« PreviousContinue »
Cle. My loved lord-
Duke. Not moved a whit!
Constant to lightning still! -'tis strange to meet you
Upon a ground so unfrequented, sir :
This does not fit your passion; you are for mirth,
Or I mistake you
much. Cle. But finding it
Grow to a noted imperfection in me
(For any thing too much is vicious),
I come to these disconsolate walks of purpose
Only to dull and take away the edge on it.
I had a greater zeal to sadness,
A natural propension, I confess, my lord,
Before that cheerful accident fell out,-
If I may call a father's funeral cheerful,
Without wrong done to duty or my love.
Duke. It seems then you take pleasure in these walks, sir ?
Cle. Contemplative content I do, my lord :
They bring into my mind oft meditations
So sweetly precious, that in the parting
I find a shower of grace upon my cheeks,
They take their leave so feelingly.
Duke. So, sir-
Cle. Which is a kind of grave delight, my lord.
Duke. And I have small cause, Cleanthes, to afford you
The least delight that has a name.
Cle. My lord
Duke. In your excess of joy you have express'd
Your rancour and contempt against my law :
Your smiles deserve fining; you have profess’d
Derision openly ev'n to my face,
Which might be death, a little more incensed.
You do not come for any freedom here,
But for a project of your own;
But all that’s known to be contentful to thee,
Shall in the use prove deadly. Your life 's mine,
If ever thy presumption do but lead thee
Into these walks again- -ay, or that woman-
I'll have them watch'd on purpose. 1st Court. Now, now, his colour ebbs and flows. 2nd Court. Mark hers too. Hip. O! who shall bring food to the poor old man now ?
Speak somewhat, good sir, or we are lost for ever.
[Apart to CLEANTIES. Cle. O! you did wondrous ill to call me again.
There are not words to help us. If I entreat,
'Tis found; that will betray us worse than silence.
Prithee, let Heaven alone, and let's say nothing.
[Apart to HIPPOLITA. 1st Court. You have struck them dumb, my lord. 2nd Court. Look how guilt looks! Cle. He is safe still, is he not? Hip. O! you do ill to doubt it. Apart. Cle. Thou art all goodness. 2nd Court. Now does your grace
believe? Duke. 'Tis too apparent.
Search, make a speedy search; for the imposture
Cannot be far off, by the fear it sends. Cle. Ha!
[lord, 2nd Court. He has the lapwing's cunning, I am afraid, my
That cries most when she is farthest from the nest. Cle. O! we are betray’d.
[There is an exquisiteness of moral sensibility, making one to gush out tears of delight, and a poetical strangeness in all the improbable circumstances of this wild play, which are unlike any thing in the dramas which Massinger wrote alone. The pathos is of a subtler edge. Middleton and Rowley, who assisted in this play, had both of them finer geniuses than their associate.?
THE TRAGEDY OF PHILIP CHABOT, ADMIRAL OF FRANCE :
BY GEORGE CHAPMAN AND JAMES SHIRLEY. The ADMIRAL is accused of treason, a criminal process is instituted against
him, and his faithful servant ALLEGRE is put on the rack to make him discover : his innocence is at length established by the confession of his enemies; but the disgrace of having been suspected for a traitor by his royal Master, sinks so deep into him, that he falls into a mortal sickness.
ADMIRAL. ALLEGRE, supported between two. Adm. Welcome my injured servant: what a misery
Have they made on thee!
Al. Though some change appear
Upon my body, whose severe affliction
Hath brought it thus to be sustain'd by others,
My heart is still the same in faith to you,
Not broken with their
Adm. Alas, poor man!
Were all my joys essential, and so mighty,
As the affected world believes I taste,
This object were enough to unsweeten all.
Though, in thy absence, I had suffering,
And felt within me a strong sympathy,
While for my sake their cruelty did vex
And fright thy nerves with horror of thy sense,
Yet in this spectacle I apprehend
More grief, than all my imagination
Could let before into me. Didst not curse me
Upon the torture ?
Al. Good my lord, let not
The thought of what I suffer'd dwell upon
Your memory; they could not punish more
Than what my duty did oblige to bear
For you and justice: but there's something in
Your looks presents more fear, than all the malice
Of my tormenters could affect my soul with.
