stole the chain. ... [II.2.20]
With that, they drew, and there Ferdinando had the prickado.

PERSEDA: And whither fled my poor Erastus then?

PISTON: To Constantinople, whither I must follow him.
But ere he went, with many sighs and tears,
He delivered me the chain, and bade me give it you
For perfect argument that he was true,
And you too credulous.

PERSEDA: Ah stay, no more; for I can hear no more.

PISTON: And I can sing no more.

PERSEDA: My heart had armed my tongue with injury, ... [II.2.30]
To wrong my friend whose thoughts were ever true.
Ah, poor Erastus, how thy stars malign. --
Thou great commander of the swift-winged winds,
And dreadful Neptune, bring him back again;
But, Eolus and Neptune, let him go;
For here is nothing but revenge and death;
Then let him go; I'll shortly follow him,
Not with slow sails, but with love's golden wings;
My ship shall be borne with tears and blown with sighs;
So will I soar about the Turkish land, ... [II.2.40]
Until I meet Erastus, my sweet friend;
And then and there fall down amid his arms,
And in his bosom there power forth my soul,
For satisfaction of my trespass past. [Enter Basilisco armed.]

BASILISCO: Fair Love, according unto thy command,
I seek Erastus, and will combat him.

PERSEDA: Aye, seek him, find him, bring him to my sight;
For till we meet, my heart shall want delight. [Exit Perseda.]

BASILISCO: My pretty fellow, where hast thou hid thy master?

PISTON: Marry, sir, in an armorer's shop, where you had not ... [II.2.50]
best go to him.

BASILISCO: Why so? I am in honor-bound to combat him.

PISTON: Aye sir, but he knowing your fierce conditions, hath planted
a double cannon in the door, ready to discharge it upon
you, when you go by. I tell you, for pure good will.

BASILISCO: In knightly courtesy, I thank thee.
But hopes the coistrel to escape me so?
Thinks he bare cannon-shot can keep me back?
Why, wherefore serves my targe of proof but for the bullet?
That once put by, I roughly come upon him, ... [II.2.60]
Like to the wings of lightning from above;
I with a martial look astonish him;
Then falls he down, poor wretch, upon his knee,
And all too late repents his surquedry.
Thus do I take him on my fingers' point,
And thus I bear him through every street,
To be a laughing-stock to all the town;
That done, I lay him at my mistress' feet,
For her to give him doom of life or death.

PISTON: Aye, but hear you, sir; I am bound, in pain of my master's ... [II.2.70]
displeasure, to have a bout at cuffs, afore you and I part.

BASILISCO: Ha, ha, ha.
Eagles are challenged by paltry flies.
Thy folly gives thee privilege; begone, begone.

PISTON: No, no, sir; I must have a bout with you, sir, that's flat,
lest my master turn me out of service.

BASILISCO: Why, art thou weary of thy life?

PISTON: No, by my faith, sir.

BASILISCO: Then fetch thy weapons; and with my single fist
I'll combat thee, my body all unarmed. ... [II.2.80]

PISTON: Why, lend me thine, and save me a labor.

BASILISCO: I tell thee, if Alcides lived this day,
He could not wield my weapons.

PISTON: Why, wilt thou stay till I come again?

BASILISCO: Aye, upon my honor.

PISTON: That shall be when I come from Turkey. [Exit Piston.]

BASILISCO: Is this little desperate fellow gone?
Doubtless he is a very tall fellow;
And yet it were a disgrace to all my chivalry
To combat one so base; ... [II.2.90]
I'll send some crane to combat with the pygmy;
Not that I fear, but that I scorn to fight. [Exit Basilisco.]

Scene II. 3
[Enter Chorus.]

LOVE: Fortune, thou madest Fernando find the chain;
But yet by Love's instruction he was taught
To make a present of it to his mistress.

FORTUNE: But Fortune would not let her keep it long.

LOVE: Nay, rather, Love, by whose suggested power
Erastus used such dice as, being false,
Ran not by Fortune, but necessity.

FORTUNE: Mean time I brought Fernando on the way,
To see and challenge what Lucina lost.

DEATH: And by that challenge I abridged his life, ... [II.3.10]
And forced Erastus into banishment,
Parting him from his love, in spite of Love.

LOVE: But with my golden wings I'll follow him
And give him aid and succor in distress.

FORTUNE: And doubt not too, but Fortune will be there,
And cross him too, and sometimes flatter him,
And lift him up, and throw him down again.

DEATH: And here and there in ambush Death will stand,
To mar what Love or Fortune takes in hand. [Exeunt.]

Act III

Scene III. 1
[Enter Soliman and Brusor, with Janissaries.]

