Lyly’s Sapho and Phao

The Plays of John Lyly: Sapho and Phao

Modern spelling.Transcribed by BF. copyright © 2002
Edited and designed for the web by Robert Brazil
Items discussed in the glossary are underlined.

SAPHO and PHAO – Published 1584

Played before the Queen’s Majesty on Shrove Tuesday [March 3, 1584]
by Her Majesty’s Children and the Boys of Paul’s


Phao, a ferryman
Sapho, princess of Syracuse
Sapho’s ladies-in-waiting
Sybilla, a seer
Venus, goddess of love
Cupid, her son
Vulcan, her husband (a smith)
Calypho, a Cyclops, servant of Vulcan
Trachinus, a courtier
Criticus, servant of Trachinus
Pandion, a courtier and scholar
Molus, servant of Pandion

Scene: Syracusa


Court Prologue; Blackfriars Prologue
Sapho and Phao
Appendix I
Latin Translations
Some Sources
Suggested Reading
Appendix II Connections
Appendix III: Vocabulary, Word Formation

The Prologue at the Court

The Arabians (being stuffed with perfumes) burn hemlock, a rank poison; and in Hybla (being cloyed with honey) they account it dainty to feed on wax. Your Highness’ eyes, whom variety hath filled with fair shows and whose ears pleasure hath possessed with rare sounds, will (we trust) at this time resemble the princely eagle, who fearing to surfeit on spices, stoopeth to bite on worm-wood. We present no conceits nor wars, but deceits and loves, wherein the truth may excuse the plainness: the necessity the length: the poetry the bitterness. There is no needle’s point so small which hath not his compass, nor hair so slen-der which hath not his shadow, nor sport so simple which hath not his show. Whatsoever we present, whether it be tedious (which we fear) or toyish (which we doubt), sweet or sour, absolute or imperfect, or whatsoever, in all humbleness we all, and I on knee for all, entreat that your Highness imagine yourself to be in a deep dream, that staying the conclusion, in your rising your Majesty vouchsafe but to say, And so you awaked.

The Prologue at the Black friars

Where the Bee can suck no honey, she leaveth her sting behind; and where the Bear cannot find origanum to heal his grief, he blasteth all other leaves with his breath. We fear it is like to fare so with us, that seeing you cannot draw from our labors sweet content, you leave behind you a sour mislike and with open reproach blame our good meanings because you cannot reap your wonted mirths. Our intent was at this time to move inward delight, not outward lightness; and to breed, if it might be, soft smiling, not loud laughing; knowing it to the wise to be as great pleasure to hear counsel mixed with wit, as to the foolish to have sport mingled with rudeness. They were banished the theater at Athens and from Rome hissed, that brought parasites on the stage with apish actions, or fools with uncivil habits, or courtesans with immodest words. We have endeavored to be as far from unseemly speeches to make your ears glow, as we hope you will be from unkind reports to make our cheeks blush. The griffin never spreadeth her wings in the sun when she hath any sick feathers; yet have we ventured to present our exercises before your judgments when we know them full of weak matter, yielding rather ourselves to the courtesy which we have ever found, than to the preciseness which we ought to fear.


Scene I.1: [At the Ferry.]
[Enter Phao.]

PHAO: Thou art a ferryman, Phao, yet a free man, possessing
for riches content, and for honors quiet. Thy thoughts are no
higher than thy fortunes, nor thy desires greater than thy
calling. Who climbeth, standeth on glass and falleth on
thorn. Thy heart’s thirst is satisfied with thy hand’s thrift,
and thy gentle labors in the day turn to sweet slumbers in
the night. As much doth it delight thee to rule thine oar in
a calm stream as it doth Sapho to sway the scepter in her
brave court. Envy never casteth her eye low, ambition
pointeth always upward, and re-venge barketh only at … [I.1.10]
stars. Thou farest delicately if thou have a fare to buy
anything. Thine angle is ready when thine oar is idle, and
as sweet is the fish which thou gettest in the river as the
fowl which other[s] buy in the market. Thou needest not fear
poison in thy glass nor treason in thy guard. The wind is thy
greatest enemy, whose might is withstood with policy. Oh
sweet life, seldom found under a golden court, often under
a thatched cottage. But here cometh one. I will withdraw
myself aside. It may be a passenger. [Enter Venus and Cupid.]

VENUS: It is no less unseemly than unwholesome for Venus, … [I.1.20]
who is most honored in princes’ courts, to sojourn with Vulcan
in a smith’s forge, where bellows blow instead of sighs, dark
smokes rise for sweet perfumes, and for the panting of loving
hearts is only heard the beating of steeled hammers.
Unhappy Venus that, carrying fire in thine own breast, thou
shouldest dwell with fire in his forge. What doth Vulcan all
day but endeavor to be as crabbed in manners as he is crooked
in body, driving nails when he should give kisses and
ham-mer-ing hard armors when he should sing sweet amours?
It came by lot, not love, that I was linked with him. He gives … [I.1.30]
thee bolts, Cupid, instead of arrows, fearing belike (jealous
fool that he is) that if he should give thee an arrowhead, he
should make himself a broad head. But come, we will to
Syracusa, where thy deity shall be shown and my disdain.
I will yoke the neck that never bowed, at which, if Jove repine,
Jove shall repent. Sapho shall know, be she never so fair, that
there is a Venus which can conquer, were she never so fortunate.

CUPID: If Jove espy Sapho, he will devise some new shape to
entertain her.

VENUS: Strike thou Sapho. Let Jove devise what shape he can. … [I.1.40]

CUPID: Mother, they say she hath her thoughts in a string,
that she conquers affections and sendeth love up and down
upon errands. I am afraid she will yerk me if I hit her.

VENUS: Peevish boy, can mortal creatures resist that
which the immortal gods cannot redress?

CUPID: The gods are amorous and therefore willing to be

VENUS: And she amiable, and therefore must be pierced.

CUPID: I dare not.

VENUS: Draw thine arrow to the head; else I will make thee … [I.1.50]
repent it at the heart. Come away and behold the ferry boy
ready to conduct us. Pretty youth, do you keep the ferry that
bendeth to Syracusa?

PHAO: The ferry, fair lady, that bendeth to Syracusa.

VENUS: I fear, if the water should begin to swell, thou wilt
want cunning to guide.

PHAO: These waters are commonly as the passengers be;
and therefore carrying one so fair in show, there is no cause
to fear a rough sea.

VENUS: To pass the time in thy boat, canst thou devise any … [I.1.60]

PHAO: If the wind be with me, I can angle or tell tales; if
against me, it will be pleasure for you to see me take pains.

VENUS: I like not fishing, yet was I born of the sea.

PHAO: But he may bless fishing that caught such an one in
the sea.

VENUS: It was not with an angle, my boy, but with a net.

PHAO: So was it said that Vulcan caught Mars with Venus.

VENUS: Didst thou hear so? It was some tale.

PHAO: Yea madam, and that in the boat I did mean to make … [I.1.70]
my tale.

VENUS: It is not for a ferryman to talk of the gods’ loves but
to tell how thy father could dig and thy mother spin. But
come, let us away.

PHAO: I am ready to wait. [Exeunt.]

Scene I.2: [The same.]
[Enter Trachinus, Pandion, Criticus and Molus.]

TRACHINUS: Pandion, since your coming from the univer-
-sity to the court, from Athens to Syracusa, how do you feel
yourself altered either in humor or opinion?

PANDION: Altered, Trachinus; I say no more and shame that
any should know so much.

TRACHINUS: Here you see as great virtue, far greater
bravery, the action of that which you contemplate: Sapho
fair by nature, by birth royal, learned by education, by
government politic, rich by peace; insomuch as it is hard to
judge, whether she be more beautiful or wise, virtuous or … [I.2.10]
fortunate. Besides, do you not look on fair ladies instead of
good letters, and behold fair faces instead of fine phrases? In
universities virtues and vices are but shadowed in colors
white and black; in courts showed to life, good and bad. There,
times past are read of in old books, times present set down by
new devices, times to come conjectured at by aim, by prophecy,
or chance; here are times in perfection, not by device as fables
but in execution as truths. Believe me Pandion, in Athens you
have but tombs, we in court the bodies; you the pictures of
Venus & the wise Goddesses, we the persons & the … [I.2.20]
virtues. What hath a scholar found out by study that a
courtier hath not found out by practice? Simple are you
that think to see more at the candle-snuff than the
sunbeams, to sail further in a little brook than in the main
Ocean, to make a greater harvest by gleaning than reaping.
How say you Pandion: is not all this true?

PANDION: Trachinus, what would you more? All true.

TRACHINUS: Cease then to lead thy life in a study, penned
with a few boards, and endeavor to be a courtier to live in
embossed roofs. … [I.2.30]

PANDION: A labor intolerable for Pandion.


PANDION: Because it is harder to shape a life to dissemble,
than to go forward with the liberty of truth.

TRACHINUS: Why, do you think in court any use to dissemble?

PANDION: Do you know in court any that mean to live?

TRACHINUS: You have no reason for it, but an old report.

PANDION: Report hath not always a blister on her tongue.

TRACHINUS: Aye, but this is the court of Sapho, nature’s
miracle, which resembleth the tree salurus, whose root is … [I.2.40]
fastened upon knotted steel, & in whose top bud leaves of
pure gold.

PANDION: Yet hath salurus blasts and water boughs, worms
and caterpillars.

TRACHINUS: The virtue of the tree is not the cause but the
easterly wind, which is thought commonly to bring cankers
and rottenness.

PANDION: Nor the excellency of Sapho the occasion: but the
iniquity of flatterers, who always whisper in princes’ ears
suspicion and sourness. … [I.2.50]

TRACHINUS: Why, then you conclude with me that Sapho
for virtue hath no copartner.

PANDION: Yea, & with the judgment of the world that
she is without comparison.

TRACHINUS: We will thither straight.

PANDION: I would I might return straight.

TRACHINUS: Why, there you may live still.

PANDION: But not still.

TRACHINUS: How like you the Ladies: are they not passing
fair? … [I.2.60]

PANDION: Mine eye drinketh neither the color of wine nor

TRACHINUS: Yet I am sure that in judgment you are not so
severe, but that you can be content to allow of beauty by day
or by night.

PANDION: When I behold beauty before the sun, his beams
dim beauty; when by candle, beauty obscures torchlight: so
as no time I can judge because at any time I cannot discern,
being in the sun a brightness to shadow beauty and in
beauty a glistering to extinguish light. … [I.2.70]

TRACHINUS: Scholarlike said. You flatter that which you
seem to mislike and [seek] to disgrace that which you most wonder
at. But let us away.

PANDION: I follow. And you, sir boy [To Molus.] go to Syracusa
about by land, where you shall meet my stuff, pay for the carriage,
and convey it to my lodging.

TRACHINUS: I think all your stuff are bundles of paper; but
now must you learn to turn your library to a wardrobe, &
see whether your rapier hang better by your side than the
pen did in your ear. [Exeunt Pandion and Trachinus.] … [I.2.80]

Scene I.3: [The same.]
[Criticus and Molus, remaining.]

CRITICUS: Molus, what odds between thy commons in
Athens and thy diet in court, a page’s life & a scholar’s?

MOLUS: This difference: there of a little I had somewhat;
here of a great deal, nothing. There did I wear pantofles on
my legs; here do I bear them in my hands.

CRITICUS: Thou mayst be skilled in thy logic but not in thy
liripoop; belike no meat can down with you, unless you have a
knife to cut it. But come among us, and you shall see us once
in a morning have a mouse at a bay.

MOLUS: A mouse? Unproperly spoken. … [I.3.10]

CRITICUS: Aptly understood, a mouse of beef.

MOLUS: I think indeed a piece of beef as big as a mouse serves
a great company of such cats. But what else?

CRITICUS: For other sports: a square die in a page’s pocket is
as decent as a square cap on a graduate’s head.

MOLUS: You courtiers be mad fellows. We silly souls are only
plodders at ergo, whose wits are clasped up with our books;
& so full of learning are we at home, that we scarce know
good manners when we come abroad. Cunning in nothing
but in making small things great by figures, pulling on with … [I.3.20]
the sweat of our studies a great shoe upon a little foot, burning
out one candle in seeking for another; raw wordlings in matters
of substance, passing wranglers about shadows.

CRITICUS: Then is it time lost to be a scholar. We pages are
politicians: for look, what we hear our masters talk of, we
determine of: where we suspect, we undermine; and where
we mislike for some particular grudge, there we pick quarrels
for a general grief. Nothing among us but instead of good
morrow, what news? We fall from cogging at dice to cog
with states: & so forward are mean men in those matters, … [I.3.30]
that they would be cocks to tread down others before they be
chickens to rise themselves. Youths are very forward to
stroke their chins — though they have no beards — and to lie
as loud as he that hath lived longest.

MOLUS: These be the golden days!

CRITICUS: Then be they very dark days, for I can see no gold.

MOLUS: You are gross-witted, master courtier.

CRITICUS: And you, master scholar, slender-witted.

MOLUS: I meant times which were prophesied golden for
plenty of all things: sharpness of wit, excellency in knowledge, … [I.3.40]
policy in government, for —

CRITICUS: Soft, scholaris. I deny your argument.

MOLUS: Why, it is no argument.

CRITICUS: Then I deny it because it is no argument. But let
us go and follow our masters. [Exeunt.]

Scene I.4: [The same.]
[Enter Mileta, Lamia, Ismena, Canope, Eugenua and Favilla.]

MILETA: Is it not strange that Phao on the sudden should be
so fair? [See note, end of scene.]

LAMIA: It cannot be strange, sith Venus was disposed to
make him fair. That cunning had been better bestowed on
women, which would have deserved thanks of nature.

ISMENA: Haply she did it in spite of women, or scorn of

CANOPE: Proud elf! How squeamish he is become already,
using both disdainful looks & imperious words: insomuch
that he galleth with ingratitude. And then ladies, you know … [I.4.10]
how it cutteth a woman to become a wooer.

EUGENUA: Tush! Children and fools: the fairer they are, the
sooner they yield; an apple will catch the one, a baby the other.

ISMENA: Your lover, I think, be a fair fool: for you love nothing
but fruit and puppets.

MILETA: I laugh at that you call love and judge it only a
word called love. Methinks liking, a curtsy, a smile, a beck,
and such-like are the very quintessence of love.

FAVILLA: Aye Mileta, but were you as wise as you would be
thought fair, or as fair as you think yourself wise, you would … [I.4.20]
be as ready to please men as you are coy to prank yourself,
& as careful to be accounted amorous, as you are willing to
be thought discreet.

MILETA: No, no, men are good souls (poor souls), who never
inquire but with their eyes, loving to father the cradle
though they but mother the child. Give me their gifts, not
their virtues. A grain of their gold weigheth down a pound of
their wit. A dram of ‘give me’ is heavier than an ounce of
‘hear me.’ Believe me ladies, ‘give’ is a pretty thing.

ISMENA: I cannot but oftentimes smile to myself to hear men … [I.4.30]
call us weak vessels, when they prove themselves broken-
hearted; us frail, when their thoughts cannot hang together;
studying with words to flatter and with bribes to allure,
when we commonly wish their tongues in their purses (they
speak so simply), and their offers in their bellies (they do it
so peevishly).

MILETA: It is good sport to see them want manner; for then
fall they to good man-ners, having nothing in their mouths
but ‘sweet mistress,’ wearing our hands out with courtly
kissings, when their wits fail in courtly discourses. Now … [I.4.40]
ruffling their hairs, now setting their ruffs, then gazing
with their eyes, then sighing with a privy wring by the
hand, thinking us like to be wooed by signs and ceremonies.

EUGENUA: Yet we, when we swear with our mouths we are
not in love, then we sigh from the heart and pine in love.

CANOPE: We are mad wenches if men mark our words. For
when I say ‘I would none cared for love more than I,’ what mean
I but I would none loved but I? where we cry ‘away!’, do we
not presently say ‘go to’: & when men strive for kisses, we
exclaim ‘let us alone’, as though we would fall to that ourselves. … [I.4.50]

FAVILLA: Nay then, Canope, it is time to go — and behold Phao.

ISMENA: Where?

FAVILLA: In your head Ismena, nowhere else. But let us
keep on our way.

