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So wretched man, displeas'd with those delights
Would yield a quick'ning savour to his soul,
Pursues with eager and unstanched thirst
The greedy longings of his loathsome flesh."

Although there is a very beautiful simplicity in the narrative of Nathan's rebuke to David, we do not think our readers will be displeased to see the parallel passage in Peele. The concluding lines remind one very strongly of the style which modern Reviewers have agreed to term "lakish."

"Nathan. Thus, Nathan saith unto his lord the king:
There were two men both dwellers in one town,
The one was mighty, and exceeding rich
In oxen, sheep, and cattle of the field;

The other poor, having nor ox, nor calf,
Nor other cattle, save one little lamb,
Which he had bought and nourish'd by the hand;
And it grew up, and fed with him and his,
And eat and drank, as he and his were wont,
And in his bosom slept, and was to live
As was his daughter or his dearest child.
There came a stranger to this wealthy man;
And he refus'd, and spar'd to take his own,
Or of his store to dress or make him meat,
But took the poor man's sheep, partly, poor man's store,
And dress'd it for this stranger in his house."

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There is considerable grandeur in the succeeding lines.

"Joab. Beauteous and bright is he among the tribes; As when the sun attir'd in glist'ring robe,

Comes dancing from his oriental gate,

And bridegroom-like hurls through the gloomy air
His radiant beams, such doth king David show."

The injunction of David to Joab on his departure with the forces sent against his rebellious son, presents the fondness of parental partiality in its loveliest aspect.

my sake spare the

"David. For
young man
Joab, thyself didst once use friendly words
To reconcile my heart incens'd to him;
If then thy love be to thy kinsman sound,
And thou wilt prove a perfect Israelite,
Friend him with deeds, and touch no hair of him,
Not that fair hair with which the wanton winds


Delight to play, and love to make it curl,
Wherein the nightingales would build their nests,
And make sweet bow'rs in ev'ry golden tress,
To sing their lover every night asleep.

O, spoil not, Joab, Jove's fair ornaments,
Which he hath sent to solace David's soul.".

The following scene is so excellent, is in such a dignified and sublime strain of poetry, that we cannot refrain from giving the whole of it.

David, Bethsabe, Solomon, Nathan, Adonia, Chileab, with their train. "Bethsabe, What means my lord, the lamp of Israel,

From whose bright eyes all eyes receive their light,
To dim the glory of his sweet aspects,

And paint his countenance with his heart's distress?
Why should his thoughts retain a sad conceit,
When every pleasure kneels before his throne,
And sues for sweet acceptance with his grace?
Take but your lute, and make the mountains dance,
Retrieve the sun's sphere, and restrain the clouds,
Give ears to trees, make savage lions tame,
Impose still silence to the loudest winds,
And fill the fairest day with foulest storms;
Then why should passions of much meaner power,
Bear head against the heart of Israel?

David. Fair Bethsabe, thou mightst increase the strength

Of these thy arguments, drawn from my skill,
By urging thy sweet sight to my conceits,
Whose virtue ever serv'd for sacred balm
To cheer my pinings past all earthly joys:
But, Bethsabe, the daughter of the highest,
Whose beauty builds the towers of Israel,
She, that in chains of pearl and unicorn,
Leads at her train the ancient golden world,
The world that Adam held in paradise,
Whose breath refineth all infectious airs,
And makes the meadows smile at her repair;

* But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absolom, for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head, there was no blemish in him.—And when he polled his head (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because his hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it,) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.-2 Sam. c. 14.

She, she, my dearest Bethsabe,

Fair Peace, the goddess of our graces here,
Is fled the streets of fair Jerusalem,
The fields of Israel, and the heart of David,
Leading my comforts in her golden chains,
Link'd to the life, and soul of Absalon.

Bethsabe. Then is the pleasure of my sov'reign's heart

So wrap'd within the bosom of that son,
That Salomon, whom Israel's God affects,
And gave the name unto him for his love,
Should be no salve to comfort David's soul?"

David. Salomon, my love, is David's lord;
Our God hath nam'd him lord of Israel :
In him (for that, and since he is thy son,)
Must David needs be pleased at the heart;
And he shall surely sit upon my throne:
But Absalon, the beauty of my bones,
Fair Absalon, the counterfeit of love,
Sweet Absalon, the image of content,
Must claim a portion in his father's care,
And be in life and death king David's son.

