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And as an east wind leave them all behind us
Like lazy clouds, whilst Palamon and Arcite,
Even in the wagging of a wanton leg,
Out-stripp'd the people's praises, won the garlands
Ere they have time to wish them ours. O, never
Shall we two exercise, like twins of honour,
Our arms again, and feel our fiery horses
Like proud seas under us; our good swords now,
(Better the red-eyed god of war ne'er wore)
Ravish'd our sides, like age, must run to rust,
And deck the temples of those gods that hate us ;
These hands shall never draw them out like lightning
To blast whole armies more.
Arc. No, Palamon,
Those hopes are prisoners with us; here we are,
And here the graces of our youths must wither
Like a too timely spring; here age must find us,
And (which is heaviest) Palamon, unmarried ;
The sweet embraces of a loving wife
Loaden with kisses, arm’d with thousand Cupids,
Shall never clasp our necks, no issue know us,
No figures of ourselves shall we e'er see,
To glad our age, and like young eagles teach them
Boldly to gaze against bright arms, and say
“Remember what your fathers were, and conquer.”
The fair-eyed maids shall weep our banishments,
And in their songs curse ever-blinded Fortune,
Till she for shame see what a wrong she has done
To youth and nature. This is all our world :
We shall know nothing here, but one another ;
Hear nothing, but the clock that tells our woes.
The vine shall grow, but we shall never see it :
Summer shall come, and with her all delights,
But dead-cold winter must inhabit here still.
Pal. 'Tis too true, Arcite. To our Theban hounds,
That shook the aged forest with their echoes,
No more now must we halloo, no more shake
Our pointed javelins, whilst the angry swine
Flies like a Parthian quiver from our rages,
Struck with our well-steel'd darts. All valiant uses
(The food and nourishment of noble minds)
In us two here shall perish : we shall die
(Which is the curse of honour) lastly
Children of grief and ignorance.
97. Philip Massinger. 1584-1640. (Manual, p. 170.)
Angelo, an Angel, attends Dorothea as a Page.
ANGELO. DOROTHEA, The time, midnight.
Dor. My book and taper.
Ang. Here, most holy mistress.
Dor. Thy voice sends forth such music, that I never
Was ravish'd with a more celestial sound.
Were every servant in the world like thee,
So full of goodness, angels would come down
To dwell with us : thy name is Angelo,
And like that name thou art. Get thee to rest;
Thy youth with too much watching is oppress’d.
Ang. No, my dear lady. I could weary stars,
And force the wakeful moon to lose her eyes,
By my late watching, but to wait on you.
When at your prayers you kneel before the altar,
Methinks I'm singing with some quire in heaven,
So blest I hold me in your company.
Therefore, my most loved mistress, do not bid
Your boy, so serviceable, to get hence ;
For then you break his heart.
Be nigh me still, then.
In golden letters down I'll set that day,
Which gave thee to me. Little did I hope
To meet such worlds of comfort in thyself,
This little, pretty body, when I coming
Forth of the temple, heard my beggar-boy,
My sweet-faced, godly beggar-boy, crave an alms,
Which with glad hand I gave, with lucky hand ;
And when I took thee home, my most chaste bosom
Methought was fill'd with no hot wanton fire,
But with a holy flame, mounting since higher,
On wings of cherubims, than it did before.
Ang. Proud am I that my lady's modest eye
So likes so poor a servant.
Dor. I have offer'd
Handfuls of gold but to behold thy parents.
I would leave kingdoms, were I queen of some,
To dwell with thy good father; for, the son
Bewitching me so deeply with his presence,
He that begot him must do 't ten times more.
I pray thee, my sweet boy, show me thy parents ;
Be not ashamed.
Ang. I am not : I did never
Know who my mother was ; but, by yon palace,
Fill’d with bright heavenly courtiers, I dare assure you,
And pawn these eyes upon it, and this hand,
My father is in heaven; and, pretty mistress,
If your illustrious hour-glass spend his sand
No worse, than yet it doth, upon my life,
You and I both shall meet my father there,
And he shall bid you welcome.
Dor. A bless'd day.
98. John Ford. 1586-1639. (Manual, p. 171.)
FROM THE LOVER'S MELANCHOLY.
