A scene for 2 characters from the play "The Fawn" by John Marston



About this Monologue

  • Characters: Dulcimel Philocalia
  • Scene type / Who are: Friends
  • Type: Serio-comic
  • Year: 1606
  • Period: 17th Century
  • Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy
  • Description: Princess Dulcimel tells Philocalia that she wants to seduce Tiberio
  • Location: ACT III, Scene 1


Duke Hercules sends his son Tiberio as an ambassador to the court of Duke Gonzago. In order to spy on his son and observe his behavior. The play follows the romantic adventures of several characters in Gonzago's court. In this scene Princess Dulcimel, the daughter of Duke Gonzago, confides in her friend Philocalia about her love interest, Tiberio. She plans to seduces him without getting her father's approval.

Written by Administrator


May I rest sure, thou wilt conceale a secret.

Yes madam.

How may I rest truely assurde.

Truelie thus, Doe not tell it me.

Why, canst thou not conceale a secret?

Yes, as long as it is a secret, but when two know it.
how can it be a secret, and indeed with what iustice can you expect
secresie in me that cannot bee priuate to your selfe?

Faith Philocalia , I must of force trust thy silence, for my
breast breakes if I conferre not my thoughtes vpon thee.

You may trust my silence, I can commaund that, but if
I chance to bee questioned I must speake truth, I can conceale
but not deny my knowledge, that must commaund me.

Fie on these Philosophicall discoursing wome, prethee
conferre with me like a creature made of flesh and blood, and
tell me, if it bee not a scandall to the soule of all being proportion,
that I a female of 13. of a lightsome and ciuill discretion,
healthy, lustie, vigorus, full and idle, should for euer be shackled
to the crampie shinnes of a wayward, dull, sowre, austere,
rough, rhewmy, threescore and foure.

Nay, threescore and ten at the least,

Now heauen blesse me, as it is pitty that euery knaue
is not a foole, so it is shame, that euery old man is not, and resteth
not a widdower. They say in China, when women are
past child-bearing, they are all burnt to make gun-powder. I
wonder what men should bee done withall, when they are past
child-getting: yet vpon my loue Philocalia (which with Ladies
is often aboue their honor) I do euen dote vpon the best part
of the Duke.

Whats that?

His sonne, yes sooth, and so loue him, that I must marie

And wherefore loue him, so to marrie him.

Because I loue him, and because he is vertuous, I loue
to marrie.

His vertues.

I, with him his vertues.

I with him, alas sweet Princes, loue or vertue are not of
the essence of marriage.

I iest vppon your vnderstanding, Ile maintaine that
wisedome in a woman is a most foolish qualitie: A Lady of a
good complection naturally, well witted, perfectly bred and
well exercised, in discourse of the best men, shall make fooles
of a thousand of these booke thinking creatures, I speake it by
way of iustification, I tell thee, (looke that no body Eaues-droppe
vs. I tell thee I am truely learned, for I protest ignorant,
and wise, for I loue my selfe, and vertuous enough for a
Lady of fifteene.

How vertuous?

Shal I speake like a creature of a good healthful bloud
and not like one of these weake greene sicknesse, leane fisicke,
staruelinges: First for the vertue of magnanimity, I am very
valiant, for there is no heroicke action so particularly noble
and glorious to our sexe, as not to fall to action, the greatest
deede wee can doe is not to doe, (looke that no body listen)
Then am I full of patience, and can beare more then a Sumpter
horse, for (to speake sensibly) what burthen is there so heauy
to a Porters backe, as Virginity to a well complectioned yong
Ladies thoughtes? (looke no body harken,) By this hand the no
blest vow is that of Virginity, because the hardest, I will haue
the Prince .

But by what meanes sweet Madam?

Oh Philocalia , in heauy sadnes and vnwanton phrase,
there lies all the braine worke, by what meanes, I could fal into
a miserable blanke verse presently.

But deare Madam, your reason of louing him.

Faith onely a womans reason, because I was expressely
forbidden to loue him, at the first view I likte him, and no sooner
had my Fathers wisedome mistrusted my liking, but I grew
loath his iudgement should erre, I pittied hee should proue a
foole in his old age, and without cause mistrust me.

But when you saw no meanes of manifesting your affection
to him, why did not your hopes perish?

O Philocalia that difficultie onely inflames me, whe the
enterprise is easie, the victorie is inglorious, no let my wife
aged, learned, intelligent Father, that can interprete yes, vnderstand
the language of birdes, interprete the grumbling of dogs,
and the conference of cats, that can reade euen silence, let him
forbid all enterviewes, all speaches, all tokens, all messages, all
(as he thinkes) humaine meanes, I will speake to the Prince,
court the Prince, that hee shall vnderstand me, nay I will so
stalke on the blind side of my all knowing fathers wit, that do
what his wisedome can, hee shall bee my onely mediator, my
onely messenger, my onely honourable spokesman, hee shall
carrie my fauours, hee shall amplifie my affection, nay he shal
direct the Prince the meanes the very way to my bed, hee and
onely he, when he onely can doe this, and onely would not do
this, he onely shall doe this.

Onely you shall then deserue such a husband, O loue
how violent are thy passages.

Pish Philocalia tis against the nature of loue, not to be

And against the condition of violence to be constant.

Constancy, constancy and patience are vertues in no
liuing creatures but Centenels and Anglers: heres our father.

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