ISMENA: Wisely. [Exeunt.]

Note: It is revealed that, preceding this scene Venus had been so taken with the Ferryman Phao that she made him exceedingly fair. This spectacular offstage alteration precipitates the actions of the remainder of the play.


Scene II.1: [Before Sybilla’s Cave].
[Enter Phao with a small mirror: Sybilla sitting in her cave.]

PHAO: Phao, thy mean fortune causeth thee to use an oar,
and thy sudden beauty a glass. By the one is seen thy need,
in the other thy pride. Oh Venus! In thinking thou has blest
me, thou hast cursed me, adding to a poor estate a proud heart;
and to a disdained man a disdaining mind. Thou dost not
flatter thyself, Phao, thou art fair. Fair? I fear me fair be a
word too foul for a face so passing fair. But what availeth
beauty? Hadst thou all things, thou wouldst wish, thou
mightst die tomorrow; and didst thou want all things thou
desirest, thou shalt live till thou diest. Tush Phao! There is … [II.1.10]
grown more pride in thy mind than favor in thy face.
Blush, foolish boy, to think on thine own thoughts; cease
complaints, & counsel. And lo! Behold Sybilla in the
mouth of her cave: I will salute her. Lady, I fear me I am out
of my way and so benighted withal that I am compelled to
ask your direction.

SYBILLA: Fair youth, if you will be advised by me, you shall
for this time seek none other inn than my cave, for that it is
no less perilous to travel by night than uncomfortable.

PHAO: Your courtesy offered hath prevented what my … [II.1.20]
necessity was to entreat.

SYBILLA: Come near, take a stool, and sit down. Now for that
these winter nights are long and that children delight in
nothing more than to hear old wives’ tales, we will beguile
the time with some story. And though you behold wrinkles
and furrows in my tawny face, yet may you haply find
wisdom and counsel in my white hairs.

PHAO: Lady, nothing can content me better than a tale,
neither is there anything more necessary for me than counsel.

SYBILLA: Were you born so fair by nature? … [II.1.30]

PHAO: No, made so fair by Venus.

SYBILLA: For what cause?

PHAO: I fear me for some curse.

SYBILLA: Why, do you love and cannot obtain?

PHAO: No, I may obtain but cannot love.

SYBILLA: Take heed of that, my child.

PHAO: I cannot choose, good Madame.

SYBILLA: Then hearken to my tale, which I hope shall be as
a straight thread to lead you out of those crooked conceits
and place you in the plain path of love. … [II.1.40]

PHAO: I attend.

SYBILLA: When I was young, as you now are (I speak it
without boasting), I was as beautiful. For Phoebus in his
godhead sought to get my maidenhead; but I (fond wench),
receiving a benefit from above, began to wax squeamish
beneath; not unlike to asolis, which being made green by
heavenly drops, shrinketh into the ground when there fall
showers; or the Syrian mud, which being made white chalk
by the sun, never ceaseth rolling til it lie in the sha-dow. He
to sweet prayers added great promises. I, either desirous to … [II.1.50]
make trial of his power, or willing to prolong mine own life,
caught up my handful of sand, consenting to his suit if I
might live as many years as there were grains. Phoebus
(for what cannot gods do, and what for love will they not do?)
granted my petition. And then, I sigh and blush to tell the
rest, I recalled my promise.

PHAO: Was not the god angry to see you so unkind?

SYBILLA: Angry, my boy, which was the cause that I was

PHAO: What revenge for such rigor used the gods? … [II.1.60]

SYBILLA: None, but suffering us to live and know we are
no gods.

PHAO: I pray tell on.

SYBILLA: I will. Having received long life by Phoebus and
rare beauty by nature, I thought all the year would have
been May, that fresh colors would always continue, that time
and fortune could not wear out what gods and nature had
wrought up; not once imagining that white and red should
return to black and yellow, the juniper, the longer it grew, the
crookeder it waxed; or that in a face without blemish there … [II.1.70]
should come wrinkles without number. I did as you do, go
with my glass, ravished with the pride of mine own beauty;
& you shall do as I do: loathe to see a glass, disdaining
deformity. There was none that heard of my fault but
shunned my favor, insomuch as I stooped for age before I
tasted of youth, sure to be long lived, uncertain to be
beloved. Gentlemen that used to sigh from their hearts for
my sweet love began to point with their fingers at my
withered face, and laughed to see the eyes, out of which fire
seemed to sparkle, to be succored (being old) with spectacles. … [II.1.80]
This causeth me to withdraw myself to a solitary cave,
where I must lead six hundred years in no less pensive-ness
of crabbed age than grief of remembered youth. Only this
comfort: that being ceased to be fair, I study to be wise, wishing
to be thought a grave matron since I cannot return to be a
young maid.

PHAO: Is it not possible to die before you become so old?

SYBILLA: No more possible than to return as you are, to be
so young.

PHAO: Could not you settle your fancy upon any, or would … [II.1.90]
not destiny suffer it?

SYBILLA: Women willingly ascribe that to fortune which
wittingly was committed by frowardness.

PHAO: What will you have me do?

SYBILLA: Take heed you do not as I did. Make not too much of
fading beauty, which is fair in the cradle & foul in the
grave, resembling polyon, whose leaves are white in the
morning and blue before night, or anyta, which being a
sweet flower at the rising of the sun becometh a weed if it be
not plucked before the setting. Fair faces have no fruits if
they have no witnesses. When you shall behold over this … [II.1.100]
tender flesh a tough skin, your eyes, which were wont to
glance on others’ faces to be sunk so hollow that you can
scarce look out of your head; and when all your teeth shall
wag as fast as your tongue, then will you repent the time
which you cannot recall and be en-forced to bear what most
you blame. Lose not the pleasant time of your youth, than
the which there is nothing swifter, nothing sweeter. Beauty
is a slippery good which decreaseth whilst it is increasing,
resembling the med-lar, which in the moment of his full … [II.1.110]
ripeness is known to be in a rottenness. Whiles you look in
the glass, it waxeth old with time; if on the sun, parched with
heat; if on the wind, blasted with cold. A great care to keep
it, a short space to enjoy it, a sudden time to lose it. Be not coy
when you are courted: fortune’s wings are made of time’s
feathers, which stay not whilst one may measure them. Be
affable and courteous in youth, that you may be honored in
age. Roses that lose their colors keep their savors, and plucked
from the stalk are put to the still. Cotonea, because it boweth
when the sun riseth, is sweetest when it is oldest; and … [II.1.120]
children which in their tender years sow courtesy, shall in
their declining states reap pity. Be not proud of beauty’s
painting, whose colors consume themselves because they are
beauty’s painting.

PHAO: I am driven by your counsel into divers conceits,
neither knowing how to stand or where to fall; but to yield
to love is the only thing I hate.

SYBILLA: I commit you to fortune, who is like to play such
pranks with you as your tender years can scarce bear nor
your green wits understand. But repair unto me often, and if … [II.1.130]
I cannot remove the effects, yet I will manifest the causes.

PHAO: I go, ready to return for advice before I am resolved
to adventure.

SYBILLA: Yet hearken two words: thou shalt get friendship
by dissembling, love by hatred; unless thou perish, thou shalt
perish: in digging for a stone, thou shalt reach a star: thou
shalt be hated most because thou art loved most. Thy death
shall be feared & wished: so much for prophecy, which
nothing can prevent; and this for counsel, which thou mayst
follow. Keep not company with ants that have wings, nor … [II.1.140]
talk with any near the hill of a mole; where thou smellest the
sweetness of serpent’s breath, beware thou touch no part of
the body. Be not merry among those that put bugloss in their
wine and sugar in thine. If any talk of the eclipse of the sun,
say thou never sawest it. Nourish no conies in thy vaults, nor
swallows in thine eaves. Sew next thy vines mandrake, and
ever keep thine ears open and thy mouth shut, thine eyes
upward and thy fingers down. So shalt thou do better than
otherwise, though never so well as I wish.

PHAO: Alas! Madam, your prophecy threateneth miseries, … [II.1.150]
and your counsel warneth impossibilities.

SYBILLA: Farewell. I can answer no more. [Exit (into cave).]

Scene II.2: [The same.]
[Enter to Phao, Sapho, Trachinus, Pandion, Criticus, Molus.]

PHAO: Unhappy Phao! — But soft, what gallant troupe is this?
What gentlewoman is this?

CRITICUS: Sapho, a Lady here in Sicily.

SAPHO: What fair boy is that?

TRACHINUS: Phao, the ferryman of Syracusa.

PHAO: I never saw one more brave: be all Ladies of such

CRITICUS: No, this is she that all wonder at and worship.

SAPHO: I have seldom seen a sweeter face: be all ferrymen
of that fairness? … [II.2.10]

TRACHINUS: No Madam, this is he that Venus determined
among men to make the fairest.

SAPHO: Seeing I am only come forth to take the air, I will
cross the ferry and so the fields, then going in through the
park. I think the walk will be pleasant.

TRACHINUS: You will much delight in the flattering green,
which now beginneth to be in his glory.

SAPHO: Sir boy, will ye undertake to carry us over the
water? Are you dumb, can you not speak?

PHAO: Madam, I crave pardon. I am spurblind; I could … [II.2.20]
scarce see.

SAPHO: It is pity in so good a face there should be an evil eye.

PHAO: I would in my face there were never an eye.

SAPHO: Thou canst never be rich in a trade of life of all the

PHAO: Yet content Madam, which is a kind of life of all the

SAPHO: Wilt thou forsake thy ferry, and follow the court as
a page?

PHAO: As it pleaseth fortune, Madam, to whom I am a … [II.2.30]

SAPHO: Come, let us go.

TRACHINUS: Will you go, Pandion?

PANDION: Yea. [Exeunt.]

Scene II.3: A Street.
[Enter Molus and Criticus, meeting.]

MOLUS: Criticus comes in good time; I shall not be alone.
What news, Criticus?

CRITICUS: I taught you that lesson, to ask what news, &
this is the news: tomorrow there shall be a desperate fray
between two, made at all weapons, from the brown bill to
the bodkin.

MOLUS: Now thou talkest of frays, I pray thee what is that
whereof they talk so commonly in court: valor, the stab,
the pistol, for the which every man that dareth is so much
honored? … [II.3.10]

CRITICUS: Oh Molus, beware of valor! He that can look big,
and wear his dagger pommel lower than the point, that lieth
at a good ward, and can hit a button with a thrust, and will
into the field man to man for a bout or two: he, Molus, is a
shrewd fellow and shall be well followed.

MOLUS: What is the end?

CRITICUS: ~~~ Danger or death.

MOLUS: If it be but death that bringeth all this commendation,
I account him as valiant that is killed with a surfeit, as with
a sword.

CRITICUS: How so? … [II.3.20]

MOLUS: If I venture upon a full stomach to eat a rasher on
the coals, a carbon-ado, drink a carouse, swallow all things
that may procure sickness or death, am not I as valiant to
die so in a house, as the other in a field? Methinks that
Epicures are as desperate as soldiers, and cooks provide as
good weapons as cutlers.

CRITICUS: Oh valiant knight!

MOLUS: I will die for it: what greater valor?

CRITICUS: Scholars fight, who rather seek to choke their
stomachs than see their blood. … [II.3.30]

MOLUS: I will stand upon this point: if it be valor to dare die,
he is valiant howsoever he dieth.

CRITICUS: Well, of this hereafter: but here cometh Calypho,
we will have some sport. [Enter Calypho.]

CALYPHO: My mistress, I think, hath got a gadfly; never at
home, and yet none can tell where abroad. My master was a
wise man when he matched with such a woman. When she
comes in, we must put out the fire, because of the smoke,
hang up our hammers because of the noise, and do no work,
but watch what she wanteth. She is fair, but by my troth I … [II.3.40]
doubt of her honesty. I must seek her that I fear Mars hath

CRITICUS: Whom dost thou seek?

CALYPHO: I have found those I seek not.

MOLUS: I hope you have found those which are honest.

CALYPHO: It may be, but I seek no such.

MOLUS: Criticus, you shall see me, by learning, to prove
Calypho to be the devil.

CRITICUS: Let us see; but I pray thee prove it better than
thou didst thyself to be valiant. … [II.3.50]

MOLUS: Calypho, I will prove thee to be the devil.

CALYPHO: Then will I swear thee to be a god.

MOLUS: The devil is black.

CALYPHO: ~~~ What care I?

MOLUS: Thou art black.

CALYPHO: ~~~ What care you?

MOLUS: Therefore thou art the devil.

CALYPHO: I deny that.

MOLUS: ~~~ It is the conclusion, thou must not deny it.

CALYPHO: In spite of all conclusions, I will deny it.

CRITICUS: Molus, the Smith holds you hard.

MOLUS: Thou seest he hath no reason.

CRITICUS: Try him again. … [II.3.60]

MOLUS: I will reason with thee now from a place.

CALYPHO: I mean to answer you in no other place.

MOLUS: Like master, like man.

CALYPHO: ~~~ It may be.

MOLUS: But thy master hath horns.

CALYPHO: ~~~ And so mayst thou.

MOLUS: Therefore thou hast horns, and ergo a devil.

CALYPHO: Be they all devils have horns?

MOLUS: All men that have horns, are.

CALYPHO: Then are there more devils on earth than in hell.

MOLUS: But what dost thou answer? … [II.3.70]

CALYPHO: I deny that.

MOLUS: ~~~ What?

CALYPHO: Whatsoever it is, that shall prove me a devil. But
hearest thou, scholar, I am a plain fellow, and can fashion
nothing but with the hammer. What wilt thou say, if I prove
thee a smith?

MOLUS: Then will I say thou art a scholar.

CRITICUS: Prove it Calypho, and I will give thee a good

CALYPHO: I will prove it or else —

CRITICUS: ~~~ Or else what?

CALYPHO: Or else I will not prove it. Thou art a Smith: … [II.3.80]
therefore thou art a smith. The conclusion, you say, must
not be denied: & therefore it is true, thou art a smith.

MOLUS: Aye, but I deny your antecedent.

CALYPHO: Aye, but you shall not. Have I not touched him,

CRITICUS: You have both done learnedly; for as sure as he
is a smith, thou art a devil.

CALYPHO: And then he a devil because a smith; for that it
was his reason to make me a devil, being a smith.

MOLUS: There is no reasoning with these Mechanical dolts, … [II.3.90]
whose wits are in their hands, not in their heads.

CRITICUS: Be not choleric: you are wise. But let us take up
this matter with a song.

CALYPHO: I am content, my voice is as good as my reason.

MOLUS: Then shall we have sweet music. But come, I will
not break off.


CRITICUS: Merry knaves are we three-a,

MOLUS: When our Songs do agree-a.

CALYPHO: Oh now I well see-a
What anon we shall be-a. … [II.3.100]

CRITICUS: If we ply thus our singing,

MOLUS: Pots then must be flinging;

CALYPHO: If the drink be but stinging,

MOLUS: I shall forget the Rules of Grammar,

CALYPHO: And I the pit-apat of my hammer.

ALL: To the Tap-house then let’s gang and roar.
Call hard, ’tis rare to vamp a score.
Draw dry the tub, be it old or new,
And part not till the ground look blue. [Exeunt.]

Scene II.4: [Before Sybilla’s Cave.]
[Enter Phao.]

