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ACT V, SCENE i
ALFREDE, HUMFREY 2320
[King Alfred, together with one of his captains and others, all disguised as musicions, passes through the Danish camp with the intention of what is being done there.]
AL. We goe as yet unobserv’d by any,
And march through the midst of our enimies
Unmolested. The victour lyes buried 2320
In sleepe upon the grasse. Nobody stands
Sentinell. The captaines are all intent
Upon their frolickes and recreations.
The souldiers, unarm’d, give themselves to rest,
Some feasting, some drinking, others at play. 2325
In fine, ev’ry one thinkes himselfe secure.
HUM. Idlenesse is oft bought at a deare rate,
And ease is an ill gaurd to victory.
As a credulous mariner, when the
Sky is serene, commits his ship to th’ winds 2330
Which swell the pregnant sailes with a stife gale
Strait, if their too rough blasts shake his vessel
And accumulate mountaines in the seas,
An unexpected terrour ceases [seizes] him,
And he then curses the deluding windes, 2335
Even so the warlike sound of trumpets
Calls the Danes from their negligent rest to armes.
They’l learne at their owne cost how treacherous
Is their too much presum’d security,
And with how great inconstancy fortune 2340
Disposeth of the lots of victory,
Seldome admitting a lasting happinesse.
AL. See, we are come neere Gothurnus his tent.
His pages are coming forth.
ACT V, SCENE ii
PIPERO, TITMUS, ALFREDE, HUMFREY
[Overhearing a conversation between two pages of Gothrunus, the king learns of his grief over what he imagines to be the death of his brother, and of the bounty of a thousand pounds given to Bragadocia for having killed Alfred, as he claimed. One of the pages decides to challenge that man to a duel because of an insult he has received, and sends him a letter of challenge.]
PIP. Titmus, seest thou how all things goes totsy-turvy, since griefe, or rather madnesse, 2345
possest our king proceeding from the death of his brother and kinsman? He careth not
for his armes as he was wont, nor delights he in his horses, nor fortify’s his tents, nor
sends out scouts, nor encourages his souldiers, but some times he’s as mute as a fish,
And sometimes exclaimes as loud as thunder. He groanes, sighs, grieves, threatens, and
AL. How impatiently an insolent tyrant endures adversity!
PIP. Yet the coming of the souldier which affirm’d that he had kil’d King Alfrede
was something oportune.
AL. What’s this? Is’t rumor’d that I’m also kil’d?
PIP. ’Twas Alfredes robes which made him be believ’d. 2355
AL. What robes? Perhaps those which in my flight I threw into a pit.
PIP. He had a thousand pounds for his reward.
AL. ’Twas a prosperous lye.
PIP. And now he’s made one of the kings guard.
TIT. Now, Pipero, you touch upon a business hatefull to me. As though that word- 2360
thundering gyant could overcome King Alfrede, much lesse kill him, who dares not
cry hisse to a goose. His hands are more apt for theevery then war. Wherefore I
conclude that he stole those robes and got them not by force. Do you remember
with what opprobrious language he affronted me, because I was not attentive to 2365
his commands? How he cald me the excrement of a mouse, and lesse nothing, nay
brag’d he would eat me up with venegar like pickeld herring? I’le no longer
endure these affronts, but am resolv’d to dare him to the fyld. Wherefore Ile
send him this chalenge writ in this paper. And you shall carry it. Ile make him
know that I doe not degenerate from the noble progeny of pigmies. 2370
TIT. Ile carry it. But first let me read it.
TITMUS TO POLEMOBOMBARDIFRAGOSOGIGANTOMIOMACHOPUMPONIDES SENDS REVENGE
Altho this title hath taken up a whole side, lets goe on to the rest.
Hadst thou as many feete as thy name is compos’d of, they would all be few enough to 2375
carry thee from my indignation. Know that I am thy mortall enimy. Nor doth thy
monstrous name hinder me from chalenging thee too a duell. If thou wavest
fighting where I find thee, Ile put a halter about thy necke and drag thee along the
streets, and shew thee to the people for a strange monster. If thou accept it, Ile bridle 2380
thee like an asse and will get upon thy backe and ride thee. Farewell, till I make you
Titmus, thy words bite worse than a louse.
