A monologue from the play by Beaumont and Fletcher

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding. Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher. London: J.M. Dent, 1878.
  • KING: To give a stronger testimony of love
    Than sickly promises (which commonly
    In princes find both birth and burial
    In one breath), we have drawn you, worthy sir,
    To make your fair endearments to our daughter,
    And worthy services known to our subjects,
    Now loved and wondered at; next, our intent
    To plant you deeply our immediate heir
    Both to our blood and kingdoms. For this lady
    (The best part of your life, as you confirm me,
    And I believe), though her few years and sex
    Yet teach her nothing but her fears and blushes,
    Desires without desire, discourse and knowledge
    Only of what herself is to herself,
    Make her feel moderate health; and, when she sleeps,
    In making no ill day, knows no ill dreams.
    Think not, dear sir, these undivided parts
    That must mold up a virgin, are put on
    To show her so, as borrowed ornaments
    To talk of her perfect love to you, or add
    An artificial shadow to her nature.
    No, sir; I boldly dare proclaim her yet
    No woman. But woo her still, and think her modesty
    A sweeter mistress than the offered language
    Of any dame, were she a queen, whose eye
    Speaks common loves and comforts to her servants.
    Last, noble son (for so I now must call you),
    What I have done thus public is not only
    To add comfort in particular
    To you or me, but all, and to confirm
    The nobles and the gentry of these kingdoms
    By oath to your succession, which shall be
    Within this month at most.