Contention of a Bird and a Musician.
Passing from Italy to Greece, the tales
Which poets of an elder time have feign'd
To glorify their Tempe, bred in me
Desire of visiting that paradise.
To Thessaly I came, and living private,
Without acquaintance of more sweet companions
Than the old inmates to my love, my thoughts,
I day by day frequented silent groves
And solitary walks. One morning early
This accident encounter'd me: I heard
The sweetest and most ravishing contention
That art or nature ever were at strife in.
A sound of music touch'd mine ears, or rather
Indeed entranced my soul : as I stole nearer,
Invited by the melody, I saw
This youth, this fair-faced youth, upon his lute
With strains of strange variety and harmony
Proclaiming (as it seem'd) so bold a challenge
To the clear quiristers of the woods, the birds,
That as they flocked about him, all stood silent,
Wondering at what they heard. I wonder'd too.
Nature's best skill'd musiciar, undertakes
The challenge ; and, for every several strain
The well-shaped youth could touch, she sung her down ;
He could not run division with more art
Upon his quaking instrument, than she
The nightingale did with her various notes
Some time thus spent, the young man grew at last
Into a pretty anger ; that a bird,
Whom art had never taught cliffs, moods, or notes,
Should vie with him for mastery, whose study
Had busied many hours to perfect practice :
To end the controversy, in a rapture
Upou his instrument he plays so swiftly,
So many voluntaries, and so quick,
That there was curiosity and cunning,
Concord in discord, lines of differing method
Meeting in one full centre of delight.
The bird (ordain'd to be
Music's first martyr) strove to imitate
These several sounds : which when her warbling throat
Faild in, for grief down dropt she on his lute
And brake her heart. It was the quaintest sadness,
To see the conqueror upon her hearse
To weep a funeral elegy of tears.
He looks upon the trophies of his art,
Then sigh’d, then wiped his eyes, then sigh’d, and cried,
“ Alas! poor creature, I will soon revenge
This cruelty upon the author of it.
Henceforth this lute, guilty of innocent blood,
Shail never more betray a harmless peace
To an untimely end :" and in that sorrow,
As he was pashing it against a tree,
I suddenly stept
99. John Webster. Fl. 1623. (Manual, p. 172.)
FROM THE DUCHESS OF MALFY.
The Duchess's marriage with Antonio being discovered, her brother Ferdinand shuts her
up in a prison, and torments her with various trials of studied cruelty. By bis
command, Bosola, the instrument of his devices, shows her the bodies of her hus-
band and children counterfeited in wax, as dead.
Bos, He doth present you this sad spectacle,
That now you know directly they are dead,
Hereafter you may wisely cease to grieve *
For that which cannot be recovered.
Duch. There is not between heaven and earth one wish
I stay for after this : it wastes me more
Than were 't my picture fashion'd out of wax,
Stuck with a magical needle, and then buried
In some foul dunghill; and 'yond's an excellent property
For a tyrant, which I would account mercy.
Bos. What's that?
Duch. If they would bind me to that lifeless trunk,
And let me freeze to death.
Bos. Come, you must live.
Leave this vain sorrow.
Things being at the worst begin to mend.
When he hath shot his sting into your hand,
May then play with your eyelid.
Duch. Good comfortable fellow,
Persuade a wretch that's broke upon the wheel
To have all his bones new set; entreat him live
To be executed again. Who must despatch me?
I account this world a tedious theatre,
For 1 do play a part in 't 'gainst my will.
Bos. Come, be of comfort; I will save yonr life.
Duch. Indeed I have not leisure to attend
So small a business.
I will go pray.--No: I'll go curse.
Bos. O fie!
Duch. I could curse the stars !
Bos. O fearful.
Duch. And those three smiling seasons of the year
Into a Russian winter : nay, the world
To its first chaos.
Plagues (that make lanes through largest families)
Consume them !1
Let them like tyrants
Ne'er be remember'd but for the ill they've done !
Let all the zealous prayers of mortified
Churchmen forget them !
Let heaven a little while cease crowning martyrs,
To punish them! go, howl them this; and say, I long to
It is some mercy when men kill with speed.
* She is kept waking with noises of Madmen, and, at last, is strangled by common