Enter Simonides, reading a letter, at one door: the Knights meet him
Knights, from my daughter this I let you know, That for this twelvemonth she'll not undertake A married life. Her reason to herself is only known, Which yet from her by no means can I get.
'Faith, by no means; she has so strictly tied Her to her chamber, that 'tis impossible. One twelve moons more she'll wear Diana's livery; This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vow'd And on her virgin honour will not break it.
So, They are well dispatch'd; now to my daughter's letter: She tells me here, she'd wed the stranger knight, Or never more to view nor day nor light. 'Tis well, mistress; your choice agrees with mine; I like that well: nay, how absolute she's in't, Not minding whether I dislike or no! Well, I do commend her choice; And will no longer have it be delay'd. Soft! here he comes: I must dissemble it.
To you as much, sir! I am beholding to you For your sweet music this last night: I do Protest my ears were never better fed With such delightful pleasing harmony.
Sir, my daughter thinks very well of you; Ay, so well, that you must be her master, And she will be your scholar: therefore look to it.
What's here? A letter, that she loves the knight of Tyre! 'Tis the king's subtlety to have my life. O, seek not to entrap me, gracious lord, A stranger and distressed gentleman, That never aim'd so high to love your daughter, But bent all offices to honour her.
By the gods, I have not: Never did thought of mine levy offence; Nor never did my actions yet commence A deed might gain her love or your displeasure.
My actions are as noble as my thoughts, That never relish'd of a base descent. I came unto your court for honour's cause, And not to be a rebel to her state; And he that otherwise accounts of me, This sword shall prove he's honour's enemy.
Then, as you are as virtuous as fair, Resolve your angry father, if my tongue Did ere solicit, or my hand subscribe To any syllable that made love to you.
Yea, mistress, are you so peremptory?
I am glad on't with all my heart.— I'll tame you; I'll bring you in subjection. Will you, not having my consent, Bestow your love and your affections Upon a stranger?
who, for aught I know, May be, nor can I think the contrary, As great in blood as I myself.— Therefore hear you, mistress; either frame Your will to mine,—and you, sir, hear you, Either be ruled by me, or I will make you— Man and wife: Nay, come, your hands and lips must seal it too: And being join'd, I'll thus your hopes destroy; And for a further grief,—God give you joy!— What, are you both pleased?
It pleaseth me so well, that I will see you wed; And then with what haste you can get you to bed.