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Cha. Prythee, why dost thou talk so
Mon. Look kindly on me then : I cannot bear
Cha. Fear nothing, I will shew myself a brother,
Mon. I shall never.
Cha. Then you'll remember too, he was a man
Mon. I challenge envy,
240 Unhappy life, and taint me if they can!
Cha. I'll tell thee, then; three nights ago, as I Lay musing in my bed, all darkness round me,
A sudden damp struck to my heart, cold sweat
Mon. And for this cause my virtue is suspected !
263 Cha. Have a care! Labour not to be justify'd too fast. Hear all, and then let justice hold the scale. What follow'd was the riddle that confounds me. Through a close lane, as I pursu'd my journey, And meditating on the last night's vision, I spy'd a wrinkled hag, with age grown double, Picking dry sticks, and mumbling to herself; Her
eyes with scalding rheum where gall’d and red; Cold palsy shook her head, her hands seem'd wither’d, And o'er her crooked shoulders had she wrapp'd The tatter'd remnant of an old strip'd hanging, Which serv'd to keep her carcass from the cold;
So there was nothing of a piece about her.
Cha. Oh! but she told me such a tale, Monimia,
Cha. What, alter'd I does your courage fail you!
Mon. I will,
Cha. But Castalio!
Mon. Still will you cross the line of my discourse. Yes, I confess that he has won my soul
By gen'rous love, and honourable vows,
Cha. Art thou then spotless? Hast thou still preserv’d
pray’rs ! Or more, to make me wretched, may you know it!
Cha. Oh, then, Monimia, art thou dearer to me Than all the comforts ever yet blest man. But let not marriage bait thee to thy ruin. Trust not a man; we are by nature false, Dissembling, subtile, cruel, and unconstant. When a man talks of love, with caution trust him ; But if he swears, he'll certainly deceive thee. I charge thee let no more Castalio sooth thee; Avoid it, as thou would'st preserve the
peace poor brother, to whose soul thou’rt precious. Mon. I will. Cha. Appear as cold, when next you meet, as great
320 When merit begs; then shalt thou see how soon His heart will cool, and all his pains grow easy. [Exit.
Mon. Yes, I will try him; torture him severely; For, oh, Castalio! thou too much hast wrong'd me, In leaving me to Polydore's ill usage. He comes; and for once, oh, love, stand neuter, Whilst a hard part's perform’d! for I must ’tempt Wound his soft nature, though my heart aches for't.
Enter CASTALIO. Cast. Monimia, Monimia ! And seem'd to part with anger in her eyes ; I am a fool, and she has found my weakness; She uses me already like a slave Fast bound in chains, to be chastis'd at will. 'Twas not well done to trifle with my brother; I might have trusted him with all the secret, Open'd my silly heart, and shewn it bare.But then he loves her too; but not like me: I am a doating honest slave, design'd For bondage, marriage bonds, which I have sworn To wear. It is the only thing I e'er
940 Hid from his knowledge ; and he'll sure forgive The first transgression of a wretched friend, Betray'd to love, and all its little follies. [Exit.
Enter POLYDORE and PAGE at the Door. Pol. Here place yourself, and watch my brother
thoroughly. If he should chance to meet Monimia, make Just observation on each word and action; Pass not one circumstance without remark: Sir, 'tis your office; do't, and bring me word. [Exit Pol.
Enter MONIMIA and CASTALIO.