To see a commentary note, click on a blue square. To see a textual note, click on a red square.
THE MASTER OF THE REVELS
THE MASTER OF THE REVELS BOY
INGENUITY a doctor of Physicke
PERIANDER tyrannus Corinthi
CYPSELUS haeres Periandri stultus
LYCOPHRON frater Cypseli
NEOTINOS puer, satelles Lycophrontis
LYSIMACHUS, ARISTAEUS nobiles et a consiliis Periandri
PHILARCHES, EUETAERUS, SYMPHILUS iuvenes nobiles in aula Periandri
CRATAEA mater Periandro
MELISSA uxor Periandri
EUGENIA filia Periandri
PORNAEA, ZONA duae meritriculae Periandri
LARISSAEA soror Philarchis
EUROPE Aristaei filia
FEMINAE QUATUOR CORONTHIAE CUM QUATUOR PUERIS INSERVIENTIBUS
ARION celebris musicus
CIVES DUO TOGATI
CALISTUS, STRATOCLES, DORIUS satellites Periandri
TRES AUT QUATUOR ALII SATELLITES
MASTER Come quickly, quickly, you’l stay all nighte heer. You rogue, are these to be hang’d
up nowe? We shall n’ere have done with these foolish plaies? I thincke you take a great deale of
paines for a little thanckes.
BOY Faith. sir, if there were none heer but those we take paines for, our kinde friends and honest
good fellows, our thankes would be large enough. 5
MAST. Well and what’s your play nowe?
BOY Faith, sir, a poore tragedy, a tragedy.
MAST. Tragedy? I thought so, these boyes are never well but when they may mouth it. I have not seene
them yet in the true streyne and turninges of a comedy. But I have no judgment. Let be as may be,
any thinge, any thinge, since my lorde and his freindes will have it. But what is’t? What is’t? What 10
tragedy? The hanging up of Polycrates or the whipping of Time?
BOY. Faith, sir, y’have ghest well. The fortunes of Polycrates were thought on, and they would have
suted his Lordships declination exceeding well. And the whipping of Time was not forgotten, but that
t’was to lowe a subjecte and to poore an object, and indeed had too much unpleasing reference.
MAST. And what? Is’t English or Latin? 15
BOY Nay honest Engish, sir, plaine English.
MAST. Fy, fy, fie, starke nought, starke nought. To bad, to bad. Schollers, sham’d your selves in
English already, and nowe againe? In prose, I warrant.
BOY Faith, little better, sir, plaine blanke verse.
Detraction among the spectators. Hisse —
MAST. Howe nowe, who’s that? 20
DET. Poxe. Begin your play and leave your pratinge.
MAST. Why, what are you, sir?
DET. As good as you, sir.
MAST. Pray, gentlemen, heave him up, this fellow would be knowne.
DET. I am well where I am, sir. 25
MAST. You shalbe better, sir, and’t please you.
DET. I’le not take your word, sir.
MAST. I would a quieter fellowe had your place, sir.
DET. Faith, ’tis no matter who ha’st for any thinge he shall gett by it. I have heard your play
repeated, man, ’tis not so worshipfull stuffe as is expected. 30
MAST. ’Tis to good for you, sir.
DET. And to bad for this audience.
MAST. In what state stands your desarte, then?
DET. Pish, be not your boyes ready yet? I’de faine heare ’um whine.
MAST. The stockes heere, ho, the stockes heere. Pray, gentlemen, bestowe him amongst us, yee see howe 35
he disturbs you. Wee’l do him no harme, Ile assure you.
RESOLUTION My lorde sends to knowe what noyse this is.
MAST. A foolish troublesome fellowe would be quiet enough, if the play would begin once. For Gods
sake let them make hast and come away.
RES. What, Signeur Detraction? You are deceyv’d, sir, hee’s unquiet now because ’tis not begun, and 40
when they are at it hee’l be ten times more unquiett. You shall heare how hee’l mumble and grin, and
turn at every line to some neighbour, flowt and find fault with all, with “that’s absolutely stolne,”“that’s
base imitation” (as if he had read all), “that’s cold,” “that’s taedious,” “that hangs not together.” He
is indeed an epitome of all the fowle mouthes in a whole university, then where no men speake better,
no men worse. And yet this fellowe thinks the world has eares and leasure enough to intend him. 75
the noysers, the bellowers, the thrusters, the windowbreakers, the beasts are all his followers.
