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ACT 3RD, SCENE 1ST
 OROMASDES, ARSACES

ORO. How happy fortune smiles on our attempt,
Our ship is wafted with a pleasant gale 640
Of willing winde, not far can be the lande.
Onely Arsaces doth oppose himselfe
Like to a sea lamprey to our speedy course
That boldly dares arrest with sudden stay
The swiftest ship that parts the ocean 645 
Though Eolus selfe had sworne the contrary.
Arcases be entreated to consent.
That we may send divorce unto our queene
And, rid of her, be rid of thousand cares.
ARS. Most mighty king God prosper your designe, 650 
That neither spite of man nor wrath of heaven
May ever dimme the glory of your state.
But if there be a God, let God be feard,
The lawes of God let all men reverence,
And much more kings. ORO. That feare concerns the people. 655 
ARS. The people take example by their king
He allwayes teacheth best, that liveth best.
ORO. The honour of that king is vile and base
That hath no privelege above his people.
ARS. The honor of that king soone takes disgrace 660 
That thinks he hath leave to sin more than his people.
ORO. All our counsel els have sett to their hands.
ARS. More cause have kings to feare which none withstands.
ORO. Why doest thou onely goe about to crosse me?
ARS. Who ever ask’t his freind, why lov’st thou me? 665 
ORO. The barren queene denies our crownes succession.
ARS. Both crownes and kings are ruined by oppression.
ORO. Shall then the honour of the Bactrian race  
Perish in us for want of lawfull heyres?
I speake not for myselfe, that moves me not, 670 
But for your sakes. O what a world of woes
Will hence arise! What wast of guiltlesse blood!
When every factious peere will strive by might
To winne the crowne, that none can clayme by right.
How will the land be into parts divided 675 
When bloudy warrs will many kings proclaime 
And insolent victory will but suffer one?
ARS. If you desire to have your name <endure>
By lawfull issue, that your wife may doe
If Juno please, and Venus be content, 680 
Against whose likeing not proud Niobe
Nor Danaus his wife, nor she that made
King Priam father of so many sons,
But should be barren; how rife the examples are
Of ominous event (which God forbid) 685 
Let poor Thyestes woe, and Layus speake,
That weepeing wish they never had been fathers,
One brought to grave, the other himselfe a grave
Of his owne sons; there’s noe complaint
That more doeth wearie heaven, and princes courts defame. 690 
But if you feare the ruin of your land
For want of heires that may enioy your crowne,
Your love is honorable, but your feare is vaine.
Not so the liveing powers of heaven condemn
Us mortall men, their owne poore kindred sure 695 
That they’ll neglect the worlds due government.
A king if any be let God provide,
Live you in peace and happy may you dye,
If in your death men men think the kingdome dye
And ne’re expect another riseing sunne. 700
ORO. By this advise shall all the world decay,
The sacred rights of marriage who will choose
To undergoe? Whose minds shall still be swept
With noe lesse feares then trembling Sisyphus
Under the downefall of the threatning stone? 705 
What man will till his ground, and sowe his graine
To have his labour wash’t away with raine?
Or who will plowe the ocean with his oares
Where Scylla barks and where Charibdis roares?
Among so many rocks and fearefull sands 710 
Death-dealing tempests and devouring winds
In our lives travaile, God hath pinch’d us neere. 
Noe dreame of hope we have without some feare.
ARS. A priuate mans exception cancells not 
The lawes of nature: dye you issuelesse
715 
Yet shall great Bactria and the world indure.
ORO. Of private honour wilt thou hinder us?
ARS. No honour growes from publicke injuries.
ORO. That which procures the kingdomes good, is right.
ARS. Can that be right which overthrowes all right? 720 
ORO. Where kingdoms are not safe the right can’t stay.
ARS. Where right is not maintain’d kingdomes decay.
ORO. A king without issue is but halfe a king.
ARS. But oft the scepter looseth the whole king.
ORO. For state of future time must kings provide. 725
ARS. So doeth he best, that best his owne can guide.
ORO. What lawes forbid us to divorce our queene?
ARS. All law of nature, nations, realmes, and gods.
Why, you may thank Atossa for your crowne
Without her father’s helpe, you ne’er had been king. 730 
For when your father Moleon did usurpe
The kingdome to himselfe in humble wise
You fled to Ganges, and besought his ayde
Who soone restor’d the honour to your state
And did espouse his daughter to your bed. 735 
And shall she blamelesse now without offence
Be banished home againe in vile disgrace?
Her father will by warres revenge this wrong.
ORO. Let him begin his warrs, we neither want
Men nor munition: he shall quickly feele 740 
What Bactria and what Oromasdes can,
An angry son in law that hates his father.
But thou unwary doest encreased our feare
And yet thou know’st not what it is we feare. [Exeunt.

