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Know who my mother was; but, by yon palace,
Filled with bright heavenly courtiers, I dare assure you,
And pawn these eye 3 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.
A blesséd day.
94. JOHN FORD. 1586-1639. (Manual, p. 163.)
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 feigned
To glorify their Tempé, bred in me
Desires 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 encountered me: I heard
The sweetest and most ravishing contention
That art or nature ever were at strife in.
A sound of music touched 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 seemned) 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 wondered too.
Nature's best skilled musician, undertakes
The challenge; and, for every several strain
Tię well-shaped youth could touch, she sung her downs
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
inco a pretty anger; that a bird,
Whom art had never taught cliffs, n.gods, or potes,
Should vie with him for mastery, whose study
Had busied many hours to perfect practice :
To end the controversy, in a rapture
Upon his instrument he plays so swiftly,
So many voluntaries, and so quiik,
That there was curiosity and cunning,
Concord in discord, lines of differing method
Meeting in one full centre of delight.
The bird (ordained to be
Music's first martyr) strove to imitate
These several sounds : which when her warbling throat
Failee in, for grief down dropped 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 sighed, then wiped his eyes, then sighed, and cried,
“Alas! poor creature, I wiil soon revenge
This cruelty upon the author of it.
Henceforth this lute, guilty of innocent blood,
Shall never more betray a harmless peace
To an untimely end:” and in that sorrow,
As he was pashing it against a tree,
I suddenly stepped in.
95. JOHN WEBSTER. Fl. 1623. (Manual, p. 163.)
FROM THE DUCHESS OF MALFY.
The Duchess's marriage with Antonio being discovered, her brother Ferdinand shute
her up in a prison, and torments her with various trials of studied cruelty. By his command, Bosola, the instrument of his devices, shows her the bodies of her husband 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 fashioned 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.
Bas. 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 I do play a part in't 'gainst my will.
Bos. Come, be of comfort; I will save your 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.
Duck. 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)
Let them like tyrants
Ne'er be remembered 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 ung to
It is some mercy when men kill with speed.
96. JAMES SHIRLEY. 1594–1666. (Manual, p. 104.)
FROM THE LADY OF PLEASURE.
Be Thomas Bornewell expostulates with his Lady on her extravaginoo and lov a
BORNEWELL. ARETINA, kis lady.
Are. I am angry with myself;
To be so miserably restrained in things,
Wherein it doth concern your love and honor
To see me satisfied.
In what, Aretina,
Dost thou accuse me? have I not obeyed
All thy desires, against mine own opinion;
Quitted the country, and removed the hope
Of our return, by sale of that fair lordship
We lived in: changed a calm and retired life
For this wild town, composed of noise and charge?
Are. What charge, more than is necessary
For a lady of my birth and education?
Boy. I am not ignorant how much nobility
Flows in your blood, your kinsmen great and powerful
In the state; but with this lose not your memory
Of being my wife; I shall be studious,
Madam, to give the dignity of your birth
All the best ornaments which become my fortune;
But would not flatter it, to ruin both,
And be the fable of the town, to teach
Other men wit by loss of mine, employed
To serve your vast expenses.
Am I then
Brought in the balance? so, sir.
Though you weigh
Me in a partial scale, my heart is honest;
And must take liberty to think, you have
Obeyed no modest counsel to effect,
Nay, study ways of pride and costly ceremony;
Your change of gaudy furniture, and pictures,
Of this italian master, and that Dutchman's;
Your mighty looking-glasses, like artillery
Brought home on engines; the superfluous plate
Antic and novel; vanities of tires,
Fourscore pound suppers for my lord your kinsman,
Banquets for the other lady, aunt, and cousins:
And perfumes that exceed all; train of servants,
To stifle us at home, and show abroad
More motley tl.an the French, or the Venetian,
About your coach, whose rude postilion
Must pester every narrow lane, til: passengers
And tradesmen curse your choking up their stallk.
And common cries pursue your la lyship
For hindering of their market.
Have you done, sis
Bor. I could accuse the gaiety of your wardrobe,
And prodigal embroideries, under which,
Rich satins, plushes, cloth of silver, dare
Not show their own complexions; your ir els
Able to burn out the spectators' eyes,
A.d show like bonfires on you by the tapers :
Something might here be spared, with safety of
Your birth and honor, since the truest wealth
Shines from the soul, and draws up just admirers.
I could urge something more.
Pray, do. I like
Your homily of thrift.
I could wish, madam,
You would not game so much.
A gamester, too!
Bor. But are not come to that repentance yet,
Should teach you skill enough to raise your profits
You look not through the subtilty of cards,
And mysteries of dice, nor can you save
Charge with the box, buy petticoats pearls,
And keep your family by the precious income;
Nor do I wish you should: my poorest servant
Shall not upbraid my tables, nor his hire
Purchased beneath my honor: you make play
Not a pastime, but a tyranny, and vex
Yourself and my estate by it.
Bor. Another game you have, which consumes more
Your fame than purse, your revels in the night,
Your meetings, called the ball, to which appear
As to the court of pleasure, all your gallants
And ladies, thither bound by a subpæna
Of Venus and small Cupid's high displeasure:
'Tis but the family of Love, translated
Into more costly sin; there was a play on it;
And had the poet not been bribed to a modest
Expression of your antic gambols in it,
Some darks had been discovered; and the deeds tiroi
In time he may repent, and make some blush,
To see the second part danced on the stage.
My thoughts acquit you for dishonoring me
By any foul act; but the virtuous know,
'Tis not enough to clear ourselves, but the
Suspicions of oui shame.
Have you concluded
Your lecture i .
I have done, and howsoever
My language may appear to you, it carries
No other than my fair and just intent
To your delights, without curb to their nodest
And noble freedom.
I'll not be so tedious
In my reply, but, without art or elegance,