Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ant. Thy father ? gracious, O bounteous heaven, I do adore thy justice. Venit in nostras manus Tandem vindicta, venit et tota quidem.

Jul. Truth, since my mother died, I loved you best.
Something hath anger'd you: pray you, look merrily.

Ant. I will laugh, and dimple my thin cheek
With capering joy; chuck, my heart doth leap
To grasp thy bosom. Time, place, and blood,
How fit you close together ! heaven's tones
Strike not such music to immortal souls,
As your accordance sweets my breast withal.
Methinks I pace upon the front of Jove,
And kick corruption with a scornful heel,
Griping this flesh, disdain mortality.
O that I knew which joint, which side, which limb
Were father all, and had no mother in it;
That I might rip it vein by vein, and carve revenge
In bleeding traces: but since 'tis mix'd together,
Have at adventure, pell-mell, no reverse.
Come hither, boy ; this is Andrugio's hearse.

Jul. O God, you'll hurt me. For my sister's sake,
Pray you don't hurt me. And

you

kill I'll tell

my

father. Ant. Oh, for thy sister's sake I flag revenge.

Andrugio's Ghost cries “ Revenge.”
Ant. Stay, stay, dear father, fright mine eyes no more.
Revenge as swift as lightning, bursteth forth
And clears his heart. Come, pretty tender child,
It is not thee I hate, or thee I kill.
Thy father's blood that flows within thy veins,
Is it I lothe ; is that, revenge must suck.

love thy soul : and were thy heart lapt up
In any flesh but in Piero's blood,
I would thus kiss it: but, being his, thus, thus,
And thus I'll punch it. Abandon fears :
Whilst thy wounds bleed, my brows shall gush out tears.
Jul. So

you
will love

me,
do
even what

you

will. [Dies. Ant. Now barks the wolf against the full-cheekt moon;

me, 'deed

Now lions' half-clam'd entrails roar for food;
Now croaks the toad, and night-crows screech aloud,
Fluttering 'bout casements of departing souls !
Now
gape

the

graves, and through their yawns let loose
Imprison'd spirits to revisit earth:
And now, swart Night, to swell thy hour out
Behold I spurt warm blood in thy black eyes.

(From under the earth a groan.)
Howl not, thou putry mould; groan not, ye graves ;
Be dumb, all breath. Here stands Andrugio's son,
Worthy his father. So; I feel no breath;
His jaws are fall'n, his dislodged soul is fled,
And now there's nothing but Piero left.
He is all Piero, father all. This blood,
This breast, this heart, Piero all :
Whom thus I mangle Spright of Julio,
Forget this was thy trunk. I live thy friend.
Mayst thou be twined with the soft’st embrace
Of clear eternity 3* but thy father's blood
I thus make incense of to Vengeance.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Day breaking -see, the dapple grey coursers of the morn Beat

up the light with their bright silver hoofs And chase it through the sky.

One who died, slandered.

Look on those lips,
Those now lawn pillows, on whose tender softness
Chaste modest Speech, stealing from out his breast,
Had wont to rest itself, as loth to post

com out so fair an Inn: look, look, they seem
To stir,
And breathe defiance to black obloquy.

Wherein fools are happy. Even in that, note a fool's beatitude ;

* “ To lie immortal in the arms of Fire.” Browne's Religio Medici. Of the punishments in hell.

He is not capable of passion ;
Wanting the power of distinction,
He bears an unturn'd sail with every wind :
Blow east, blow west, he steers his course alike.
I never saw a fool lean: the chub-faced fop
Shines sleek with full cram’d fat of happiness :
Whilst studious contemplation sucks the juice
From wisard’s* cheeks, who making curious search
For nature's secrets, the First Innating Cause
Laughs them to scorn, as man doth busy Apes
When they will zany men.
Maria (the Duchess of Genoa) describes the death of Mellida, her

