Imagens das páginas

He stakes his quiver, bow, and arrows,
His mother's doves and team of sparrows;
Loses them too, then down he throws
The coral of his lip, the rose

Growing on's cheek, but none knows how;
With these the crystal of his brow,
And then the dimple of his chin;
All these did my Campaspe win:
At last he set her both his eyes;
She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
O Love, hath she done this to thee?
What shall, alas, become of me!


O cruel Love! on thee I lay

My curse, which shall strike blind the day:
Never may sleep, with velvet hand,
Charm thine eyes with sacred wand;
Thy gaolers shall be hopes and fears;
Thy prison-mates groans, sighs, and tears;
Thy play, to wear out weary times,
Fantastic passions, vows, and rhymes.
Thy bread be frowns, thy drink be gall,
Such as when you Phao call;
The bed thou liest on be despair,
Thy sleep fond dreams, thy dreams long care.
Hope, like thy fool, at thy bed's head,
Mocks thee till madness strike thee dead,
As, Phao, thou dost me with thy proud eyes;
In thee poor Sappho lives, for thee she dies.


What bird so sings, yet so does wail?
O'tis the ravished nightingale-
Jug, jug, jug, jug-teru-she cries,
And still her woes at midnight rise.
Brave prick-song! who is 't now we hear?
None but the lark so shrill and clear;
Now at heaven's gate she claps her wings,
The morn not waking till she sings.
Hark, hark! but what a pretty note,
Poor Robin Redbreast tunes his throat;
Hark, how the jolly cuckoos sing
'Cuckoo !' to welcome in the spring.


GEORGE PEELE held the situation of city poet and conductor of pageants for the court. In 1584 his Arraignment of Paris, a court show, was represented before Elizabeth. The author was then a young man, who had recently left Christ Church, Oxford. In 1593, Peele gave an example of an English historical play in his Edward I. The style of this piece is turgid and monotonous; yet in the following allusion to England, we see something of the high-sounding kingly speeches in Shakspeare's historical plays:

Apostrophe to England.

Illustrious England, ancient seat of kings,
Whose chivalry hath royalised thy fame,
That, sounding bravely through terrestrial vale,
Proclaiming conquests, spoils, and victories,
Rings glorious echoes through the farthest world!
What warlike nation, trained in feats of arms---
What barbarous people, stubborn, or untamed-
What climate under the meridian signs,
Or frozen zone under his brumal stage,

Erst has not quaked and trembled at the name
Of Britain and her mighty conquerors?

Her neighbour realms, as Scotland, Denmark, France,
Awed with her deeds, and jealous of her arms,
Have begged defensive and offensive leagues.
Thus Europe, rich and mighty in her kings,
Hath feared brave England, dreadful in her kings.
And now, to eternise Albion's champions,
Equivalent with Trojan's ancient fame,
Comes lovely Edward from Jerusalem,
Veering before the wind, ploughing the sea;
His stretched sails filled with the breath of men,
That through the world admire his manliness.
And lo, at last arrived in Dover road,

Longshank, your king, your glory, and our son,
With troops of conquering lords and warlike knights,
Like bloody crested Mars, o'erlooks his host,
Higher than all his army by the head,
Marching along as bright as Phoebus' eyes!
And we, his mother, shall behold our son,
And England's peers shall see their sovereign.

Peele was also author of the Old Wives' Tale, a legendary story, part in prose, and part in blank verse, which afforded Milton a rude outline of his fable of Comus. The Old Wives' Tale was printed in 1595, as acted by 'the Queen's Majesty's Players.' The greatest work of Peele is his Scripture drama, the Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe, with the tragedy of Absalom, which Campbell terms the earliest fountain of pathos and harmony that can be traced in our dramatic poetry.' The date of representation of this drama is not known; it was not printed till 1599, after Shakspeare had written some of his finest comedies, and opened up a fountain compared with which the feeble tricklings of Peele were wholly insignificant. It is not probable that Peele's play was written before 1590, as one passage in it seems a direct plagiarism from the Faery Queen of Spenser. We may allow Peele the merit of a delicate poetical fancy and smooth musical versification. The defect of his blank verse is its want of variety: the art of varying the pauses and modulating the verse without the aid of rhyme had not yet been generally adopted. In David and Bethsabe, this monotony is less observable, because his lines are smoother, and there is a play of rich and luxurious fancy in some of the