 

ACT 3RD, SCENE 2ND 
BESSUS, ROXANA, SISIMINTHRES, ARIASPE

ROX. Dearer than life, more lovely than the light, 750 
Desired seate of my nativitie,
Where once my father, and my husband since
Mightiest of men sett nearest to the gods,
All health and happinesse to thee befall;
And if the gods denie this wish to me 755 
Be thou more fortunate than my wish can be.
Sleepe safe for ever in securitie
And let thy head be crown’d with victory.
How gladly every thing delights in chance:
From townes we fly to wood, from wood to towne. 760
There the fresh blossoms of the timely spring
Daunce on the boughs, the wind with whistling sound
Breaths through the trees, in musicks harmony
The birds in sweet concert salute the sunne
And from the hollow rills <around> 765
Echo redoubles till the last words sound.
Here painted chymnies of high rays’d towers
And huge Colossa’s like to mountaines great,
And here the glory of the Bactrian court,
My fathers ruine, stands; ah now me thinks 770 
I see the image of our auncient woes;
Ah me, God comfort my distressed thoughts.
BES. What suddaine greife hath seazed on your heart
To wett your rosie cheeks with cristall deawe?
How comes so fayre a day, so soone o’recast? 775 
ROX. O blessed father, if thy quiet soule
Have any feeling what we doe on earth,
Pardon thy childe, and charge not with untruth
Her falsed vowe. Whence doeth this suddain feare
Dismay my guiltlesse my mind? My heart will break 780 
And my weake feet will scarce sustaine their change,
as an old batter’d ship in stormy seas
is tost uncertainely ‘twixt wind and waves.
BES. Roxana whence proceeds this suddaine feare?
A noble mind cannot be lightly mov’d. 785 
ROX. Amidst the silent visions of the night
In fearefull plight I travel’d toward the court
Where now no court, but unfrequented woods
Methought I found, whereout o’reshadowing trees
And crosse deceivueing wayes I could not passe, 790 
Till a feirce tyger of that monstrous place
Washing her fiery jawes with angry fome
Seased on my children, and deuouring them
For farther prey began to trusse up me.
Whereat affraid I suddainlely awoke. 795 
BES. When busy fancie doth by night reveiw
All that our sense hath gathered by day,
So many divers thought conjoyned in one
Needs must some mi<s>shap’t monster then arise,
As when old Nilus upon the Aegyptian plaine 800 
Unloads hiss drunken stomache, and againe
Licks up the vomite in the slymy clay,
Strange wonders breed, and monsters mervalous
In uncouth formes put foorth their ghastly heads.
Vaine thing it is to feare these selfe made feares. 805 
ROX. A dreame of note doth seldome want event,
But God forbid my dreame should come to passe.
What’s this within me that thus strives against me?
SIS. Mother. ROX. Sisiminthes. SIS. Why stay we so?
Let us make hast that we may meete our father. 810
ROX. God speed this journy, and abate our feare.
SIS. Ile ne’re goe to our house againe. 
ROX. Peace pretty soule, speake not such ominous words.
ARI. Mother. ROX. Ariaspe. ARI. See you this great tree?
Why hold you up your hands, doth your head ake? 815
SIS. Good mother weep not, sister Ariaspe
Entreat my mother that she would not weepe.
ARI. Mother who hurts you? SIS. With my daggers point
I’le slay the villaine dead that beates my mother.
ROX. My dearest comfort andyour fathers joy 820 
For you I’le goe, and if the angry gods
Intend us harme, on my head lett it fall.
Growe you in happines and live secure.
But whatsoever happen, first will I
On each of you bestowe a mothers kisse, 825 
Sweeter than are sweete roses in the bud.
Ah doe not wipe the teares with that soft hand,
Such tender comfort maks me weepe the more.
BES. If there were any roome for pitty left
At this mosst pitifull sight, it would returne; 830 
Some idle teares obdurate greife lets fall,
But my head moves not, as when an Autumn blast
Shakes downe the withred leaves, the truncke stands still.
But see the mother queene aprocheth nigh,
Prepare yourselves to meete her; cease to crie. 835 

  

