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About this text

  • Title: Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Modern)
  • Textual editor: Christopher Matusiak
  • Performance editor: Peter Cockett
  • General editor: Helen Ostovich
  • Coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Robert Greene
    Editor (Text): Christopher Matusiak
    Editor (Performance): Peter Cockett
    Peer Reviewed

    Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Modern)

    945[Scene 7] [Video Sc.7]
    Enter Prince Edward with his poniard in his hand, Lacy, and Margaret.
    Lacy, thou canst not shroud thy traitorous thoughts,
    Nor cover, as did Cassius, all thy wiles,
    For Edward hath an eye that looks as far
    950As Lynceus from the shores of Grecia.
    Did not I sit in Oxford by the friar
    And see thee court the maid of Fressingfield,
    Sealing thy flattering fancies with a kiss?
    Did not proud Bungay draw his portace forth,
    955And, joining hand in hand, had married you,
    If Friar Bacon had not struck him dumb
    And mounted him upon a spirit's back
    That we might chat at Oxford with the friar?
    Traitor, what answer'st? Is not all this true?
    Truth all, my lord, and thus I make reply:
    At Harleston Fair, there courting for your grace,
    Whenas mine eye surveyed her curious shape,
    And drew the beauteous glory of her looks
    To dive into the center of my heart,
    965Love taught me that your honor did but jest,
    That princes were in fancy but as men,
    How that the lovely maid of Fressingfield
    Was fitter to be Lacy's wedded wife
    Than concubine unto the prince of Wales.
    Injurious Lacy, did I love thee more
    Than Alexander his Hephestion?
    Did I unfold the passions of my love
    And lock them in the closet of thy thoughts?
    Wert thou to Edward second to himself,
    975Sole friend, and partner of his secret loves?
    And could a glance of fading beauty break
    The enchained fetters of such private friends?
    Base coward, false, and too effeminate
    To be corrival with a prince in thoughts!
    980From Oxford have I posted since I dined
    To quite a traitor 'fore that Edward sleep.
    'Twas I, my lord, not Lacy, stepped awry;
    For oft he sued and courted for yourself,
    And still wooed for the courtier all in green,
    985But I, whom fancy made but overfond,
    Pleaded myself with looks as if I loved.
    I fed mine eye with gazing on his face,
    And, still bewitched, loved Lacy with my looks.
    My heart with sighs, mine eyes pleaded with tears,
    990My face held pity and content at once,
    And more I could not cipher out by signs
    But that I loved Lord Lacy with my heart.
    Then, worthy Edward, measure with thy mind
    If women's favors will not force men fall,
    995If beauty and if darts of piercing love
    Are not of force to bury thoughts of friends.
    I tell thee, Peggy, I will have thy loves.
    Edward or none shall conquer Margaret.
    In frigates bottomed with rich sethin planks,
    1000Topped with the lofty firs of Lebanon,
    Stemmed and incased with burnished ivory,
    And overlaid with plates of Persian wealth,
    Like Thetis shalt thou wanton on the waves
    And draw the dolphins to thy lovely eyes
    1005To dance lavoltas in the purple streams.
    Sirens with harps and silver psalteries
    Shall wait with music at thy frigate's stem
    And entertain fair Margaret with their lays.
    England and England's wealth shall wait on thee;
    1010Britain shall bend unto her prince's love,
    And do due homage to thine excellence
    If thou wilt be but Edward's Margaret.
    Pardon, my lord. If Jove's great royalty
    Sent me such presents as to Danaë,
    1015If Phoebus, tiréd in Latona's webs,
    Came courting from the beauty of his lodge,
    The dulcet tunes of frolic Mercury
    Nor all the wealth heaven's treasury affords
    Should make me leave Lord Lacy or his love.
    I have learned at Oxford, then, this point of schools:
    Ablata causa, tollitur effectus:
    Lacy, the cause that Margaret cannot love