DET, Good Master Resolution —
MAST. So let them talke it out. I am glad I am deliver’d of the troublesome foole. (Exit Master of
DET. I have partly knowne you. I speake ill of all (you say), and you neglect all, scorne all, care for 80
RES. Neglect all, scorne all care for none — of thy kindred detractors. Will you sit, sir? Th’are
nowe uppon beginning. Hear a scene or two, or a whole Act. You and I’le sit for Chorus.
DET. Y’are an asse. Ther was but one thing which I thought to speake well of, and that was the
Chorus they have already of the other six wise men, though I had no great hope of their proceedings. 85
There I heard their seate was appointed.
RES. Prethee be contented. Thou and I wilbe Chorus, they shall not hold. They’l speake to gravely
for us, and to wisely for the tyme.
DET. Come on, I’le sit, I’le sit.
Sedent Resolutio et Detractio.
ACTUS I, SCENA i
PERIANDER cum MELISSA gravida invito illo subsequente
PER. Chide us no more, Melissa, we are moov’d.90
I stand above restreynt and subject bounds.
MEL. Yet, sweete, looke heere.
PER. Well I remember that.
MEL. Love bred it, and I hold my life. It smiles
To be so neere its birth and princely sire.
PER. Pornaea, Zona.
MEL. Most detested names, 95
Too faire to be, as poore Melissa, true.
PER. Call them your selfe.
PER. Have I us’d to word it?
Or let your understanding hold even winge
With our first breath’d command, and then obedience
Attend it, or Ile change you.
Pornaea enter, to whome Periander turnes him selfe.
MEL. Nowe beshrewe them 105
That thus have chang’d you.
PORN. Health and honour still
Attend our kinge. Is it your graces pleasure
Ought to command his humble servants duty?
MEL. Smooth elocution in a divells mouth.
I must not unking them, thoughe they unwed me. (Egressura Melissa.) 110
PER. Melissa, y’are not faire.
MEL. You told my father
PER. Give place. Heer my Melissa sits
MEL.Where Periander ill befits.
PER. Out, you unpleasant fruitfulnes, away.
Running to her spurnes her on the belly.
I, skreeke, foule ousel, heere singe the birds of day. 115
Crataea to Periander as he sits betweene Pornaea and Zona.
PORN. Would shee had not incensd your grace.
ZON. I would
Shee had mist that blow.
PER. You are dissemblers both.
CRAT. My Lord, Melissa on Pornaea cryed
And Zona, but nowe speechles on the ground,
I feare, will loose her life and birth and all. 120
PER. Had shee bin speachles sooner sh’had sav’d all.
But, jealous fool, Pornaea wronged her not
Nor Zona.— Yet Zona and Pornaea did. —
No, Periander only. Mother, see (Exit Crataea.
Howe my Melissa does. Kinge Procles daughter 125
Should not have bene so wrongd. Dull Cypselus
And quick-eyed Lycophron, her sonnes and mine,
Must needes distast it, and the stirring vulgar
Begin to chaunge. Zona, you in praising
Pornaeas bewty taught me to love yours, 130
She, praising my Melissa ’(gainst her thoughts)
Taught me to see hir age and beauties losse,
And both enjoy’d my poore Melissa’s right.
I shalbe lookt into yf she miscarry.
Till the event our presence yee must loose. 135
CRAT. Melissa’s dead, and secret messengers
Dispatc’ht to Procles with contents of wrath
And counsail, but from whom I cannot tell.
PER. (After a little pause.) Nowe do I see my queene Melissa live,
Nowe do I see her faire, and wise, and loyall. 140
Satiety made hate blind, my losse has eyes
That see Pornaea nowe and Zona full
Unmaskt most fowle. A guard. Melissa’s ghost
Yet hovering o’re my head shall winde the breath
Of their dissolved elements. I beguild her 145
To lavish on this pair. Tomorrowes sun
Shall see first rights to my Melissa done. (Exit Periander.)