Prologue to King David and Fair Bethsabe.
Of Israel's sweetest singer now I sing,
His holy style and happy victories;
Whose Muse was dipt in that inspiring dew,
Archangels 'stilled from the breath of Jove,
Decking her temples with the glorious flowers
Heaven rained on tops of Sion and Mount Sinai.
Upon the bosom of his ivory lute

The cherubim and angels laid their breasts;
And when his consecrated fingers struck

The golden wires of his ravishing harp,

He gave alarum to the host of heaven,

That, winged with lightning, brake the clouds, and cast
Their crystal armour at his conquering feet.

Of this sweet poet, Jove's musician,
And of his beauteous son, I press to sing;
Then help, divine Adonai, to conduct,
Upon the wings of my well-tempered verse,
The hearers' minds above the towers of heaven,
And guide them so in this thrice haughty flight,
Their mounting feathers scorch not with the fire
That none can temper but thy holy hand:
To thee for succour flies my feeble Muse,
And at thy feet her iron pen doth use.


BETHSABE and her maid bathing. King DAVID above.

The Song.

Hot sun, cool fire, tempered with sweet air,
Black shade, fair nurse, shadow my white hair:
Shine, sun; burn, fire; breathe, air, and ease me;
Black shade, fair nurse, shroud me and please me;
Shadow-my sweet nurse-keep me from burning,
Make not my glad cause, cause of mourning.
Let not my beauty's fire

Inflame unstaid desire,

Nor pierce any bright eye

That wandereth lightly.

To flowers sweet odours, and to odours wings,
That carry pleasures to the hearts of kings.
Now comes my lover tripping like the roe,
And brings my longings tangled in her hair:
To 'joy her love I 'll build a kingly bower,
Seated in hearing of a hundred streams,
That, for their homage to her sovereign joys,
Shall, as the serpents fold into their nests,
In oblique turnings wind the nimble waves
About the circles of her curious walks,

And with their murmur summon easeful Sleep,
To lay his golden sceptre on her brows.

Charles Lamb says justly, that the line, 'seated in
hearing of a hundred streams,' is the best in the

Bethsabe. Come, gentle Zephyr, tricked with those above passage. It is indeed a noble poetical perfumes

That erst in Eden sweetened Adam's love,

And stroke my bosom with the silken fan:

This shade-sun-proof-is yet no proof for thee;
Thy body, smoother than this waveless spring,
And purer than the substance of the same,

Can creep through that his lances1 cannot pierce.
Thou and thy sister, soft and sacred Air,
Goddess of life and governess of health,
Keeps every fountain fresh and arbour sweet;
No brazen gate her passage can repulse,
Nor bushy thicket bar thy subtle breath.

Then deck thee with thy loose delightsome robes,
And on thy wings bring delicate perfumes,

To play the wanton with us through the leaves.

David. What tunes, what words, what looks, what wonders pierce

My soul, incensed with a sudden fire!

What tree, what shade, what spring, what paradise,
Enjoys the beauty of so fair a dame?
Fair Eva, placed in perfect happiness,
Lending her praise-notes to the liberal heavens,
Struck with the accents of archangels' tunes,
Wrought not more pleasure to her husband's thoughts
Than this fair woman's words and notes to mine.
May that sweet plain that bears her pleasant weight,
Be still enamelled with discoloured flowers;
That precious fount bear sand of purest gold;
And for the pebble, let the silver streams
That pierce earth's bowels to maintain the source,
Play upon rubies, sapphires, chrysolites;
The brim let be embraced with golden curls
Of moss, that sleeps with sound the waters make
For joy to feed the fount with their recourse;
Let all the grass that beautifies her bower
Bear manna every morn, instead of dew;
Or let the dew be sweeter far than that

That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,
Or balm which trickled from old Aaron's beard.

Enter CUSAY.

See, Cusay, see the flower of Israel,
The fairest daughter that obeys the king,
In all the land the Lord subdued to me.
Fairer than Isaac's lover at the well,
Brighter than inside bark of new-hewn cedar,
Sweeter than flames of fine perfumed myrrh;
And comelier than the silver clouds that dance
On Zephyr's wings before the King of heaven.
Cusay. Is it not Bethsabe the Hethite's wife,
Urias, now at Rabath siege with Joab?

