He ruminates on my beloved choice:
God grant he come not to prevent my hope.
But here’s another, him I’ll listen to.
[Enter Mountney, disguised, at another door.]
Nature unjust, in utterance of thy art,
To grace a peasant with a Princes fame!
Peasant am I, so to misterm my love:
Although a millers daughter by her birth,
Yet may her beauty and her vertues well suffice
To hide the blemish of her birth in hell,
Where neither envious eyes nor thought can pierce,
But endless darkness ever smother it.
Go, William Conqueror, and seek thy love,
Whilest I draw back and court mine own the while,
Decking her body with such costly robes
As may become her beauties worthiness;
That so thy labors may be laughed to scorn,
And she thou seekest in foreign regions
Be darkened and eclipst when she arrives
By one that I have chosen nearer home.
What! comes he too, to intercept my love?
Then hie thee Manvile to forestall such foes.
What now, Lord Valingford, are you behind?
The king had chosen you to go with him.
So chose he you, therefore I marvel much
That both of us should linger in this sort.
What may the king imagine of our stay?
The king may justly think we are to blame:
But I imagined I might well be spared,
And that no other man had borne my mind.
The like did I: in friendship then resolve
What is the cause of your unlookt for stay?
Lord Valingford, I tell thee as a friend,
Love is the cause why I have stayed behind.
Love, my Lord? of whom?
Em, the millers daughter of Manchester.
But may this be?
Why not, my Lord? I hope full well you know
That love respects no difference of state,
So beauty serve to stir affection.
But this it is that makes me wonder most:
That you and I should be of one conceit
I such a strange unlikely passion.
But is that true? My Lord, I hope you do but jest.
I would I did; then were my grief the less.
Nay, never grieve; for if the cause be such
To join our thoughts in such a Simpathy,
All envy set aside, let us agree
To yield to eithers fortune in this choice.
Content, say I: and what so ere befall,
Shake hands, my Lord, and fortune thrive at all.
Scene I. Manchester. The Mill.