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Desire of union with the thing beloved.
Lov. I meant a definition. For I make The efficient cause, what's beautiful and fair ; The formal cause, the appetite of union ; The final cause, the union itself. But larger, if you 'll have it, by description : It is a flame and ardour of the mind, Dead in the proper corpse, quick in another's : Transfers the lover into the beloved, That he, or she, that loves, engraves or stamps 10 The idea of what they love, first in themselves : Or, like to glasses, so their minds take in The forms of their belov'd, and them reflect. It is the likeness of affections, Is both the parent and the nurse of love. Love is a spiritual coupling of two souls, So much more excellent as it least relates Unto the body ; circular, eternal ; Not feign'd, or made, but born: and then, so
precious, As nought can value it, but itself. So free, 20 As nothing can command it but itself. And in itself so round and liberal, As, where it favours, it bestows itself. But we must take and understand this love Along still as a name of dignity, Not pleasure. True love hath no unworthy thought, no light Loose unbecoming appetite, or strain ; But fixed, constant, pure, immutable.
Beau. Í relish not these philosophical feasts ; 30 Give me a banquet o'sense, like that of Ovid ; A form, to take the eye; a voice, mine ear ; Pure aromatics to my scent; a soft Smooth dainty hand to touch; and, for my taste, Ambrosiac kisses to melt down the palate.
Lov. They are the earthly, lower form of lovers, Are only taken with what strikes the senses, And love by that loose scale. Altho' I grant, We like what's fair and graceful in an object, And (true) would use it, in the all we tend to, 40 Both of our civil and domestic deeds, In ordering of an army, in our style,
Apparel, gesture, building, or what not?
40 And drawing on a fellowship of sin ? From note of which, though for a while we may Be both kept safe by caution, yet the conscience
Cannot be cleans'd. For what was hitherto
(These and the preceding extracts may serve to shew the poetical fancy and elegance of mind of the supposed rugged old Bard. A thousand beautiful passages might be adduced from those numerous court masques and entertainments which he was in the daily habit of furnishing, to prove the same thing. But they do not come within my plan. That which follows is a specimen of that talent for comic humour, and the assemblage of ludicrous images, on which his reputation chiefly rests. It may serve for a variety after so many serious extracts. ]
THE SAD SHEPHERD: OR, A TALE OF
BY THE SAME.
ALKEN, an old Shepherd, instructs Robin Hood's Men
how to find a Witch, and how she is to be hunted. ROBIN Hood. TUCK, LITTLE JOHN. SCARLET.
SCATHLOCK. GEORGE, ALKEN. CLARION.
Cla. This is an argument
Alk. She must by some device restrained be, Or she'll go far in mischief.
Rob. Advise how,
10 Alken, as if you knew the sport of witch-hunting, Or starting of a hag.
Rob. Go, Sirs, about it, Take George here with you, he can help to find her. John. Rare sport, I swear, this hunting of the
witch Will make us.
Scar. Let's advise upon 't, like huntsmen.
what wind : Or north, or south.
20 Geo. For, as the shepherd said, A witch is a kind of hare.
Scath. And marks the weather,
John. Where shall we hope to find her ?
Alk. Within a gloomy dimble she doth dwell,
30 Torn with an earthquake down unto the ground, 'Mongst graves, and grots, near an old charnel house, Where you shall find her sitting in her fourm, As fearful, and melancholic, as that She is about ; with caterpillars' kells, And knotty cobwebs, rounded in with spells. Thence she steals forth to relief, in the fogs, And rotten mists, upon the fens and bogs, Down to the drowned lands of Lincolnshire ; To make ewes cast their lambs, swine eat their
The house-wife's tun not work, nor the milk churn !
John. I wonder such a story could be told
10 Had inclosed nothing but the merry pranks Of some old woman.
Scar. Yes, her malice more.
Geo. Aye, this good learned man Can speak her right.
Scar. He knows her shifts and haunts. Alk. And all her wiles and turns. The venom'd plants
19 Wherewith she kills ! where the sad mandrake grows, Whose groans are deathful ! the dead - numbing
night-shade! The stupifying hemlock ! adder's tongue, And martagan! the shrieks of luckless owls, We hear ! and croaking night-crows in the air ! Green-bellied snakes ! blue fire-drakes in the sky! And giddy flitter-mice with leather wings ! The scaly beetles, with their habergeons That make a humming murmur as they fly! There, in the stocks of trees, white fays do dwell, And span-long elves that dance about a pool, 30 With each a little changeling in their arms ! The airy spirits play with falling stars, And mount the sphere of fire, to kiss the moon ! While she sits reading by the glow-worm's light, Or rotten wood, o'er which the worm hath crept, The baneful schedule of her nocent charms, And binding characters, through which she wounds Her puppets, the Sigilla of her witchcraft. All this I know, and I will find her for you ;