Dav. Go now and bring her quickly to the king;
Tell her, her graces hath found grace with him.
Cus. I will, my lord.


Dav. Bright Bethsabe shall wash in David's bower In water mixed with purest almond flower, And bathe her beauty in the milk of kids; Bright Bethsabe gives earth to my desires, Verdure to earth, and to that verdure flowers,

1 The sun's rays.


Parable of Nathan and David.

Nathan. Thus Nathan saith unto his lord the king:
There were two men both dwellers in one town;
The one was mighty, and exceeding rich

In oxen, sheep, and cattle of the field;
The other poor, having nor ox, nor calf,
Nor other cattle, save one little lamb,

Which he had bought, and nourished by his hand;
And it grew up, and fed with him and his,
And ate and drank as he and his were wont,
And in his bosom slept, and was to him
As was his daughter or his dearest child.-
There came a stranger to this wealthy man,
And he refused and spared to take his own,
Or of his store to dress or make his meat,
But took the poor man's sheep, partly poor man's store;
And drest it for this stranger in his house.
What, tell me, shall be done to him for this?

David. Now, as the Lord doth live, this wicked man
Is judged, and shall become the child of death;
Fourfold to the poor man he shall restore,
That without mercy took his lamb away.


David, thus saith the Lord thy God by me:
I thee anointed king in Israel,

And saved thee from the tyranny of Saul;
Thy master's house I gave thee to possess,
His wives unto thy bosom I did give,
And Juda and Jerusalem withal;

And might, thou know'st, if this had been too small,
Have given thee more.

Wherefore, then, hast thou gone so far astray,
And hast done evil, and sinned in my sight?
Urias thou hast killed with the sword,

Yea, with the sword of the uncircumcised

Thou hast him slain; wherefore, from this day forth,
The sword shall never go from thee and thine:
For thou hast ta'en this Hethite's wife to thee;
Wherefore, behold, I will, saith Jacob's God,
In thine own house stir evil up to thee;
Yea, I before thy face will take thy wives,
And give them to thy neighbour to possess.
This shall be done to David in the day,
That Israel openly may see thy shame.

Dav. Nathan, I have against the Lord, I have
Sinned, O sinned grievously, and lo!
From heaven's throne doth David throw himself,
And groan and grovel to the gates of hell.

Nath. David, stand up; thus saith the Lord by me:
David the king shall live, for he hath seen
The true repentant sorrow of thy heart;
But for thou hast in this misdeed of thine
Stirred up the enemies of Israel

To triumph and blaspheme the Lord of Hosts,
And say: 'He set a wicked man to reign
Over his loved people and his tribes ;'
The child shall surely die, that erst was born,
His mother's sin, his kingly father's scorn.

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In 1588, THOMAS KYD produced his play of Hieronimo or Jeronimo, and some years afterwards a second part to it, under the title of The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo is Mad Again. This second part is supposed to have gone through more editions than any play of the time. Ben Jonson was afterwards engaged to make additions to it, when it was revived in 1601, and further editions in 1602. These new scenes are said by Lamb to be 'the very salt of the old play,' and so superior to Jonson's acknowledged works, that he attributes them to Webster, or some 'more potent spirit' than Ben. This seems refining too much in criticism. Kyd, like Marlowe, often verges upon bombast, and 'deals largely in blood and death.' Nothing seems to be known of his personal history.

HIERONIMO mad, for the loss of his murdered son.
Hieronimo. My son ! and what's a son?
A lump bred up in darkness, and doth serve
To balance those light creatures we call women;
And at the nine months' end creeps forth to light.
What is there yet in a son,

To make a father dote, rave, or run mad?
Being born, it pouts, cries, and breeds teeth.
What is there yet in a son?

He must be fed, be taught to go, and speak.