PHAO: What unacquainted thoughts are these, Phao, far
unfit for thy thoughts; unmeet for thy birth, thy fortune,
thy years, for Phao! Unhappy, canst thou not be content to
behold the sun, but thou must covet to build thy nest in the
Sun? Doth Sapho bewitch thee, whom all the Ladies in Sicily
could not woo? Yea, poor Phao, the greatness of thy mind is
far above the beauty of thy face, and the hardness of thy
fortune beyond the bitterness of thy words. Die, Phao, Phao
die: for there is no hope if thou be wise; nor safety, if thou be
fortunate. Ah Phao, the more thou seekest to suppress those … [II.4.10]
mounting affections, they soar the loftier, & the more thou
wrestlest with them, the stronger they wax, not unlike unto
a ball, which the harder it is thrown against the earth, the
higher it boundeth into the air; or our Sicilian stone, which
groweth hardest by hammering. Oh divine love! And
therefore divine, because love, whose deity no conceit can
compass, and therefore no authority can con-strain, as
miraculous in working as mighty, & no more to be
suppressed than comprehended. How now, Phao, whither art
thou carried, committing idolatry with that God whom thou … [II.4.20]
hast cause to blaspheme? Oh Sapho, fair Sapho! Peace,
miserable wretch, enjoy thy care in covert, wear willow in
thy hat and bays in thy heart. Lead a lamb in thy hand, &
a fox in thy head, a dove on the back of thy hand, & a
sparrow in the palm. Gold boileth best, when it bubbleth least:
water runneth smoothest, where it is deepest. Let thy love
hang at thy heart’s bottom, not at the tongue’s brim. Things
untold are undone; there can be no greater comfort than to
know much, nor any less labor than to say nothing. But ah.
thy beauty Sapho, thy beauty! Beginnest thou to blab? Aye, … [II.4.30]
blab it Phao, as long as thou blabbest her beauty. Bees that
die with honey are buried with harmony. Swans that end
their lives with songs are covered when they are dead with
flowers; and they that till their latter gasp commend beauty,
shall be ever honored with benefits. In these extremities I
will go to none other Oracle than Sybilla, whose old years
have not been idle in these young attempts, & whose sound
advice may mitigate (though the heavens cannot remove)
my miseries. Oh Sapho, sweet Sapho! Sapho! — Sybilla?
[Sybilla appears in the mouth of the cave.]

SYBILLA: Who is there?

PHAO: ~~~ One not worthy to be one. … [II.4.40]

SYBILLA: Fair Phao?

PHAO: ~~~ Unfortunate Phao!

SYBILLA: Come in.

PHAO: So I will; and quite thy tale of Phoebus with one
whose brightness darkeneth Phoebus. I love Sapho, Sybilla;
Sapho, ah Sapho, Sybilla!

SYBILLA: A short tale Phao, and a sorrowful; it asketh pity
rather than counsel.

PHAO: So it is, Sybilla: yet in these firm years methinketh
there should harbor such experience as may defer, though
not take away, my destiny. … [II.4.50]

SYBILLA: It is hard to cure that by words, which cannot be
eased by herbs; and yet if thou wilt take advice, be attentive.

PHAO: I have brought mine ears of purpose, and will hang at
your mouth til you have finished your discourse.

SYBILLA: Love, fair child, is to be governed by art, as thy boat
by an oar; for fancy, though it cometh by hazard, is ruled
by wisdom. If my precepts may persuade (and I pray thee
let them persuade), I would wish thee first to be diligent, for
that women desire nothing more than to have their servants’
officious. Be always in sight but never slothful. Flatter, I … [II.4.60]
mean lie: little things catch light minds, and fancy is a worm
that feedeth first upon fennel. Imagine with thyself all are to
be won: otherwise mine advice were as unnecessary as thy
labor. It is unpossible for the brittle metal of women to
withstand the flattering attempts of men; only this: let them
be asked; their sex requireth no less, their modesties are to be
allowed so much. Be prodigal in praises and promises: beauty
must have a trumpet, & pride a gift. Peacocks never spread
their feathers but when they are flattered, & Gods are
seldom pleased if they be not bribed. There is none so foul … [II.4.70]
that thinketh not herself fair. In commending thou canst
lose no labor; for of everyone thou shalt be believed. Oh simple
women that are brought rather to believe what their ears
hear of flattering men, than what their eyes see in true glasses!

PHAO: You digress, only to make me believe that women do
so lightly believe.

SYBILLA: Then to the purpose. Choose such times to break thy
suit, as thy Lady is pleasant. The wooden horse entered Troy
when the soldiers were quaffing; and Penelope forsooth, whom
fables make so coy, among the pots wrung her wooers by the … [II.4.80]
fists when she lowered on their faces. Grapes are mind-glasses.
Venus worketh in Bacchus’ press, & bloweth fire upon his
liquor. When thou talkest with her, let thy speech be pleasant,
but not incredible. Choose such words as may (as many may)
melt her mind. Honey rankleth when it is eaten for pleasure,
and fair words wound when they are heard for love. Write,
and persist in writing; they read more than is written to
them, & write less than they think. In conceit study to be
pleasant, in attire brave, but not too curious; when she smileth,
laugh outright; if rise, stand up; if sit, lie down. Lose all thy … [II.4.90]
time to keep time with her. Can you sing, show your
cunning; can you dance, use your legs; can you play upon
any instrument, practice your fingers to please her fancy;
seek out qualities. If she seem at the first cruel, be not
discouraged. I tell thee a strange thing: women strive because
they would be overcome. Force they call it, but such a
welcome force they account it, that continually they study to
be enforced. To fair words join sweet kisses, which if they
gently receive, I say no more: they will gently receive. But
be not pinned always on her sleeves; strangers have green … [II.4.100]
rushes, when daily guests are not worth a rush. Look pale,
and learn to be lean, that whoso seeth thee may say, ‘the
Gentleman is in love.’ Use no sorcery to hasten thy success:
wit is a witch: Ulysses was not fair, but wise, not cunning in
charms but sweet in speech, whose filed tongue made those
enamored that sought to have him enchanted. Be not coy:
bear, sooth, swear, die to please thy Lady: these are rules for
poor lovers; to others I am no mistress. He hath wit enough,
that can give enough. Dumb men are eloquent, if they be
liberal. Believe me, great gifts are little Gods. When thy … [II.4.110]
mistress doth bend her brow, do not bend thy fist. Cammocks
must be bowed with sleight, not strength; water [is] to be trained
with pipes, not stopped with sluices; fire to be quenched with
dust, not with swords. If thou have a rival, be patient; art
must wind him out, not malice; time, not might; her change,
and thy constancy. Whatsoever she weareth, swear it
becomes her. In thy love be secret. Venus’ coffers, though
they be hollow, never sound, & when they seem emptiest,
they are fullest. Old fool that I am! To do thee good, I begin
to dote, & counsel that which I would have concealed. Thus, … [II.4.120]
Phao, have I given thee certain regards, no rules, — only to set
thee in the way, not to bring thee home.

PHAO: Ah, Sybilla, I pray go on, that I may glut myself in
this science.

SYBILLA: Thou shalt not surfeit, Phao, whilest I diet thee.
Flies that die on the honeysuckle become poison to bees. A
little in love is a great deal.

PHAO: But all that can be said not enough.

SYBILLA: White silver draweth black lines, and sweet words
will breed sharp torments. … [II.4.130]

PHAO: What shall become of me?

SYBILLA: ~~~ Go dare. [Exit into cave.]

PHAO: I go! — Phao, thou canst but die; & then as good die
with great desires, as pine in base fortunes. [Exit.]


Scene III.1: [Ante room of Sapho’s Chamber.]
[Enter Trachinus, Pandion, Mileta, Ismena, (and later) Eugenua.]

TRACHINUS: Sapho is fallen suddenly sick, I cannot guess
the cause.

MILETA: Some cold belike, or else a woman’s qualm.

PANDION: A strange nature of cold, to drive one into such
an heat.

MILETA: Your physic sir, I think be of the second sort; else
would you not judge it rare that hot fevers are engendered
by cold causes.

PANDION: Indeed Lady, I have no more physic than will … [III.1.10]
purge choler; and that if it please you, I will practice upon
you. It is good for women that be waspish.

ISMENA: Faith sir, no, you are best purge your own
melancholy: belike you are a male-content.

PANDION: Is it true, and are not you a female-content?

TRACHINUS: Soft! I am not content, that a male and female
content, should go together.

MILETA: Ismena is disposed to be merry.

ISMENA: No, it is Pandion would fain seem wise.

TRACHINUS: You shall not fall out; for pigeons after biting … [III.1.20]
fall to billing, and open jars make the closest jests.
[Enter Eugenua.]

EUGENUA: Mileta! Ismena! Mileta! Come away: my :Lady is in
a swoon!

MILETA: Aye me!

ISMENA: Come, let us make haste.
[Exeunt Eugenua, Mileta, Ismena.]

TRACHINUS: I am sorry for Sapho because she will take no
physic; like you Pandion, who being sick of the sullens, will
seek no friend.

PANDION: Of men we learn to speak, of Gods to hold our
peace. Silence shall dis-gest what folly hath swallowed, and
wisdom wean what fancy hath nursed. … [III.1.30]

TRACHINUS: Is it not love?

PANDION: If it were, what then?

TRACHINUS: Nothing, but that I hope it be not.

PANDION: Why, in courts there is nothing more common.
And as to be bald: among the Micanians it was accounted no
shame, because they were all bald; so to be in love among
courtiers it is no discredit, for that they are all in love.

TRACHINUS: Why, what do you think of our Ladies?

PANDION: As of the Seres wool, which being the whitest &
softest, fretteth soonest and deepest. … [III.1.40]

TRACHINUS: I will not tempt you in your deep melancholy,
lest you seem sour to those which are so sweet. But come, let
us walk a little into the fields: it may be the open air will
disclose your close conceits.

PANDION: I will go with you; but send our pages away. [Exeunt.]

Scene III.2: [A Street.]
[Enter Criticus, Molus, (afterward) Calypho.]

CRITICUS: What brown study art thou in, Molus? no mirth, no

MOLUS: I am in the depth of my learning driven to a muse,
how this Lent I shall scamble in the court, that was wont to
fast so oft in the University.

CRITICUS: Thy belly is thy god.

MOLUS: ~~~ Then he is a deaf god.

CRITICUS: ~~~~~~Why?

MOLUS: For venter non habet aures. But thy back is thy god.

CRITICUS: Then is it a blind god.

MOLUS: How prove you that?

CRITICUS. Easy. Nemo videt manticae quod in tergo est.

MOLUS: Then would the satchel that hangs at your god, … [III.2.10]
id est, your back, were full of meat to stuff my god, hoc est,
my belly.

CRITICUS: Excellent. But how canst thou study, when thy
mind is only in the kitchen?

MOLUS: Doth not the horse travel best, that sleepeth with his
head in the manger?

CRITICUS: Yes, what then?

MOLUS: Good wits will apply. But what cheer is there here
this Lent?


MOLUS: ~~~ I can eat none, it is wind. … [III.2.20]


MOLUS: ~~~ I must eat none, they are fire.


MOLUS: It is against the old verse, Caseus est nequam.

CRITICUS: Yea, but it disgesteth all things except itself.

MOLUS: Yea, but if a man hath nothing else to eat, what
shall it disgest?

CRITICUS: You are disposed to jest. But if your silken throat
can swallow no packthread, you must pick your teeth and
play with your trencher.

MOLUS: So shall I not incur the fulsome and unmannerly … [III.2.30]
sin of surfeiting. But here cometh Calypho. [Enter Calypho.]

CRITICUS: What news?

CALYPHO: Since my being here, I have sweat like a dog to
prove my master a devil; he brought such reasons to refel
me as, I promise you, I shall like the better of his wit, as long
as I am with him?


CALYPHO: Thus, I always arguing that he had horns, and
therefore a devil; he said: fool, they are things like horns,
but no horns. For once in the Senate of Gods being hold a … [III.2.40]
solemn session, in the midst of their talk I put in my sentence,
which was so indifferent, that they all concluded it might as
well have been left out as put in, and so placed on each side of
my head things like horns, and called me a Parenthesis. Now
my masters, this may be true, for I have seen it myself about
divers sentences.

MOLUS: It is true, and the same did Mars make a full point,
that Vulcan’s head was made a Parenthesis.

CRITICUS: This shall go with me: I trust in Syracusa to give
one or other a Parenthesis. … [III.2.50]

MOLUS: Is Venus yet come home?

CALYPHO: No, but were I Vulcan, I would by the Gods —

CRITICUS: What wouldest thou?

CALYPHO: Nothing, but as Vulcan, halt by the Gods.

CRITICUS: I thought you would have hardly entreated Venus.

CALYPHO: Nay, Venus is easily entreated; but let that go by.


CALYPHO: That which maketh so many Parenthesis.

MOLUS: I must go by too, or else my master will not go by me:
but meet me full with his fist. Therefore, if we shall sing, give … [III.2.60]
me my part quickly: for if I tarry long I shall cry my part woefully.


OMNES: Arm, arm, the foe comes on apace.

CALYPHO: What’s that red nose and sulfury face?

MOLUS: ‘Tis the hot leader.

CRITICUS: What’s his name?

MOLUS: Bacchus, a captain of plump fame:
A goat the beast on which he rides,
Fat grunting swine run by his sides,
His standard-bearer fears no knocks,
For he’s a drunken butter-box, … [III.2.70]
Who when i’ th’ red field thus he revels,
Cries, out ten tousan Ton of Tevils!

CALYPHO: What’s he so swaggers in the van?

MOLUS: Oh! that’s a roaring Englishman,
Who in deep healths does so excel,
From Dutch and French he bears the bell.

CRITICUS: What victualers follow Bacchus’ camps?

MOLUS: Fools, fiddlers, panders, pimps, and ramps.

CALYPHO: See, see, the battle now grows hot;
Here legs fly, here goes heads to the pot, … [III.2.80]
Here whores and knaves toss broken glasses,
Here all the soldiers look like asses.

CRITICUS: What man e’er heard such hideous noise?

MOLUS: Oh! that’s the vintner’s bawling boys.
Anon, anon, the trumpets are,
Which call them to the fearful bar.

CALYPHO: Rush in, and let’s our forces try.

MOLUS: Oh no, for see they fly, they fly!

CRITICUS: And so will I.

CALYPHO: And I. … [III.2.90]

MOLUS: ~~~~~~And I.

ALL: ‘Tis a hot day, in drink to die. [Exeunt.]

Scene III.3: [Sapho’s Chamber.]
[Sapho in her bed,Mileta, Ismena, Canope, Eugenua, Favilla, Lamia.]

SAPHO: Hey ho: I know not which way to turn me. Ah! ah!
I faint, I die!

MILETA: Madam, I think it good you have more clothes and
sweat it out.

SAPHO: No, no, the best ease I find is to sigh it out.

ISMENA: A strange disease, that should breed such a desire.

SAPHO: A strange desire that hath brought such a disease.

CANOPE: Where Lady, do you feel your most pain?

SAPHO: Where nobody else can feel it, Canope.

CANOPE: At the heart?

SAPHO: ~~~ In the heart. … [III.3.10]

CANOPE: Will you have any mithridate?

SAPHO: Yea, if for this disease there were any mithridate.

MILETA: Why? what disease is it, Madam, that physic cannot

SAPHO: Only the disease, Mileta, that I have.

MILETA: Is it a burning ague?

SAPHO: I think so, or a burning agony.

EUGENUA: Will you have any of this syrup to moisture
your mouth?

SAPHO: Would I had some local things to dry my brain. … [III.3.20]

FAVILLA: Madam, will you see if you can sleep?

SAPHO: Sleep, Favilla? I shall then dream.

LAMIA: As good dream sleeping, as sigh waking.

EUGENUA: Phao is cunning in all kind of simples, and it is
hard if there be none to procure sleep.



SAPHO: Yea, Phao! Phao! — Ah Phao, let him come presently.

MILETA: Shall we draw the curtains whilest you give yourself
to slumber? … [III.3.30]

SAPHO: Do, but depart not: I have such starts in my sleep,
disquieted I know not how. [In a slumber.] Phao! Phao!

ISMENA: What say you, Madam?

SAPHO: Nothing, but if I sleep not now, you send for Phao.
Ah Gods! [She falleth asleep. The curtains drawn.]

MILETA: There is a fish called Garus, that healeth all sickness,
so as whilest it is applied one name not Garus.

EUGENUA: An evil medicine for us women: for if we should be
forbidden to name Garus, we should chat nothing but Garus.

CANOPE: Well said, Eugenua, you know yourself. … [III.3.40]

EUGENUA: Yea Canope, and that I am one of your sex.

ISMENA: I have heard of an herb called Lunary, that being
bound to the pulses of the sick, causeth nothing but dreams of
weddings and dances.

FAVILLA: I think Ismena, that herb be at thy pulses now;
for thou art ever talking of matches and merriments.

CANOPE: It is an unlucky sign in the chamber of the sick to talk
of marriages, for my mother said it foreshoweth death.