SOLIMAN: How long shall Soliman spend his time,
And waste his days in fruitless obsequies?
Perhaps my grief and long-continual moan
Adds but a trouble to my brothers' ghosts,
Which but for me would now have took their rest.
Then farewell, sorrow; and now, revenge, draw near.
In controversy touching the Isle of Rhodes
My brothers died; on Rhodes I'll be revenged.
Now tell me, Brusor, what's the news at Rhodes?
Hath the young Prince of Cypress married ... [III.1.12]
Cornelia, daughter to the Governor?

BRUSOR: He hath, my Lord, with the greatest pomp
That e'er I saw at such a festival.

SOLIMAN: What, greater than at our coronation?

BRUSOR: Inferior to that only.

SOLIMAN: At tilt, who won the honor of the day?

BRUSOR: A worthy knight of Rhodes, a matchless man,
His name Erastus, not twenty years of age,
Not tall, but well-proportioned in his limbs;
I never saw, except your excellence, ... [III.1.20]
A man whose presence more delighted me;
And had he worshipped Mahomet for Christ,
He might have borne me throughout all the world,
So well I loved and honored the man.

SOLIMAN: These praises, Brusor, touch me to the heart,
And makes me wish that I had been at Rhodes,
Under the habit of some errant knight,
both to have seen and tried his valor.

BRUSOR: You should have seen him foil and over-throw
All the knights that there encountered him. ... [III.1.30]

SOLIMAN: Whate'er he be, even for his virtue's sake,
I wish that fortune of our holy wars
Would yield him prisoner unto Soliman;
That, for retaining one so virtuous,
We may ourselves be famed for virtues.
But let him pass; and, Brusor, tell me now,
How did the Christians use our knights?

BRUSOR: As if that we and they had been one sect.

SOLIMAN: What think'st thou of their valor and demeanor?

BRUSOR: Brave men-at-arms, and friendly out-of-arms; ... [III.1.40]
Courteous in peace, in battle dangerous;
Kind to their foes and liberal to their friends;
And all in all, their deeds heroical.

SOLIMAN: Then tell me, Brusor, how is Rhodes fenced?
For either Rhodes shall be brave Soliman's,
Or cost me more brave soldiers
Than all that Isle will bear.

BRUSOR: ~~~ Their fleet is weak;
Their horse, I deem them fifty thousand strong;
Their footmen more, well-exercised in war;
And, as it seems, they want no needful vital. ... [III.1.50]

SOLIMAN: However Rhodes be fenced by sea or land,
It either shall be mine, or bury me. [Enter Erastus.]
What's he that thus boldly enters in?
His habit argues him a Christian.

ERASTUS: Aye, worthy Lord, a forlorn Christian.

SOLIMAN: Tell me, man, what madness brought thee hither?

ERASTUS: Thy virtuous fame and mine own misery.

SOLIMAN: What misery? Speak; for, though you Christians
Account our Turkish race but barbarous,
Yet have we ears to hear a just complaint ... [III.1.60]
And justice to defend the innocent,
And pity to such as are in poverty,
And liberal hands to such as merit bounty.

BRUSOR: My gracious Sovereign,
As this knight seems by grief tied to silence,
So his deserts binds me to speak for him;
This is Erastus, the Rhodian worthy,
The flower of chivalry and courtesy.

SOLIMAN: Is this the man that thou hast so described?
Stand up, fair knight, that what my heart desires, ... [III.1.70]
Mine eyes may view with pleasure and delight.
This face of thine should harbor no deceit.
Erastus, I'll not yet urge to know the cause
That brought thee hither, lest with the discourse
Thou should'st afflict thyself,
And cross the fullness of my joyful passion.
But (as a token) that we are assured
Heaven's brought thee hither for our benefit,
Know thou that Rhodes, nor all that Rhodes contains,
Shall win thee from the side of Soliman, ... [III.1.80]
If we but find thee well inclined to us.

ERASTUS: If any ignoble or dishonorable thoughts
Should dare attempt, or but creep near my heart,
Honor should force disdain to root it out;
As air-bred eagles, if they once perceive
That any of their brood but close their sight
When they should gaze against the glorious sun,
They straightway seize upon him with their talents,
That on the earth it may untimely die
For looking but askew at heaven's bright eye. ... [III.1.90]

SOLIMAN: Erastus, to make thee well-assured
How well thy speech and presents liketh us,
Ask what thou wilt; it shall be granted thee.

ERASTUS: Then this, my gracious Lord, is all I crave:
That, being banished from my native soil,
I may have liberty to live a Christian.

SOLIMAN: Aye, that, or anything thou shalt desire;
Thou shalt be Captain of our Janissaries,
And in our Council shalt thou sit with us,
And be great Soliman's adopted friend. ... [III.1.100]

ERASTUS: The least of these surpass my best desert,
Unless true loyalty may seem desert.

