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Is it I loathe; is that, revenge must suck.
I love thy soul: and were thy heart lapt up
In any flesh but in Piero's blood,
I would thus kiss it: but, being his, thus, thus,
And thus I'll punch it. Abandon fears:
Whilst thy wounds bleed, my brows shall gush out
Jul. So you will love me, do even what you will.
[Dies. Ant. Now barks the wolf against the full-cheekt
Now lions' half-clam'd entrails roar for food;
Now croaks the toad, and night-crows screech aloud,
Fluttering 'bout casements of departing souls!
Now gape the graves, and through their yawns let
Imprison'd spirits to revisit earth:
And now, swart Night, to swell thy hour out
Behold I spurt warm blood in thy black eyes.
[From under the earth a groan.
Howl not, thou putry mould; groan not, ye graves;
Be dumb, all breath. Here stands Andrugio's son,
Worthy his father. So; I feel no breath;
His jaws are fall'n, his dislodged soul is fled.
And now there's nothing but Piero left.
He is all Piero, father all. This blood,
This breast, this heart, Piero all:
Whom thus I mangle Sprite of Julio,
Forget this was thy trunk. I live thy friend.
Mayst thou be twined with the soft'st embrace
Of clear eternity:* but thy father's blood
I thus make incense of to Vengeance.
-see, the dapple grey coursers of the morn Beat up the light with their bright silver hoofs And chase it through the sky.
One who died, slandered.
Look on those lips,
Those now lawn pillows, on whose tender softness
To lie immortal in the arms of Fire."-Browne's "Religio Medici," of the punishments in hell.
Chaste Modest Speech, stealing from out his breast,
Had wont to rest itself, as loth to post
From out so fair an Inn: look, look, they seem
And breathe defiance to black obloquy.
Wherein fools are happy.
Even in that, note a fool's beatitude;
He is not capable of passion;
Wanting the power of distinction,
He bears an unturn'd sail with every wind:
Blow east, blow west, he steers his course alike.
I never saw a fool lean: the chub-faced fop
Shines sleek with full cramm'd fat of happiness:
Whilst studious contemplation sucks the juice
From wisards'* cheeks, who making curious search
For nature's secrets, the First Innating Cause
Laughs them to scorn, as man doth busy Apes
When they will zany men.
MARIA (the Duchess of Genoa) describes the death of
MELLIDA, her daughter-in-law.
Being laid upon her bed she grasp'd my hand,
And kissing it spake thus; "Thou very poor,
Why dost not weep? the jewel of thy brow,
The rich adornment that enchas'd thy breast,
Is lost; thy son, my love, is lost, is dead.
And do I live to say Antonio's dead?
And have I liv'd to see his virtues blurr'd
With guiltless blots? O world, thou art too subtle
For honest natures to converse withal:
Therefore I'll leave thee: farewell, mart of woe;
I fly to clip my love Antonio."
With that, her head sunk down upon her breast;
Her cheek chang'd earth, her senses slept in rest: 30
Until my Fool, that crept unto the bed,
Screech'd out so loud that he brought back her soul,
Call'd her again, that her bright eyes 'gan ope
And stared upon him: he audacious fool
Dared kiss her hand, wished her soft rest, lov'd Bride;
She fumbled out, thanks, good and so she died.
† Antonio, who is thought dead, but still lives in that disguise.
THE MALCONTENT: A TRAGI-COMEDY.
The MALCONTENT describes himself.
I cannot sleep; my eyes' ill-neighbouring lids
Will hold no fellowship. O thou pale sober night,
Thou that in sluggish fumes all sense dost steep;
Thou that giv'st all the world full leave to play,
Unbend'st the feebled veins of sweaty labour:
The galley-slave, that all the toilsome day
Tugs at the oar against the stubborn wave,
Straining his rugged veins, snores fast;
The stooping scythe-man, that doth barb the field,
Thou mak'st wink sure; in night all creatures sleep,
Only the Malcontent, that 'gainst his fate
Repines and quarrels: alas, he 's Goodman Tell-clock;
His sallow jaw-bones sink with wasting moan;
Whilst others' beds are down, his pillow 's stone.