MILETA: It is very evil too, Canope, to sit at the bed’s feet, and
foretelleth danger: therefore remove your stool and sit by me. … [III.3.50]

LAMIA: Sure it is some cold she hath taken.

ISMENA: If one were burnt, I think we women would say, he
died of a cold.

FAVILLA: It may be some conceit.

MILETA: Then is there no fear, for yet did I never hear of a
woman that died of a conceit.

EUGENUA: I mistrust her not; for that the owl hath not
shrieked at the window, or the night raven croaked, both
being fatal.

FAVILLA: You are all superstitious: for these be but fancies of … [III.3.60]
doting age: who by chance observing it in some, have set it
down as a religion for all.

MILETA: Favilla, thou art but a girl: I would not have a weasel
cry, nor desire to see a glass, nor an old wife come into my
chamber; for then though I lingered in my disease, I should
never escape it.

SAPHO: Ah, who is there? [The curtains again drawn back.] What
sudden affrights be these? Methought Phao came with simples to
make me sleep. Did nobody name Phao before I began to slumber?

MILETA: Yes, we told you of him. … [III.3.70]

SAPHO: Let him be here tomorrow.

MILETA: He shall: will you have a little broth to comfort you?

SAPHO: I can relish nothing.

MILETA: Yet a little you must take to sustain nature.

SAPHO: I cannot Mileta, I will not. Oh, which way shall I lie:
what shall I do? Heigh ho! Oh Mileta, help to rear me up, my
head, my head lies too low. You pester me with too many clothes.
Fie, you keep the chamber too hot — avoid it! It may be I shall
steal a nap when all are gone.

MILETA: We will. [Exeunt all the Ladies.] … [III.3.80]

SAPHO: Ah! impatient disease of love, and Goddess of love
thrice unpitiful. The eagle is never stricken with thunder, nor
the olive with lightning; and may great Ladies be plagued with
love? Oh Venus, have I not strewed thine altars with sweet
roses; kept thy swans in clear rivers; fed thy sparrows with
ripe corn; & harbored thy doves in fair houses? Thy Tortoise
have I nourished under my fig tree, my chamber have I ceiled
with thy cockleshells, & dipped thy sponge into the freshest
waters. Didst thou nurse me in my swaddling clouts with
wholesome herbs, that I might perish in my flowering years … [III.3.90]
by fancy? I perceive, but too late I perceive, and yet not too
late, be-cause at last, that strains are caught as well by stooping
too low, as reaching too high: that eyes are bleared as soon with
vapors that come from the earth, as with beams that proceed
from the sun. Love lodgeth sometimes in caves: & thou
Phoebus, that in the pride of thy heart shinest all day in our
horizon, at night dippest thy head in the ocean. Resist it, Sapho,
whilest it is yet tender. Of acorns comes oaks, of drops floods,
of sparks flames, of atomies elements. But alas it fareth with me
as with wasps, who feeding on serpents, make their stings … [III.3.100]
more venomous: for glutting myself on the face of Phao, I have
made my desire more desperate. Into the nest of an halcyon,
no bird can enter but the halcyon; and into the heart of so
great a lady can any creep but a great lord? There is an herb
(not unlike unto my love) which the further it groweth from
the sea, the salter it is; and my desires the more they swerve
from reason, the more seem they reasonable. When Phao
cometh, what then: wilt thou open thy love? Yea. No! Sapho:
but staring in his face till thine eyes dazzle, and thy spirits
faint, die before his face: then this shall be written on thy tomb, … [III.3.110]
that though thy love were greater than wisdom could endure,
yet thine honor was such as love could not violate. — Mileta!

MILETA: I come.

SAPHO: It will not be, I can take no rest, which way soever I turn.

MILETA: A strange malady!

SAPHO: Mileta, if thou wilt, a martyrdom. But give me my
lute, and I will see if in song I can beguile mine own eyes.

MILETA: Here Madam.

SAPHO: Have you sent for Phao?

MILETA: ~~~ Yea.

SAPHO: And to bring simples that will procure sleep?

MILETA: ~~~ No. … [III.3.120]

SAPHO: Foolish wench, what should the boy do here, if he
bring not remedies with him? you think belike I could sleep if
I did but see him. Let him not come at all: yes, let him come: no,
it is no matter: yet will I try, let him come: do you hear?

MILETA: Yea Madam, it shall be done. [She comes from the recess.]
Peace, no noise: she beginneth to fall asleep. I will go to Phao.

ISMENA: Go speedily: for if she wake and find you not here,
she will be angry. Sick folks are testy, who though they eat
nothing, yet they feed on gall. [Exit Mileta while Ismena retires.]

SAPHO: Oh cruel love! on thee I lay … [III.3.130]
My curse which shall strike blind the day:
Never may sleep with velvet hand
Charm thine eyes with sacred wand;
Thy jailers shall be hopes and fears;
Thy prison-mates: groans, sighs, and tears;
Thy play to wear out weary times:
Fantastic passions, vows, and rhymes;
Thy bread be frowns, thy drink be gall.
Such as when you Phao call
The bed thou liest on be despair; … [III.3.140]
Thy sleep, fond dreams; thy dreams long care;
Hope (like thy fool) at thy bed’s head,
Mock thee, till madness strike thee dead;
As Phao, thou dost me with thy proud eyes
In thee poor Sapho lives; for thee she dies.
[The curtains close.]

Scene III.4: [The same.]
[Enter Mileta and Phao.]

MILETA: I would either your cunning, Phao, or your fortune
might by simples provoke my Lady to some slumber.

PHAO: My simples are in operation as my simplicity is,
which if they do little good, assuredly they can do no harm.

MILETA: Were I sick, the very sight of thy fair face would
drive me into a sound sleep.

PHAO: Indeed gentlewomen are so drowsy in their desires,
that they can scarce hold up their eyes for love.

MILETA: I mean the delights of beauty would so blind my senses,
as I should be quickly rocked into a deep rest. … [III.4.10]

PHAO: You women have an excuse for an advantage, which
must be allowed because only to you women it was allotted.

MILETA: Phao, thou art passing fair, & able to draw a chaste
eye, not only to glance but to gaze on thee. Thy young years,
thy quick wit, thy stayed desires are of force to control those
which should command.

PHAO: Lady, I forgot to commend you first; and lest I should
have overslipped to praise you at all, you have brought in my
beauty, which is simple, that in courtesy I might remember
yours, which is singular. … [III.4.20]

MILETA: You mistake of purpose, or misconster of malice.

PHAO: I am as far from malice as you from love, & to
mistake of purpose were to mislike of peevishness.

MILETA: As far as I from love? Why, think you me so dull I
cannot love, or so spiteful I will not?

PHAO: Neither, Lady: but how should men imagine women
can love, when in their mouths there is nothing rifer, than
‘in faith I do not love.’

MILETA: Why, will you have women’s love in their tongues?

PHAO: Yea, else do I think there is none in their hearts. … [III.4.30]


PHAO: Because there was never anything in the bottom of a
woman’s heart that cometh not to her tongue’s end.

MILETA: You are too young to cheapen love.

PHAO: Yet old enough to talk with market folks.

MILETA: Well, let us in. [The curtains are drawn back.]

ISMENA: Phao is come.

SAPHO: Who? Phao? Phao, let him come near. But who sent
for him?

MILETA: You, Madam. … [III.4.40]

SAPHO: I am loath to take any medicines: yet must I rather
than pine in these maladies. Phao, you may make me sleep, if
you will.

PHAO: If I can I must, if you will.

SAPHO: What herbs have you brought Phao?

PHAO: Such as will make you sleep, Madam, though they
cannot make me slumber.

SAPHO: Why, how can you cure me, when you cannot
remedy yourself?

PHAO: Yes Madam, the causes are contrary, for it is only a … [III.4.50]
dryness in your brains that keepeth you from rest; but —

SAPHO: But what?

PHAO: Nothing, but mine is not so.

SAPHO: Nay, then I despair of help if our disease be not all one.

PHAO: I would our diseases were all one.

SAPHO: It goes hard with the patient when the physician is

PHAO: Yet Medea made the ever-waking Dragon to snort, when
she poor soul could not wink.

SAPHO: Medea was in love, & nothing could cause her rest
but Jason. … [III.4.60]

PHAO: Indeed I know no herb to make lovers sleep but hearts-
ease, which because it groweth so high, I cannot reach: for —

SAPHO: ~~~ For whom?

PHAO: For such as love.

SAPHO: It groweth very low, and I can never stoop to it, that —

PHAO: ~~~ That what?

SAPHO: That I may gather it: but why do you sigh so, Phao?

PHAO: It is mine use Madam.

SAPHO: It will do you harm, and me too: for I never hear one
sigh, but I must sigh’t also.

PHAO: It were best then that your Ladyship give me leave to … [III.4.70]
be gone, for I can but sigh.

SAPHO: Nay: stay: for now I begin to sigh, I shall not leave
though you be gone. But what do you think best for your
sighing: to take it away?

PHAO: Yew, Madam.

SAPHO: ~~~ Me?

PHAO: ~~~ No Madam, yew of the tree.

SAPHO: Then will I love yew the better. And indeed I think
it would make me sleep too; therefore, all other simples set
aside, I will simply use only yew.

PHAO: Do, Madam, for I think nothing in the world so good
as yew. … [III.4.80]

SAPHO: Farewell for this time.
[He comes from the recess, the curtains closing behind him.
Enter Venus and Cupid.

VENUS: Is not your name Phao?

PHAO: Phao, fair Venus, whom you made so fair.

VENUS: So passing fair! Oh fair Phao, oh sweet Phao: what
wilt thou do for Venus?

PHAO: Anything that cometh in the compass of my poor fortune.

VENUS: Cupid shall teach thee to shoot, & I will instruct thee
to dissemble.

PHAO: I will learn anything but dissembling.

VENUS: Why, my boy? … [III.4.90]

PHAO: Because then I must learn to be a woman.

VENUS: Thou heardest that of a man.

PHAO: Men speak truth.

VENUS: But truth is a she, and so always painted.

PHAO: I think a painted truth.

VENUS: Well, farewell for this time: for I must visit Sapho.
[Phao exit.]


Scene IV.1: [The same. The curtains are drawn back.]
[Venus, Sapho, Cupid.]

VENUS: Sapho, I have heard thy complaints, and pitied thine

SAPHO: Oh Venus, my cares are only known to thee, and by
thee only came the cause. Cupid, why didst thou wound me
so deep?

CUPID: My mother bade me draw mine arrow to the head.

SAPHO: Venus, why didst thou prove so hateful?

VENUS: Cupid took a wrong shaft.

SAPHO: Oh Cupid, too unkind, to make me so kind, that almost
I transgress the modesty of my kind. … [IV.1.10]

CUPID: I was blind, and could not see mine arrow.

SAPHO: How came it to pass, thou didst hit my heart?

CUPID: That came by the nature of the head, which being
once let out of the bow, can find none other lighting place but
the heart.

VENUS: Be not dismayed, Phao shall yield.

SAPHO: If he yield, then shall I shame to embrace one so mean;
if not, die because I cannot embrace one so mean. Thus do I find
no mean.

VENUS: Well, I will work for thee. Farewell. … [IV.1.20]

SAPHO: Farewell sweet Venus, and thou Cupid, which art
sweetest in thy sharpness. [Exit Sapho.]

Scene IV.2: [The same].
[Venus, Cupid.]

VENUS: Cupid, what hast thou done: put thine arrows in
Phao’s eyes, and wounded thy mother’s heart?

CUPID: You gave him a face to allure, then why should not I
give him eyes to pierce?

VENUS: Oh Venus! unhappy Venus! who in bestowing a benefit
upon a man, hast brought a bane unto a Goddess. What
perplexities dost thou feel? Oh fair Phao! And therefore made
fair to breed in me a frenzy! Oh would that when I gave thee
golden locks to curl thy head, I had shackled thee with iron
locks on thy feet! And when I nursed thee, Sapho, with lettuce, … [IV.2.10]
would it had turned to hemlock! Have I brought a smooth skin
over thy face to make a rough scar in my heart, and given
thee a fresh color like the damask rose, to make mine pale like
the stained turquie? Oh Cupid, thy flames with Psyche’s were
but sparks, and my desires with Adonis but dreams, in respect
of these unacquainted torments. Laugh, Juno! Venus is in love;
but Juno shall not see with whom, lest she be in love. Venus
belike is become stale. Sapho forsooth because she has many
virtues, therefore she must have all the favors. Venus waxeth
old; and then she was a pretty wench, when Juno was a young … [IV.2.20]
wife: now crow’s foot is on her eye, and the black ox hath trod
on her foot. But were Sapho never so virtuous, doth she think
to contend with Venus to be as amorous? Yield Phao; but yield
to me Phao; I entreat where I may command; command thou,
where thou shouldest entreat. In this case, Cupid, what is thy
counsel? Venus must both play the lover & the dissembler,
& therefore the dissembler, because the lover.

CUPID: You will ever be playing with arrows, like children
with knives, & then when you bleed, you cry: go to Vulcan,
entreat by prayers, threaten with blows, woo with kisses, … [IV.2.30]
ban with curses, try all means to rid these extremities.

VENUS: To what end?

CUPID: That he might make me new arrows, for nothing can
root out the desires of Phao but a new shaft of inconstancy, nor
anything turn Sapho’s heart but a new arrow of disdain. And
then they, disliking one the other, who shall enjoy Phao but Venus?

VENUS: I will follow thy counsel. For Venus, though she be in
her latter age for years: yet is she in her nonage for affections.
When Venus ceaseth to love, let Jove cease to rule. But come,
let us to Vulcan. [Exeunt.] … [IV.2.40]

Scene IV.3: [The same. The curtains again drawn back.]
[Sapho, Mileta, Ismena, Eugenua, Lamya, Favilla, Canope.]

SAPHO: What dreams are these, Mileta; and can there be no
truth in dreams? Yea, dreams have their truth. Methought I
saw a stockdove or woodquist {I know not how to term it) that
brought short straws to build his nest in a tall cedar, where,
whiles with his bill he was framing his building, he lost as
many feathers from his wings as he laid straws in his nest:
yet scambling to catch hold to harbor in the house he had
made, he suddenly fell from the bough where he stood. And
then pitifully casting up his eyes, he cried in such terms (as I
imagined) as might either condemn the nature of such a tree, … [IV.3.10]
or the daring of such a mind. Whilest he lay quaking upon the
ground, & I gazing on the cedar, I might perceive ants to
breed in the rind, coveting only to hoard, and caterpillars to
cleave to the leaves, laboring only to suck, which caused
more leaves to fall from the tree than there did feathers before
from the dove. Methought, Mileta, I sighed in my sleep,
pitying both the fortune of the bird & the misfortune of the
tree; but in this time quills began to bud again in the bird,
which made him look as though he would fly up; and then
wished I that the body of the tree would bow, that he might … [IV.3.20]
but creep up the tree; then — and so — Hey ho!

MILETA: And so what?

SAPHO: Nothing Mileta: but, and so I waked. But did nobody
dream but I?

MILETA: I dreamed last night, but I hope dreams are contrary,
that holding my head over a sweet smoke, all my hair blazed
on a bright flame. Methought Ismena cast water to quench it:
yet the sparks fell on my bosom, and wiping them away with
my hand, I was all in gore blood, till one with a few fresh
flowers staunched it. And so stretching myself as stiff, I started: … [IV.3.30]
it was but a dream.

ISMENA: It is a sign you shall fall in love with hearing fair
words. Water signifieth counsel, flowers death. And nothing
can purge your loving humor but death.

MILETA: You are no interpreter: but an inter-prater, harping
always upon love, till you be as blind as a harper.

ISMENA: I remember last night but one, I dreamed mine
eyetooth was loose, & that I thrust it out with my tongue.

MILETA: It foretelleth the loss of a friend; and I ever thought
thee so full of prattle that thou wouldest thrust out the best … [IV.3.40]
friend with thy tattling.

ISMENA: Yea Mileta, but it was loose before; and if my friend
be loose, as good thrust out with plain words, as kept in with

EUGENUA: Dreams are but dotings, which come either by
things we see in the day, or meats that we eat, and so [flatter]
the common sense, preferring it to be the imaginative.