TIT. But my deedes shall bite worse then my words.
PIP. Hee himselfe is now coming this way. 2380
ACT V, SCENE iii
BRAGADOCIA, PIPERO, TITMUS, ALFREDE, HUMFREY
[When he barges in, Bragadocia is knocked to the ground by the two boys, one kneeling behind him and the other shoving him backwards. Then they land on him and beat him to a pulp with their fists. At length he is rescued by the king and his companion, who have been standing by.]
BRAG. Give roome here to the invincible champion of Gothurnus, coming to expatiate
[stroll] abroad. What doe these gnats doe here? Get yee out of my sight, you pitifull
PIP. Read this, monstrous giant. Delivers the chalenge.
BRAG. What’s this? What mortall is so foolish to contend with me? 2390
TIT. ’Tis I, great collossus, who thus contemne thee and thy pride.
BRAG. Oh, oh, they’ll teare me to peeces.
AL. They’l teare my clothes to peeces. Humfrey, lets not suffer this man to be
tormented to death by thes two wasps. Stop no your rage, he hath sufficiently felt
your anger. 2395
TIT. Let me alone. I have not yet satisfyed my revenge.
PIP. My wrath boiles within me, let me power [pour] it forth upon this immense
BRAG. Jove, unframe your universe, brandish thy lightning, exenterate [disembowel]
the articke and antarticke poles of haile as big as milstones and eiaculate them upon 2400
Atlas’s shoulders, that, brused with ponderous confusions, he may sinke under the
heav’ns and confound all things, that the world may be revers’d into its primitive
chaos, for I am all in a raging fury.
PIP. Wee’ll give him leave to talke. Let us goe in. Exit Pipero, Titmus. Enter Pimpo.
ACT V, SCENE iv
PIMPO, BRAGADOCIA, ALFREDE, HUMFREY
[Unaware of what has happened to his master, Pimpo wonders that he is raging so bombastically. Alfred whispers the single word in his ear that Alfred is alive, and this calms him down and makes him flee, together with his servant.]
PIM. Whats the reason that my master lookes about with such truculent eyes? 2405
BRAG. Now I could tosse those mountaines Pindus and Ossa like tennis balls.
PIM. Master, what thus exasperates you?
BRAG. And throw ’em at Jupiters head.
PIM. Are you in your senses.
BRAG. Ile let loose the Giants from their prisons. 2410
PIM. You are furious.
AL. Ile conjure downe his fury with one word. Hark hither Alfrede lives. Be gon.
BRAG. Woe’s is me! Pimpo, hast away. Exit,
PIM. How suddainly he is vanish’t. My Master threatens and runs away all in a
HUM. His anger is turned into feare, and he is grown patient of a suddain.
AL. He thought it his best course to be gon, least when Gothurnus understands his 2415
deceit he may sustain the punishment of it. However by his fallacy he hath
cous’ned our enimy of a thousand pound. The kings at hand, his pages come with
him. ’Tis time you within tune your instruments and prepare the dance. Ile observe
his strange lookes, speeches, and gestures, and will diligently search into the secrets
of his bosome. How horridly he rowles his distracted eyes! 2420
ACT V, SCENE v
GOTHURNUS, OSBERNE, ALFREDE
[The Danish king, who has appeared in disguise together with Gormo, is vainly urged to ease his sorrow. Alfred introduces dancer and music, but departs when this does nothing to improve the king’s mood.]
GOTH. Shall I complan, or with the loud clamour
Of an angry voice fill the aire, the fields
And ecchoing vallies? I could deplore
The losse of Osberne, but my rage forbids.
Griefe and anger cruelly teare my brest 2425
With contrary impulses. A doubtfull suspense
Impedes my resolve. Grife tells me ’tis best
To condole his sad funerall with teares
And complaine oth’ cruelty of the gods.
Anger cry’s out, “stand at a defyance, 2430
And execrate their perfidiousnesse.”
Griefe perswades me to lament my brother.
Anger reproves me and askes if teares can
Bring a remedy. Timerous women
Can doe as much. Grow desperate and arme 2435
Thy hand with some audacious attempt.