SOLIMAN: Erastus, now thou hast obtained thy boon,
Deny not Soliman his own request;
A virtuous envy pricks me with desire
To try thy valor; say, art thou content?

ERASTUS: Aye, if my Sovereign say content, I yield.

SOLIMAN: Then give us swords and targets. --
And now, Erastus, think me thine enemy,
But ever after thy continual friend; ... [III.1.110]
And spare me not, for then thou wrong'st my honor.
[Then they fight, and Erastus overcomes Soliman.]
Nay, nay, Erastus, thrown not down thy weapons,
As if thy force did fail; it is enough
That thou hast conquered Soliman by strength;
By courtesy let Soliman conquer thee.
And now from arms to counsel sit thee down.
Before thy coming I vowed to conquer Rhodes;
Say, wilt thou be our Lieutenant there,
And further us in manage of these wars?

ERASTUS: My gracious Sovereign, without presumption, ... [III.1.120]
If poor Erastus may once more entreat,
Let not great Soliman's command,
To whose hest I vow obedience,
Enforce me sheath my slaughtering blade
In the dear bowels of my countrymen;
And were it not that Soliman hath sworn,
My tears should plead for pardon to that place.
I speak not this to shrink away for fear,
Or hide my head in time of dangerous storms:
Employ me elsewhere in thy foreign wars, ... [III.1.130]
Against the Persians, or the barbarous Moor,
Erastus will be foremost in the battle.

SOLIMAN: Why favor'st thou thy countrymen so much,
By whose cruelty thou art exiled?

ERASTUS: Tis not my country, but Philiippo's wrath
(It must be told), for Ferdinando's death,
Whom I in honor's cause have reft of life.

SOLIMAN: Nor suffer this or that to trouble thee;
Thou shalt not need Philippo nor his Isle,
Nor shalt thou war against thy countrymen: ... [III.1.140]
I like thy virtue in refusing it,
But, that our oath may have his current course,
Brusor, go levy men;
Prepare a fleet to assault and conquer Rhodes.
Mean time Erastus and I will strive
By mutual kindness to excel each other.
Brusor, be gone; and see not Soliman
Till thou hast brought Rhodes in subjection. [Exit Brusor.]
And now, Erastus, come and follow me,
Where thou shalt see what pleasures and what sports ... [IV.1.150]
My minions and my eunuchs can devise,
To drive away this melancholy mood. [Exit Soliman. Enter Piston.]

PISTON: O, master, see where I am.

ERASTUS: Say, Piston, what's the news at Rhodes?

PISTON: Cold and comfortless for you; will you have them all
at once?

ERASTUS: Aye.

PISTON: Why, the Governor will hang you, and he catch you;
Ferdinando is buried; your friends commend them to you;
Perseda hath the chain, and is like to die for sorrow. ... [III.1.160]

ERASTUS: Aye, that's the grief, that we are parted thus.
Come, follow me, and I will hear the rest,
For now I must attend the Emperor. [Exeunt.]

Scene III. 2
[Enter Perseda, Lucina, and Basilisco.]
PERSEDA: Accursed chain, unfortunate Perseda.

LUCINA: Accursed chain, unfortunate Lucina.
My friend is gone, and I am desolate.

PERSEDA: My friend is gone, and I am desolate.
Return him back, fair stars, or let me die.

LUCINA: Return him back, fair heavens, or let me die;
For what was he but comfort of my life?

PERSEDA: For what was he but comfort of my life?
But why was I so careful of the chain?

LUCINA: But why was I so careless of the chain? ... [III.2.10]
Had I not lost it, my friend had not been slain.

PERSEDA: Had I not lost it, my friend had not departed,
His parting is my death.

LUCINA: ~~~ His death my life's departing,
And here my tongue doth stay with swollen heart's grief.

PERSEDA: And here my swollen heart's grief doth stay my tongue.

BASILISCO: For whom weeps you?

LUCINA: ~~~ Ah, for Fernando's dying.

BASILISCO: For whom mourn you?

PERSEDA: ~~~ Ah, for Erastus flying.

BASILISCO: Why, Lady, is not Basilisco here?
Why, Lady, doth not Basilisco live?
Am not I worth both these for whom you mourn? ... [III.2.20]
Then take each one half of me, and cease to weep;
Or if you gladly would enjoy me both,
I'll serve the one by day, the other by night,
And I will pay you both your sound delight.

LUCINA: Ah, how unpleasant is mirth to melancholy.

PERSEDA: My heart is full; I cannot laugh at folly. [Exeunt Ladies.]