Ay, or yet? why might not a man love a calf as well? Or melt in passion o'er a frisking kid, as for a son? Methinks a young bacon,

Or a fine little smooth horse-colt,

Should move a man as much as doth a son;
For one of these, in very little time,
Will grow to some good use; whereas a son
The more he grows in stature and in years,
The more unsquared, unlevelled he appears;
Reckons his parents among the rank of fools,
Strikes cares upon their heads with his mad riots,
Makes them look old before they meet with age;
This is a son; and what a loss is this, considered truly!
Oh, but my Horatio grew out of reach of those
Insatiate humours: he loved his loving parents:
He was my comfort, and his mother's joy,
The very arm that did hold up our house-
Our hopes were stored up in him;

None but a damned murderer could hate him.
He had not seen the back of nineteen years,

When his strong arm unhorsed the proud prince
Balthazar ;

And his great mind, too full of honour, took

To mercy that valiant but ignoble Portuguese.
Well, Heaven is Heaven still!

And there is Nemesis, and furies,

And things called whips,

And they sometimes do meet with murderers:

They do not always 'scape-that's some comfort.

Ay, ay, ay, and then time steals on, and steals, and steals,

Till violence leaps forth, like thunder
Wrapt in a ball of fire,

And so doth bring confusion to them all.


JAQUES and PEDRO, Servants. Jaques. I wonder, Pedro, why our master thus At midnight sends us with our torches light, When man and bird and beast are all at rest, Save those that watch for rape and bloody murder. Is much distract since his Horatio died: Pedro. O Jaques, know thou that our master's mind And, now his aged years should sleep in rest, His heart in quiet, like a desperate man Grows lunatic and childish for his son: Sometimes, as he doth at his table sit, He speaks as if Horatio stood by him; Then starting in a rage, falls on the earth, Cries out: Horatio, where is my Horatio?' So that with extreme grief, and cutting sorrow, There is not left in him one inch of man. See, here he comes.


Hier. I pry through every crevice of each wall,
Look at each tree, and search through every brake,
Beat on the bushes, stamp our grandame earth,
Yet cannot I behold my son Horatio.
Dive in the water, and stare up to heaven;
How now, who's there, sprites, sprites?

Ped. We are your servants that attend you, sir.
Hier. What make you with your torches in the dark?
Ped. You bid us light them, and attend you here.
Hier. No, no; you are deceived: not I; you are

Was I so mad to bid you light your torches now?
Light me your torches at the mid of noon,
When as the sun-god rides in all his glory;
Light me your torches then.

Ped. Then we burn daylight.

Hier. Let it be burned: Night is a murderous slut, That would not have her treasons to be seen: And yonder pale-faced Hecate there, the moon, Doth give consent to that is done in darkness. And all those stars that gaze upon her face, Are aglets on her sleeve, pins on her train: And those that should be powerful and divine, Do sleep in darkness when they most should shine. Ped. Provoke them not, fair sir, with tempting words. The heavens are gracious; and your miseries And sorrow make you speak you know not what.

Hier. Villain! thou liest; and thou doest nought But tell me I am mad: thou liest ; I am not mad: I know thee to be Pedro; and he, Jaques.

I'll prove it to thee; and were I mad, how could I? Where was she the same night when my Horatio was


She should have shone: search thou the book.

Had the moon shone in my boy's face, there was a kind of grace,

That I know, nay, I do know had the murderer seen him,

His weapon would have fallen, and cut the earth,
Had he been framed of nought but blood and death.
Alack! when mischief doth it knows not what,
What shall we say to mischief?

ISABELLA, his wife, enters.

Isabella. Dear Hieronimo, come in a-doors.
O seek not means to increase thy sorrow.

Hier. Indeed, Isabella, we do nothing here.
I do not cry; ask Pedro and Jaques :
Not I indeed; we are very merry, very merry!
Isa. How? be merry here, be merry here?
Is not this the place, and this the very tree,
Where my Horatio died, where he was murdered?
Hier. Was, do not say what: let her weep it out.
This was the tree; I set it of a kernel;
And when our hot Spain could not let it grow,
But that the infant and the human sap
Began to wither, duly twice a morning
Would I be sprinkling it with fountain water:
At last it grew and grew, and bore and bore:

Till at length it grew a gallows, and did bear our son.
It bore thy fruit and mine. O wicked, wicked plant!
See who knocks there. [One knocks within at the door.
Ped. It is a painter, sir.