    Nor fix her liking on the English prince,
    Take him away, and then the effects will fail.
    1025Villain, prepare thyself, for I will bathe
    My poniard in the bosom of an earl.
    [Kneeling] Rather than live and miss fair Margaret's love,
    Prince Edward, stop not at the fatal doom,
    But stab it home. End both my loves and life.
    [Kneeling] Brave prince of Wales, honored for royal deeds,
    'Twere sin to stain fair Venus's courts with blood.
    Love's conquest ends, my lord, in courtesy.
    Spare Lacy, gentle Edward; let me die.
    For so both you and he do cease your loves.
    Lacy shall die as traitor to his lord.
    I have deserved it, Edward; act it well.
    What hopes the prince to gain by Lacy's death?
    To end the loves 'twixt him and Margaret.
    Why, thinks King Henry's son that Margaret's love
    1040Hangs in the uncertain balance of proud time?
    That death shall make a discord of our thoughts?
    No! Stab the earl and 'fore the morning sun
    Shall vaunt him thrice over the lofty east,
    Margaret will meet her Lacy in the heavens.
    If aught betides to lovely Margaret
    That wrongs or wrings her honor from content,
    Europe's rich wealth nor England's monarchy,
    Should not allure Lacy to overlive.
    Then, Edward, short my life and end her loves.
    Rid me, and keep a friend worth many loves.
    Nay, Edward, keep a love worth many friends.
    And if thy mind be such as fame hath blazed,
    Then, princely Edward, let us both abide
    The fatal resolution of thy rage.
    1055Banish thou fancy and embrace revenge,
    And in one tomb knit both our carcasses,
    Whose hearts were linke}d in one perfect love.
    Edward, art thou that famous prince of Wales
    Who at Damascus beat the Saracens
    1060And brought'st home triumph on thy lance's point,
    And shall thy plumes be pulled by Venus down?
    Is it princely to dissever lovers' leagues,
    To part such friends as glory in their loves?
    Leave, Ned, and make a virtue of this fault,
    1065And further Peg and Lacy in their loves.
    So in subduing fancy's passion,
    Conquering thyself, thou get'st the richest spoil.--
    Lacy, rise up.-- Fair Peggy, here's my hand.
    The prince of Wales hath conquered all his thoughts,
    1070And all his loves he yields unto the earl.
    Lacy, enjoy the maid of Fressingfield;
    Make her thy Lincoln countess at the church,
    And Ned, as he is true Plantagenet,
    Will give her to thee frankly for thy wife.
    Humbly I take her of my sovereign,
    As if that Edward gave me England's right,
    And riched me with the Albion diadem.
    And doth the English prince mean true?
    Will he vouchsafe to cease his former loves,
    1080And yield the title of a country maid
    Unto Lord Lacy?
    I will, fair Peggy, as I am true lord.
    Then, lordly sir, whose conquest is as great
    In conquering love as Caesar's victories,
    1085Margaret, as mild and humble in her thoughts
    As was Aspatia unto Cyrus's self,
    Yields thanks, and next Lord Lacy, doth enshrine
    Edward the second secret in her heart.
    Gramercy, Peggy. Now that vows are past,
    1090And that your loves are not to be revolt,
    Once, Lacy, friends again, come, we will post
    To Oxford, for this day the king is there,
    And brings for Edward Castile Eleanor.
    Peggy, I must go see and view my wife;
    1095I pray God I like her as I loved thee.
    Beside, Lord Lincoln, we shall hear dispute
    'Twixt Friar Bacon and learne}d Vandermast.
    Peggy, we'll leave you for a week or two.
    As it please Lord Lacy; but love's foolish looks
    1100Think footsteps miles and minutes to be hours.
    I'll hasten, Peggy, to make short return.--
    But please, your honor, go unto the lodge.
    We shall have butter, cheese, and venison,
    And yesterday I brought for Margaret
    1105A lusty bottle of neat claret wine.
    Thus can we feast and entertain your grace.
    'Tis cheer, Lord Lacy, for an emperor
    If he respect the person and the place.
    Come, let us in, for I will all this night
    1110Ride post until I come to Bacon's cell.