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she had found; then she betook herself to her habitation, with full purpose of advising her fellow murderers to repair with all dispatch to the village, and impeach our hero, who, wisely distrusting her professions, stayed no longer in the place than to hire a guide for the next stage, which brought him to the city of Chalons-sur-Marne.
84.-SCENE FROM OLD FORTUNATUS.
[THOMAS DEKKER, or DECKER, was one of the numerous band of dramatists that belong to the Shaksperian æra. The exact time of his birth and death is not known. Between Dekker and Ben Jonsou there was a fearful feud, and they each satirized the other on the public stage. There is much vigour and dramatic force, with, oceasionally, very beautiful poetry, in many of Dekker's plays. Like several of his contemporary dramatists he wrote many plays in union with other writers. The drama of Old Fortunatus,' is founded upon the story of Fortunatus's purse ;—it is very extravagant in parts; but the opening scene, the greater part of which we subjoin, is a favourable specimen of the author's power :-)
Enter a Gardener, a Smith, a Monk, a Shepherd, all crowned ; a Nymph
with a Globe, another with Fortune's Wheel, then Fortune : after her four Kings with broken Crowns and Sceptres, chained in Silver Gyves, and led by her. The first four come out singing; the four Kings lie down at the feet of Fortune, who treads on their Bodies as she ascends her Chair.
And bend, and bend, and merrily,
All. Let us sing merrily, merrily, merrily,
Let us sing merrily, merrily, merrily.
All the Kings. Accursed queen of chance! damn'd sorceress!
For. No more! curse on; your cries to me are music,
Circled about with wonder of all
Monk. True centre of this wide circumference,
The rest. Thy excellence our tongues shall only sound.
2nd King. Thou painted strumpet! that with honied smiles Opened'st the gates of heaven, and cried'st, come in; Whose glories being seen, thou with one frown (In pride) lower than hell tumbled'st us down.
All Kings. Even for ever will we ban thy name.
[She comes down.
[Music awhile, and he waketh. Carry their sacred sounds, and make each sense To stand amazed at our bright eminence.
Fort. Oh, how am I transported ! is this earth, Or blest Elysium ?
For. Fortunatus, rise
Fort. Dread goddess ! how should such a wretch as I
For. This travel now expires : yet from this circle,
my name; This hand hath written in thick leaves of steel An everlasting book of changeless fate, Shewing who's happy, who unfortunate.
Fort. If every name (dread queen !) be there writ down, I am sure mine stands in characters of black; Though happiness herself lie in my name, I am sorrow's heir, and eldest son to shame.
Kings. No, we are sons to shame, and sorrow's heirs. For. Thou shalt be one of Fortune's minions ;
Six gifts I spend upon mortality,
Fort. Oh, most divine !
eye, To look amazed) at thy bright majesty. Wisdom, strength, health, beauty, long life, and riches?
For. Before thy soul (at this deep lottery) Draw forth her prize, ordained by destiny, Know that here's no recanting a first choice:
Choose then discreetly (for the laws of Fate
Fort. Daughters of Jove and the unblemish'd Night,
For. Stay, Fortunatus, once more hear me speak; If thou kiss wisdom's cheek and make her thine, She 'll breathe into thy lips divinity, And thou (like Phæbus) shalt speak oracle; Thy heaven-inspired soul, on wisdom's wings, Shall fly up to the parliament of Jove, And read the statutes of eternity, And see what 's past, and learn what is to come: If thou lay claim to strength, armies shall quake To see thee frown; as kings at mine do lie, So shall thy feet trample on empery: Make health thine object, thou shalt be strong proof, 'Gainst the deep searching darts of surfeiting; Be ever merry, ever revelling: Wish but for beauty, and within thine eyes Two naked Cupids amorously shall swim, And on thy cheeks I 'll mix such white and red, That Jove shall turn away young Ganymede And with immortal hands shall circle thee : Are thy desires long life ? thy vital thread Shall be stretched out; thou shalt behold the change Of monarchies; and see those children die Whose great-great grandsires now in cradles lie: If through gold's sacred * hunger thou dost pine ; Those gilded wantons, which in swarms do run To warm their slender bodies in the sun, Shall stand for number of those golden piles, Which in rich piles shall swell before thy feet; As those are, so shall these be infinite. Awaken then thy soul's best faculties, And gladly kiss this bounteous hand of Fate, Which strives to bless thy name of Fortunate. * Sacra is used in the sense of the “ Auri sacra fames” of Virgil.