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Charm with her excellent voice an awful silence
Through all this building, that her sphery soul
May (on the wings of air) in thousand forms
Invisibly fly, yet be enjoy'd.
LINGUA; A COMEDY. BY ANTHONY BREWER.
The ancient Hebrew, clad with mysteries;
The learned Greek, rich in fit epithets,
Blest in the lovely marriage of pure words;
The Chaldee wise, the Arabian physical,
The Roman eloquent, and Tuscan grave,
The braving Spanish, and the smooth-tongued French
Tragedy and Comedy.
-fellows both, both twins, but so unlike
As birth to death, wedding to funeral :
For this that rears himself in buskins quaint,
Is pleasant at the first, proud in the midst,
Stately in all, and bitter death at end.
That in the pumps doth frown at first acquaintance,
Trouble the midst, but in the end concludes
Closing up all with a sweet catastrophe.
This grave and sad, distained with brinish tears:
That light and quick, with wrinkled laughter painted:
This deals with nobles, kings, and emperors,
Full of great fears, great hopes, great enterprizes;
This other trades with men of mean condition,
His projects small, small hopes, and dangers little :
This gorgeous, broider'd with rich sentences:
That fair, and purfled round with merriments.
Both vice detect, and virtue beautify,
By being death's mirror, and life's looking-glass.
THE HISTORY OF ANTONIO AND MELLIDA. THE FIRST
PART. BY JOHN MARSTON.
Andrugio, Duke of Genoa, banished his country, with the loss of a son, supposed drowned, is cast upon the territory of his mortal enemy the Duke of Venice with no attendants but Lucio, an old nobleman, and a Page.
Andr. Is not yon gleam the shudd'ring Morn that flakes
With silver tincture the east verge of heaven?
Luc. I think it is, so please your Excellence.
Andr. Away, I have no Excellence to please.
Prithee observe the custom of the world;
That only flatters greatness, states exalts.
And please my Excellence! O Lucio,
Thou hast been ever held respected, dear,
Even precious to Andrugio's inmost love:
Good, flatter not.
My thoughts are fixt in contemplation
Why this huge earth, this monstrous animal
That eats her children, should not have eyes
Philosophy maintains that Nature's wise,
And forms no useless nor unperfect thing.
Did Nature make the earth, or the earth Nature?
For earthly dirt makes all things, makes the man,
Moulds me up honor, and, like a cunning Dutchman,
Paints me a puppet even with seeming breath,
And gives a sot appearance of a soul.
Go to, go to; thou ly'st, Philosophy.
Nature forms things unperfect, useless, vain.
Why made she not the earth with eyes and ears?
That she might see desert and hear men's plaints;
That when a soul is splitted, sunk with grief,
He might fall thus upon the breast of Earth,
And in her ear halloo his misery,
Exclaiming thus: O thou all bearing Earth,
Which men do gape for till thou cramm'st their mouths
And choak'st their throats with dust: open thy breast,
And let me sink into thee: look who knocks;
Andrugio calls. But O she's deaf and blind.
A wretch but lean relief on earth can find.
Luc. Sweet Lord, abandon passion; and disarm.
Since by the fortune of the tumbling sea
We are roll'd up upon the Venice marsh,
Let's clip all fortune, lest more low'ring fate-
Andr. More low'ring fate! O Lucio, choke that breath.
Now I defy chance. Fortune's brow hath frown'd,
Even to the utmost wrinkle it can bend :
Her venom's spit. Alas! what country rests,
What son, what comfort, that she can deprive?
Triumphs not Venice in my overthrow ?
Gapes not my native country for my blood?
Lies not my son tomb'd in the swelling main?
And in more low'ring fate? There's nothing left
Unto Andrugio but Andrugio:
Nor mischief, force, distress, nor hell can take:
Fortune my fortunes not my mind shall shake.
Luc. Speak like yourself: but give me leave, my Lord,
To wish you safety. If you are but seen,
Your arms display you; therefore put them off,
Andr. Would'st have me go unarm'd among my foes? Being besieg'd by Passion, entering lists
To combat with Despair and mighty Grief:
My soul beleaguer'd with the crushing strength
Of sharp Impatience. Ha, Lucio; go unarm'd?
