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Mef. Ile graunt you any thing, except your liues.
Leir. Oh, but affure me by fome certayne token,
That my two daughters hyred thee to this deed:
If I were once refolu'd of that, then I

Would with no longer life, but craue to dye.

Mef. That to be true, in fight of heauen I fweare.
Leir. Sweare not by heauen, for feare of punishmēt :
The heauens are guiltleffe of fuch haynous acts.

Mef. I fweare by earth, the mother of vs all.
Leir. Sweare not by earth; for fhe abhors to beare
Such baftards, as are murtherers of her fonnes.

Mef. Why then, by hell, and all the deuils I fweare.
Leir. Sweare not by hell; for that ftands gaping wide,
To fwallow thee, and if thou do this deed.

Thunder and lightning.

Mef. I would that word were in his belly agayne,
It hath frighted me euen to the very heart;
This old man is fome ftrong magician :

His words haue turnd my mind from this exployt.
Then neyther heauen, earth, nor hell be witneffe ;
But let this paper witneffe for them all,

Shewes Gonorils letter.

Shall I relent, or fhall I profecute?
Shall I refolue, or were I best recant?
I will not crack my credit with two queenes,
To whom I haue already paft my word.

Oh, but my confcience for this act doth tell,

I get heauens hate, earths fcorne, and paynes of hell.

They bleffe themelues.

Per. Oh iuft Iehoua, whofe almighty power
Doth gouerne all things in this spacious world,
How canft thou fuffer fuch outragious acts
To be committed without juft reuenge?

O viperous

O viperous generation and accurft,

To feeke his blood, whofe blood did make them first !!
Leir. Ah, my true friend in all extremity,

Let vs fubmit vs to the will of God :

Things past all fence, let vs not feeke to know;
It is Gods will, and therefore must be so.
My friend, I am prepared for the stroke:
Strike when thou wilt, and I forgive thee here,
Euen from the very bottome of my heart.

Mef. But I am not prepared for to strike.
Leir. Farewell, Perillus, euen the trueft friend,
That euer liued in aduerfity:

The latest kindneffe Ile request of thee,
Is that thou go vnto my daughter Cordella,
And carry her her fathers latest blessing:
Withall defire her, that he will forgiue me;
For I haue wrongd her without any cause.
Now, lord, receyue me, for I come to thee,
And dye, I hope, in perfit charity.
Dispatch, I pray thee, I haue liued too long.

Mef. I, but you are unwife, to fend an errand
By him that neuer meaneth to deliuer it:

Why, he must go along with you to heauen:

It were not good you should go all alone.

Leir. No doubt, he fhal, when by the course of nature,

He must furrender vp his due to death:

But that time shall not come, till God permit
Mef. Nay, prefently, to beare you company.

I haue a pafport for him in my pocket,
Already feald, and he muft needs ride pofte.

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Shew a bagge of money.

Leir. The letter which I read, imports not so,

It only toucheth me, no word of him.

Meff

Meff. I, but the queene commaunds it must be fo,
And I am payd for him, as well as you.

Per. I, who haue borne you company in life,
Moft willingly will beare a fhare in death.
It skilleth not for me, my friend, a whit,

Nor for a hundred such as thou and I.

Mef. Mary, but it doth, fir, by your leaue; your good dayes are past though it bee no matter for you, tis a matter for me, proper men are not fo rife.

Per. Oh, but beware, how thou doft lay thy hand Vpon the high anoynted of the Lord:

O, be aduifed ere thou doft begin :

Dispatch me ftraight, but meddle not with him.

Leir. Friend, thy commiffion is to deale with me,

And I am he that hath deferued all :
The plot was layd to take away my life:
And here it is, I do intreat thee take it:
Yet for my fake, and as thou art a man,
Spare this my friend, that hither with me came :
I brought him forth, whereas he had not bin,
But for good will to beare me company.
He left his friends, his country and his goods,
And came with me in most extremity.

Oh, if he should mifcarry here and dye,
Who is the cause of it, but only I?

Mef. Why that am I, let that ne're trouble thee.
Leir. Ono, tis I. O, had I now to giue thee

The monarchy of all the spacious world

To faue his life, I would bestow it on thee:

But I haue nothing but these teares and prayers,
And the fubmiffion of a bended knee.

O, if all this to mercy moue thy mind,
Spare him, in heauen thou fhalt like mercy find.

kneele.

Mef.

Mef. I am as hard to be moued as another, and yet me thinks the strength of their perswasions stirres me a little. Per. My friend, if feare of the almighty power Haue power to moue thee, we haue fayd ynough: But if thy mind be moueable with gold, We haue not presently to giue it thee: Yet to thy felfe thou mayft do greater good, To keepe thy hands ftill vndefilde from blood For do but well confider with thy felfe, When thou haft finifht this outragious act, What horrour ftill will haunt thee for the deed: Think this agayne, that they which would incense Thee for to be the butcher of their father, When it is done, for feare it should be knowne, Would make a meanes to rid thee from the world: Oh, then art thou for euer tyed in chaynes

Of euerlafting torments to indure,

Euen in the hoteft hole of grisly hell,

Such paynes, as neuer mortall toung can tell.

It thunders. He quakes, and lets fall the dagger next to Perillus.

Leir. O, heauens be thanked, he will fpare my friend. Now when thou wilt come make an end of me.

He lets fall the other dagger.

Per. Oh, happy fight! he meanes to faue my lord.
The king of heauen continue this good mind.
Leir. Why ftayft thou to do execution?
Mef. I am as wilfull as you for your life:

I will not do it, now you do intreat me.

Per. Ah, now I fee thou haft fome fparke of grace. Mef. Befhrew you for it, you haue put it in me: The parlosest old men, that ere I heard.

Well, to be flat, Ile not meddle with you:

VOL. IV.

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Here I found you, and here Ile leaue you :
If any afke you why the cafe fo ftand?

Say that your toungs were better then your hands.

Per. Farewell. If euer we together meet, It fhall go hard, but I will thee regreet. Courage, my lord, the worft is ouerpaft;

Exit Meff.

Let vs giue thanks to God, and hye vs hence.
Leir. Thou art deceyued; for I am past the best,
And know not whither for to go from hence:
Death had bin better welcome vnto me,

Then longer life to adde more mifery.

Per. It were not good to returne from whence we came, Vnto your daughter Ragan back againe.

Now let vs go to France, vnto Cordella,

Your youngest daughter, doubtlesse she will fuccour you.
Leir. Oh, how can I perfwade my selfe of that,
Since the other two are quite deuoyd of loue;
To whom I was fo kind, as that my gifts,

Might make them loue me, if 'twere nothing else?
Per. No worldly gifts, but grace from God on hye,
Doth, nourish vertue and true charity.

Remember well what words Cordella spake,
What time you afkt her, how fhe lou'd your grace.
She fayd, her loue vnto you was as much,

As ought a child to beare vnto her father.

Leir. But he did find, my loue was not to her,

As should a father beare vnto a child.

Per. That makes not her loue to be any leffe,
If he do loue you as a child fhould do:
You haue tryed two, try one more for my fake,
Ile ne're intreat you further tryall make.
Remember well the dreame you had of late,
And thinke what comfort it foretels to vs.

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