Even as two combating windes divide
The sea with opposite agitations,
And sometimes the one forces the reeling waves,
Sometimes the other confus’dly drives them 2440
In concatenated mountains to the shore,
Yet dubious whose summons to obey,
So ’twixt the flames of anger and the streames
Of teares my wav’ring mind floates unresolv’d.
What shall I determine, rage or lament? 2445
Ile rage, and lament too. My breast shall feele
Th’ impetuositie of both their assaults.
Ile be enflam’d with rage and drown’d in teares,
That a grieving rate and a raging griefe
May totally possesse my bosome. 2450
OSB. Suppresse your impotent fury. That which
You lament, you lament in vaine. For that
Which you rage, your rage vanisheth into the aire.
What death hath once devour’d can’t be regain’d.
’Tis then against your selfe alone that you 2455
Excite your anger.
GOTH. Griefe communicated somewhat abates
The intemp’rate motions of the minde.
OSB. But rage incensed renews it againe.
GOTH. Do you then dissuade me from lamenting so deere a brother? 2460
OSB. I disswade you from grieving with too violent a griefe.
GOTH. True love admits no limites in griefe.
OSB. True love admits not any griefe at all.
GOTH. What most we love we most lament.
OSB. Where we love ill. 2465
GOTH. He that laments his friend loves well.
OSB. We grieve for ill things, not for good.
GOTH. We grieve for good things that are lost.
OSB. If lost, will griefe recover them?
GOTH. Who are you that would thus limit my griefe? 2470
OSB. I am a Dane and now follow your conduct.
I was (I must confesse) a companion
To Haldain, Hubba, and Hingar, three kings
Who were lately kild by the Brittans.
Hard fortune hath brought me hither 2475
Accompanied with one friend.
GOTH. I entertaine you both as my deare friends
Because you are in misery, and are come
To one more miserable then your selves.
I resent your misfortune, and alone 2480
Will grieve for myselfe. My sorrows need not
Your condolement. The perpetuall losse
Of Osberne is mine.
The musicians play and others begin to dance.
AL. Now play your parts.
Lead up the dance, and foote it with 2485
An active nimbleness. — Light tunes please not.
Begin other dances to sollemn aires.
GOTH. Enough. Be gon.
AL. Lets goe. His countenance lookes grim, as if
Enflam’d with an angry passion. 2490
Our trumpets will presently sound a tune
To another dance, which he dreames not of.
GOTH. Shall I allwayes sloathfully thus remaine
Plung’d in the same perplexities? And shall
I endure it? Shall the just fury 2495
Of Gothurnus disquiet nobody
But himselfe? Shall I still complain and dye
Without revenge? My dearest brother fell
By the bloody hand of an enimy,
And shall I not persue that enimy 2500
With fire and sword? Shall not my souldiers
Haste to their armes and consume to ashes
Townes, cities, houses, yea and temples too?
Noe small river of blood can quench so great
A thirst. Vast seas shall flow, in Britaine 2505
Itself one Britane shall’nt be found alive.
England shall be its own funerall flame,
And lye buried in its owne ashes.
Alfrede shall become food for ravenous
Vultures to prey upon. Edward his son 2510
Shall feele my revenge. Shall then feele it,
And doth not? Doe’s he feele it, and hath not
Already felt it? O my sluggish soule!
Ere this the enimy should have paid their lives
To my revenge. Now ’tis almost too late. 2505
However it shall overtake them. And I,
Surrounded with a sea of blood, will laugh
And make a consort with their howling groanes.
ACT V, SCENE vi
MESSENGER, GOTHURNUS, SOLDIERS
[As Gothurnus is brooding about taking vengeance on his enemies for his brother’s killing, a messenger arrives, who reports that Alfred is alive and is already within his camp with an army, and that Bragadocia has fled. Hearing these things, the king goes into a towering rage and recalls his fleeing soldiers for a battle.]
MESS. Alfred lives —
GOTH. Villain, thou stabst me. Canst thou tell me that? 2510
MESS. And what’s more, hee’s well.
GOTH. Is there anything more yet?
MESS. There is.
GOTH. What ist?
