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there to be kept by the aforesaid jailer Argus, otherwise Circumspection, for ever, unto whom Prudentia shall deliver a lock, whereupon shall be written In Eternum. Then Temperantia shall likewise deliver unto Argus a key, whose name shall be Nunquam, signifying that, when False Report and Discord are committed to the prison of Extreme Oblivion, and locked there everlastingly, he should put in the key to let them out nunquam [never]; and when he hath so done, then the trumpets to blow, and the English ladies to take the nobility of the strangers, and dance.'

On the second night, a castle is presented in the hall, and Peace comes in riding in a chariot drawn by an elephant, on which sits Friendship. The latter pronounces a speech on the event of the preceding evening, and Peace is left to dwell with Prudence and Temperance. The third night shewed Disdain on a wild boar, accompanied by Prepensed Malice, as a serpent, striving to procure the liberation of Discord and False Report, but opposed successfully by Courage and Discretion. At the end of the fight, ‘Disdain shall run his ways, and escape with life, but Prepensed Malice shall be slain; signifying that some ungodly men may still disdain the perpetual peace made between these two virtues; but as for their prepensed malice, it is easy trodden under these ladies' feet.' The second night ends with a flowing of wine from conduits, during which time the English lords shall mask with the Scottish ladies: the third night terminates by the six or eight ladymaskers singing a song as full of harmony as may be devised.' The whole entertainment indicates a sincere desire of reconciliation on the part of Elizabeth; but the first scene-a prison-seems strangely ominous of the events which followed six years after.



The mask, as has been stated, attained the zenith of its glory in the reign of James I.-the most festive reign in England between those of Henry VIII. and Charles II. The queen, the princess, and nobles and ladies of the highest rank, took parts in them, and they engaged the genius of Jonson and Inigo Jones, one as poet, and the other as machinist, while no expense was spared to render them worthy of the place, the occasion, and the audience. It appears from the accounts of the Master of the Revels, that no less than £4215 was lavished on these entertainments in the first six years of the king's reign. Jonson himself composed twenty-three masks; and Dekker, Middleton, and others of the leading dramatic authors, Shakspeare alone excepted, were glad to contribute in this manner to the pleasures of a court from which they derived their best patronage and support.

The marriage of Lord James Hay to Anne, daughter and heir of Lord Denny (January 6, 1607), was distinguished at court (Whitehall) by what was called the Memorable Mask, the production of Dr Thomas Campion, an admired musician as well as poet of that day, now forgotten. On this occasion, the great hall of the palace was fitted up in a way that shews the mysteries of theatrical scenery and decoration to have been better understood, and carried to a greater height, in that age than is generally supposed. One end of the hall was set apart for the audience, having the king's seat in the centre; next to it was a space for ten concerted musicians-base and mean

lutes, a bandora, a double sackbut, a harpsichord, and two treble violins-besides whom there were nine violins, three lutes, six cornets, and six chapel-singers. The stage was concealed by a curtain resembling dark clouds, which being withdrawn, disclosed a green valley with green round about it, and in the midst of them nine golden clouds of fifteen feet high. The bower of Flora was on their right, the house of Night on the left; between them a hill hanging like a cliff over the grove. The bower of Flora was spacious, garnished with flowers and flowery branches, with lights among them; the house of Night, ample and stately, with black columns studded with golden stars; while about it were placed, on wires, artificial bats and owls continually moving. As soon as the king entered the great hall, the hautboys were heard from the top of the hill and from the wood, till Flora and Zephyrus were seen busily gathering flowers from the bower, throwing them into baskets which two sylvans held, attired in changeable taffety. Besides two other allegorical characters, Night and Hesperus, there were nine maskers, representing Apollo's knights, and personated by young men of rank.

After songs and recitative, the whole vale was suddenly withdrawn, and a hill with Diana's tree discovered. Night appeared in her house with Nine Hours, apparelled in large robes of black taffety, painted thick with stars; their hair long, black, and spangled with gold; on their heads, coronets of stars, and their faces black. Every Hour bore in his hand a black torch painted with stars, and lighted.

As she doth burn in rage; come, leave our shrine,
Night. Vanish, dark vales; let Night in glory shine,
You black-haired Hours, and guide us with your lights;
Flora hath wakened wide our drowsy sprites.
See where she triumphs, see her flowers are thrown,
And all about the seeds of malice sown.
Despiteful Flora, is 't not enough of grief,
That Cynthia's robbed, but thou must grace the thief?
Or didst not hear Night's sovereign queen complain
Hymen had stolen a nymph out of her train,
And matched her here, plighted henceforth to be
Love's friend and stranger to virginity?
And mak'st thou sport for this?