Hier. Bid him come in, and paint some comfort,
For surely there's none lives but painted comfort.
Let him come in; one knows not what may chance.
God's will that I should set this tree! but even so
Masters ungrateful servants rear from nought,
And then they hate them that did bring them up.

The Painter enters.

Painter. God bless you, sir.

Hier. Wherefore? why, thou scornful villain? How, where, or by what means should I be blest? Isa. What wouldst thou have, good fellow? Pain. Justice, madam.

Hier. O ambitious beggar, wouldst thou have that That lives not in the world?

Why, all the undelved mines cannot buy

An ounce of justice, 'tis a jewel so inestimable.

I tell thee, God hath engrossed all justice in his hands, And there is none but what comes from him.

Pain. O then, I see that God must right me for my murdered son.

Hier. How! was thy son murdered?
Pain. Ay, sir; no man did hold a son so dear.

1 Tags of points.

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THOMAS NASH, a lively satirist, who amused the town with his attacks on Gabriel Harvey and the Puritans, wrote a comedy called Summer's Last Will and Testament, which was exhibited before Queen Elizabeth in 1592. He was also concerned with Marlowe in writing the tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage. He was imprisoned for being the author of a satirical play, never printed, called the Isle of Dogs. Another piece of Nash's, entitled the Supplication of Pierce Penniless to the Devil, was printed in 1592, which was followed next year by Christ's Tears over Jerusalem. Nash was a native of Lowestoft, in Suffolk, and was born about the year 1564; he was of St John's College, Cambridge. He died about the year 1600, after a 'life spent,' he says, 'in fantastical satirism, in whose veins heretofore I misspent my spirit, and prodigally conspired against good hours.' He was the Churchill of his day, and was much famed for his satires. One of his contemporaries remarks of him, in a happy couplet :

His style was witty, though he had some gall; Something he might have mended, so may all. Return from Parnassus.

The versification of Nash is hard and monotonous. The following is from his comedy of Summer's Last Will and Testament, and is a favourable specimen of his blank verse: great part of the play is in prose:

I never loved ambitiously to climb,

Or thrust my hand too far into the fire.
To be in heaven sure is a blessed thing;
But, Atlas-like, to prop heaven on one's back,
Cannot but be more labour than delight.
Such is the state of men in honour placed :
They are gold vessels made for servile uses;
High trees that keep the weather from low houses,
But cannot shield the tempest from themselves.
I love to dwell betwixt the hills and dales,
Neither to be so great as to be envied,
Nor yet so poor the world should pity me.

In Pierce Penniless, Nash draws a harrowing picture of the despair of a poor scholar :

Ah, worthless wit! to train me to this woe:
Deceitful arts that nourish discontent :

Ill thrive the folly that bewitched me so !
Vain thoughts, adieu! for now I will repent-
And yet my wants persuade me to proceed,
For none take pity of a scholar's need.
Forgive me, God, although I curse my birth,
And ban the air wherein I breathe a wretch,
Since misery hath daunted all my mirth,
And I am quite undone through promise' breach;
Ah, friends!-no friends that then ungentle frown
When changing fortune casts us headlong down.

On this subject, Nash was always fluent. He was an author by profession-careless, jovial, and dissipated-alternating between riotous excess and abject misery. His ready and pungent pen was at the service of any patron or cause that would pay, but he was generally in want. In his Pierce Penniless, he thus paints his situation in 1592: Having spent many years in studying how to live, and lived a long time without money; having tired my youth with folly, and surfeited my mind with vanity, I began at length to look back to repentance, and addressed my endeavours to prosperity; but all in vain. I sat up late and rose early, contended with the cold and conversed with scarcity; for all my labours turned to loss: my vulgar muse was despised and neglected; my pains not regarded, or slightly rewarded; and I myself in prime of my best wit, laid open to poverty.'