PORN. To have bene then is comforte. Each mans life
Lights on but one maine act. Shee, a kings wife
Enjoy’d him, lost him. Thus with even pace 150
Through thousand waies ends the worlds common race (Exeunt Pornaea, Zona.)
CRAT. (Etiamnum manens.) As violent, so unconstant are the actions
Of tyrants. My newe love to myne owne son
Makes me afraid he will recall this doome.
My love is fowler, I confesse, then his, 155
But my pretences better. Myrrha lov’d
Hir father, I my sonne. Let me enjoy5
As Myrrha did, and an Adonis beare
By Periander, as by Cinyras shee.
Then fright me, banisshe, turne me to a tree. (Exit Crataea. 160
ACTUS I, SCENA ij
Ingreditur PERIANDER mortuam gestans Melissam
Now Aesculapius, physicks honor’d god,
Returne the old, or a newe life infuse
To my most deare Melissa, whose embrace,
My fansy saies, reteynes more sweetnes yet
Then poor Pygmalions image. Let that bed 165
Where last a mother I Melissa made,
Where nowe shee lyes to worke our wrongs and feares,
Receyve, Apollo, Venus, and Lucina,
For Perianders sake, a kinge that prayes
Newe breath, newe power, for her almost ripe babe, 170
In substitution of my eldest sonne,
Poor Cypselus, unfit to weare a crowne,
If Lycophron my yongest yet should faile.
O let this heate of Perianders blood
Call backe the yet perhaps but smothered spirit 175
Of my Melissa. Yet she was not old.
I’le wed hir newe againe, and love hir more
Then all promiscuous love I spente before. (Exit.)
ACTUS I, SCENA iij
ARION cum cithara
AR. Nowe doth my exultation rise and growe
To drawe so neare the satisfaction 180
That Periander often has desired
And now despaires of. With this instrument
His clowdy discontents have oft bin cleer’d.
From Italy three times his gratious hand
Vouchsaft t’ intreat returne, for twice neglecting 185
And to much love of their Italian gold
(Which there grewe faster then in Corinth did)
Just heavens did threaten finall punnishment.
But Neptunes people, kinder farre then men
(My countrymen), have given me speedy passe 190
Once more t’ arrive my Corinths happy shore
And resalute my honor’d worthy prince.
ACTUS I, SCENA iiij
CRAT. What gaudy boldnes creepes so neere this presence?
AR. Musitians fault that thinke they may be welcome.
CRAT. Sir, heere was musique good enough before, 195
Had not our consort broke, and yet your person
Cannot repaire it.
AR. Great Crataea, live.
Ile make no busie inquisition.
Only to Periander I would give
Some knowledge of Arion.
CRAT. Heartily welcome, 200
Arion, welcome. Kings must have content,
And thou of all thy kinde ha’st giv’nt him best.
Beshrewe thy absence, but to morrowe morn
Returne and have thy welcome. For this night
Heavens must not see him, nor the intellect 205
Of highest powers by his own will come neare him.
AR. Great lady, sadly then
I take my leave, till humbly on my knee
T’ please Periander his Arion see. (Exit Arion.
CRAT. Poore watchfull Phaedra, yet Hippolytus 210
And hopes life with him lives, thoughe strange diversion
Hath snatcht him forth my way, and I unfurnisht
Of any coadjutresse, prolocutresse.
My lookes, sighes, doubtfull stoppings in my speech
Affectonate attendance shall speake for mee. 215
Ther’s ne’re a Theseus living to respect,
And this Hippolytus is Phaedras breed,
As full of hot foule passion as my selfe.
Witnesse this howres unheard of horrid act
On his dead cold Melissa, whence this night 220
When he returnes in recollecting sadnes
I’le please him with first newes of his Arion.
ACTUS I, SCENA v
PERIANDER, LYSIMACHUS ingrediuntur
PER. Nowe farewell.
Apollo likes not our reviving method.
Howe nowe? What should I feare? Her following ghost? 225
Lysimachus, howe hastens time tonight?
LYS. Within an howre of day.
PER. A sad longe night.
CRAT. Is Periander pleas’d to heare good newes?
PER. If in the height of good, else bee’t untold.
Yet from a mother t’must have audience. 230
CRAT. Arion is return’d from Italy.
PER. Musique doth temper passions and enflame them.