Flora. Be mild, stern Night;
Flora doth honour Cynthia and her right;
The nymph was Cynthia's while she was her own,
But now another claims in her a right,
By fate reserved thereto, and wise foresight.

Zephyrus. Can Cynthia one kind virgin's loss bemoan? How, if perhaps she brings her ten for one?


After some more such dialogue, in which Hesperus takes part, Cynthia is reconciled to the loss of her nymph; the trees sink, by means of machinery, under the stage, and the maskers come out of their tops to fine music. Dances, processions, speeches, and songs follow, the last being a duet between a Sylvan and an Hour, by the way of tenor and bass.

Sylvan. Tell me, gentle Hour of Night,
Wherein dost thou most delight?

Hour. Not in sleep. Syl. Wherein, then?
Hour. In the frolic view of men.

Syl. Lov'st thou music? Hour. Oh, 'tis sweet!
Syl. What's dancing? Hour. Even the mirth of

Syl. Joy you in fairies and in elves?

1 Diana.

Hour. We are of that sort ourselves. But, Sylvan, say, why do you love Only to frequent the grove?

Syl. Life is fullest of content, Where delight is innocent.

Hour. Pleasure must vary, not be long; Come, then, let's close and end our song.

Then the maskers made an obeisance to the king, and attended him to the banqueting-room.

The masks of Jonson contain a great deal of fine poetry, and even the prose descriptive parts are remarkable for grace and delicacy of language -as, for instance, where he speaks of a sea at the back of a scene catching 'the eye afar off with a wandering beauty.' In that which was produced at the marriage of Ramsay, Lord Haddington, to Lady Elizabeth Ratcliff, the scene presented a steep red cliff, topped by clouds, allusive to the red cliff from which the lady's name was said to be derived; before which were two pillars charged with spoils of love, amongst which were old and young persons bound with roses, wedding-garments, rocks, and spindles, hearts transfixed with arrows, others flaming, virgins' girdles, garlands, and worlds of such like.' Enter Venus in her chariot, attended by the Graces, and delivers a speech expressive of her anxiety to recover her son Cupid, who has run away from her. The Graces then make proclamation as follows:

First Grace.

Beauties, have you seen this toy,
Called Love, a little boy,
Almost naked, wanton, blind;
Cruel now, and then as kind?
If he be amongst ye, say;
He is Venus' runaway.

Second Grace.

She that will but now discover

Where the winged wag doth hover,
Shall to-night receive a kiss,
How or where herself would wish;
But who brings him to his mother,
Shall have that kiss, and another.

Third Grace.

He hath marks about him plenty;
You shall know him among twenty.
All his body is a fire,

And his breath a flame entire,
That, being shot like lightning in,
Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

First Grace.

At his sight the sun hath turned,
Neptune in the waters burned;
Hell hath felt a greater heat;
Jove himself forsook his seat;
From the centre to the sky
Are his trophies reared high.

Second Grace.

Wings he hath, which, though ye clip,
He will leap from lip to lip,
Over liver, lights, and heart,
But not stay in any part;
And if chance his arrow misses,
He will shoot himself in kisses.

Third Grace.

He doth bear a golden bow, And a quiver hanging low,

Full of arrows, that outbrave
Dian's shafts; where, if he have
Any head more sharp than other,
With that first he strikes his mother.

First Grace.

Still the fairest are his fuel.
When his days are to be cruel,
Lovers' hearts are all his food,
And his baths their warmest blood;
Nought but wounds his hand doth season,
And he hates none like to Reason.

Second Grace.

Trust him not; his words, though sweet,
Seldom with his heart do meet.
All his practice is deceit ;
Every gift it is a bait ;
Not a kiss but poison bears;
And most treason in his tears.

Third Grace.

Idle minutes are his reign;
Then the straggler makes his gain,
By presenting maids with toys,
And would have ye think them joys;
'Tis the ambition of the elf
To have all childish as himself.

First Grace.

If by these ye please to know him, Beauties, be not nice, but shew him.

Second Grace.

Though ye had a will to hide him, Now, we hope, ye 'll not abide him.

Third Grace.

Since you hear his falser play, And that he 's Venus' runaway.

Cupid enters, attended by twelve boys, representing the Sports and pretty Lightnesses that accompany Love,' who dance; and then Venus apprehends her son; and a dialogue ensues between them and Hymen. Vulcan afterwards appears, and, claiming the pillars as his workmanship, strikes the red cliff, which opens, and shews a large luminous sphere containing the astronomical lines and signs of the zodiac. He makes a quaint speech, and presents the sphere as his gift to Venus on the triumph of her son. The Lesbian god and his consort retire amicably to their chariot, and the piece ends by the singing of an epithalamium, interspersed with dances of maskers:

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Such, glad of Hymen's war,
Live what they are,
And long perfection see;
And such ours be.