The condition of the times Nash describes as lamentable. Men of art,' he says, 'must seek alms of cormorants, and those that deserve best, to be kept under by dunces, who count it a policy to keep them bare, because they should follow their books the better.' But he is quite willing to let himself out to one of these wealthy dunces: 'Gentles, it is not your lay chronographers, that write of nothing but mayors and sheriffs, and the Dear Year and the Great Frost, that can endow your names with never-dated glory, for they want the wings of choice words to fly to heaven, which we have; they cannot sweeten a discourse, or wrest admiration from mere reading, as we can, reporting the meanest accident. Poetry is the honey of all flowers, the quintessence of all sciences, the marrow of all wits, and the very phrase of angels: how much better is it, then, to have an eloquent lawyer to plead one's case than a strutting townsman, who loseth himself in his tale, and doth nothing but make legs; so much it is better for a nobleman or gentleman to have his honour's story related and his deeds emblazoned by a poet than a citizen. . . . For my part, I do challenge no praise of learning to myself, yet have I worn a gown in the university; but this I dare presume, that if any Mæcenas bind me to him by his bounty, or extend some sound liberality to me worth the speaking of, I will do him as much honour as any poet of my beardless years shall in England. Not that I am so confident what I can do, but that I attribute so much to my thankful mind above others, which would enable me, I am persuaded, to work miracles. On the contrary side, if I be evil entreated, or sent away with a flea in mine ear, let him look that I'll rail on him soundly, not for an hour or a day while the injury is fresh in my memory, but in some elaborate polished poem, which I will leave to the world when I am dead, to be a living image to all ages of his beggarly parsimony and ignorant illiberality: and let him not, whatsoever he be, treasure the weight of my words by this book, where I write quicquid in buccam veniret, as fast as my hand can trot; but I have terms, if I be vexed, laid in steep in aquafortis and gunpowder, that shall rattle through the skies, and make an earthquake in a peasant's


The works of this formidable satirist are numerous-as, Return of the Renowned Cavaliero Pasquil of England (1589); Strange Newes of the

Intercepting Certaine Letters (1592)—another fling at Harvey; Martin's Month's Mind (1589); Pasquil's Apology (1590); The Terrors of the Night, or a Discourse of Apparitions (1594); &c. The least valuable of his productions are his attempts at the drama, but the stage offered attractions at that period which were irresistible to a needy author.


ROBERT GREENE, a more distinguished dramatist, is believed to have been born at Norwich, about the year 1560. He was a graduate of St John's College, Cambridge, 1578, but took his degree of M.A. at Clare Hall in 1583. In his work, The Repentance of Robert Greene (1592), the unfortunate dramatist confesses his early iniquities. Being at the university of Cambridge,' he says, I light among wags as lewd as myself, with whom I consumed the flower of my youth, who drew me to travel into Italy and Spain, in which places I saw and practised such villainy as is abominable to declare. Thus by their counsel I sought to furnish myself with coin, which I procured by cunning sleights from my father and my friends, and my mother pampered me so long, and secretly helped me to the oil of angels; so that being then conversant with notable braggarts, boon-companions, and ordinary spendthrifts, that practised sundry superficial studies, I became as a scion grafted into the same stock, whereby I did absolutely participate of their nature and qualities. At my return into England, I ruffled out in my silks, in the habit of Malcontent, and seemed so discontent that no place would please me to abide in, nor no vocation cause me to stay myself in; but after I had by degrees proceeded master of arts (1583), I left the university, and away to London, where-after I had continued some short time, and driven myself out of credit with sundry of my friends-I became an author of plays and a penner of lovepamphlets, so that I soon grew famous in that quality, that who, for that trade, known so ordinary about London as Robin Greene? Young yet in years, though old in wickedness, I began to resolve that there was nothing bad that was profitable; whereupon I grew so rooted in all mischief, that I had as great a delight in wickedness as sundry have in godliness, and as much felicity I took in villainy as others had in honesty.' This account is amply borne out by contemporary testimony, especially by that of Gabriel Harvey, who has painted Greene in the darkest colours. In the midst of his dissipation, however, Greene lost none of his facility for literary composition. His first performance, Mamillia, appeared in 1583; and before his death, on the 3d of September 1592, he had produced above forty plays, poems, and tales. His works were highly popular, and were eagerly bought up by all classes. The most creditable of his prose works are short tales and romances, interspersed with poetry-as Pandosto, the Triumph of Time, or the History of Dorastus and Faunia (1589); the History of Arbasto, King of Denmark; A Pair of Turtle Doves, or the Tragical History of Bellora and Fidelio; Menaphon; &c. Others relate to his own history and adventures-as Greene's Never too Late, or a Power of Experience;

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