BASILISCO: See, see, Lucina hates me like a toad,
Because that when Erastus spoke my name,
Her love Ferdinando died at the same;
So dreadful is our name to cowardice. ... [III.2.30]
On the other side, Perseda takes it unkindly
That ere he went, I brought not bound unto her
Erastus, that faint-hearted run-away.
Alas, how could I? For his man no sooner
Informed him that I sought him up and down,
But he was gone in twinkling of an eye.
But I will after my delicious love;
For well I wot, though she dissemble thus,
And cloak affection with her modesty,
With love of me her thoughts are over-gone, ... [III.2.40]
More than was Phyllis with her Demophon. [Exit.]

Scene III. 3
[Enter Philippo, the Prince of Cyprus, and other Soldiers.]

PHILIPPO: Brave Prince of Cyprus, and our son-in-law,
Now there is little time to stand and talk;
The Turks have passed our galleys, and are landed;
You with some men-at-arms shall take the Tower;
I with the rest will down unto the strand.
If we be beaten back, we'll come to you;
And here, in spite of damned Turks, we'll gain
A glorious death or famous victory.

CYPRUS: About it then. [Exeunt.]

Scene III. 4
[Enter Brusor and his Soldiers.]

BRUSOR: Drum, sound a parle to the citizens.
[The Prince of Cyprus on the walls.]

CYPRUS: What parle craves the Turkish at our hands?

BRUSOR: We come with mighty Soliman's command,
Monarch and mighty Emperor of the world,
From East to West, from South to Septentrion.
If you resist, expect what war affords,
Mischief, murther, blood, and extremity.
What, wilt thou yield, and try our clemency?
Say aye or no; for we are peremptory.

CYPRUS: Your Lord usurps in all that he possesseth; ... [III.4.10]
And that great God, which we do truly worship,
Shall strengthen us against your insolence.

BRUSOR: Now if thou plead for mercy, 'tis too late:
Come, fellow soldiers, let us to the breach
That's made already on the other side. [Exeunt to the battle.]
[Philippo and Cyprus are both slain.]

Scene III. 5
[Enter Brusor, with Soldiers, having Guelpio, Julio,
and Basilisco, with Perseda and Lucina prisoners.
]

BRUSOR: Now Rhodes is yoked, and stoops to Soliman.
There lies the Governor, and there his son;
Now let their souls
Tell sorry tidings to their ancestors,
What millions of men, oppressed with ruin and scathe,
The Turkish armies did [o'er-throw] in Christendom.
What say these prisoners? Will they turn Turk, or no?

JULIO: First Julio will die ten thousand deaths.
GUELPIO: And Guelpio, rather than deny his Christ.

BRUSOR: Then stab the slaves, and send their souls to hell. ... [III.5.10]
[They stab Julio and Guelpio.]

BASILISCO: I turn, I turn; oh save my life, I turn.

BRUSOR: Forbear to hurt him; when we land in Turkey,
He shall be circumcised and have his rites.

BASILISCO: Think you I turn Turk
For fear of servile death, that's but a sport?
I' faith sir, no;
'Tis for Perseda, whom I love so well
That I would follow her, though she went to hell.

BRUSOR: now for these Ladies: their lives' privilege
Hangs on their beauty; they shall be preserved ... [III.5.20]
To be presented to the great Soliman,
The greatest honor Fortune could afford.

PERSEDA: The most dishonor that could ere befall. [Exeunt.]

Scene III. 6
Enter Chorus.]

LOVE: Now, Fortune, what hast thou done in this later passage?

FORTUNE: I placed Erastus in the favor
Of Soliman, the Turkish Emperor.

LOVE: Nay, that was Love, for I couched myself
In poor Erastus' eyes, and with a look
O'er-spread with tears, bewitched Soliman.
Beside, I sat on valiant Brusor's tongue,
To guide the praises of the Rhodian knight.
Then in the Ladies' passions I showed my power;
And lastly Love made Basilisco's tongue ... [III.6.10]
To counter-check his heart by turning Turk,
And save his life, in spite of Death's despite.

DEATH: How chance it then, that Love and Fortune's power
Could neither save Philippo nor his son,
Nor Guelpio, nor Signior Julio,
Nor rescue Rhodes from out the hands of Death?

FORTUNE: Why, Brusor's victory was Fortune's gift.

DEATH: But had I slept, his conquest had been small.

LOVE: Wherefore stay we? There's more behind
Which proves that, though Love wink, Love's not stark blind. ... [III.6.20]
[Exeunt.]


GO TO Soliman & Perseda ACTS 4 & 5

GO TO Soliman GLOSSARY

GO BACK TO Soliman & Perseda ACT 1

GO BACK TO HOME PAGE