Page images

Confects the substance of the choicest fruits
In a rich candy, with such imitation
Of form and colour, 'twill deceive the eye,
Until the taste be ravish’d.

Fol. Comfits and caraways, marchpanes and marmalades, sugar-plums and pippin-pies, gingerbread and walnuts.

Hum. Nor is his bounty limited; he'll not spare To exhaust the treasure of a thousand Indies.

Fol. Two hundred pound suppers, and neither fiddlers nor broken glasses reckoned; besides, a hundred pound a throw, ten times together, if you can hold out so long.

Ray. You tell me wonders !
Be my conductress ; I'll fly this place in secret:
Three quarters of my time are almost spent,
The last remains to crown my full content.
Now, if I fail, let man's experience read mé;
'Twas Humour, join'd with Folly, did mislead me.

Hum. Leave this naked season,
Wherein the very trees shake off their locks,
It is so poor and barren.

Fol. And when the hair falls off, I have heard a poet say, 'tis no good sign of a sound body. Ray. Come, let's go taste old Winter's fresh

delights, And swell with pleasures our big appetites. The Summer, - Autumn, [Winter] and the Spring, As 'twere conjoin'd in one conjugal ring, (An emblem of four provinces we sway,) Shall all attend our pastimes night and day;

Shall both be subject to our glorious state,
While we enjoy the blessings of our fate:
And since we have notice that some barbarous

spirits Mean to oppose our entrance, if by words They'll not desist, we'll force our way with swords.



The Court of WINTER.

Enter several Cloons, 1 Clown. Hear you the news, neighbour ?

2 Clown. Yes, to my grief, neighbour; they say our prince Raybright is coming hither, with whole troops and trains of courtiers : we are like to have a fine time on't, neighbours.

3 Clown. Our wives and daughters are, for they are sure to get by the bargain; though our barn be emptied, they will be sure to be with bairn for't. Oh, these courtiers, neighbours, are pestilent knaves; but ere I'll suffer it, I'll pluck a crow+ with some of 'em.

3 Here the fourth Act probably ended in the first sketch of this drama, as what follows seems merely preparatory to the introduction of Raybright in a character which could not bave originally been in the writer's contemplation. James 1. died not many months after the first appearance of the Sun's Darling, and I can think of no more probable cause for the insertion of this purpureus pannus, than a desire in the managers to gratify the cominon feeling, by paying some extraordinary compliment to the youthful monarcb, his successor. On the score of poetry, the speeches of Winter are entitled to praise; but they grievously offend on the side of propriety, and bear no relation whatever to the previous language and conduct of Raybright. But the readers of our antient: drama must be prepared for inconsistencies of this kind, and be as indulgent to them as possible, in consideration of the many excellencies by which they are almost invariably redeemed.

1 Clown. 'Faith, neighbour, let's lay our heads together, and resolve to die like men, rather than live like beasts.

2 Clown. Aye, like horn-beasts, neighbour: they may talk, and callus rebels, but a fig for that, 'tis not a fart matter: let's be true amongst ourselves, and with our swords in hand resist his entrance.

Enter WINTER. Win. What sullen murmurings' does your gall

bring forth? Will you prov't true, “No good comes from the

north ?Bold, saucy mortals, dare you then aspire With snow and ice to quench the sphere of fire ? Are your hearts frozen like your clime, from thence All temperate heat's fled of obedience? How durst you else with force think to withstand Your prince's entry into this his land ? A prince, who is so excellently good, His virtue is his honour, more than blood;

4 Pluck a crow.] A vulgar expression for picking a quarrel with a person.

's What sullen murmurings, &c.] The old copy has such. What the genuine word was, it is not easy to say; the former edition reads sullen, to which I have no other objection than that the dissatisfaction of the clowns is loud and violent. With a different pointing, the old text night stand; but it is scarcely worth a new arrangement.

In whose clear nature, as two suns, do rise
The attributes of merciful and wise;
Whose laws are so impartial, they must
Be counted heavenly, 'cause they're truly just :
Who does, with princely moderation, give
His subjects an example how to live;
Teaching their erring natures to direct
Their wills, to what it ought most to affect :
That, as the sun does unto all dispense
Heat, light, nay life, from his full influence:

wild fools, possess’d with giant rage,
Dare, in your lawless fury, think to wage
War against Heaven; and from his shining throne
Pull Jove himself, for you to tread upon;
Were your heads circled with his own green oak,
Yet are they subject to his thunder stroke,
And he can sink such wretches as rebel,
From Heaven's sublime height to the depth of Hell.

1 Clown. The devil he can as soon! we fear no colours; let him do his worst; there's many a tall fellow, besides us, will rather die than see his living taken from them, nay, even eat up: all things are grown so dear, there's no enduring more mouths than our own, neighbour.

2 Clown. Thou’rt a wise fellow, neighbour; prate is but prate. They say this prince too would bring new laws upon us, new rites into the temples of our gods; and that's abominable; we'll all be hang'd first.

Win. A most fair pretence To found rebellion

upon conscience!

Dull, stubborn fools! whose perverse judgments still
Are govern'd by the malice of your will,
Not by indifferent reason, which to you
Comes, as in droughts the elemental dew
Does on the parch'd earth; wets, but does not give
Moisture enough to make the plants to live.
Things void of soul! can you conceive, that he,
Whose every thought's an act of piety,
Who's all religious, furnish'd with all good
That ever was comprised in flesh and blood,
Cannot direct you in the fittest way
To serve those Powers, to which himself does pay
True zealous worship, nay's so near allied
To them, himself must needs be deified ?

Enter FOLLY. Fol. Save you, gentlemen! 'Tis very cold; you live in frost; you've Winter still about you.

2 Clown. What are you, sir?

Fol. A courtier, sir; but, you may guess, a very foolish one, to leave the bright beams of my lord, the prince, to travel hither. I have an ague on me; do you not see me shake? Well, if our courtiers, when they come hither, have not warm young wenches, good wines and fires, to heat their blood, 'twill freeze into an apoplexy. Farewell, frost! I'll go seek a fire to thaw me; I'm all ice, I fear, already.

[Exit. 1 Clown. Farewell, and be hanged! ere such as these shall eat what we have sweat for, we'll spend our bloods. Come, neighbours, let's go

« PreviousContinue »