ACT 3RD, SCENE 3RD 
ATOSSA, ROXANA

ATO. Never may cloud distayne thy glorious face.
Faire lampe of heaven but pure for ever shine
Whose brightnesse has begott this blessed day.
Roxana comes, she comes into our hands.
But ere we practise what we have decreed 840 
A mother’s kindnesse must we counterfeit.
Roxana welcome, come embrace your mother.
Welcome Roxana, you’ve liv’d to long unknowne
Your want hath hindred us of ten yeares joy.
And my sweete cosene, the comfort of mine age, 845 
Give me a hony kisse of sug’red love
And clappe your pretty armes about my necke.
ROX. What mother in lawe did ever entertaine
Her daughter with such love? God and your sonne
Requite your kindnes with deserved thanks. 850
Onely myselfe, and those two little ones
Have vow’d to doe you service, what we can.
And sooner shall the west reduce the sunne
And sett his heavy chariot in the east
Then these your loveing favours be forgotten. 855 
ATO. Arise faire princesse, doe not kneele to me,
This duty soone will I performe to you.
Goe in with joy, as to receaue a crowne
And furnish your attire as fitts a queene. [Exeunt.]  

  

ACT 3RD, SCENE 4TH 
ARSACES
alone

O the aspireing blindnesse of the proud 860 
When the uncertaine glory of the court
hath once inveigled; who choose to live at court
By this your choyce are justly punished,
with care with feare, greife and vexation:
Indeed the favour of the king is life. 865 
Yea but his frowne is death, his favour fickle
Then which there’s nothing thats more variable.
No not the unconstant clearnes of the skye,
Nor yet the rainbowes divers coloured shape,
Nor Eolus king of variable winds, 870 
Kings courts are more inconstant then are these.
Who thinks t’avoide the country’s common care
Or great mens wrongs, all those resort to th’court.
Yet cares and danger noe where more then there,
Not in Aegaean or the Caspian sea: 875 
Upon quicksands rocks and strong gulfes doe rage,
And dangers tempests fright the marriners.
More cares and soares then theise doe greive the courtier;
All kinds of sinns resort unto the court
Headlong aspireing honour, flattery, 880 
Frolicke suspition, shamelesse hypocrisie,
Backbiteing envy, feighned dissembling,
Malitious hatred in inferiours,
Disdaineing hatried in superiours,
‘Mongst equalls anger, all censures of the prince. 885 
In quiet rule still some desire danger
And talke of treason and of stratagems.
Whatso’er elsewhere is ill, t’is doubled here.
At court all kind of wickednesse is rife,
But greater feare and cares requir’d of us 890 
Who are the privie counsell to the king,
Vice to represse, and vertue to reward.
Great Oromasdes king of Bactria,
My prince and soveraigne whome I reverence,
Doth greive that any crosse his purposes. 895 
Whatsoe’re the kings desire’s his other lords,
Be’t right or wrong, they soone doe yeild consent
Because I yeild not I am out of favour,
In my disgrace some take occasion
Who hope to rise to honour by my fall, 900 
And enviously then lay unto my charge
Most cruell lyes, and slaunderous accusations.
Gods will be done, and give me patience
To heare the bad with good, and frowne with favour,
For courtly favour often ebbs and flowes 905 
As doe Euripus variable waves. 

  

CHORUS sings

O cruell rage of willfull lust
And fury of untam’d desire
With what outragious heate doth thou
Sett lovers hearts on fire! 910 
The swelling streame in Trent that glides
Doth not so flash his frothy waves
Against her straights and banked sides
As willfull lust ‘gainst reason raves.
The sparke that setts the house on fire 915 
And burneth all both sticke and stone
So rageth not with flameing ire
As rageth youths affection.
Thus fire and water have noe bounds.
Fire burnes up all, and water drownes; 920 
Though reason youth from fire would save,
Yet youth perforce this course will have.
When Cupids dart
Doth peirce the heart
And love o’erfloweth reasons bonds 925 
No reason reigns
Nor shame refraines
Nor trust nor care of promise stands
When Boreas blewe a stormy blast
In darkest night 930 
And thund’ring Jove his arrowes cast
And gave a light,
Leander then would take the sea
And swim to his Amasia,
No flouds, no streames, no night could part 935
This lusty youth from his sweetheart;
Yet Bosphorus did quench the fire
Of young Leanders hot desire.
What should I mention Medea
Which wounded with the dart of Cytherea 940
Feared not the fiery bull
Nor feirce dragon watchfull?
Thus none can rule headstrong affection
Which way it takes, it desperately runnes on.
Who love in face but hate in heart 945  
Those play a deepe dessembling part.
The corcodile to winne her prey
Will weepe a wofull well-away,
The bird will heare the fowler sing
Till she be taken in his ginne, 950 
The sweeter song the Syrens sound
The sooner the poore seamans dround;
Unlesse the pilott head them backe
They are in danger of shipwracke.
Oh had Roxana stopt her eare 955 
For hearing words so sweet and faire,
Guilefull Atossa had not caught
Simple Roxana fearing naught.

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