ISMENA: Soft, Philosophatrix: well seen in the secrets of
art, and not seduced with the superstitions of nature.

SAPHO: Ismena’s tongue never lieth still: I think all her teeth … [IV.3.50]
will be loose, they are so often jogged against her tongue. But
say on, Eugenua.

EUGENUA: There is all.

SAPHO: What did you dream, Canope?

CANOPE: I seldom dream, Madam: but sithence your sick-
ness, I cannot tell whether with overwatching, but I have
had many fantastical visions; for even now slumb’ring by
your bed’s side, methought I was shadowed with a cloud,
where laboring to unwrap myself, I was more entangled. But
in the midst of my striving, it seemed to myself gold, with fair … [IV.3.60]
drops; I filled my lap, and running to show it my fellows, it
turned to dust, I blushed, they laughed; and then I waked,
being glad it was but a dream.

ISMENA: Take heed Canope, that gold tempt not your lap,
and then you blush for shame.

CANOPE: It is good luck to dream of gold.

ISMENA: Yea, if it had continued gold.

LAMIA: I dream every night, and the last night this: me
thought that walking in the sun, I was stung with the fly
Tarantula, whose venom nothing can expel but the sweet … [IV.3.70]
consent of music. I tried all kind of instruments, but found no
ease, till at the last two lutes tuned in one key so glutted my
thirsting ears, that my grief presently ceased, for joy whereof
as I was clapping my hands, your Ladyship called.

MILETA: It is a sign that nothing shall assuage your love but
marriage; for such is the tying of two in wedlock, as is the
tuning of two lutes in one key. For striking the strings of the
one, straws will stir upon the strings of the other; and in two
minds linked in love, one cannot be delighted but the other … [IV.3.80]

FAVILLA: Methought going by the seaside among pebbles, I
saw one playing with a round stone, ever throwing it into the
water, when the sun shined: I asked the name, he said, it was
called ‘Asbeston,’ which being once hot would never be cold.
He gave it me, and vanished. I, forgetting myself, delighted
with the fair show, would always show it by candlelight, pull
it out in the sun, and see how bright it would look in the fire,
where catching heat, nothing could cool it: for anger I threw
it against the wall, and with the heaving up of mine arm I waked.

MILETA: Beware of love, Favilla; for women’s hearts are such … [IV.3.90]
stones, which warmed by affection, cannot be cooled by wisdom.

FAVILLA: I warrant you, for I never credit men’s words.

ISMENA: Yet be wary, for women are scorched sometimes with
men’s eyes, though they had rather consume than confess.

SAPHO: Cease your talking; for I would fain sleep, to see if I can
dream whether the bird hath feathers or the ants wings. Draw
the curtain. [The curtains close.]

Scene IV.4: [Vulcan’s Forge].
[Enter Venus and Cupid.]

VENUS: Come, Cupid: Vulcan’s flames must quench Venus’
fires. Vulcan? [Vulcan looks out of the Forge.]


VENUS: ~~~ Venus.

VULCAN: ~~~~~~ Ho ho: Venus.

VENUS: Come, sweet Vulcan. Thou knowest how sweet thou
hast found Venus, who being of all goddesses the most fair,
hath chosen thee, of all gods the most foul. Thou must needs
then con-fess I was most loving. Inquire not the cause of my
suit by questions, but prevent the effects by courtesy. Make
me six arrowheads. It is given thee of the gods by permission
to frame them to any purpose: I shall request them by prayer. … [IV.4.10]
Why lowerest thou, Vulcan? Wilt thou have a kiss? Hold up
thy head: Venus hath young thoughts and fresh affections.
Roots have strings when boughs have no leaves. But hearken
in thine ear, Vulcan: how sayest thou?

VULCAN: Vulcan is a god with you when you are disposed to
flatter. A right woman, whose tongue is like a bee’s sting,
which pricketh deepest when it is fullest of honey. Because you
have made mine eyes drunk with fair looks, you will set mine
ears on edge with sweet words. You were wont to say that the
beating of hammers made your head ache, and the smoke of … [IV.4.20]
the forge your eyes water, and every coal was a block in your
way. You weep rose water when you ask, and spit vinegar
when you have obtained. What would you now with new
arrows? Belike Mars hath a tougher skin on his heart, or Cupid
a weaker arm, or Venus a better courage. Well Venus, there
is never a smile in your face but hath made a wrinkle in my
forehead. Ganymedes must fill your cup, and you will pledge
none but Jupiter. But I will not chide Venus. Come, Cyclops,
my wife must have her will: let us do that in earth which
the gods cannot undo in heaven. … [IV.4.30]

VENUS: Gramercy sweet Vulcan: to your work.

[The Song, in making of the Arrows.]

VULCAN: My shag-hair Cyclops, come let’s ply
Our Lemnian hammers lustily.
By my wife’s sparrows
I swear these arrows
Shall singing fly
Through many a wanton’s eye.
These headed are with golden blisses,
These silver ones feathered with kisses,
But this of lead … [IV.4.40]
Strikes a clown dead,
When in a dance
He falls in a trance.
To see his black-brow lass not buss him,
And then whines out for death t’ untruss him.
So, so, our work being done, let’s play,
Holiday boys: cry holiday!

VULCAN: Here Venus, I have finished these arrows by art,
bestow them you by wit; for as great advice must he use that
hath them, as he cunning that made them. … [IV.4.50]

VENUS: Vulcan, now you have done with your forge, let us
alone with the fancy. You are as the Fletcher, not the Archer:
to meddle with the arrow, not the aim.

VULCAN: I thought so. When I have done working, you have
done wooing. Where is now sweet Vulcan? Well, I can say no
more but this, which is enough and as much as any can say:
Venus is a woman.

VENUS: Be not angry, Vulcan; I will love thee again when I
have either business or nothing else to do.

VULCAN: My mother will make much of you, when there … [IV.4.60]
are no more men than Vulcan.

[Vulcan retires into the Forge.]


Scene V.1: [The same.]
[Venus, Cupid.]

VENUS: Come Cupid, receive with thy father’s instruments
thy mother’s instructions, for thou must be wise in conceit if
thou wilt be fortunate in execution. This arrow is feathered
with the wings of Aegitus, which never sleepeth for fear of his
hen; the head touched with the stone Perillus, which causeth
mistrust and jealousy. Shoot this, Cupid, at men that have
fair wives, which will make them rub the brows when they
swell in the brains. This shaft is headed with Lydian steel,
which striketh a deep disdain of that which we most desire;
the feathers are of turtle, but dipped in the blood of a tigress. … [V.1.10]
Draw this up close to the head at Sapho, that she may despise
where now she dotes. Good my boy, gall her on the side, that
for Phao’s love she may never sigh. This arrow is feathered
with the Phoenix’ wing and headed with the Eagle’s bill: it
maketh men passionate in desires, in love constant, and wise
in convey-ance, melting as it were, their fancies into faith.
This arrow, sweet child, and with as great aim as thou canst,
must Phao be stricken withal; and cry softly to thyself in the
very loose, ‘Venus’! Sweet Cupid, mistake me not; I will make a
quiver for that by itself. The fourth hath feathers of the … [V.1.20]
Peacock, but glued with the gum of the Myrtle tree, headed
with fine gold and fastened with brittle Chrysocoll. This shoot
at dainty and coy ladies, at amiable and young nymphs.
Choose no other white but women, for this will work liking in
their minds but not love; affability in speech but no faith;
courtly favors to be mistresses over many but constant to
none; sighs to be fetched from the lungs, not the heart; and
tears to be wrung out with their fingers, not their eyes; secret
laughing at men’s pale looks and neat attire; open rejoicing at
their own comeliness and men’s courting. Shoot this arrow … [V.1.30]
among the thickest of them, whose bosoms lie open because
they would be stricken with it. And seeing men term women
Jupiter’s fools, women shall make men Venus’ fools. This shaft
is lead in the head and whose feathers are of the night raven;
a deadly and poisoned shaft which breedeth hate only against
those which sue for love. Take heed Cupid, thou hit not Phao
with this shaft, for then shall Venus perish. This last is an old
arrow but newly mended, the arrow which hit both Sapho
and Phao, working only in mean minds an aspiring to
superiors, & in high estates a stooping to inferiors. With … [V.1.40]
this, Cupid, I am galled myself, till thou have galled Phao
with the other.

CUPID: I warrant you I will cause Phao to languish in your
love and Sapho to disdain his. [Exit Cupid.]

VENUS: Go. Loiter not nor mistake your shaft. [Exit Cupid.] Now
Venus, hast thou played a cunning part, thou not current. But why
should Venus dispute of unlawfulness in love or faith in affection
(being both the goddess of love and affection), knowing there is
as little truth to be used in love as there is reason? No, sweet
Phao, Venus will obtain because she is Venus. Not thou Jove, … [V.1.50]
with thunder in thy hand, shalt take him out of my hands. I
have new arrows now for my boy and fresh flames at which
the gods shall tremble if they begin to trouble me. But I will
expect the event and tarry for Cupid at the forge. [Exit.]

Scene V.2: [A room in Sapho’s Palace.]
[Enter Sapho, Cupid, Mileta, Venus.]

SAPHO: What hast thou done, Cupid?

CUPID: That my mother commanded, Sapho.

SAPHO: Methinks I feel an alteration in mind and, as it
were, a withdrawing in myself of mine own affections.

CUPID: Then hath mine arrow his effect.

SAPHO: I pray thee, tell me the cause.

CUPID: I dare not.

SAPHO: Fear nothing; for if Venus fret, Sapho can frown.
Thou shalt be my son — Mileta, give him some sweetmeats.
Speak, good Cupid, and I will give thee many pretty things. … [V.2.10]

CUPID: My mother is in love with Phao. She willed me to strike
you with disdain of him and him with desire of her.

SAPHO: Oh spiteful Venus! Mileta, give him some of that.
What else, Cupid?

CUPID: I could be even with my mother, and so I will if I shall
call you mother.

SAPHO: Yea Cupid, call me anything so I may be even with

CUPID: I have an arrow with which if I strike Phao, it will
cause him to loathe only Venus. … [V.2.20]

SAPHO: Sweet Cupid, strike Phao with it. Thou shalt sit in my
lap: I will rock thee asleep and feed thee with all these fine

CUPID: I will about it. [Exit Cupid.]

SAPHO: But come quickly again. Ah unkind Venus, is this
thy promise to Sapho? But if I get Cupid from thee, I myself
will be the Queen of love. I will direct these arrows with better
aim and conquer mine own affections with greater modesty.
Venus’ heart shall flame and her love be as common as her
craft. Oh Mileta, time hath disclosed that which my … [V.2.30]
temperance hath kept in; but sith I am rid of the disease, I
will not be ashamed to confess the cause. I loved Phao, Mileta,
a thing unfit for my degree but forced by my desire.


SAPHO: Phao, Mileta, of whom now Venus is enamored.

MILETA: And do you love him still?

SAPHO: No, I feel relenting thoughts and reason not yielding
to appetite. Let Venus have him — no, she shall not have him.
But here comes Cupid. [Reenter Cupid.] How now my boy, hast
thou done it? … [V.2.40]

CUPID: Yea, and left Phao railing on Venus and cursing her
name, yet still sighing for Sapho and blazing her virtues.

SAPHO: Alas, poor Phao, thy extreme love should not be
requited with so mean a fortune. Thy fair face deserved greater
favors. I cannot love — Venus hath hardened my heart.
[Enter Venus.]

VENUS: I marvel Cupid cometh not all this while. How now:
in Sapho’s lap?

SAPHO: Yea Venus, what say you to it? In Sapho’s lap.

VENUS: Sir boy, come hither.

CUPID: ~~~ I will not.

VENUS: What now? Will you not! Hath Sapho made you so … [V.2.50]

CUPID: I will be Sapho’s son. I have, as you commanded,
stricken her with a deep disdain of Phao; and Phao, as she
entreated me, with a great despite of you.

VENUS: Unhappy wag, what hast thou done? I will make thee
repent it [in[ every vein in thy heart.

SAPHO: Venus, be not choleric. Cupid is mine. He hath
given me his arrows, and I will give him a new bow to shoot in.
You are not worthy to be the lady of love, that yield so often
to the impressions of love. Immodest Venus, that to satisfy … [V.2.60]
the unbridled thoughts of thy heart, transgressest so far from
the stay of thine honor. How sayest thou, Cupid: wilt thou be
with me?


SAPHO: Shall not I be on earth the goddess of affections?


SAPHO: Shall not I rule the fancies of men and lead Venus in
chains like a captive?


SAPHO: It is a good boy! … [V.2.70]

VENUS: What have we here? You the goddess of love? And you
her son, Cupid? I will tame that proud heart, else shall the
gods say they are not Venus’ friends. And as for you, sir boy, I
will teach you how to run away. You shall be stripped from
top to toe and whipped with nettles, not roses. I will set you
to blow Vulcan’s coals, not to bear Venus’ quiver. I will handle
you for this gear. Well, I say no more. But as for the new
mistress of love (or lady I cry you mercy, I think you would
be called a goddess} you shall know what it is to usurp the
name of Venus! I will pull those plumes and cause you to cast … [V.2.80]
your eyes on your feet, not your feathers. Your soft hair will
I turn to hard bristles, your tongue to a sting, and those
alluring eyes to unluckiness. In which, if the gods aid me not,
I will curse the gods!

SAPHO: Venus, you are in a vein answerable to your vanity,
whose high words neither become you nor fear me. But let this
suffice: I will keep Cupid in despite of you and yet with the
content of the gods.

VENUS: Will you? Why then, we shall have pretty gods in
heaven, when you take gods prisoners on earth. Before I sleep, … [V.2.90]
you shall both repent and find what it is but to think
unreverently of Venus. Come Cupid: she knows not how to
use thee. Come with me, you know what I have for you: will
you not?


VENUS: Well, I will be even with you both, & that shortly.

SAPHO: Cupid, fear not. I will direct thine arrows better.
Every rude ass shall not say he is in love. It is a toy made for
ladies, and I will keep it only for ladies.

CUPID: But what will you do for Phao? … [V.2.100]

SAPHO: I will wish him fortunate. This will I do for Phao
because I once loved Phao; for never shall it be said that
Sapho loved to hate, or that out of love she could not be as
courteous as she was in love passionate. Come Mileta, shut
the door. [Exeunt.]

Scene V.3: [Before Sybilla’s Cave.]
[Enter Phao to Sybilla in the cave.]

PHAO: Go to, Sybilla. Tell the beginning of thy love and the
end of thy fortune. And lo, how happily she sitteth in her cave.

SYBILLA: Phao, welcome. What news?

PHAO: Venus, the goddess of love, I loathe: Cupid caused it
with a new shaft. Sapho disdaineth me: Venus caused it for a
new spite. Oh Sybilla, if Venus be unfaithful in love, where
shall one fly for truth? She useth deceit; is it not then likely
she will dispense with subtlety? And being careful to commit
injuries, will she not be careless to revenge them? I must now … [V.3.10]
fall from love to labor and endeavor with mine oar to get a
fare, not with my pen to write a fancy. Loves are but smokes,
which vanish in the seeing and yet hurt whilest they are seen.
A ferry, Phao. No, the stars cannot call it a worser fortune.
Range rather over the world, for-swear affections; entreat for
death. Oh Sapho, thou hast Cupid in thine arms, I in my heart;
thou kissest him for sport, I must curse him for spite. Yet will
I not curse him, Sapho, whom thou kissest. This shall be my
resolution: wherever I wander, to be as I were ever kneeling
before Sapho, my loyalty unspotted though unrewarded. … [V.3.20]
With as little malice will I go to my grave as I did lie withal
in my cradle. My life shall be spent in sighing and wishing, the
one for my bad fortune, the other for Sapho’s good.

SYBILLA: Do so Phao, for destiny calleth thee as well from Sicily
as from love. Other things hang over thy head, which I must
neither tell nor thou inquire. And so farewell.

PHAO: Farewell Sybilla, and farewell Sicily. Thoughts shall be
thy food, and in thy steps shall be printed behind thee that
there was none so loyal left behind thee. Farewell Syracusa,
unworthy to harbor faith; and when I am gone, unless Sapho … [V.3.30]
be here, unlikely to harbor any. [Exeunt.]