Shine, Hesperus, shine forth, thou wished star!


The literary partnerships of the drama which we have had occasion to notice were generally brief and incidental, confined to a few scenes or a single play. In BEAUMONT and FLETCHER, we have the interesting spectacle of two young men of high genius, of good birth and connections, living together for ten years, and writing in union a series of dramas, passionate, romantic, and comic, thus blending together their genius and their fame in indissoluble connection. Shakspeare was undoubtedly the inspirer of these kindred spirits. They appeared when his genius was in its meridian splendour, and they were completely subdued by its overpowering influence. They reflected its leading characteristics, not as slavish copyists, but as men of high powers and attainments, proud of borrowing inspiration from a source which they could so well appreciate, and which was at once ennobling and inexhaustible. Francis Beaumont was the son of Judge Beaumont, a member of an ancient family settled at Grace Dieu, in Leicestershire. He was born in 1586, and educated at Cambridge. He became a student of the Inner Temple, probably to gratify his father, but does not seem to have prosecuted the study of the law. He was married to the daughter and co-heiress of Sir Henry Isley of Kent, by whom he had two daughters. He died before he had completed his thirtieth year, and was buried March 9, 1615-16, at the entrance to St Benedict's Chapel, Westminster Abbey.-John Fletcher was the son of Dr Richard Fletcher, bishop of Bristol, and afterwards of Worcester. He was born ten years before his friend, in 1576, and he survived him ten years, dying of the Great Plague in 1625, and was buried in St Mary Overy's Church, Southwark, on the 19th of August.

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Extracts from Philaster.

My father oft would speak

Your worth and virtue; and, as I did grow
More and more apprehensive, I did thirst
To see the man so praised; but yet all this
Was but a maiden longing, to be lost
As soon as found; till, sitting in my window,
Printing my thoughts in lawn, I saw a god,
I thought-but it was you enter our gates.
My blood flew out, and back again as fast
As I had puffed it forth and sucked it in
Like breath. Then was I called away in haste
To entertain you. Never was a man

Heaved from a sheep-cote to a sceptre raised
So high in thoughts as I : you left a kiss
Upon these lips then, which I mean to keep
From you for ever. I did hear you talk,
Far above singing! After you were gone,
I grew acquainted with my heart, and searched
What stirred it so. Alas! I found it love;
Yet far from lust; for could I but have lived
In presence of you, I had had my end.
For this I did delude my noble father
With a feigned pilgrimage, and dressed myself
In habit of a boy; and for I knew

My birth no match for you, I was past hope
Of having you. And, understanding well
That when I made discovery of my sex,
I could not stay with you, I made a vow,
By all the most religious things a maid
Could call together, never to be known,
Whilst there was hope to hide me from men's eyes,
For other than I seemed, that I might ever
Abide with you: then sat I by the fount
Where first you took me up.

Act I. sc. 2.

The dramas of Beaumont and Fletcher are fiftytwo in number. The greater part of them were not printed till 1647, and it is impossible to assign the respective dates to each. Dryden mentions that Philaster was the first play that brought them into esteem with the public, though they had written two or three before. It is improbable in plot, but interesting in character and situations. The jealousy of Philaster is forced and unnatural; the character of Euphrasia, disguised as Bellario, the page, is a copy from Viola, yet there is some-soldier-like bearing and manly feeling of Melanthing peculiarly delicate in the following account of her hopeless attachment to Philaster:

about the same time, is a drama of a powerful but The Maid's Tragedy, supposed to be written in Amintor and Aspatia, is well contrasted with unpleasing character. The purity of female virtue the guilty boldness of Evadne; and the rough

tius, render the selfish sensuality of the king more hateful and disgusting. Unfortunately, there is much licentiousness in this fine play-whole scenes and dialogues are disfigured by this master-vice of the theatre of Beaumont and Fletcher. Their dramas are 'a rank unweeded garden,' which grew only the more disorderly and vicious as it advanced to maturity. Fletcher must bear the chief blame of this defect, for he wrote longer than his associate, and is generally understood to have been Before the most copious and fertile composer. Beaumont's death, they had, in addition to Philaster and the Maid's Tragedy, produced King and no King, Bonduca, the Laws of Candy (tragedies); and the Woman-hater, the Knight of the Burning

Act V. sc. 5.