MESS. At this instant he leades his numerous troopes 2515
Into your tents and preys upon the spoile,
Who even now, disguised in the habit
Of a musitian, prepar’d dances in your presence.
GOTH. O gods! Where’s he who affirmed that
With his owne hand he had kild the king 2520
And brought away his robes?
MESS. He’s run away.
GOTH. Am I then deluded and cheated with
The specious fallacy of a lye?
I, a conquerour, thus subdu’d by deceit, 2525
Perjury, by my d souldiers, and by
The armes of an enemy? How low
Am I basely suncke? Abject Gothurnus!
What dost thou doe, seest thou and know’st thou this?
I am not, nor doe I draw vitall breath. 2530
I am now amongst the infernall umbra’s.
Here Cocytus, and there Styx vomit up
Their soutty waves, and that extinguisher
Of cares, Lethe, environs me with a
Soporiferous cloude. You are all ghosts. 2535
Charon, Hells waterman, will strait be here,
To wit the enimy, and waft us ore
The infernall lakes.
SOULD. (Within.) Arme. Arme. The enimies at hand.
GOTH. What confused noyse sounds in my eares 2540
And harshly calles to armes? Whats this? I see
The flight of souldiers of my owne.
O horrid shame! Stand, or this hand shall give
That death from which you run. Fearfull cowards!
Do you feare your enemies? I am one. 2545
He dyes that comes another step this way.
Timerous soules! Hartlesse Danes! Unmindfull
Of glory! Are you affraid of those who
Lye almost at the mercy of your swords?
Will conquerours run from the conquered? 2550
O face about. Your flight’s degenerous,
And the safety you seeke more dangerous
Where there is no refuge, where naked swords
Gaurd ev’ry angle. If yee will choose death,
My hand shall give it, if life, your owne. 2555
Let life be your election, death is
A due to our enimies. Live equall
To your triumphs. Your conquering swords have gain’d
A lawrell, let your courage maintain it.
Victors must defend their spoiles. Learn of me, 2560
Your leader, either to dye gloriously
Or to win honour from an enimy
Halfe conquered already. Ye shall purchase
Victory or death by my example.
SOUL. We all follow. Exeunt all but Pipero and Titmus. 2565
ACT V, SCENE vii
[The two boys consider chasing Bragadocia and bringing him to Gothurnus bound hand and foot.]
TIT. Now, Pipero, whilst they are in the heat of battel let us do an exploit worthy of
PIP. What ist, Titmus?
TIT. Lets pursue Brabadocia with all our might and bring him backe to the king
bound like a calfe. 2570
PIP. Lets goe then. Fame shall trumpet forth this attempt. I swell with animosity
against him. Exeunt.
ACT V, SCENE viii
[The two kings fight. Then Osberne and Gormo on the one side, and Humfrey and Athelrede on the other, join in the battle. Gothurnus and his followers retreat to the castle, where they are besieged by the English.]
GOTH. Alfrede, defend your selfe
AL. That counsell best befits Gothurnus.
GOTH. I’m come to call thee to a resignement [resignation] of thy crowne long since 2575
due, of thy life, and of Osberne.
They fight. Gothurnus with his <men> retreates into a castle.
AL. Win it and were [wear] it.
The enimy is fled into the castle.
The prey’s entrapt, we must prepare a siege. Exeunt.
ACT V, SCENE ix
[Having stolen his master’s money, Pimpo plans on flight and bids adieu to the spectators.]
PIM. With a bag of money. That which is due to the profit of servants when their 2580
masters are too covetous, or so prodigall that they leave nothing to give to us, I have
now fulfilled it, having stolen away my masters money. But, least he should dye
intestate, I have left him some, that if he should want a halter to hang himselfe, he
may presently furnish himselfe with one. Now I am a free man. Money makes men
free. You may judge whither I more serv’d my master or my selfe. By my ingenuity, 2585
he cosened Gothurnus of this money, now by my wisdome it falls out that the
profit redounds to me. Now if my master be well, it is well, I am well, and bid you
all farewell. For somebody is coming this way. Exit.
ACT V, SCENE x
[Now made a courtier, Strumbo describes the ways of the absurd court.]