The dangerous acts of all my passions
Are past and nowe his musique comes to late.
Yet as our Grecians ever lov’d it best, 235
So best Arion merits ’bove the rest.
Each passion has beginning wher it ends,
Still tyring, still recovering, only helpt
By th’ intermission of some other part
That in sweete rest hath had refection. 240
My active faculties have done to much,
The passive nowe have leasure. Give him welcome.
But I will heare him first since he refusd
Our first and second revocations,
Whether he can deserve our presence still. 245
Some of myne owne invented dithryambs (Somewhat louder.)
While I repose my all distracted spirits.
ACTUS I, SCENA vj
Ingreditur ARION, LYSIMACHUS
Give him accesse. What? Has Arion found
Such enterteinment in th’ Italian eares
That Perianders love must be forgot? 250
AR. There love and bounty did oblige me far,
But oft I have sought meanes for safe returne
And mist it. Last with a Corinthian barke
A passenger I was. The marryners
Perceyv’d or larn’d on shore, I knowe not whether, 255
That I had store of jewells and of gold.
In plaine tearmes told me I must over bord.
I askt, obteynd that in this gawdy habbitt,
This instrument in hand, one lesson plaide
Which I thought best before I shoulde be given 260
To the seas mercy. They dispatcht. I, drencht,
Was straite heav’d up to aire uppon the backe
Of a kinde dolphin, thousands more attending,
As wishing they were aery animalls.
So wantonly they followed my poore skill.265
Thus with a fleete of dolphins guarded on,
In space of lesse then a short naturall day
Set on this shore of Corinth, and am come
To spend my last in Perianders court.
PER. A guarde. Is this of your Italian tricks, 270
Or ha’s he lost the knowledge of our search?
Go see him safe. The hand Arions was
But not the tongue. Some young Italian prince
Hath stolne his heart. Then to Lysimachus,
Let him have good attendance and kinde usage. 275
Have you ta’ne order for my sonnes returne?
LYS. Two ships are unders saile, for each prince one.
PER. ’Tis well. I must rob Procles of his joy.
Dispatch one to the harbour to expect
What shippes shall next arive. Of each of them 280
Bring up the maisters and some meaner saylers
And least, if this be true, flying reporte
Should give prevention tyme, lay out some shippes
Betwixt them and th’ harbours to receyve them.
The admiration of this second reporte 285
More alters me then all his musique could.
ACTUS I, SCENA vij
PORNAEA, ZONA stipatae ad rogum
PORN. This is the daunger to be lov’d of kings.
Why had we bewty in this eminence?
ZONA Why had we tongues, bad servants to our bewty?
Having no soules, nor reason, As men tell us, 290
Beuty abus’d is reasonlesse and soul-lesse.
Had we bin dumbe, Melissa still had liv’d
And loves fire cherisht life, not heavens depriv’d it.
We did not know our stint. Catching at all,
We lost all.
PORN. I have teares which I will spend 295
For wrong’d Melissa. In th’ unseene fire me thinks
I feele my resolution, while this water
Parte of the milke of life is flushing out.
ZONA Let Periander sacrifice to hir.
I well remember that I lesse endur’d 300
My first loves heate then this dispatching rage
Can terrify. Ile sing a love songe in’t.
Come let us tast it. When I did prostitute
My selfe to comet-love of dowbtfull tyrant,
Borrowed sometimes from him for other courtiers, 305
Then was I all on fire. Nowe do I goe
To bath and choake my selfe in temperate milke.
Lost Periander and his courtiers love
Doth on me, like fyres wheeling element, move. (Exeunt.)
ACTUS I, SCENA viij
CRAT. Wilt thou not lend me what I rioted 310
In guifts uppon thee, many thousand kisses
At every drop that from these brests thou suk’st.
All creatures else indifferent freedome hold.
The noblest beasts, the silliest, fairest birds,
Keepe not this awfull difference, but supplie 315
With harmelesse concord natures sad defects.
’Twas jealous malice in humanity
To set restraint. All lawes from nature growe
Except this private lawe of envyous man.
Or if it be the madding vulgars curbe, 320
Shall princes be with peasantry confynd?
