« PreviousContinue »
Ray. Under the Sun, you are the year's great
emperor. Aut. On now, to new variety of feasts; Princely contents are fit for princely guests.
Ray. My lord, I'll follow. [Flourish. Exit Aut. Sure, I am not well.
Fol. Surely I am half drunk, or monstrously mistaken : you mean to stay here, belike?
Ray. Whither should I go else?
Fol. Nay, if you will kill yourself in your own defence, I'll not be of your jury.
Re-enter HUMOUR. Hum. You have had precious pleasures, choice
of drunkenness; Will you
be Ray. I feel a war within me, And every doubt that resolution kills Springs up a greater: In the year's revolution, There cannot be a season more delicious, When Plenty, Summer's daughter, empties daily Her cornucopia, fill'd with choicest viands.
Fol. Plenty's horn is always full in the city. Ray. When temperate heat offends not with
extremes, When day and night have their distinguishment With a more equal measure;
Hum. Ha! in contemplation?
Fol. Troubling himself with this windy-guts, this belly-aching Autumn, this Apple John Kent, and warden of Fruiterers' hall.
Ray. When the bright Sun, with kindly distant
beams Gilds ripen'd fruit;
Hum. And what fine meditation Transports you thus? You study some encomium Upon the beauty of the garden's queen ; You'd make the paleness to supply the vacancy Of Cynthia's dark defect.
Fol. Madam, let but a green-sickness chambermaid be thoroughly steeled, if she get not a better colour in one month, I'll be forfeited to Autumn for ever, and fruit-eat my flesh into a consumption, Hum. Come, Raybright; whatsoe'er sugges;
tions Have won on thy apt weakness, leave these
Ray. I must.
Hum. You shall not;
Fol. Pork, beef, mutton, very sweet mutton, veal, venison, capon, fine fat capon, partridge, snite, plover, larks, teal, admirable teal, my lord.
Hum. Mistery there, like to another nature,
Confects the substance of the choicest fruits
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!
Hum. Leave this naked season,
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,
spirits Mean to oppose our entrance, if by words They'll not desist, we'll force our way with swords.
ACT V. SCENE I.
The Court of WINTER.
Enter several Cloruns.
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.
* 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 have 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 common feeling, by paying some extraordinary compliment to the youthful monarch, 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 wbich 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 call us 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.
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 might stand ; but it is scarcely worth a new arrangenient.