STR. Now I am a man three stories high, a rusticke, a souldier, and a courtier. But
as yet my capacity is got no higher than the first. However this sword proclames me 2590
a souldier, but I neither know how to fight, nor doe I desire to be instructed,
unlesse men would take more care of hurting one another. To speake the truth, I
have bin trying this halfe hower to draw my sword out of the scabbard, which has
put me into this sweat, but I believe a yolk of oxen can scarse get it out, and so much
the better. ’Twill be a good excuse to avoid fighting. For if anybody should fall 2595
upon me before I can draw my sword I may then honorably cry quarter. These
gay cloaths speake me a courtier, but I have not yet perfectly learnt to ly like a
courtier, to flatter, to dissemble, to complement and court ladies, to sleepe after
dinner, to sweare, and sometimes be forsworn, to game, to cheate, to be in love,
to adore a mistresse, to kisse her hand, to cringe and congie, to small of perfumes, 2600
and a thousand other apish tricks which I ca’nt remember. I am now going along
with my mother to wait upon the king’s mother and the young princesse. But I had
rather be amongst my hogs again, or tumbling our Joane, then use such ridiculous
postures and fasshions as these great gentle folkes expect. And yet my mother is so
in love with these phantasticall divises that I feare ere long she’l grow mad. Im 2605
sure she is not herselfe allready, for she lookes forty yeares younger then she did
two days agoe. Her tawny complexion is chang’d into pure red and white, which
she takes at pleasure out of a a box. She hath also got a set of new teeth, which she
layes aside at night and sets them in ranke and file against next morning. To day
she spent no lesse then five houres in dressing of herselfe before a lookinglasse, 2610
where ’twas the bravest sport to see into what strange fashions she windes and
turnes her countenance. Now she dislikes the setting of her mouth, now this
haire is out of order, now t’other. Beauty spot must be set in a more gracefull
place. Is not this rare, to see one that was wont to weare patches upon her
peticote now weare them upon her face? But here she comes. If yee desire to see 2615
a compendium of the whole court, looke upon her well.
ACT V, SCENE xi
[Strumbo’s mother Crabula, likewise made a lady of the court, plans on visiting members of the nobility.]
CRA. Strumbo, hold my fan. — Now restore it to me and take my hood.
STR. Hold . Restore Take. These certainly are court words.
CRA. Ah! I am now a little weary. Hold thy mother by the arme. Now returne my hood.
STR. Take it, least it turne it into some other use. 2620
CRA. I cant endure the heat of this sun.
STR. Aide I believe it spoiles the paint.
CRA. Ile maske my face.
STR. ’Tis so ugly it needs no other cover.
ACT V, SCENE xii
CRABULA, STRUMBO, BRAGADOCIA
[At a distance, Strumbo sees Bragadocia approaching, lets go of his arms, and flees. She angrily flies at the soldier and obliges him to beat a retreat. When her son returns to applaud her, she employs the same weaponry to rout him and pursues him. The soldier laments his misfortune.]
CRA. Come, Strumbo, lets goe, usher me along. 2625
STR. But now I can’t goe.
CRA.. What’s the matter?
STR. I see a man — An ague shakes ev’ry joint of me.
CRA. A man? Did’st thou never see a man before?
STR. But this is more than a man. He’s a Dane. Nay more, he’s a tamer and destroyer 2630
CRA. He’s the divel, I warrant you. What are you afraid of?
STR. Would you not have me feare the divell? Without doubt he’s to be fear’d.
Wherefore, Mother, looke to your selfe. Ile leave you my armes. Fight you if your
courage serves, for mine lyes in my heeles. 2635
CRA. Wilt thou run away, thou coward? I thinke thou art none of my son, but
STR. True it is, a rustick got me and I was brought up amongst hares.
Exit and stands behind the curtain.
CRA. Am I thus left alone? Now I begin to be angry.
BRAG. Woman, be patient. I have nothing to say to you. 2640
CRA. But I have something to say to you. Crabula makes Bragadocia run out.
STR. Comes in again. Courage, Mother Courage. So, so. O brave! The monster is fled.
CRA. Now, coward, have at thee.
