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Or else some waking dream?

Hel. (To Pin.) And have I found thee, villain ?
Think'st thou, majesty
Can be protection for a common thief ?
This is that base felonious impudent,
Shame to his nation, scandal to his birth,
And a disgrace unto that royal court,
In which he seems protected.

Pin. Ha! who, I ?

Isab. Pineda guilty; shall we bolster theft,
And patronage dishonour?

Hel. Justice, queen ;
Justice, great sir : let not this high tribunal,
So famous by that virgin sent from heaven,
That bears the sword and balance, pow be tax'd
Of favour, or connivance.

Sebast. As we hope,
To be held worthy of the crown we wear,
Thou shalt not find us partial.

Isab. Hence, from us !
For till thou canst approve thine innocence,
And clear this black aspersion thrown on thee,
We here abandon thee to the severity
Of the law's rigorous censure.

Pin. You amaze me,
Nor know I what this means.

Hel. I challenge then this man for stealing from me The fellow to this slipper.

Pin. Of which crime,
I here protest me clear: name the time when.

Hel. That night, when I became thy paramour,
Breasted thee, in these arms receiv'd thee
Into my free embraces, and imparted
The lavish store of such voluptuous sweets,"
I lent with all profuseness.'

Pin. I do this!
Madam, by all my favours stor'd in you,
I never look'd

upon

that face till now; Nor do I know what this impostor means.

Hel. What saith my page to this?

Maid. That 'tis most false : And, what my lady here protests for true, That noble sir (pointing to Cent.) can witness, as a man To all his unjust actions accessary.

Cent. Produce me as a party? May this presence, And awful throne, 'fore whom I stand accus'd, Pronounce me as a man forsook and lost, If, in the least of what these two suggest, I have the smallest knowledge.

Sebast. Both ways strange.

Pin. Bring me in censure? by that royalty,
Beneath whose grace I breathe, she is to me
As foreign as an Indian; and her cause
As far from my acquaintance: by my life,
Which ne'er before a more royal court
Could have been call'd in question, what she is,
I know not: of what nation, birth, degree;
How, or from whence deriv'd, what continent,
Or from what place she's come; she may be Turk,
But Moor she cannot be, she is so fair :
She's strange to me, yet somewhat should I say:
To breast with her! I might as well have done it
With a bear, or lioness: madam, with her
I vow I never did.

Hel. Give me thy oath of that.
Pin. I can, and dare.

Cent. And I as willingly,
That I was never second to a man,
In
any

such false business.
Hel. Let them swear.
Isab. They shall.
Pin. We will.

Bon. This is a conflict worse
Than in the sad duel 'tween death and life,
When neither's certain : both in difficulty-
As it is now with me! I pray ha' done
That I were posted to your country! there
To finish all

my

travels.
Hel. Both have sworn :
And princes, as you hope to crown your

heads
With that perpetual wreath which shall last ever,
Cast on a poor dejected innocent virgin
Your cries of grace and pity : what sin is't,
Or who can be the patron of such evil,
That a poor innocent maid, spotless in thought,
And pure in heart, born without spleen and gall,
That never injur'd creature, never had heart
To think of wrong, or ponder injury;

That such a one in her white innocence,
Striving to live in the peculiar compass
Of her own virtues, notwithstanding these,
Should be sought out by strangers; persecuted,
Made infamous, even there where she was made
For imitation ; hiss'd at in her country,
Abandon'd of her mother, kindred, friends ;
Deprav'd in foreign climes, scorn'd every where,
And even in princes' courts reputed vile;
O pity, pity this!

Sebast. Thou speak'st enigmas, woman, and hast need
To find a sphinx to explain them.

Hel. Then behold
The strangest calling (now] impos’d on me
That e'er was laid on virgin : I am she
For whom this noble sir hath undertook,
And wrongly stands convicted; this that body,
So stain'd and sullied by these barb'rous tongues,
That even in scolding lies justice; for heav'n
Hath forc'd them to swear truth: they never saw me, -
How am I then polluted, gracious queen?
How can such find competitors in virtue,
That will not give it countenance ? had those murder'd me,
(As they have kill'd my fame, and havock'd that)
A pity'd and crown'd martyr I had dy'd,
That am in censure now, a condemn'd heretic,
And mere apostate to all womanhood,
And (what I ever made my precedent)
Sincerity and goodness : Villains, blush !
And, sir, outgaze their falsehood : queen, be just ;
Lest in the ocean of that prize you steal,
You shipwreck all your glories.