They that tread in a maze walk oftentimes in one path, & at the last come out where they entered in. We fear we have led you all this while in a labyrinth of conceits, divers times hearing one device; & have now brought you to an end where we first began. Which wearisome travail you must impute to the neces-sity of the history, as Theseus did his labor to the art of the labyrinth. There is nothing causeth such giddiness as going in a wheel. Neither can there anything breed such tediousness as hearing many words uttered in a small compass. But if you accept this dance of a fairy in a circle, we will hereafter at your wills frame our fingers to all forms. And so we wish every one of you a thread to lead you out of the doubts wherewith we leave you entangled: that nothing be mistaken by our rash oversights nor misconstrued by your deep insights.

Imprinted at London by Thomas
Dawson for Thomas Cadman.


(FS means found in Shakespeare; NFS means not found in Shakespeare)

Note: Many of Lyly’s works betray an avid interest in, and possible amusement by, ancient books of improbable flora and fauna, to which he often added his own delightful inventions. In this play imagination seems to have run riot. The editor speculates that these “specimens” may have been added for the amusement, or befuddlement, of the children’s acting company for which Lyly then wrote, or possibly for the benefit of his own children..

aegitus (n): Lyly spurious natural history: an improbable mythical bird which never sleepeth for fear of his hen. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

anyta (n): Lyly spurious natural history: a sweet flower at the rising of the sun, a weed if it be not plucked before the setting, this plant appears to be Lyly’s creation. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

asbeston (n): the qualities of asbestos were discussed similarly in Lyly Euphues, and Sapho; and Greene Alphonsus. Collins points out Solinus Polyhistor and Gesner De rerum fossilium … as sources of Euphuistic natural history peculiarities and misconceptions.

asolis (n): Lyly possible spurious natural history: being made green by heavenly drops, shrinketh into the ground when there fall showers. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

ban (n, v): curse. FS (5-2H6, Lucrece, PP); Golding Ovid; Gascoigne Jocasta; 1555 Latimer Ser& Rem; Lyly Sapho; Greene Selimus; Kyd Sp Tr; (anon.) Locrine, Arden; Marlowe Jew; Nashe Pierce Penniless; Munday Huntington.

bane (n): destruction, poison. FS (8-2H6, T&C, MM, Cymb, Titus, Mac, Edw3, V&A); Golding Ovid; Brooke Romeus; Lyly Sapho; Marlowe/Nashe Dido; Greene Alphonsus, Look Gl; Kyd Sol&Per; Harvey 4 Letters; Nashe Summers; (anon.) Woodstock, Penelope, Blast of Retreat, L Gh; (disp.) Greene’s Groat; Chettle Kind Hart.

bawling (v): yelling at the top of one’s voice, howling. FS (1-Tempest); Lyly Sapho; Drayton et al Oldcastle. OED 1st citation: 1629 Gaule Pract.

bell, bear the bell/win the bell (v): take the prize. NFS. Cf. Golding Ovid; Sundrie Flowers (E/N); Watson Hek; Lyly Sapho, Whip; (anon.) Willobie.

bodkin (n): (1) pin or pin-shaped ornament used to fasten women’s hair; also a short pointed weapon, dagger. FS (Ham); Golding Ovid; Lyly Sapho, Endymion, Midas, Bombie, Pappe; Sidney Arcadia; Nashe Absurdity; (anon.) Arden; Marston, Chapman, Jonson Eastward Ho.

bolt/bolts (n): fetters. FS (MM, 12th, Cymb, Temp, Corio); Lyly, Sapho; Marlowe Edw2; Greene Fr Bacon; (anon.) Woodstock.

broad head (n): i.e., for horns; a cuckold. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

brown bill (n): broadsword used by constables. FS (3-2H6, Ado, Lear); Golding Ovid; Lyly Sapho, Pappe; Greene Fr Bac; (anon.) Nobody/Somebody.

cammock (a): crooked stick or piece of wood. NFS. Cf. Lyly Euphues, Sapho, Endymion, Bombie; Greene ? Selimus.

canker (n): spreading blight, corruption. FS (John, Ham, many); Lyly Sapho; Pasquil Countercuff.

carbonado (n): piece of meat or fish, slashed for broiling. FS (3-1H4, Lear, Corio); Marlowe T1 (1st OED citation); Lyly Sapho.

carouse (v): drink/toast (health, other good fortune), addressed to someone. FS (Shrew, Ham); Lyly Bombie.

cheer (n): provender, food. FS (20); Sundrie Flowers; Gascoigne Supposes; Lyly Campaspe, Sapho, Bombie; Kyd Sp Tr; Greene G a G, Fr Bac, James IV, Pandosto, Maiden’s Dream; Marlowe Faustus; (anon.) Nobody/Somebody, Arden; Nashe Valentines, Summers; Harvey Sonnet; (disp./Chettle) Greene’s Groat; (disp.) Cromwell; Munday Huntington.

chrysocoll (n): 1657 Phys. Dict, a kind of mineral found like sand in the veins of some metals. Cf. Lyly Sapho; Greene Never too Late; Lodge Euphues Golden Legacy.

clout (n): (1) cloth. FS (4-R&J, Lear, Hamlet, A&C); Golding Ovid; Lyly Campaspe, Gallathea, Sapho, Bombie, Endymion; Greene Orl Fur, James IV; Nashe Summers.

cog (v): deceive, as by tricks or flattery, cheat. FS (6-LLL, Rich3, MWW, Ado, Timon, Corio); Lyly Sapho, Bombie; Harvey 4 Letters; Greene Cony, James 4; (anon.) Ironside, Cromwell; Nashe Absurdity (1st of 2 OED citations); (disp.) Greene’s Groat. cog (n): flatterer, deceiver. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho; Munday Huntington.

conceit (n): (1) intelligence, wit. FS (AsYou). (2) understanding, idea, imagination. FS (1H6, Errors, R&J, Ham, H8); Kyd Sp Tr; Puttenham Poesie; (anon.) Willobie, Dodypoll. (3) fears, imaginings, fantasy. FS (Errors, MND); Lyly Sapho; Watson Hek.

favor (n): appearance, features. FS (many); Golding Ovid; Brooke Romeus; Lyly Campaspe, Sapho, Endymion, Bombie; Greene Cony; Kyd Sp Tr; (anon.) Arden, Weakest; Drayton et al Oldcastle; Nashe Summers; Chapman Revenge.

fletcher (n): one who makes bows and arrows. NFS. Cf. Edwards Dam&Pith; Lyly Sapho.

frame (v): prepare, create, arrange. FS (many); Golding Ovid; Lyly Gallathea, Sapho. Common.

frowardness (n): perversity, forwardness. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho; (disp.) Greene’s Groat; (anon.) Woodstock, Arden.

garus (n): medicinal liqueur. Lyly spurious natural history: a fish called Garus that healeth all sickness, so as whilst it is applied one name not garus. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

gear (n): device, matter. FS (11); Golding Ovid, Abraham; Sundrie Flowers; Gascoigne Supposes; Edwards Dam&Pith; Lyly Sapho, Bombie; Marlowe T1, Edw2; Kyd Sp Tr; Drayton et al Oldcastle; (anon.) Fam Vic; Munday Huntington.

glistering (a, n): glittering. Cf. Golding Ovid, Abraham; Lyly Sapho; Willobie.

inter-prater (n): one who prates at intervals. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho (only OED citation).

knack (n): choice dish, delicacy. NFS. Cf. Udall Erasmus; Lyly Sapho; Greene Disc. Cozenage.

liripoop (n): something to be learned, acted or spoken; a lesson , role, or part: to know or have (one’s) liripoop, to teach (a person) his liripoop. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho, Pappe, Bombie. OED contemp citations: 1576 Newton Lemnie’s Complex; 1577 Stanyhurst Descr.

lower (v): look down, often used with clouds to refer to threatening looks. FS (2H6); Watson Hek; Lyly Sapho; Greene Pandosto, James IV, ? Selimus.

lunary (n): moonwort, a fern; by many believed to have magical powers. NFS. Cf. Lyly Gallathea, Sapho, Endymion. OED missed all uses. This use, however, seems to be one of Lyly’s natural history inventions.

Lydian steel (n): Lyly spurious natural history: Lydian steel which striketh a deep disdain of that which we most desire. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

mandrake (n): poisonous plant, having emetic and narcotic properties, and was formerly used medicinally. The forked root is thought to resemble the human form, and was fabled to utter a deadly shriek when plucked up from the ground. The notion indicated in the narrative of Genesis xxx, that the fruit when eaten by women promotes conception, is said still to survive in Palestine. (a) FS (R&J) Lyly Euphues, Sapho, Bombie; (anon.) Willobie. 1594 Moth. Bomb. v. iii, Your sonne Memphis, had a moale vnder his shall see it taken away with the iuyce of mandrage. 1601 Holland Pliny II. 235 In the digging vp of the root of Mandrage, there are some ceremonies obserued. (b) term of abuse. FS (2H4). mandragora (n): juice of mandrake, a sleeping potion. FS (A&C).

medlar (n): (1) small brown fruit, similar to the apple but soft when ripe. FS (AsYou); Lyly Sapho, Endymion.

mithridate (n): composition of many ingredients in the form of an electuary, regarded as a universal antidote or preservative against poison and infectious disease; any medicine to which similar powers were ascribed. NFS. Lyly Sapho; Cf. (anon.) Arden; Chettle Kind Harts; Dekker Gull’s Hornbook.

mouse [of beef] (n): dialect name for certain portions of beef. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

origanum (n): Lyly spurious natural history in this application: ‘where the bear cannot find origanum to heal his grief, he blasteth all other leaves with his breath.’ Origanum belongs to the genus of labiates (comprising herbs and low shrubs, with flowers in clustered heads, and aromatic leaves) as such as marjoram. In the old herbals, including Pennyroyal and other labiates. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

overslip (v): let pass, omit, pass without notice. FS (1-Lucrece); Lyly Sapho; Nashe Saffron Waldon; Harvey letter.

pantofle (n): slipper. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho, Greene Fr Bac; (anon.) Arden, News/Heaven&Hell; Nashe Almond, Unf Trav. Common.

perillus (n): Lyly spurious natural history: stone which causes mistrust and jealousy. Cf. Lyly Sapho. The anonymous author of Edmund Ironside used Perillus correctly, to refer to an Athenian who fell victim to his own device: a brazen bull in which condemned men were roasted to death.

policy (n): trickery, cunning. FS (many); Golding Ovid; Gascoigne Supposes; Lyly Campaspe, Sapho, Endymion, Bombie; Kyd Sp Tr, Sol&Per; Greene Pandosto, ? Selimus; (anon.) Woodstock, Locrine, Fam Vic, Ironside, Nobody, Leic Gh; Chettle Kind Hart. Wide contemp use. A major Shakespeare preoccupation, i.e.: 1H4: Neuer did base and rotten Policy / Colour her working with such deadly wounds.

polyon (n): Lyly spurious natural history: a plant with leaves that are white in the morning and blue before night. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

prank (v): sport, show off. FS (3-12th, Corio, WT); Golding Ovid; Lyly Sapho; Greene James IV.

precise (a): guided by Puritan precepts; code word for Puritan. FS (9-1H6, TGV, MWW, AWEW, Ham, MM); Lyly Campaspe, Gallathea, Sapho, Midas, Whip; Marlowe Jew of Malta; Greene James IV; (anon.) Fam Vic. Blast of Retreat, Willobie, Leic Gh. preciser (a): probably referring back to precisianist, Puritan. NFS. Cf. a(non.) Willobie; Nashe Absurdity. precisian (n): puritanical guide in theology. FS (MWW); Marlowe Faustus; (anon.) Arden; Jonson Man in Hum; Leic Gh.

ramp (a): bold, vulgar, flirtatious woman or girl; tramp. FS (1-Cymb); Lyly Sapho. OED early citations: 1450 Knt. de la Tour; 1548 Hall Chron; 1573 G. Harvey Letter; 1611 Middleton & Dekker Roaring Girl

refel (v): deny, refute. FS (MM). Cf. Lyly Campaspe, Sapho.

salurus (n): Lyly spurious natural history: tree whose root is fastened upon knotted steel and in whose top bud leaves of pure gold. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

scamble (v): struggle, cope. FS (3-John, H5); Lyly Sapho. scambling (n): makeshift, blundering. Cf. Nashe Absurdity (1st OED citation); Lyly Sapho. Shakespeare’s uses in Ado & H5 probably derived from Lyly/Nashe word.

Seres (n): people inhabiting silk-producting area of China. Cf. Lyly Euphues (2d OED citation), Sapho; Greene Euphues Censure.

simples (n): medicine or medicament concocted of only one constituent, esp. of one herb or plant; hence, a plant or herb employed for medical purposes. In common use from c 1580 to 1750, chiefly in pl. FS (4-R&J, AsYou, Ham, Lear); Lyly Sapho, Endymion (OED missed citation); Harvey Pierce’s Super; Chettle Kind Hart. OED contemp citations: 1539 Elyot Cast. Helthe; 1563 T. Gale Antidot. 1588 Greene Perimedes Wks. (Grosart) VII. 15 Their stomacks bee made a verie Apotecaries shoppe, by receiuing a multitude of simples and drugges.

stockdove (n): wild pigeon. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

trencher (n): serving plate or dish [usually with connotation of trencher-knight or freeloader]. FS (7-2H6, TGV, R&J, A&C, Tempest, Corio, Timon); Lyly Sapho; many others.

turquie/turkey (n): turquoise. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

unpitiful (a): pitiless. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

willow [garland] (n): worn by a jilted woman or man. FS (3H6); Lyly Sapho; (anon.) Dodypoll.

woodquist (n): wild pigeon, stockdove. NFS. Cf. Lyly Sapho.

yerk (v): lash, whip, kick out. FS (1-H5) ; Golding Ovid; Edwards Dam&Pith; Lyly Sapho.

Latin Translations

Scene III.2
venter non habet aures: a stomach does not have ears; talk of food does not ease hunger.

nemo videt manticae quod in tergo est: no one sees the bag that hangs from his back (his own faults).

caseus est nequam: cheese is nothing (?)

Some Sources

Pliny, Natural History. (35:85-87).
Ovid, Epistles.

The story of Sapho and Phaon, the beautiful ferryman, is told in Ovid’s Epistles, relating the hopeless passion of Sapho for her former lover the haughty Phaon, who has deserted her to go to Sicilia, and her decision to end her life by throwing herself from a cliff.

The story has been reshaped by Lyly, now reflecting in Sapho the Elizabethan ideal of perfect wisdom, goodness, and beauty. In this retelling Sapho abandons Phao, who is then condemned to a life of exile (and implied adventure) far from Sapho’s kingdom in Syracuse. Phao is young and naive rather than haughty and scornful; the portrait of Sapho (Elizabeth) is surprisingly earthy in scenes of longing; the ending somewhat unresolved and unsatisfying. Several years later Lyly maintained the same lyric intensity in the glorious Endymion, developing a complex romantic/mythic plot, creating the superbly comic Sir Tophas, and achieving in Endymion’s renunciation of earthly love an ending appropriate to the growing legend of Gloriana.

Length: 13,866 words

Suggested Reading

Bond, R.W. Complete Works of John Lyly. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1902.
Daniel, Carter A., ed. The Plays of John Lyly. Lewisburg, N.J.: Bucknell University Press, 1988
Houppert, J.W. John Lyly. (Twaine’s English Author Series). New York: 1975
Hunter, G.K. John Lyly: The Humanist as Courtier. London: Routledge, 1962.
Saccio, Peter. The Court Comedies of John Lyly. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.

APPENDIX II: Connections

Honey … Surfeit
Lyly Sapho (Pro.): and in Hybla (being cloyed with honey) they account it dainty to feed on wax.
Endymion (V.1.143) ENDY: for bees surfeit sometimes with honey and the gods are glutted …
Ironside (V.2.253-59) CANUTUS: How pleasant are these speeches to my ears,
Aeolian music to my dancing heart, / Ambrosian dainties to my starved maw,
sweet-passing Nectar to my thirsty throat, / rare cullises to my sick-glutted mind,
refreshing ointments to my wearied limbs, / and heavenly physic to my earth-sick soul,
which erst was surfeited with woe and war.
Shakes 1H4 (3.2.71-73): They surfeited with honey and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little / More than a little is by much too much.
Bible Prov. 25.16 … eat (honey) that is sufficient for thee, lest thou be over-full, and vomit it.