STR. What doe you meane? Oh! Oh! I must run away.
CRA. But Ile follow. Exit Crabula, Strumbo, enter Bragadocia. 2645
BRAG. Sure this woman is either Tysiphone or Maegera. Doe the furies all
conspire against me? How many misfortunes have I undergon! Dwarfs, women,
my servant, all things are against me. What shall I doe? Which way to take I know
not. Pimpo, whither art thou run? Why hast thou forsaken thy master? Wo’s me!
Now I shall be devoured by these rats. 2660
ACT V, SCENE xiii
PIPERO, TITMUS, BRAGADOCIA
[The two boys attack him. At first he lets them crawl between his legs. Then, when he cannot find them in his clothing or in his hair, he searches for them as if they are hiding there. Then he is challenged to a duel by them and surrenders. They make him get on his hands and knees and, placing a bridle in his mouth, intend to take turns riding him about like a horse.]
PIP.. He see’s us, Titmus. We must first fall upon him.
TIT. Mighty statue, have a care thou fal’st not.
BRAG. What now? Whither are these diminutive animals vanisht? Doe they peradventure
stick upon my cloathes? Or have they hid themselves in my breetches? May be these
hungry lice have harbour’d themselves in my head, or in my neck or shoulders. — 2665
Where are they? No where? Oh! Now they come. Oh! be mercifull, be mercifull.
PIP. Either prepare your selfe to fight or yeeld your selfe a prisoner.
BRAG. ’Tis a hard choice. I confesse I could never fight unlesse with words, and
because I never did fight I will not begin now. Wherefore I yeeld myselfe to you to
obey your pleasures. 2670
PIP. Throw of your armes.
BRAG. ’Tis don.
TIT. Kneele downe.
BRAG. I kneele.
PIP. Put your hands to the ground. 2675
BRAG. I doe.
TIT. Now take this bridle into your mouth, and put it over your necke.
BRAG. I have don it.
PIP. Now, Titmus, get up. Thou hast overcome thy enimy. You came hither on
foote, but will ride back upon a horse. 2680
TIT. Or rather upon an asse. Thou shalt ride when it comes to thy turne. Exeunt.
ACT V, SCENE xiv
[Gormo describes the woes of the Danes and the stubbornness of his king, who refuses to surrender.]
GOR. The blustring winds scourge not the ocean
With a greater impetuousity,
Nor sweepes the snow from the Scythian mountains
With so great a violence as the stormes 2685
Of anger agitate the enflamed breast
Of Gothurnus, who lyes closly besieg’d
And shut up into the narrow confines
Of a castle, where hunger cruelly
Destroys his souldiers which lye dead in heapes 2690
Before his face. Yet his adamantine
Heart relents not, and his obstinate minde,
Furiously combating with it selfe,
Regards not these severe calamities.
As a rocke beates backe the soft embraces 2695
Of the waves with a proud repulse, so he
With wrath repells our supplications
And complaints, though joyned with threats.
Loe here he comes, disquieted in thoughts.
ACT V, SCENE xv
GOTHRUNUS, OSBERNE, GORMO
[Undeterred either by his brother nor his kinsman, Gothurnus contemplates suicide. By all means they try to dissuade him from this intention, but in vain. Then they assault him with insults and reproaches, by which he is unmoved. Finally they insultingly inveigh against his brother and kinsman (whom he thinks to be dead), and he takes this amiss and tries to kill them. But when he draws close they take off their wigs and false beards and put him into a sudden panic. Imagining them to be ghosts of the dead, he tries to kill himself but is stopped by his brother, who tells him the entire story, and convinces him, first, to surrender, and then to embrace the faith of Christ.]
GOTH. ’Tis resolved. Wee’l all perish togeather. 2700
OSB. Can you thus suffer your subjects to dye
Miserably for hunger, which their love
To you hath brought from their native dwellings?
GOTH. Shall I spare my subjects that would destroy
The verry gods, and would anihilate 2705
The heav’ns, the earth, all things, and myselfe too,
To complete my rage?
OSB. A kingly spirit
Ought to be above the reach of evells.
GOTH. You frame statuiz’d [ideal] kings. A king 2710
Ought to resent.
