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MUSTAPHA: A TRAGEDY. BY FULKE GREVILLE,
Rossa, Wife to Solyman the Turkish Emperor, persuades her
Husband, that Mustapha, his Son by a former Marriage, and Heir to his Crown, seeks his life : that she may make way, by the death of Mustapha, for the advancement of her own children, Zanger and Camena. Camena the virtuous Daughter of Rossa defends the Innocence of Mustapha, in a Conference which she holds with the Emperor.
Cam. They that from youth do suck at fortune's
And nurse their empty hearts with seeking higher,
Like dropsy-fed, their thirst doth never rest;
For still, by getting, they beget desire :
Till thoughts, like wood, while they maintain the flame
Of high desires, grow ashes in the same.
But virtuel those that can behold thy beauties,
Those that suck, from their youth, thy milk of goodness,
Their minds grow strong against the storms of fortune,
And stand, like rocks in winter-gusts, unshaken;
Not with the blindness of desire mistaken.
O virtue therefore! whose thrall I think fortune,
Thou who despisest not the sex of women,
Help me out of these riddles of my fortune,
Wherein (methinks) you with yourself do pose me:
Let fates go on : sweet virtue! do not lose me.
My mother and my husband have conspired,
For brother's good, the ruin of my
My father by my mother is inspired,
For one child to seek ruin of another.
I that to help by nature am required,
While I do help, must needs still hurt a brother.
While I see who conspire, I seem conspired
Against a husband, father, and a mother.
Truth bids me run, by truth I am retired ;
Shame leads me both the one way, and the other.
In what a labyrinth is honour cast,
Drawn divers ways with sex, with time, with state,
In all which, error's course is infinite,
By hope, by fear, by spite, by love, and hate ;
And but one only way unto the right,
A thorny way, where pain must be the guide,
Danger the light, offence of power the praise :
Such are the golden hopes of iron days.
Yet virtue, I am thine, for thy sake grieved
(Since basest thoughts, for their ill-plac'd desires,
In shame, in danger, death, and torment, glory)
That I cannot with more pains write thy story.
Chance, therefore, if thou scornest those that scorn thee;
Fame, if thou hatest those that force thy trumpet
To sound aloud, and yet despise thy sounding;
Laws, if you love not those that be examples
Of nature's laws, whence you are fall’n corrupted ;
Conspire that I, against you all conspired,
Joined with tyrant virtue, as you call her,
That I, by your revenges may be named,
For virtue, to be ruin'd, and defamed.
My mother oft and diversly I warned,
What fortunes were upon such courses builded :
That fortune still must be with ill maintained,
Which at the first with any ill is gained.
I Rosten* warn’d, that man's self-loving thought
Still creepeth to the rude-embracing might
Of princes' grace: a lease of glories let,
Which shining burns ; breeds serenes when tis set.
And, by this creature of my mother's making,
This messenger, I Mustapha have warn'd,
That innocence is not enough to save,
Where good and greatness, fear and envy
Till now, in reverence I have forborn
To ask, or to presume to guess, or know
My father's thoughts; whereof he might think scorn:
For dreadful is that power that all may do;
Yet they, that all men fear, are fearful too.
Lo where he sits ! Virtue, work thou in me,
That what thou seekest may accomplish'd be.
Solym. Ah death! is not thyself sufficient anguish,
But thou must borrow fear, that threatning glass,
Which, while it goodness hides, and mischief shows,
Doth lighten wit to honor's overthrows ?
But hush! methinks away Camena steals ;
Murther, belike, in me itself reveals.
Camena! whither now? why haste you from me ?
Is it so strange a thing to be a father ?
Or is it I that am so strange a father ?
Cam. My lord, methought, nay, sure I saw you busy: Your child presumes, uncall’d, that comes unto you.
Solym. Who may presume with fathers, but their own, Whom nature's law hath ever in protection, And gilds in good belief of dear affection?
Cam. Nay, reverence, Sir, so children's worth doth hide, As of the fathers it is least espy'd.
Solym. I think 'tis true, who know their children least, Have greatest reason to esteem them best.
Cam. How so, my lord? since love in knowledge lives, Which unto strangers therefore no man gives.
Solym. The life we gave them soon they do forget, While they think our lives do their fortunes let. VOL. I.
Cam. The tenderness of life it is so great,
As any sign of death we hate too much;
And unto parents sons, perchance, are such.
Yet nature meant her strongest unity
Twixt sons and fathers; making parents cause
Unto the sons, of their humanity;
And children pledge of their eternity.
Fathers should love this image in their sons.
Solyın. But streams back to their springs do never run,
Cam. Pardon, my lord, doubt is succession's foe:
Let not her mists poor children overthrow.
Though streams from springs do seem to run away,
Tis nature leads them to their mother sea.
Solym. Doth nature teach them, in ambition's strife, To seek his death, by whom they have their life?
Cam. Things easy, to desire impossible do seem : Why should fear make impossible seem easy ?
Solym. Monsters yet be, and being are believed.
Cam. Incredible hath some inordinate progression ; Blood, doctrine, age, corrupting liberty, Do all concur, where men such monsters be. Pardon me, Sir, if duty do seem angry : Affection must breathe out afflicted breath, Where imputation hath such easy faith. Solym. Mustapha is he that hath defild his nest;
greater for I loved him best. He hath devised that all at once should die. Rosten, and Rossa, Zanger, thou, and I.
Cam. Fall none but angels suddenly to hell ?
Are kind and order grown precipitate ?
Did ever any other man but he
In instant lose the use of doing well ?
Sir, these be mists of greatness. Look again :
For kings that, in their fearful icy state,
Behold their children as their winding-sheet,
Do easily doubt; and what they doubt, they hate.
Solym. Camena! thy sweet youth, that knows no ill
Cannot believe thine elders, when they say,
That good belief is great estates' decay.
Let it suffice, that I, and Rossa too,
Are privy what your brother means to do.
Cam. Sir, pardon me, and nobly, as a father, What I shall say, and say of holy mother ; Know I shall say it, but to right a brother. My mother is your wife: duty in her Is love: she loves : which not well govern'd, bears The evil angel of misgiving fears ; Whose many eyes, whilst but itself they see, Still makes the worst of possibility : Out of this fear she Mustapha accuseth : Unto this fear, perchance, she joins the love Which doth in mothers for their children move. Perchance, when fear hath shew'd her yours must fall, In love she sees that hers must rise withall. Sir, fear a frailty is, and may have grace, And over-care of you cannot be blamed ; Care of our own in nature hath a place; Passions are oft mistaken and misnamed ; Things simply good grow evil with misplacing. Though laws cut off, and do not care to fashion, Humanity of error hath compassion. Yet God forbid, that either fear, or care, Should ruin those that true and faultless are.
Solym. Is it no fault, or fault I may forgive, For son to seek the father should not live ?
Cam. Is it a fault, or fault for you to know, My mother doubts a thing that is not so ? These ugly works of monstrous parricide, Mark from what hearts they rise, and where they bide :