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My actions shall speak me. "Twere to doubt you,
08 The good sense, rational fondness, and chastised feeling, of this dialogue, make it more valuable than many of those scenes in which this writer has attempted a deeper passion and more tragical interest. Massinger had not the higher requisites of his art in any thing like the degree in which they were possessed by Ford, Webster, Tourneur, Heywood, and others. He never shakes or disturbs the mind with grief. He is read with composure and placid delight. He wrote with that equability of all the passions, which made his English style the purest and most free from violent metaphors and harsh constructions, of any of the dramatists who were his contemporaries.
A VERY WOMAN; OR, THE PRINCE OF TARENT. A TRAGI-COMEDY. BY PHILIP MASSINGER.
Don John Antonio, Prince of Tarent, in the disguise of a slave, recounts to the Lady Almira, she not knowing him in that disguise, the story of his own passion for her, and O? MA of the unworthy treatment which he found from her.
John. Not far from where my father lives, a lady,
Dwelt, and most happily, as I thought then,
And bless'd the house a thousand times she dwelt in.
Alm. How feelingly he speaks! And she loved you
It must be so.
John. I would it had, dear lady.
This story had been needless; and this place,
I think, unknown to me.
Alm. Were your bloods equal?
John. Yes; and, I thought, our hearts too.
Alm. Then she must love.
John. She did; but never me: she could not love me;
She would not love; she hated; more, she scorn'd me:
Alm. An ill woman!
Belike you found some rival in your love then?
Last, to blot me
From all remembr'ance, what I have been to her,
For which I lost my country, friends, acquaintance,
And sold me here.
A COMEDY. BY
THE PARLIAMENT OF LOVE.
Cleremond takes an oath to perform his mistress Leonora's pleasure. She enjoins him to kill his best friend. He invites Montrose to the field, under pretence of wanting him for a second: then shews, that he must fight with him.
Cler. This is the place.
Mont. An even piece of ground,
Without advantage; but be jocund, friend:
Cler. I need not,
So well I am acquainted with your valour,
But victory still sits upon your sword,
And must not now forsake you.
Mont. You shall see me
Come boldly up; nor will I shame your cause,
By parting with an inch of ground not bought
With blood on my part.
Cler. "Tis not to be question'd:
That which I would entreat, (and pray you grant it,)
Mont. When we encounter
A noble foe, we cannot be too noble.
Cler. That I confess; but he that's now to oppose you, I know for an arch villain; one that hath lost
All feeling of humanity, one that hates
A most ungrateful wretch, (the name's too gentle,
Mont. You describe
A monster to me.
Cler. True, Montrose, he is so.
Africk, though fertile of strange prodigies,
So sold to hell and mischief, that a traitor
To his most lawful prince, a church-robber,
Cramm'd with the purest grain, suffers his parents,
Mont. I ne'er heard
Of such a cursed nature; if long-lived,
He would infect mankind: rest you assured,
He finds from me small courtesy.
Cler. And expect
As little from him; blood is that he thirsts for,
Not honourable wounds.
Mont. I would I had him
Within my sword's length!
Cler. Have thy wish: Thou hast !
(Cleremond draws his sword.)