There are some nations, I have read and heard,
Where the faire daughter kindly doth imparte
Her sweete warmth to the fathers frozen hearte
Where twinnes of each sexe marry in the wombe 325
And all degrees of consanguinity
By kind conjunction dowble-band their love.
Why were not we borne there? Or knowing them
Men of as solid reason as our selves
Why is not their example priviledge? (Exeunte Periandro.) 330
Nay I am tyed with chaines of adament.
Denyall but enflames, Ile either burne
To ashes in this heate, or make him turne
To give refreshinge. (Exit.)
ACTUS I, SCENA viiij
LYSIMACHUS, NAUTAE QUATUOR AUT SEX
LYS. What do you call your ship?
SAILOR 1 The Vultur, sir. 335
LYS. O I remember. And what yours, I pray?
SAILOR 2 The Tempest, sir.
LYS. ’Tis true, you told me so.
I cannot tell you what his pleasure is.
Perhaps h’ has had some late intelligence
Of your commodities, or would freight you newe. 340
There is not (is there?) any other shippe
That came your voyage?
SAILOR 1 In the harbor none,
Nor any that we heard of.
ACTUS I, SCENA x
Ingrediuntur PERIANDER, ARION, ARISTAEUS
PER. Whence are these?
SAILOR 1 From Italy, and’t please your majesty.
PER. And howe is’t there with Ancus Martius, 345
That good old kinge of four and twentie yeares?
SAILOR 2 Hee’s dead, and’t please your grace.
PER. T’will please heavens grace
That wee must dye to. We must, Lysimachus
(T’were well if we could often thinke uppon’t),
And then a successor. He had two sons 350
And so have I. But who, who has the senate
Made choise of for their nowe newe Romane kinge?
SAILOR 2 They say one Lucius Tarquinius,
Sonne to a ritch Corinthian marchant.
SAILOR 2 One Demaratus of the Bacchiadae 355
That traffiqu’t with the Hetrusci, but, sedition
Hapning in Corinth in your father time,
He changd ground to Hetruria. There he married,
Had two sonnes, Aruns first, then Lucumon.
This Aruns dying younge, and then his father, 360
All fell to Lucumon. Then did he marry
A ritch Hetrurian dame, faire Tanaquil,
A good diviner in the flight of birds.
Then, finding that great Rome was kinder farre
To straungers, giving them their citties freedome, 365
To Rome he went, where, having chaung’d his name
Of Lucumon to Lucius, and assumed
His second name from the Tarquiniae,
His native citty in Hetruria,
There thriv’d he so that in fewe yeares he climb’d 370
The dowble scale of wealth and citties love
So highe that Ancus Maritus and the senate
Found him their worthiest, bravest man for choise.
PER. We are glad that Corinth has giv’n Rome a kinge,
That Rome growes great. But tell me what ritch traffique 375
Do’s that newe Rome afford? Have ye there met
With any jewells extraordinary?
SAILOR 1 We have of purpose brought to shewe your grace
Such as by chaunce we met with, no great prize.
PER. ’Tis well. See them, Lysimachus. Yet more 380
In all your travile have yea ever heard
Of one Arion a musitian?
I heare hee’s held the wonder of the world.
SAILOR 1 With that praise we have often heard of him,
And even that day that we did put from shore 385
T’was said he lately to Tarentum wente.
Howe there it is with him we cannot say.
PER. Have yea neere heard of him?
SAILOR 1 Once or twice I did.
PER. Can you compare him? I have one, they say,
That knowes both, who is thought does equall him. 390
I will request your judgement. Call him forth.
Arion eodem modo canens quo cum mare desilieret.
SAILOR 1 Great kinge, our lives are at your mercies feete.
His treasure made us false, and there he stands
To give sad evidence, whom we thought drownd.
Arion, lov’d of heaven, speake for us. 395
PER. Relate me, sir, the manner of your act.
SAILOR 1 Being partner in this fowle conspiracy,
I gave him warning as a thinge resolv’d
Only amongst my flinty marriners.
When we had marke of neere Peloponnese, 400
Sternly and breifly we did ringe him round
T’have cast him over bord with violence.
But at his faire request he might put on
The garment which he saide he us’d to weare
In th’ ancient Istmick oppositions, 405
Then on that instrument he might play
And singe unto the gods for our shipps safety,
We willingly gave leave. Being thus prepar’d,
We on the hatches waited while he went
Up to the foredecke. There a while he plaide 410
Even to a generall sorrowe for our purpose.