Sebast. 'Tis most strange.

Isab. We know you not,
Give us some lively instance you're the woman.

Hel. How should I know that ring to be the same
Of which my credulous maid was by these two
Cheated and robb’d, most treacherously betray'd ?
That carkanet you wear, peruse it well,
Hath both my name and picture; marks sufficient
To prove me no impostor. (Pin. and Cent. fall on their knees.)

Doth your guilt
Bow you so low already ? let your penitence
There stay you, lest your sin's weight cleave the earth,

And sink

you

down to hell.
Bon. What prostrates them
Mounts me to expectations : my bless'd choice!
Now I have seen thy apparent innocence,
Queen, I shall die contented.

Isab. Oh, till now,
I never thought to be vanquished.”

“The Challenge for Beauty” is full of action and interest, and possesses a great variety of well-discriminated characters, the arrogant and vain-glorious Isabella, the vivacious vanity of Petrocella, and the noble innocence and enterprise of Hellena, amongst the female, and the weak and yielding king and his lying courtiers, the mixture of boasting and pride, with high

onour, in Valladaura, and the fierce contempt and rigid integrity of Mountferrers, amongst the male characters, form altogether a varied and pleasing group.

There is great vivacity in this performance, and sometimes considerable smartness of repartee; as for example, in the following scene between Petrocella and Valladaura, an old lover just returned from a cruise, and Aldana, the lady's foolish old father.

Pet. Come, be not passionate : though I know both my worth and beauty, and understand what orb they move into, I am not so much infected with that same court-sickness, philautia, or self-love, to scorn the service of any generous spirit.

Ald. How, neither for thy profit, nor thy father's honour?

Pet. In sober conference then, what bounded service have you ever done my beauty, that may challenge the least interest in my love?

Val. As many as man can : I writ myself
(And truly) lover ere I could write man;
Passing my service, as a star where she
The best idea of thy glorious feature,
Drawn by the curious working of my thoughts,
Gave me the better, I put out to sea,
And there-

Pet. What did you?

Ald. For thy honour now,
What didst at sea ??

Val. As much as any man-
Ald. That did no more than thou didst; thy further honour still !
Val. Somewhat I did; but what, let these deep wounds

Undress'd and unbound

up

deliver. Pet. They are tongue-ty'd, and cannot speak for blushing; pretty ornaments for a soldier: how came you by them trow? honestly?

Val. As noble Hector did by his, but by
An
enemy

far more valiant than his.
Ald. I like that well; thy further honour still?

Val. At sea I met with a bold man of war,
And somewhat more, an Englishman: Oh had
Your eye (but fate deny'd that blessedness)
Witness'd our bearing, and how far the thought
Of
you

and your rare beauty carried me Above my strength

Pet. I should have said what you are forced to acknowledge, that my beauty had been the better man.

Ald. I am proud of that, thy further honour still ?

Pet. All this while you are beholden to my beauty, and I nothing in debt to your valour, which, for ought I gather, is nothing at all.

Val. Nothing, to enter and hold single combat
With such a daring opposite? nothing, to take
These dangerous wounds, and bring them home undress'd ?

Pet. 'Twas I confess somewhat to take these wounds; yet in my mind he that gives the cognizance has more reason to boast of it, than he that wears it: shew me the man that gave you these wounds, and I'll commend his valour.

Ald. For giving of 'em? Knight, there's small honour in taking of 'em though, in my judgment : but what was he?

Val. A man whose noble valour I must speak.
Pet. Good reason, he has paid you soundly for't aforehand.
Val. In love and honour I shall ever serve him.

Pet. So I thought, for you wear a livery of his, cut to the skin and lined with crimson: had you gi'n't him, I should have ta'en you for the master. But, pardon me, I soar too high for a serving man: your ear ; I am modest: away! hie to the suburbs, bribe some honest barber-surgeon to wash off your dishonour and heal your infamy.

“ The Royal King and Loyal Subject” is a good play, without possessing any very striking scenes, but we cannot say so much for the moral of it. It is a perfect sample of loyal non-resistance—of passive obedience pushed to its extreme verge; it is not the case of a pliant sycophant-a mere court nonentity, the contempt which must accompany whose allcomplying nature would have been a sufficient equipoise to his slavish obedience; but it is that of a magnanimous, valiant, and discreet gentleman, who is as blindly submissive as the most

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