Come, soul, resume the valor of thy birth;
Myself myself will dare all opposites:
I'll muster forces, an unvanquish'd power:
Cornets of horse shall press th' ungrateful earth:
This hollow-wombed mass shall inly groan
And murmur to sustain the weight of arms :
Ghastly Amazement, with upstarted hair,
Shall hurry on before, and usher us,
Whilst trumpets clamor with a sound of death.
Luc. Peace, good my lord, your speech is all too light. Alas, survey your fortunes, look what's left
Of all your forces and your utmost hopes;
A weak old man, a page, and your poor self.
Andr. Andrugio lives; and a Fair Cause of Arms,
Why, that's an army all invincible.
He who hath that, hath a battalion royal,
Armor of proof, huge troops of barbed steeds,
Main squares of pikes, millions of harquebush.
O, a Fair Cause stands firm, and will abide;
Legions of Angels fight upon her side.
[The situation of Andrugio and Lucio resembles that of Lear and Kent, in that King's distresses. Andrugio, like Lear, manifests a kind of royal impatience, a turbulent greatness, an affected resignation. The Enemies which he enters lists to combat, "Despair and mighty Grief, and sharp Impatience," and the Forces (" Cornets of Horse," &c.) which he brings to vanquish them, are in the boldest style of Allegory. They are such a "race of mourners 99 as "the infection of sorrows loud" in the intellect might beget on "some pregnant cloud" in the imagination.]
THE SECOND PART OF THE HISTORY 2 OF ANTONIO AND MELLIDA. BY JOHN MARSTON.
The rawish dank of clumsy winter ramps
The fluent summer's vein; and drizzling sleet
Chilleth the wan bleak cheek of the numb'd earth,
While snarling gusts nibble the juiceless leaves
From the nak'd shudd'ring branch, and pills† the skin
From off the soft and delicate aspects.
O now methinks a sullen tragic scene
* This prologue for its passionate earnestness, and for the tragic note of preparation which it sounds, might have preceded one of those old tales of Thebes, or Pelops' line, which Milton has so highly commended, as free from the common error of the poets in his days, "of intermixing comic stuff with tragic sadness and gravity, brought in without discretion corruptly to gratify the people." It is as solemn a preparative as the "warning voice which he who saw th' Apocalypse, heard cry."
Would suit the time with pleasing congruence.
May we be happy in our weak devoir,
And all part pleas'd in most wish'd content.
But sweat of Hercules can ne'er beget
So blest an issue. Therefore we proclaim,
If any spirit breathes within this round
Uncapable of weighty passion
(As from his birth being hugged in the arms,
And nuzled 'twixt the breasts of Happiness*),
Who winks and shuts his apprehension up
From common sense of what men were, and are;
Who would not know what men must be let such
Hurry amain from our black visag'd shows;
We shall affright their eyes. But if a breast,
Nail'd to the earth with grief; if any heart,
Pierc'd through with anguish, pant within this ring;
If there be any blood, whose heat is choak'd
And stifled with true sense of misery :
If aught of these strains fill this consort up,
They arrive most welcome. O that our power
Could lacky or keep wing with our desires;
That with unused poize of stile and sense
We might weigh massy in judicious scale!
Yet here's the prop that doth support our hopes:
When our scenes falter, or invention halts,
Your favor will give crutches to our faults.
Antonio, son to Andrugio Duke of Genoa, whom Piero the Venetian Prince and father-in-law to Antonio has cruelly murdered, kills Piero's little son, Julio, as a sacrifice to the ghost of Andrugio.-The scene, a church-yard: the time, midnight.
Jul. Brother Antonio, are you here i'faith?
Why do you frown? Indeed my sister said,
That I should call you brother, that she did,
When you were married to her. Buss me: good truth,
I love you better than my father, 'deed.
* "Sleek favorites of Fortune." Preface to Poems by S. T. Coleridge.