That paleness, and the other forms you wear,
Would well become a guilty admiral, one
Lost to his hopes and honour, not the man
Upon whose life the fury of injustice,
Arm'd with fierce lightning and the power of thunder,
Can make no breach. I was not rack'd till now.
There's more death in that falling eye, than all
Rage ever yet brought forth. What accident, sir, can
Can be so black and fatal, to distract
The calm, the triumph, that should sit upon
Your noble brow ? misfortune could have no
Time to conspire with fate, since you were rescued
By the great arm of Providence; nor can
Those garlands, that now grow about your forehead,
With all the poison of the world be blasted.
Adm. Allegre, thou dost bear thy wounds upon thee
In wide and spacious characters, but in
The volume of my sadness thou dost want
eye to read. An open force hath torn
Thy manly sinews, which some time may cure.
The engine is not seen that wounds thy master;
Past all the remedy of art, or time,
The flatteries of court, of fame, or honours.
Thus in the summer a tall flourishing tree,
Transplanted by strong hand, with all her leaves
And blooming pride upon her, makes a show
Of spring, tempting the eye with wanton blossoms :
But not the sun with all her amorous smiles,
The dews of morning, or the tears of night,
Can root her fibres in the earth again;
Or make her bosom kind, to growth and bearing:
But the tree withers; and those very beams,
That once were natural warmth to her soft verdure,
Dry up her sap, and shoot a fever through
The bark and rind, till she becomes a burden
To that which gave her life: so Chabot, Chabot
Al. Wander in apprehension! I must
Suspect your health indeed.
Adm. No, no, thou shalt not
Be troubled : I but stirr’d thee with a moral,
That’s empty; contains nothing. I am well:
See, I can walk; poor man, thou hast not strength yet. The father of the ADMIRAL makes known the condition his son is in to
FATHER. KING. King. Say, how is my admiral ?
The truth upon thy life. Fath. To secure his, I would you
had. King. Ha! who durst oppose him ? Fath. One that hath power enough, hath practised on him,
And made his great heart stoop. King. I will revenge it
With crushing, crushing that rebellious power
To nothing. Name him.
Fath. He was his friend.
King. What mischief hath engender'd
Fath. 'Tis the old tempest.
King. Did not we
Appease all horrors that look'd wild upon him ? Fath. You dress’d his wounds, I must confess, but made
No cure; they bleed afresh: pardon me, sir;
Although your conscience have closed too soon,
He is in danger, and doth want new surgery:
Though he be right in fame, and your opinion,
He thinks you were unkind.
King. Alas, poor Chabot!
Doth that afflict him ?
Fath. So much, though he strive
With most resolved and adamantine nerves,
As ever human fire in flesh and blood
Forged for example, to bear all; so killing
The arrows that you shot were (still, your pardon !)
· No centaur's blood could rankle so. King. If this
Be all, I'll cure him. Kings retain
More balsam in their soul, than hurt in anger.
Fath. Far short, sir; with one breath they uncreate :
And kings, with only words, more wounds can make
Than all their kingdom made in balm can heal.
'Tis dangerous to play too wild a descant
On numerous virtue; though it become princes
To assure their adventures made in every thing,
Goodness, confined within poor flesh and blood,
Hath but a queazy and still sickly state;
A musical hand should only play on her,
Fluent as air, yet every touch command.
King. No more:
Commend us to the admiral, and say
The king will visit him, and bring health.
Fath. I will not doubt that blessing, and shall move
Nimbly with this command.
The KING visits the ADMIRAL.
KING. ADMIRAL. His wife, and father.
King. No ceremonial knees :
Give me thy heart, my dear, my bonest Chabot ;
And yet in vain I challenge that; 'tis here
Already in my own, and shall be cherish'd
With care of my best life: no violence
Shall ravish it from my possession;
Not those distempers that infirm my blood
And spirits, shall betray it to a fear:
When time and nature join to dispossess
My body of a cold and languishing breath;
No stroke in all my arteries, but silence
In every faculty; yet dissect me then,
And in my heart the world shall read thee living;