Lyly Sapho (Pro.): who fearing to surfeit on spices, stoopeth to bite on worm-wood
Shakes LLL (V.2) ROSALINE: Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Biron, …
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
Edw3 (III.3) K. EDWARD: If gall or wormwood have a pleasant taste,
Lucrece (128): Thy sugar’d tongue to bitter wormwood taste: .
Thy violent vanities can never last.
R&J has two nonapplicable uses.
Hamlet (III.2) HAM: [Aside] Wormwood, wormwood.
Anon. Willobie (XXXVII.3): Note: Prov. 5.4 Strange pleasure seems sweet at the beginning,
but their end is as bitter wormwood.
Bible Prov. 5. 3-4 (3) For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is more soft than oil. (4) But the end of her is bitter as wormwood, & sharp as a two-edged sword.

Brooke Romeus (52): And each with outward friendly show doth hide his inward hate,
(360): Yet with an outward show of joy she cloaked inward smart;
(1324): His outward dreary cheer bewrayd his store of inward smart.
(2315-16): That by her outward look no living wight could guess
Her inward woe, and yet anew renewed is her distress.
(2893-94): My conscience inwardly should more torment me thrice,
Than all the outward deadly pain that all you could devise.
Golding Abraham (648) SARA: Both outwardly and inwardly alway,
Lyly Gallathea (V.2) HAEBE: your inward thoughts, the pomp of your outward shows.
Endy (IV.1) COR: the extremities of their inward passions are always suspected of outward perjuries.
(IV.3) TELLUS: not smother the inward fire but it must needs be perceived by the outward smoke;
Sapho (Pro.): Our intent was at this time to move inward delight, not outward lightness;
Marlowe T1 (I.2.163) TAMB: If outward habit judge the inward man.;
Shakes Rich3 (I.4) BRAK: An outward honour for an inward toil;
King John (I.1) BASTARD: Exterior form, outward accoutrement,
But from the inward motion to deliver
Pericles (II.2) SIM: The outward habit by the inward man.
A&C (III.13) ENO: A parcel of their fortunes; and things outward
Do draw the inward quality after them,
V&A (71): Had I no eyes but ears, my ears would love / That inward beauty and invisible;
Or were I deaf, thy outward parts would move …
Lucrece (13): Whose inward ill no outward harm express’d:
(221) With outward honesty, but yet defiled / With inward vice: as Priam him did cherish,
Sonnet (16): Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Sonnet (46): As thus; mine eye’s due is thy outward part,
And my heart’s right thy inward love of heart.
Anon. Ironside (I.3.45) EDM: thank not thy outward foe but inward friend;
Dodypoll (V.2): Of outward show doth sap the inward stock in substance and of worth …
L Gh. (364-65): To entertain all men (to outward show)
With inward love, for few my heart did know,
Bible 1 Sam. 16.7 For God seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord beholdeth the heart. 2 Sam.Arg … who came of David according to the flesh, and was persecuted on every side with outward and inward enemies …

Precise: a code-word for “Puritan”
Lyly Campaspe (Pro.): although there be in your precise judgments
an universal mislike, yet we may enjoy by your wonted courtesies a / general silence.
Gallathea (III.1) TELUSA: And can there in years so young, in education
so precise, in vows so holy, and in a heart so chaste,
Sapho (Pro.): yielding rather ourselves to the courtesy which we have ever found,
than to the preciseness which we ought to fear.
Midas (I.1.) MARTIUS: Those that call conquerors ambitious are like those
that term thrift covetousness, cleanliness pride, honesty preciseness.
Woman/Moon (III.2.1) VENUS: Phoebus, away. Thou mak’st her too precise.
Shakes 1H6 (V.4)WARWICK: The greatest miracle that e’er ye wrought:
Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
TGV (IV.4.5-6) LANCE: I have taught him (his dog), even as one would say precisely,
MWW (I.1) EVANS: (to Slender) Therefore, precisely, can you carry your / good will to the maid?
(II.2) FALSTAFF: it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of my honour precise: …
2H4 (II.3.40) L PERCY: To hold your honour more precise and nice
(IV.1.203) ARCH/YORK: He cannot so precisely weed this land
HAMLET (IV.4) … Now, whether it be / Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event, / A thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward, Of thinking too precisely on the event, …
AWEW (II.2.12) CLOWN: such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the court.
MM (I.272-74) LUCIO: … and he (Claudio) was ever precise in promise-keepimg.
(I.3.50) DUKE: Only, this one: Lord Angelo is precise;
(II.1.51-52) ELBOW: I know not well what they are: but precise villains / they are, that I am sure
In the speeches of Lance and Falstaff there is a good deal of humor directed at the Puritans; the excesses of Angelo (Measure for Measure) are viewed in a more critical light.
Greene James IV (II.2.159) ATEUKIN: She’s holy-wise and too precise for me.
Anon. Famous Vic. (272) OXFORD: Perchance the Mayor and the Sheriff
have been too precise in this matter.
Marprelate (I): And therefore, has not the learned and prudent Mr. Dean dealt very valiantly (how wisely let John Cant. cast his cards and consider) in assaulting this sort of our precise brethren, which he has so shaken with good vincible reasons, very notably out of reason, that it has not one stone in the foundation more than it had. … Our brethren (for so of his mere courtesy it pleases Mr. Dean to call them, whom men commonly call puritans and precisians) … these fellows need not to be so precise of swearing by faith and troth, … Who sees not by this example the folly of our precise brethren’s reason evidently declared. … to creep into acquaintance with some of the preciser sort, and look smoothly for a time, until he can execute his commission.
Leir (II.9-12) GONORILL: Besides, she is so nice and so demure;
So sober, courteous, modest, and precise, / That all the Court hath worke ynough to do,
To talke how she exceedeth me and you.
Willobie (IV.1): You show yourself so fool-precise, / That I can hardly think you wise.
(IV.5): But her thy folly may appear, / Art thou preciser than a Queen;
(V.4): If death be due to every sin, / How can I then be too precise?
(XXV.5): You talk of sin, and who doth live / Whose daily steps slide not awry?
But too precise doth deadly grieve / The heart that yields not yet to die:
L Gh. (174-75): And many though me a Precisian, / But God doth know, I never was precise;

Fall … Climb
Oxford Poetry (My Mind to Me a Kingdom is) I see how plenty suffers oft,
How hasty climbers soon do fall;
Lyly Sapho (I.1.3) PHAO: Who climbeth, standeth on glass and falleth on thorn.
Greene Pandosto (Para. 54): if thou rest content with this, thou art like to stand, if thou climb thou art sure to fall.
Anon. Nobody (1461) CORNWELL: And that’s prodigious! I but wait the time,
To see their sudden fall, that swiftly climb.
(1490-91) VIGENIUS: Then let’s try mast’ries, and one conquer all.
We climbed at once, and we at once will fall.
Arden (III.5.15) MOSBY: But since I climbed the top bough of the tree
And sought to build my nest among the clouds,
Each gentlest airy [stirry] gale doth shake my bed
And makes me dread my downfall to the earth.
Cromwell (V.1.70) GARDINER: Here’s honors, titles, and promotions:
I fear this climbing will have a sudden fall.
Leic. Gh. (82): He, too well known by his climb-falling pride,
Shakes Cymb (III.2)BEL: … the art o’the court … whose top to climb
Is certain falling, or so slippery that / The fear’s as bad as falling”
Note Raleigh to Queen Elizabeth: “I feign would climb but fear to fall”

Nuptial fire … Blow
Lyly Sapho (I.1.21) VENUS: … to sojourn with Vulcan in a smith’s forge,
where bellows blow instead of sigh,
Shakes A&C (II.6): then shall the sighs of Octavia blow the fire up in Caesar
H8 (5.2.148): Ye blew the fire that burns ye.
Anon. Dainty Devices (L.3.r): And to my hope I reap no other hire,
But burn myself, and I to blow the fire.
Dodypoll (I.3.16): Must suffer men to blow the nuptial fire.
Bible Ecclus: 28.12 If thou blow the spark, it shall burn. Job 20.26 … the fire that is not blown, shall devour him … Possibly a proverb

Yoke … Necks (stubborn)
Golding Ovid Met. (VII.279): And caused their unwieldy necks the bended yoke to take.
Watson Hek(I): Cupid hath clapt a yoke upon my neck,
Lyly Campaspe (I.1.42-43) TIMOCLEA: We are here now captives, whose necks are yoked by force but whose / hearts cannot yield by death.
Sapho (I.1.35-36): I will yoke the neck that never bowed, …
Anon. Woodstock (I.1.55) LANC: Would not throw off their vild and servile yoke
(II.1.512) KING: but time shall come, when we shall yoke their necks.
(II.1) TRESILIAN: and hath shook off the servile yoke of mean protectorship.
Ironside (I.1.108-09) 1 COUNTRY: We then did yoke the Saxons and compelled their stubborn necks to ear the fallow fields.
(I.1.135-41) USKA: a generation like the chosen Jews: stubborn, unwieldy, fierce and wild to tame, scorning to be compelled against their wills, abhorring servitude as having felt the overloading burden of the same.
Leic. Gh. (179-180): As Numa, when he first did seek to draw / The Roman people underneath his yoke,
Shakes 1H6 (II.3.63) yoketh your rebellious necks
Edward III (I.1.) KING EDW: Able to yoke their stubborn necks with steel
Bible Exodus 33.3-5: For the Lord had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people, I will come up suddenly upon thee, and consume thee: therefore now thy costly raiment from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.
Deut. 31.27, 2 Chron. 36.13, Pss. 75.5, Jer. 17.23, Bar. 2.33.

Flowers … Weeds
Oxford (poem: dedication of Cardanus): He pulls the flowers, he plucks but weeds.
Lyly Sapho (I.1.97-99) SYBILLA: anyta, which being a sweet flower at the rising of the sun becometh a weed if it be not plucked before the setting.
Greene James IV (II.1.22-25) IDA: … Some men like to the rose
Are fashion’d fresh; some in their stalks do close
And born, do sudden die; some are but weeds, / And yet from them a secret good proceeds.
Anon. Ironside (IV.1.71-72) MESS: Their flags and banners, yellow, blue and red,
resembles much the weeds in ripened corn.
Arden (III.5.142-43) ALICE: Flowers do sometimes spring in fallow lands,
Weeds in gardens, roses grow on thorns;
Willobie (X.1): Well then I see, you have decreed, / And this decree must light on me;
Unhappy Lily loves a weed, / That gives no scent, that yields no glee:
Thou art the first I ever tried, / Shall I at first be thus denied?
Shakes Sonnet (94): The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; / Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
Oth (IV.2) OTHELLO: O, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles,
That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed, / Who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweet
That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst / ne’er been born!

Gore … Blood (bloody gore)
Golding Ovid Met (XIII.470): This must I use against myself: this blade that heretofore
Hath bathed beene in Trojane blood, must now his mayster gore
Gascoigne Jocasta (V.1.6) CREON: All gored with blood of his too-bloody breast,
Lyly Sapho (IV.3.29-30) MILETA: I was all in gore-blood, till one with a few fresh flowers staunched it.
Greene Selimus (4.32) SELIMUS: And on the ground his bastards’ gore-blood shed.
(14.37) ACOMAT: And color my strong hands with his gore-blood.
Shakes R&J (III.2) NURSE: A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse;
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaub’d in blood, / All in gore-blood; I swounded at the sight.
12th (II.5) MALVOLIO: But silence, like a Lucrece knife,
With silent stroke my heart doth gore.
Spenser FQ (V.1.330-332): Their greedy vengeaunces, but goary blood,
That at the last like to a purple lake / Of bloudy gore congeal’d about them stood,
Anon. Arden (V.1.328-29) ALICE: See, Susan, where thy quondam master lies Ñ
Sweet Arden, smeared in blood and filthy gore.

Shadow … Substance
Plato ‘Fable of the Cave’ (The men at the back of the cave, see only shadows and think they are real)
Oxford (to Burghley) and Queen Elizabeth (to James I and VI) use the ‘Neo-Platonic ‘ reference in their letters. James I (and VI) Neo-Platonism was a major influence on 16th c. thought.
Oxford letter July 1581 to Lord Burghley (#18): But the world is so cunning, as of a shadow they can make a substance, and of a likelihood a truth.
Lyly Campaspe (IV.4.13-14) APELLES: will cause me to embrace thy shadow continually in mine arms, of the which by strong imagination I will make a substance.
Gallathea (III.4) DIANA: embrace clouds for Juno, the shadows of virtue instead of the substance.
Sapho (I.3.22-23) MOLUS: raw wordlings in matters of substance, passing wranglers about shadows.
Endy (V.3) DIPSAS: I renounce both substance and shadow of that most horrible and hateful trade,
Woman/Moon (Pro.12-23) This, but the shadow of our author’s dream,
Argues the substance to be near at hand;
Greene Geo a Greene (III.2.119-20) GEORGE: Is this my love? Or is it but a shadow.
JENKIN: Aye, this is the shadow, but here is the substance.
Fr Bac (II.3.129) PRINCE. Made me think the shadows substances. note: within the looking glass: shown in the looking glass (a tool of necromancy) is a reflection of reality but also a warning or prophecy, that Bacon can then try to alter. Richard II deals extensively with this mirror/reality image, especially in a magnificent soliloquy by Richard. The sonnets also dwell on this as aspect of perception, as do many other works by Shakespeare.
Shakes 2H6 (I.1) SUFFOLK: To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
Of that great shadow I did represent;
MV (III.2) BASSANIO: Yet look, how far / The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
In underprizing it, so far this shadow / Doth limp behind the substance. …
Rich2 (II.2.14-15) BUSHY: Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
Which shows like grief itself, but is not so;
(IV.1.298-304) RICHARD: Say that again.
The shadow of my sorrow! ha! let’s see: / ‘Tis very true, my grief lies all within;
And these external manners of laments / Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
That swells with silence in the tortured soul; / There lies the substance:
MWW (II.2) FORD: ‘Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues;
Sonnet 37: Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed / And by a part of all thy glory live.
Anon. Nobody (560) LADY: She’s shadow;
We the true substance are: follow her those / That to our greatness dare themselves oppose.
L Gh (132-33): Under the shadow of my countenance;
The substance of the earth did make them rich;
(1529): No shadow, but the substance we embrace.
Nashe Absurdity: Young men are not so much delighted with solid substances as with painted shadows,
Bible: possible origin: The thoughts expressed above, with use of the word ‘shadow’ are rife in the Bible but certainly could not be attributed to any particular quotation. A very close analogy to MV and MWW, for instance, can be found in Ecclus 34.2 Who so regardeth dreams, is like him that will take hold of a shadow, and follow after the wind. This verse is very close to marked passage 34.5 in Oxford’s Geneva Bible, but an attribution of origin would be pure speculation. Ecclus 34.5 is not known to have been used in any Shakespeare play.

Gross brain
Lyly Sapho (I.3.37) MOLUS: You are gross-witted, master courtier.
Nashe Absurdity: … a gross-brained man which fed on anything but fish.
Penniless: that every gross-brained Idiot is suffered to come into print
Shakes H5 (IV.1) KING: In gross brain little wots …
Anon. Dodypoll (II.1): Ass that I was, dull, senseless, gross-brained fool.

Weaker vessel
Lyly Sapho (I.4.30-31) ISMENA: I cannot but oftentimes smile to myself to hear men call us weak vessels,
Kyd: Sol&Per (I.3.72) BASI: Perdie, each female is the weaker vessel, …
Shakes: LLL (I.1) FERD: ‘For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker vessel called)
2H4 (II.4.60): You, you are the weaker vessel, as they say
As You (II.4) ROSALIND: … but I must comfort / the weaker vessel, …
R&J (I.1.15)SAMPSON: Women, being the weaker vessels.
Bible: 1 Peter 3.7 Giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel.