OSB. A king should allwayes have an absolute
Dominion ore himselfe.
GOTH. A king that looses his dominions
Looses the dominion of himselfe. 2715
OSB. What dominion have you lost?
GOTH. That which I conquered.
OSB. Was that yours?
GOTH. ’Tis enough that I conquer’d it.
OSB. By what right? 2720
GOTH. By the right of war.
OSB. And by the same right you have lost it.
GOTH. Lost it? Thats lesse to be endur’d. Lost it?
O fates! O gods! O Hell! O heavens!
Do’s Gothurnus yet endure it? He can’t. 2725
Death is lesse fatall then those words lost it.
Ile therefore dye. But thats a poore revenge.
First let my hand practice on some
Audacious enterprize, it cant doe lesse.
But dye I will, and rob my enimy 2730
Of that glory. The hand that lost the kingdome,
The same shall loose the king. So by my death
I shall triumph over fate, laugh at my
Deceiv’d adversaries, free my subjects
From sorrow, and myselfe from slavery. 2735
Thus you shall see a king dye. Thus, thus d —
Offers to fall upon his sword.
OSB. Hinders him. Suspend your rash intent and d me speake.
Thinke you to free your selfe from misery
By a violent death? Be assured,
You will incurre far greater. There’s no crime 2740
More severely feeles the Tartarean flames
Then selfe murther. Ixion’s wheele inflicts
An easy torment, the reiterated labour
Of Scisiphus his roleing stone affords
A plesure, the thirst of Tantalus, 2745
Still catching at the still uncought fruite,
And often stooping to the as often deluding
Waters, and the hart of Titius allwayes
Healing to receive new wonds, are pleasant
Punishments compared to the tortures 2750
That death will bring. O if your hart retaines
Any thing of a king, or if any innate
Vertue lodges in your breast, reclaime your thoughts
From so foule, so horrid a fait [deed], which was halfe
Already don in being so neere doing. 2755
GOR.. Great prince, receive our supplications
With a condescending eare. By your owne
Genius, by whatsoever is deare
And precious to you, I aske by it.
For Osbern’s sake — 2760
GOTH. Ha! For Osbern’s sake. ’Tis hard to deny,
Harder to grant. Osberne, alas, is dead,
And doe I live. He’s gon to th’ infernall
Shades, and shall not I follow? Be bold, my hand,
Finish what even now you wer so neare. Offers again to fall upon his sword. 2765
OSB. O hold, Ile teach you a more easy way
Of dying, a way which will be also
Pervious to aeternity. If you
Covet to dye, assault your enimies
So you may obtain either a laurell 2770
Of victory or death. Are you not yet
Mov’d? Grant at least this satisfaction
To your friend, that with your hand you intend
To murther yourselfe, you’l first dispatch me.
Behold my breast lyes open to your sword. 2775
GOR. Rather turn it upon me.
OSB. Doe you deny this too?
GOR. Are you still obstinate?
OSB. You are then an impious selfe murtherer.
GOR. A tyrant. 2780
GOTH Ha, ha.
OSB. The destruction of your cuntry.
GOR. An invader of anothers. 2785
OSB. Treacherous to your friends.
GOTH. I laugh at these reproaches.
OSB. That Osberne whose exequie [death] you deplore
Was an infamous murtherer.
GOR. Gormo was a villainous thiefe. 2790
GOTH. Thou ly’st. And thou.
OSB. Osberne was an incestuous ravisher.
GOR. They both have paid condigne punishments
To their enimy.
OSB. And to heav’n. 2795
GOTH. And so shall both of you to me, if that
Torment which brings death can be enough
To satisfy my fury. If there were a death
Beyond death, I would inflict it. But this
You ask’d, and you shall have it, and from my hand 2800
This deed Ile sacrifize to my brother. Runs at Osberne and Gormo.
To Gormo, and to myselfe — They pull off their periwigs.
What suddain horrour seases on my joints
And benums my hand? I tremble with chilnesse,
And amazement on all sides confounds me. 2805
Behold my brothers ghost. Behold Gormo’s.