My cell 'tis, lady; where, instead of masks,
Music, tilts, tourneys, and such court-like shows,
The hollow murmur of the checkless winds
Shall groan again, whilst the unquiet sea
Shakes the whole rock with foamy battery.
There Usherless* the air comes in and out;
The rheumy vault will force your eyes to weep,
Whilst you behold true desolation.
A rocky barrenness shall pain your eyes;
Where all at once one reaches, where he stands,
With brows the roof, both walls with both his hands.
* i.e., without the ceremony of an Usher to give notice of its approach, as is usual in Courts. As fine as Shakspeare: "the bleak air thy boisterous Chamberlain."
In the Preface to this Play, the Poet glances at some of the Playwrights of his time: with a handsome acknowledgment, notwithstanding, of their excellencies.
"For my own interest for once let this be printed, that, of men of my own addition, I love most, pity some, hate none: for let me truly say it, I once only loved myself for loving them; and surely I shall ever rest so constant to my first affection, that, let their ungentle combinings, discourteous whispering, never so treacherously labour to undermine my unfenced reputation, I shall (as long as I have being) love the least of their graces, and only pity the greatest of their vices.
THE WONDER OF WOMEN; OR, THE
TRAGEDY OF SOPHONISBA.
Description of the Witch ERICTHO.
Here in this desert, the great Soul of Charms
Dreadful Erictho lives, whose dismal brow
Contemns all roofs, or civil coverture.
Forsaken graves and tombs (the ghosts forc'd out)
She joys to inhabit.
A loathsome yellow leanness spreads her face,
A heavy hell-like paleness loads her cheeks,
Unknown to a clear heaven. But if dark winds
Or thick black clouds drive back the blinded stars,
When her deep magic makes forc'd heaven quake, 20
And thunder, spite of Jove, Erictho then
From naked graves stalks out, heaves proud her head,
With long unkemb'd hair laden, and strives to snatch
The night's quick sulphur; then she bursts up tombs;
From half-rot sear-cloths then she scrapes dry gums
For her black rites: but when she finds a corse
But newly grav'd, whose entrails are not turn'd
To slimy filth, with greedy havock then
She makes fierce spoil, and swells with wicked triumph
To bury her lean knuckles in his eyes :
Then doth she gnaw the pale and o'er-grown nails
From his dry hand: but if she find some life
Yet lurking close, she bites his gelid lips,
And sticking her black tongue in his dry throat,
She breathes dire murmurs, which enforce him bear Her baneful secrets to the spirits of horror.
-Hard by the reverent ruins
Of a once glorious temple, rear'd to Jove,
Whose very rubbish (like the pitied fall
Of virtue much unfortunate) yet bears
A deathless majesty, though now quite razed,
Hurl'd down by wrath and lust of impious kings,
So that, where holy Flamens wont to sing
Sweet hymns to heaven, there the daw, and crow,
The ill-voic'd raven, and still-chattering pie,
Send out ungrateful sounds and loathsome filth;
Where statues and Jove's acts were vively* limn'd,
Boys with black coals draw the veil'd parts of nature
And lecherous actions of imagin'd lust;
Where tombs and beauteous urns of well-dead men 30
Stood in assured rest, the shepherd now
Unloads his belly, corruption most abhorr'd
Mingling itself with their renowned ashes:
There once a charnel-house, now a vast cave,
Over whose brow a pale and untrod grove
Throws out her heavy shade, the mouth thick arms
Of darksome yew, sun-proof, for ever choke;
Within, rests barren darkness, fruitless drought
Pines in eternal night; the steam of hell
Yields not so lazy air: there, that's her Cell.