daughter-in-law.
Being laid upon her bed she grasp’d my hand,
And kissing it, spake thus, Thou very poor,
Why dost not weep? the jewel of thy brow,
The rich adornment that inchas'd thy breast,
Is lost; thy son, my love, is lost, is dead.
And have I liv'd to see his virtues blurr'd
With guiltless blots ? O world, thou art too subtil
For honest natures to converse withal :
Therefore I'll leave thee : farewell, mart of wo;
I fly to clip my love Antonio,-
With that, her head sunk down

upon

her breast;
Her cheek chang’d earth, her senses slept in rest :
Until my Fool,t that crept unto the bed,
Screech'd out so loud that he brought back her soul,
Callid her again, that her bright eyes 'gan ope
And stared

upon
him:

he audacious fool
Dared kiss her hand, wisht her soft rest, lov’d Bride ;
She fumbled out, thanks, good : and so she died.

* Wise men's.
† Antonio, who is thought dead, but still lives in that disguise.

THE MALCONTENT. A TRAGI-COMEDY. BY JOHN MARSTON.

The Malcontent describes himself.
I cannot sleep, my eyes' ill neighboring lids
Will hold no fellowship. Othou pale sober night,
Thou that in sluggish fumes all sense dost steep ;
Thou that giv’st all the world full leave to play,
Unbend'st the feebled veins of

sweaty

labor :
The gally-slave, that all the toilsome day
Tugs at the oar against the stubborn wave,
Straining his rugged veins, snores fast;
The stooping scythe-man, that doth barb the field,
Thou mak’st wink sure; in night all creatures sleep,
Only the Malcontent, that 'gainst his fate
Repines and quarrels : alas he's Goodman Tell-clock;
His sallow jaw-bones sink with wasting moan;
Whilst others' beds are down, his pillow's stone.

Place for a Penitent.
My cell 'tis, lady; where, instead of masks,
Music, tilts, tournies, and such court-like shows,
The hollow murmur of the checkless winds
Shall groan again, whilst the unquiet sea
Shakes the whole rock with foamy battery.
There Usherless* the air come in and out;
The rheumy vault will force your eyes to weep,
Whilst you behold true desolation.
A rocky barrenness shall pierce your eyes;
Where all at once one reaches, where he stands,
With brows the roof, both walls with both his hands.

*i. e. without the ceremony of an Usher to give notice of its approach, as is usual in Courts. As fine as Shakspeare: “the bleak air thy boisterous Chamberlain.”

THE WONDER OF WOMEN: OR THE TRAGEDY OF

SOPHONISBA. BY JOHN MARSTON.

Description of the Witch Erictho.
Here in this desart, the great Soul of Charms
Dreadful Erictho lives; whose dismal brow
Contemns all roofs, or civil coverture.
Forsaken graves and tombs (the ghosts forc'd out)
She joys to inhabit.
A loathsome yellow leanness spreads her face,
A heavy hell-like paleness loads her cheeks,
Unknown to a clear heaven. But if dark winds
Or black thick clouds drive back the blinded stars,
When her deep magic makes forc'd heaven quake,
And thunder, spite of Jove : Erictho then
From naked graves stalks out, heaves proud her head,
With long unkemb’d hair loaden, and strives to snatch
The night's quick sulphur; then she bursts up tombs
From half-rot sear-cloths; and she scrapes dry gums
For her black rites : but when she finds a corse
But newly grav’d, whose entrails are not turn’d
To slimy filth, with greedy havoc then
She makes fierce spoil, and swells with wicked triumph
To bury her lean knuckles in his eyes :
Then doth she gnaw the pale and o’er-grown nails
From his dry hand: but if she find some life
Yet lurking close, she bites his gelid lips,
And sticking her black tongue in his dry throat,
She breathes dire murmurs, which enforce him bear
Her baneful secrets to the spirits of horror.

Her Cave.

Hard by the reverent ruins
Of a once glorious temple, rear'd to Jove,
Whose very rubbish (like the pitied fall
Of virtue much unfortunate) yet bears
A deathless majesty, though now quite ras’d,
Hurld down by wrath and lust of impious kings,

« PreviousContinue »