Word Games: Fair and Foul
Brooke Romeus (1562): Hath founde a mayde so fayre (he found so foul his happe) (57)
No lady fayre or fowle, was in Verona towne (159)
That Ladies thought the fairest dames were foul in his respect. (178)
Watson Heck (I) But now (alas) all’s foul, which then was fair,
Lyly Campaspe (II.2) HEPHES: Ermines have fair skins but foul livers, …
(III.3) CAMPASPE: A fair woman — but a foul deceit.
(IV.i) PSYLLUS: I will not lose the sight of so fair a fowl as Diogenes is, …
(V.3) LAIS: … to make foul scars in fair faces and crooked maims in straight legs?
Sapho & Phao (II.1.7) PHAO: I fear me fair be a word too foul for a face so passing fair.
SYBILLA: … beauty, which is fair in the cradle and foul in the grave …
(II.4.71) SYBILLA: There is none so foul that thinketh not herself fair.
Gallathea (V.2) HAEBE: Tear these tender joints with thy greedy jaws,
this fair face with thy foul teeth.
Midas (I.ii) PETULUS: … they are … too fair to pull over so foul a skin.
Mother Bombie (II.iv) SILEN: … because that I am so fair, therefore are you so foul; …
(III.iv) RIXUL: … and yet I hope foul water will quench hot fire as soon as fair.
HALFPENNY: … let fair words cool that choler / which foul speeches hath kindled; …
Anon. Willobie (XXXV.4): So foul within, so fair without,
Dodypoll (II.1.95) FLORES: To make fair mends for this foul trespass done,
What a foul knave and fairy!
Shakes: 3H6 (IV.7) EDWARD IV: … By fair or foul means we must enter in, …
LLL (IV.i) PRINCESS: … Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true:
Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
PRINCESS: A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
Much Ado (IV.1) CLAUDIO: But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell,
Cymbe (I.6) IACHIMO: Thanks, fairest lady. … and can we not
Partition make with spectacles so precious / ‘Twixt fair and foul?
Oth (II.1) IAGO: There’s none so foul and foolish thereunto,
But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.
Timon (IV.3) TIMON: Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair,
Mac (I.1) ALL:. Fair is foul, and foul is fair: / Hover through the fog and filthy air.
(I.3) MACBETH: So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
V&A (170) The foul boar’s conquest on her fair delight;
Lucrece (50): That his foul thoughts might compass his fair fair, …
(173): My life’s foul deed, my life’s fair end shall free it. …
Sonnet (137): To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
Marlowe Tamburlaine I: Fair is too foul.
Sidney Antony (1075) Ant. Fair and foul subjected) Aegypt ah! thou knowst
Ben Jonson, Bartholemew Fair
Shaheen quotes the proverb cited in Tiley (F3): ‘Fair face foul heart’
It is likely that this Shakespeare favorite arose within the text of a common proverb.

Painted bait, words, faces, hooks
Oxford Sonnet: (Love thy Choice): Who first did paint with colours pale thy face ?
Lyly Sapho (II.1.22) SYBILLA: Be not proud of beauty’s painting,
whose colors consume themselves because they are beauty’s painting.
(III.4) VENUS: But truth is a she, and so always painted.
PHAO: I think a painted truth.
Greene Pandosto (Para. 64):”Nay therefore,” (quoth Dorastus) maids must love, because they are young; for Cupid is a child, and Venus, though old, is painted with fresh colors.”
Anon. Locrine (IV.2.91): Oh that sweet face painted with nature’s dye,
Willobie (XLII.10): Esteem not this a painted bait,
(XXX.1): How fine they feign, how fair they paint,
(LVIII.4): Catch fools as fish, with painted hooks.
Shakes Shrew (I.1) KATH: And paint your face and use you like a fool.
Hamlet (III.1.51-53) CLAUDIUS: [Aside] The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it …
Hamlet (III.1.150): I have heard of your paintings, too.
Also see Hamlet (II.1.142.46)
Timon (IV.3) TIMON: No matter: — wear them, betray with them: whore still;
Paint till a horse may mire upon your face, / A pox of wrinkles!
Nashe Penniless: since her picture is set forth in so many painted faces here at home.
Absurdity: for fear of pricking their fingers when they are painting their faces;
Chapman D’Olive (I.1.203-5) RODERIGUE: Thou believst all’s natural beauty that shows
fair, though the painter enforce it, and sufferst in soul, I know, / for the honorable lady.
Bible Shaheen ascribes cosmetic references to Isa. 3.16.

Brooke Romeus (To the Reader): So the good doings of the good, & the evil acts of the wicked
Gascoigne Jocasta (I.1.395-96) ANT: Yet, for because itself partaker am
Of good and evil with this my country soil,
(II.1.456) JOCASTA: If the head be evil the body cannot be good.
(III.1..195) TIRESIAS: Though evil for thee, yet for thy country good.
Edwards Dam&Pith (1583): It is an evil wind that bloweth no man good.
Lyly Sapho (II.2.22) SAPHO: It is pity in so good a face there should be an evil eye.
Kyd Sp Tr (I.2.339) ALEX: Nay, evil news fly faster still than good.
Shakes Rich3 (I.3.334): do good for evil. Also I.2.69 and I.3.315-16.
TNK (I.2.38-40) ARCITE: It is for our residing where every evil
Hath a good color, where every seeming good’s / A certain evil,
Anon. Willobie (To the … Reader): That speak good of evil, and evil of good
Willobie seems a perfect inversion of both the Bible and Shakespeare citations.
Bible 1 Thess. 5.15 See that none recompense evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good (No Match). 1 Sam. 24,18 Thou art more righteous than I; for thou has rendered me good, and I have rendered thee evil.
Rom. 12.21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with goodness.

Tongues … Filed/Smooth
Brooke Romeus (1017): Whether thy sugared talk, and tongue so smoothly filed,
Gascoigne Jocasta (II.1.256) CHORUS: Yet thou O queen, so file thy / sugared tongue,
Edwards Dam&Pith (1726): … the plague of this court! / Thy filed tongue that forged lies
Lyly Campaspe (IV.2.31) CAMP: Whet their tongues on their hearts.
Sapho (II.4.105) SYB: whose filed tongue made those enamored that sought to have him enchanted.
Greene James IV (I.1.236) ATEU: But princes rather trust a smoothing tongue
Selimus (3.4) SELIMUS: And feigned plaints his subtle tongue doth file
T’entrap the silly wand’ring traveler
Shakes LLL (V.1) HOLO: … discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, …
Lear (I.4.288): How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is.
Pass Pilgrim 19 (2): Smooth not thy tongue with filed talk, …
Nashe Will Summers (1366): Smooth-tongue Orators, the fourth in place
Anon. Willobie (I.10): A filed tongue which none mislikes.
Ironside (II.3.149-50) CAN: Sirs, temper well your tongues and be advised if not, I’ll cut them shorter by an inch.
(V.2.162) CAN: Edmund, Report shall never whet her tongue / upon Canutus to eternize thee.
Bible Ps. 140.3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent: adder’s poison is under their lips.

Crakes/croaks like a craven
Lyly Sapho (III.3.58-59) EUGENUA: I mistrust her not, for that the owl hath not shrieked
at the window or the night raven croaked, both being fatal.
Anon. Ironside (III.5.8): crakes like a craven and bewrays himself;
Shakes Shrew (II.1) KATH: No cock of mine; you crow too like a craven.
Bible Matt 26.34… before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice, also Matt.26. 75; Mark 14.30, 72, Luke 22.34, 61, John 13.38.

Spirit … Fainting
Gascoigne et al Jocasta (V.2.174-75) NUNCIUS: he yielded up
His fainting ghost, that ready was to part.
Lyly Sapho (III.3.109-110) SAPHO: … and thy spirits faint, die before his face.
Anon. Willobie (LXX.3): It then behooves my fainting spirit / To lofty skies return again,
Shakes Sonnet 80: O, how I faint when I of you do write,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,

Wink … Sleep
Brooke Romeus (366): Not half a wink of quiet sleep could harbor in her bed;
Golding Ovid Met. (VII.204-05): By force of chanted herbs to make the
watchful dragon sleep, Within whose eyes came never wink,
Lyly Campaspe (V.4.4) ALEX: Be of good cheer; though I wink, I sleep not.
Sapho (III.4.58-59) PHAO: Yet Medea made the ever-waking dragon to snort
when she (poor soul) could not wink.
Anon. Ironside (V.2.300) EDR: and till occasion fits them, sleeping wink.
Willobie (XXX.2): But you can wake, although you wink,
Penelope (XXXII.2): But you can wake, although you wink,
Shakes Cymb (III.4) PISANIO: I have not slept one wink.

Eyes … Pierce/Piercing
Brooke Romeus (203): And whilst he fixed on her his partial-pierced eye,
(415): His fixed heavenly eyne, that through me quite did pierce
Golding Ovid Met. (II.40): The Sun thus sitting in the mids did cast his piercing eye
(II.125,126) O would to God thy sight / Could pierce within my woeful breast,
(IV.234): What now avail thy glist’ring eyes with clear and piercing sight?
Lyly Sapho (IV.2.3-4) CUPID: … then why should not I give him eyes to pierce?
Gallathea (Pro.): Augustus Caesar had such piercing eyes that …
Marlowe Dido (III.4.13) DIDO: Aeneas no, although his eyes do pierce.
T1 (II.1.13-14) MEN: Wherein by curious sovereignty of Art,
Are fixed his piercing instruments of sight:
T2 (I.2.46) CALL: Fit objects for thy princely eye to pierce.
Shakes 3H6 (V.2) WAR: These eyes have been as piercing …
Lear (I.4) ALBANY: How far your eyes may pierce I cannot tell.
Corio (V.4) MENEN: Able to pierce a corslet with his eye.
H8 (I.1) ABER: Let some graver eye pierce into that …
Anon. Dodypoll (II.1): See what a lively piercing eye is here.
Willobie (XXIII.3) That floating eye that pierced my heart

Have done and have done
Lyly Campaspe (I.2.12) MANES: It is a sign … that you have done that today which I have not done these three days.
Sapho (IV.4.54-55) VULCAN: When I have done working, you have done wooing.
Shakes 1H6 (IV.1) TALBOT: … Which I have done, because unworthily …
Then judge, great lords, if I have don: Sir, you have done enough, and have perform’d …
More penitence than done trespass: at the last, / Do as the heavens have done, …
Othello: (I.3) BRABANTIO: God be wi’ you! I have done.
… To hang clogs on them. I have done, my lord.
Corio (I.9) MARCIUS: … When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
As you have done; that’s what I can; induced / As you have been; that’s for my country:
Anon. Willobie (To … constant Ladies): I have done that I have done

Cry … Mercy
Brooke Romeus (2661): With stretched hands to thee for mercy now I cry,
Golding Abraham (816) ISAAC: Alas my father, mercy I cry you.
Lyly Sapho (V.2.78) VENUS: or lady I cry you mercy, I think you would be called a goddess
Endymion (II.2.32) FAVILLA: I cry your matronship mercy.
MB (IV.2) SILENA: I cry you mercy; I took you for a joined stool.
SILENA: I cry you mercy; I have killed your cushion.
(V.3) SYNIS: I cry you mercy, sir. I think it was Memphio’s son that was married.
Anon. Locrine (II.2) STRUMBO: King Nactaball! I cry God mercy! what have we to do
(II.3.49) STRUMBO: Place! I cry God mercy: why, do you think that such
(II.3.80) STRUMBO: Gate! I cry God mercy!
Woodstock (I.1.99) NIMBLE: if ever / ye cry, Lord have mercy upon me, I shall hang for it, …!
(III.2) WOOD: cry ye mercy, I did not understand your worship’s calling.
(III.2) WOOD: cry ye mercy, have you a message to me?
Arden (IV.4.128) ALICE: And cried him mercy whom thou hast misdone;

APPENDIX III: Vocabulary, Word Formation

Compound Words (*unique): 14 words (8 nouns, 6 adj).
black-brow (a), butter-box (n), candle-snuff (n), ever-waking (a), female-content (a), gore-blood (n); gross-witted (a), inter-prater* (n), male-content (a), mind-glasses (n), pit-a-pat (n), shag-hair (adj), slender-witted (a), standard-bearer (n), tap-house (n)

Words beginning with “con”: 23 words (16 verbs, 6 nouns, 3 adj, 1 adv).
conceal (v), conceit (n), conclude (v), conclusion (n), condemn (v), conduct (v), confess (v), conjecture (v), conquer (v), consent (v, n), constancy (n), constant (a), constrain (v), consume (v), contemplate (v), contend (v), content (n, a, v), continually (adv), continue (v), contrary (a), control (v), convey (v), conveyance (n)

Words beginning with “dis”: 21 words (12 verbs, 6 nouns, 4 adj).
discern (v), disclose (v), discouraged (v), discourse (n), discredit (n), discreet (a), disdain(n, v), disdainful (a), disdaining (a), disease (n), disgest (v), disgrace (v), disliking (v), dismayed (v), dispense (v), dispose (v), dispute (v), disquited (a), dissemble (v), dissembler (n), dissembling (n)

Words beginning with “mis”: 10 words (3 verbs, 5 nouns, 3 adv).
misconster (v), misconstrued (a), miserable (a), miseries (n), misfortune (n), mislike (n), mistake (v), mistaken (a), mistress (n), mistrust (v, n)

Words beginning with “over” (*surely unusual): 4 words (2 verbs, 2 nouns).
overcome (v), oversights (n), overslipped (v), overwatching (n)

Words beginning with “pre”: 6 words (3 verbs, 2 nouns, 1 adj, 1 adv).
precepts (n), preciseness (n), prefer (v), present (v, a), presently (adv), prevent (v)

Words beginning with “re”: 29 words (20 verbs, 9 nouns, 2 adj).
recall (v), receive (v), redress (v), refel (v), regards (n), rejoice (v), rejoicing (n), relenting (a), religion (n), relish (v), remedy (n, v), remember (v), remembered (a), remove (v), repair (v), repent (v), repine (v), report (n), reproach (n), request (v), require (v), resemble (v), resist (v), resolution (n), resolve (v), respect (n), return (v), revel (v), revenge (n, v)

Words beginning with “un”,”in” (* unique or unusual): 60 words (22/34/4).
(10 verbs, 13 nouns, 28 adj, 2 adv, 3 prep, 4 conj)
inconstancy (n}, incredible (a}, increase (v}, incur (v}, indeed (conj}, inferiors (n}, indifferent (a}, ingratitude (n}, iniquity (n}, injuries (n}, inquire (v}, insomuch (conj}, instead (conj}, instruct (v}, instructions (n}, instrument (n}, intent (n}, inter-prater* (n}, interpreter (n}, into (prep}, intolerable (a}, inward (a)
unacquainted (a}, unbridled (a}, uncertain (a}, uncivil (a}, uncomfortable (a}, undo (v}, unfaithful (a}, unfit (a}, unfortunate (a}, unhappy (a}, university (n}, unkind (a}, unlawfulness (n}, unless (conj}, unlike (a}, unlikely (a}, unluckiness (n}, unlucky (a}, unmannerly (a}, unmeet (a}, unnecessary (a}, unpitiful* (a}, unpossible (a}, unproperly (adv}, unreverently (adv}, unrewarded (a}, unseemly (a}, unspotted (a}, unto (prep}, untold (a}, untruss (v}, unwholesome (a}, unworthy (a}, unwrap (v)
under (prep}, undermine (v}, understand (v}, undertake (v)

Words ending with “able”: 7 words (all adj).
affable (a), answerable (a), amiable (a), intolerable (a), miserable (a), reasonable (a), uncomfortable (a)

Words ending with “less”: 2 words (1 adj, 1 conj). careless (a), unless (conj)

Words ending with “ness”: 29 words (all nouns).
bitterness (n), brightness (n), business (n), comeliness (n), dryness (n), fairness (n), frowardness (n), giddiness (n), greatness (n), hardness (n), highness (n), humbleness (n), lightness (n), madness (n), peevishness (n), pensiveness (n), plainness (n), preciseness (n), ripeness (n), rottenness (n), rudeness (n), sharpness (n), sickness (n), sourness (n), sweetness (n), tediousness (n), unlawfulness (n), unluckiness (n), witness (n)