They’r come, I know, to reproach my tardy
Resolution of death, and to chide
My demurring hand, sloathfull in taking
A just revenge from their adversary. 2810
And doe I yet delay? Gothurnus, fall —
Offers again to fall upon his sword. Osberne prevents him.
OSB. Forbeare. We are not, as you imagine,
Airy spirits and phanticke [visible] gohsts. Those that
You see, you see alive. An enimy
Hath snatch’d us from the greedy jawes of death, 2815
And gave us life, and you a friend and brother.
An enimy, ’tis true, made us suffer
Equally to our crime, and an enimy
Hath apply’d redresses to our suff’rings.
Our foes are friends, you see, and harbour not 2820
Perpetuall hatred, nor doth their fury
Generate a neverending mallice.
They overcome by piety, such armes
Obtain a truely glorious victory.
Wherefore, brother, after my example 2825
Embrace your friendly enimies, embrace
Their faith, and embrace their worship
Of the true God, heav’n and earth’s creator.
Besides, generous Alfrede offers you a part
Of is kingdome. Yeelde to God and fortune. 2830
GOTH. I yeelde, and loose my hatred. Deare brother,
In thy embraces, and quite forgetting
All my rage, Gormo, I run into thy armes.
I agnize [recognize] the Christian faith, and yeelde
To God, to piety, to my brother. 2835
Let Alfrede straight be cald. Let our herauld
Invite him securely to his tryumph.
And doth Osberne live? ’Tis enough, I have
Won the day, enjoying him in safety.
No part of my lost kingdom is wanting. 2840
ACT V, SCENE xvi
GOTHURNUS, ALFREDE, AND THE REST
Gothrunus surrenders himself and his followers to Alfred, He promises he will become a Christian, and by Alfred is appointed King of the Anglians
Whom no day yet hath ever seene subdu’d,
Gothurnus now confesses himselfe vanquish’t
By your armes, by your faith and piety,
Disowning our false and impotent gods,
To be Alfred’s captive and disciple 2845
In the service of the true deity,
And, with all mine, become your proselyte.
ALF. Gothurnus, accept my gratefull returns.
I here promise to be a friend to you,
And faithfull to all yours. Nor shall you want 2850
A kingdome, for where great Britaine confronts
The rising sun, you shall rule its poeple
Both numerous and potent, and shall be
Enstaul’d [installed] their soverain. Thus I’m content
To part dominions. Now let war cease, 2855
And peace unlocke its treasures, whilst we sing
Hymnes of praises to heav’ns aeternall King.
CUTH. Alfrede exil’d, and from his princely state
Divorc’d, did in a cottage dwell of late.
Now heav’n doth reinthrone him and, you see, 2860
Invests with great Britaine’s monarchy.
The world can boast but few that like him are
In learning, faith, in piety, in warre.
O wretched England! Would thou still did’st know
That ancient happy state! Thou wouldst not now, 2865
As from the world thou seperated art,
So from the worlds true faith be kept apart.
Thou wouldst not then be caled an isle ingrate
From heav’n rebelliously degenerate,
Nor wouldst thou consecrated temples spoile, 2870
Nor them with sacrilegious hands defyle.
Nor let unparent-like thy children bee
Shipwrackt upon the rockes of heresy.
But England’s now a stepmother, alas,
Which once of saints a fertile parent was. 2875
Lo! by bloodshed Alfred won the laurel wreath for you, o England, from the
enemy of the faith, whom you now suffer to triumph anew. Alfred with
victorious arm protected the Roman religion, and you betray it to the foe
— if indeed that can be called an evil whic you had earlier imbibed from a
poisonous parent O devoted band of youth, hope of an island suffering 2880
shipwreck, you who are like a spark of the faith rescued from great
conflagrations, from which our nation will shine with a brighter flame, take
up the arms of piety, not those dedicated to terrible Mars such as giants
bear: by taking up the Christian arms, doctrine and faith, conquer by
enduring. There is no greater victory than this. By patient suffering evil 2885
is vanquished. Young men, wage such battles. Weary the deity with
frequent prayer: the army of heaven will bring every assistance. Your chorus
of martyrs will be at hand, triumphant over the menaces of Avernus. Be bold.
Deliverance will certainly come in the end.