But instantly, abruptly breaking of,
He nimbly flunge himselfe amonge the waves.
We follow’d with our eyes where we might see
A dolphin having him uppon her backe. 415
About her seemed to be a swimming rocke
Of thousands more the generall species
(As knowing better howe to prize great worth
Then we, more brute and cruell then the sea),
That while he Neptune-like (except his feares) 420
Rode plaing sweeter then great Tritons trumpe,
With jollity they lept above the waves
And followd skipping, swifter then our sayles
Could waft our ship, till he was out of sight.
These were his jewells which your grace hath seene. 425
PER. First, Aristaeus, send them to the tower
Till we determine further. Take their shippe
And goods for my Arions recompence.
You, maister of the Tempest, we dismisse
And thank you for your newes.
ARION Yet this one grace 430
Let poore Arion beg. “Heavens us’d these men
To shewe their power and love by. I am safe
And happier by their cruelty then before.
Let them have pardon then for their poor lives.”
PER. Thy hand speakes better musique then thy tongue, 435
Heavens give leave to act, but punnish wronge. (Exeunt.)
ACTUS I, SCENA xj
PHILARCHES, EUETAERUS, SYMPHILUS
PHIL. Come, gentlemen. shall we not be to late?
Joy goes apace, they’ll have the citty gates
Ere we get out.
SYM. I never in my life
Felt such exulting joy.
EU. I heare that Cypselus 440
Has sold away his wit to Lycophron.
PHIL. ’Tis honest nature’s faire division.
Good fortunes to the eldest, witt to the youngest. <Intrat Eugenia.>
EUG. I thought as much, Philarches, howe you’d serve me.
We may not goe alonge. Commend me then 445
To my newe brothers whom I yet nere sawe.
Request yong Lycophron to weare this jewell
That I may say far off “there’s Lycophron.”
For Cypselus, they say, hee’s halfe a foole.
PHIL. The fitter then to be a great kings heire. 450
EUG. Why so, Sir Wag?
PHIL. To be but halfe a foole
Is to be all wise, for we are all fooles.
We want but time and bawbles to distinguish.
EU. Madame, farewell. We shalbe chid for staying,
And all the court’s afore us.
EUG. You know, Philarches, 455
The windowe where I stand. Th’ have but one sister
Whome yet they knowe not. As I gaze on them
Give them a little forehand knowledge of me.
PHIL. Feare it not, madame. We must take short leave.
Your jewell I’le deliver.
EUG. Secretly, 460
For indiscretions wrath is trowblesome. (Exeunt.)
DETR. And pray, what thinks your worship of this act?
RES. What, are you falne into the blancke verse to?
DETR. I mark’t it not and care not whether I do or no.
RES. But ’twill be farre more pleasing.
DETR.To whom, I pray? 465
Whom should I please?
RES. Then you forget your parte.
Your aime is nowe peculiar for us.
DETR. Ther’s no such neede of greedy aiming, sir.
Mountayne of grosse absurdity wilbe
Which way so’ere you cast a sleeping eye. 470
In your first sceme howe have ye tumbled up
Melissa’s death, howe little is express’d
Of her death’s cause. And on howe little spleen
A fire was made for Perianders whores?
And what a needless story did on tell 475
Of Rome and Tarquin, and I know not who?
Fy, there’s an heap. Beshrewe my memory,
That has not brought my tables.
RES. Worthy sir,
Some dogs of custome, not of malice, bite,
But your sharpe judgment, sir, has hit it right. 480
I knowe that things beginning should be spun
To a faire length, in th’end more nimbly run.
This in the direct subject I confesse.
But things collaterall may be labor’d lesse.
Our main is Perianders discontent 485
Upon the turne of age and life ill spente.
Some touches of his madnes it must shewe
But sodeyn, as still tyraunts passions growe.
That reach to Rome was but a windlasse to
To net the marryners. I could farther goe 490
And so could many better judgements heere
In true objection. But let all run cleer.
DETR. Clere as an inundation, filthy all.
RES. But those sweete streames which from your mouth do fall.
Go to Act II