The Old English Dramatists, Volume 10

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Riverside Press, 1892 - Dramatists, English - 132 pages

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Page 15 - What things have we seen Done at the Mermaid ! heard words that have been So nimble, and so full of subtle flame, As if that every one from whence they came Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest, And had resolved to live a fool the rest Of his dull life...
Page 37 - Had fed the feeling of their masters' thoughts, And every sweetness that inspired their hearts, Their minds, and muses on admired themes ; If all the heavenly quintessence they still From their immortal flowers of poesy, Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive The highest reaches of a human wit ; If these had made one poem's period, And all combined in beauty's worthiness, Yet should there hover in their restless heads One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least, Which into words no virtue can...
Page 130 - Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased ; Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow ; Raze out the written troubles of the brain ; And, with some sweet, oblivious antidote, Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff, Which weighs upon the heart ? Doct.
Page 40 - The reluctant pangs of abdicating royalty in Edward furnished hints, which Shakspeare scarcely improved in his Richard the Second ; and the death-scene of Marlowe's king moves pity and terror beyond any scene, ancient or modern, with which I am acquainted.
Page 50 - I'll have them fly to India for gold, Ransack the ocean for orient pearl, And search all corners of the new-found world For pleasant fruits and princely delicates; I'll have them read me strange philosophy And tell the secrets of all foreign kings...
Page 75 - Call for the robin-red-breast and the wren, Since o'er shady groves they hover, And with leaves and flowers do cover The friendless bodies of unburied men. Call unto his funeral dole The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole To rear him hillocks that shall keep him warm And (when gay tombs are robbed) sustain no harm, But keep the wolf far thence that's foe to men, For with his nails he'll dig them up again.
Page 49 - All things that move between the quiet poles Shall be at my command : emperors and kings Are but obeyed in their several provinces, Nor can they raise the wind or rend the clouds ; But his dominion that exceeds in this Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man, A sound magician is a mighty god : Here, Faustus, tire thy brains to gain a deity.
Page 37 - Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend The wondrous architecture of the world, And measure every wandering planet's course, Still climbing after knowledge infinite, And always moving as the restless spheres, Wills us to wear ourselves, and never rest, Until we reach the ripest fruit of all, That perfect bliss and sole felicity, The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.
Page 51 - Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ, Yet will I call on him: O spare me, Lucifer! Where is it now? 'tis gone: And see where God Stretcheth out his arm and bends his ireful brows! Mountains and hills, come, come, and fall on me, And hide me from the heavy wrath of God ! No, no.
Page 105 - Spit, fire! spout, rain! Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters: I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness; I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children, You owe me no subscription: then, let fall Your horrible pleasure; here I stand, your slave, A poor, infirm, weak, and despis'd old man. But yet I call you servile ministers, That have with two pernicious daughters join'd Your high-engender'd battles 'gainst a head So old and white as this.

About the author (1892)

James Russell Lowell (February 22, 1819 - August 12, 1891) was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers. But Lowell's real strengths as a writer are better found in his prose essays than in his verse. A man great in literary learning (he was professor of belles-lettres at Harvard College for many years), wise and passionate in his commitments, he was a great upholder of tradition and value. His essays on the great writers of England and Europe still endure, distinguished not only by their astute insights into the literary classics of Western culture, but also by their spectacular style and stunning wit. Lowell graduated from Harvard College in 1838 and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School. He published his first collection of poetry in 1841. Nor was Lowell merely a dweller in an ivory tower. In his youth, he worked passionately for the cause of abolition, risking his literary reputation for a principle that he saw as absolute. In his middle years, he was founding editor of the Atlantic Monthly and guided it during its early years toward its enormous success. In his final years, this great example of American character and style represented the United States first as minister to Spain (1877--80), and afterwards to Great Britain (1880--85). Lowell was married twice: First to the poet Mary White Lowell, who died of tuberculosis, and second to Frances Dunlap. He died on August 12, 1891, at his home, Elmwood. He was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

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