Nathan. Yet as my lord hath said, let Salomon reign,

Whom God in naming hath anointed king.
Now is he apt to learn th' eternal laws,
Whose knowledge being rooted in his youth
Will beautify his age with glorious fruits;
While Absalon, incens'd with graceless pride,
Usurps and stains the kingdom with his sin⚫
Let Salomon be made thy staff of age,
Fair Israel's rest, and honour of thy race.

David. Tell me, my Salomon, wilt thou embrace
Thy father's precepts graved in thy heart,
And satisfy my zeal to thy renown,
With practice of such sacred principles
As shall concern the state of Israel?

Salomon. My royal father, if the heav'nly zeal,
Which for my welfare feeds
upon your soul,
Were not sustain'd with virtue of mine own,
If the sweet accents of your cheerful voice
Should not each hour beat upon mine ears
As sweetly as the breath of heaven to him
That gaspeth scorched with the summer's sun;
I should be guilty of unpardoned sin,
Fearing the plague of heav'n, and shame of earth:
But since I vow myself to learn the skill

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And holy secrets of his mighty hand
Whose cunning tunes the musick of my soul,
It would content me, father, first to learn
How the eternal fram'd the firmament;
Which bodies lead their influence by fire;
And which are fill'd with hoary winter's use:
What sign is rainy; and what star is fair;
Why by the rules of true proportion

The year is still divided into months,

The months to days, the days to certain hours;
What fruitful race shall fill the future world;
Or for what time shall this round building stand;
What magistrates, what kings shall keep in awe
Men's minds with bridles of th' eternal law.

David. Wade not too far, my boy, in waves too deep:

The feeble eyes of our aspiring thoughts

Behold things present, and record things past;
But things to come exceed our human reach,
And are not painted yet in angels eyes:

For those, submit thy sense, and say-Thou power,
That now art framing of the future world,

Know'st all to come, not by the course of heaven,
By frail conjectures of inferiour signs,

By monstrous floods, by flights and flocks of birds,
By bowels of a sacrificed beast,

Or by the figures of some hidden art;
But by a true and natural presage,
Laying the ground and perfect architect
Of all our actions now before thine eyes,
From Adam to the end of Adam's seed.-—

O heav'n, protect my weakness with thy strength;
So look on me that I may view thy face,
And see these secrets written in thy brows.-

O sun, come dart thy rays upon my moon,

That now mine eyes, eclipsed to the earth,
May brightly be refin'd and shine to heaven :
Transform me from this flesh, that I may live
Before my death, regenerate with thee.--
O thou great God, ravish my earthly sprite,
That for the time a more than human skill
my sense;

May feed the organons of all
That, when I think, thy thoughts may be my guide,
And, when I speak, I may be made by choice
The perfect echo of thy heav'nly voice.

Thus say, my son, and thou shalt learn them all.

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Salomon. A secret fury ravisheth my soul,
Lifting my mind above her human bounds;
And, as the eagle, roused from her stand
With violent hunger, tow'ring in the air,
Seizeth her feather'd prey, and thinks to feed,
But seeing then a cloud beneath her feet,
Lets fall the fowl, and is emboldened
With eyes intentive to bedare the sun,
And flyeth close unto his stately sphere;
Só Salomon mounted on the burning wings
Of zeal divine, lets fall his mortal food,
And cheers his senses with celestial air,
Treads in the golden starry labyrinth,
And holds his eyes fix'd on Jehova's brows.
Good father, teach me further what to do."

And again-David is informed of the death of his son Absolon.

"David. Hath Absalon sustain'd the stroke of death?

Die, David, for the death of Absalon,

And make these cursed news the bloody darts,

That through his bowels rip thy wretched breast.
Hence, David, walk the solitary woods,

And in some cedar's shade, the thunder slew,
And fire from heav'n hath made his branches black,
Sit mourning the decease of Absalon;
Against the body of that blasted plant
In thousand shivers break thy ivory lute,
Hanging thy stringless harp upon his boughs,
And through the hollow sapless sounding trunk
Bellow the torments that perplex thy soul.
There let the winds sit sighing till they burst;
Let tempest, muffled with a cloud of pitch,
Threaten the forests with her hellish face,
And, mounted fiercely on her iron wings,
Rend up the wretched engine by the roots
That held my dearest Absalon to death.
Then let them toss my broken lute to heaven,
Even to his hands that beats me with the strings,
To show how sadly his poor shepherd sings."

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[He goes to his pavilion and sits close awhile.

The subject of this sacred drama seems to have elevated the genius of Peele, and to have embued him with an oriental exuberance of imagery. The beauty of the diction, and the stateliness and harmony of the versification, form a delightful

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