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If the multiplicity of editions may be considered the criterion of public opinion, Faustus ranked considerably above this play, in the estimation of our ancestors; it was called for early, and went through five editions before 1663; whereas Lust's Dominion was not published till 1657, upwards of sixty years after the decease of its author. In particular passages, and some whole scenes, Faustus has great beauties; but it must have been principally indebted for its success, to the superstitious ignorance of the times ; Lust's Dominion is a much better play: it was altered by Mrs. Behn, and performed at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1671, under the title of Abdelazar ; and probably furnished hints for the admirable tragedy of The Revenge. But, notwithstanding the luxuriance of imagery in the first scenes, the exquisite delicacy of the language that is throughout given to Maria, and the great beauty of parts, “it has too much of King Cambyses' vein; rape, and murder, and superlatives ;” and if the stage be intended as a portraiture of real character, such representations tend only to excite a disgust and abhorrence of human nature : with the exception of the innocent Maria, the fiery Philip, Isabella, Alvero, and Hortenzo, there is not one with whom our feelings hold communion. The open representation of the devil in Faustus is less offensive than the introduction of him here in the garb of a Moor: but the philantropy of our ancestors was not shocked at any representation of an African or an Israelite.
Eleazar, the Moor, Prince of Fesse and Barbary.
to Hortenzo and Maria. Mendoza, the Cardinal. Christofero,
two Noblemen of Spain.
two Moors attending Eleazar.
The Queen Mother of Spain, and Wife to King Philip.
The Scene, Spain.
ACT. I. Scene I. Enter Zarack, BALTAZAR, two Moors, taking
Tobacco ; Music sounding within: enter QUEEN MOTHER OF SPAIN with two PAGES: ELEAZAR, sitting on a Chair, suddenly draws the Curtain*. Eleaz. On me does music spend this sound !
Qu. Mo. My gracious lord.
you slaves !
Did not I bind you on your lives to watch,
Qu. Mo. Gentle Eleazar.
[Exeunt two Moors. Qu. Mo. Why is my love's aspect so grim and
horrid ? Look smoothly on me; Chime out your softest strains of harmony,
• The curtains, in front of the old theatres, divided in the middle, and was drawn to the sides : but it may save further explanation to add here, that, “beside the principal curtain they sometimes used others as substitutes for scenes.'
And on delicious music's silken wings
Eleaz. Away, away!
Eleaz. Nay, prithee, good queen, leave me; I am now sick, heavy, and dull as lead. Qu. Mo. I'll make thee lighter by taking some
thing from thee. Eleaz. Do: take from me this ague, and these
That, hanging on me,
Qu. Mo. What means my love?
Eleaz. What, die for me? away!
Eleaz. At thee.