Philaster had previously described his finding the disguised maiden by the fount, and the description is highly poetical and picturesque :

Hunting the buck,
I found him sitting by a fountain-side,
Of which he borrowed some to quench his thirst,
And paid the nymph again as much in tears.
A garland lay him by, made by himself,
Of many several flowers, bred in the bay,
Stuck in that mystic order, that the rareness
Delighted me: But ever when he turned
His tender eyes upon them he would weep,
As if he meant to make them grow again.
Seeing such pretty helpless innocence
Dwell in his face, I asked him all his story.
He told me that his parents gentle died,
Leaving him to the mercy of the fields,
Which gave him roots: and of the crystal springs,
Which did not stop their courses; and the sun,
Which still, he thanked him, yielded him his light.
Then took he up his garland, and did shew
What every flower, as country people hold,
Did signify; and how all, ordered thus,
Expressed his grief; and to my thoughts did read
The prettiest lecture of his country art
That could be wished; so that methought I could
Have studied it. I gladly entertained him,
Who was as glad to follow.

Pestle, the Honest Man's Fortune, the Coxcomb, and the Captain (comedies). Fletcher afterwards produced three tragic dramas and nine comedies, the best of which are: the Chances, the Spanish Curate, the Beggar's Bush, and Rule a Wife and Have a Wife. He also wrote an exquisite pastoral drama, the Faithful Shepherdess, which Milton followed pretty closely in the design, and partly in the language and imagery, of Comus. A higher, though more doubtful honour has been assigned to the twin authors; for Shakspeare is said to have assisted them in the composition of one of their works, the Two Noble Kinsmen, and his name is joined with Fletcher's on the title-page of the first edition. The bookseller's authority in such matters is of no weight; and it seems unlikely that our great poet, after the production of some of his best dramas, should enter into a partnership of this description. The Two Noble Kinsmen is certainly not superior to some of the other plays of Beaumont and Fletcher.

Beaumont and Fletcher, but in comedy he falls infinitely below them. Though their characters are deficient in variety, their knowledge of stage-effect and contrivance, their fertility of invention, and the airy liveliness of their dialogue, give the charm of novelty and interest to their scenes. Macaulay considers that the models which Fletcher had principally in his eye, even for his most serious and elevated compositions, were not Shakspeare's tragedies, but his comedies. 'It was these, with their idealised truth of character, their poetic beauty of imagery, their mixture of the grave with the playful in thought, their rapid yet skilful transitions from the tragic to the comic in feeling; it was these, the pictures in which Shakspeare had made his nearest approach to portraying actual life, and not those pieces in which he transports the imagination into his own vast and awful world of tragic action, and suffering, and emotion—that attracted Fletcher's fancy, and proved congenial to his cast of feeling.' This observation is strikingly just, applied to Shakspeare's mixed comedies or plays, like the Twelfth Night, the Winter's Tale, As You Like It, &c. The rich and genial comedy of Falstaff, Shallow, and Slender was not imitated by Fletcher. His Knight of the Burning Pestle is an admirable burlesque of the false taste of the citizens of London for chivalrous and romantic adventures, without regard to situation or probability. On the whole, the dramas of Beaumont and Fletcher impress us with a high idea of their powers as poets and dramatists. The vast variety and luxuriance of their genius seem to elevate them above Jonson, though they were destitute of his regularity and solidity, and to place them on the borders of the 'magic circle' of Shakspeare. The confidence and buoyancy of youth are visible in their productions. They had not tasted of adversity, like Jonson or Massinger; and they had not the profoundly meditative spirit of their great master, cognizant of all human feelings and sympathies; life was to them a scene of enjoyment and pleasure, and the exercise of their genius a source of refined delight and ambition. They were gentlemen who wrote for the stage as gentlemen have rarely done before or since.


The genius of Beaumont is said to have been more correct, and more strongly inclined to tragedy, than that of his friend. The later works of Fletcher are chiefly of a comic character. His plots are sometimes inartificial and loosely connected, but he is always lively and entertaining. There is a rapid succession of incidents, and the dialogue is witty, elegant, and amusing. Yet no one ever recollects the plots of their dramas. Shakspeare's are ineffaceably stamped on the memory, but those of Beaumont and Fletcher seem 'writ in water.' Dryden considered that they understood and imitated the conversation of gentlemen much better than Shakspeare; and he states that their plays were, in his day, the most pleasant and frequent entertainments of the stage two of theirs being acted through the year, for one of Shakspeare's or Jonson's.' It was different some forty years previous to this. In 1627, the King's Company bribed the Master of the Revels with £5, to interfere in preventing the players of the theatre called the Red Bull from performing the dramas of Shakspeare. One cause of the preference of Beaumont and Fletcher may have been the licence of their dramas (suited to the perverted taste of the court of Charles II.), and the spirit of intrigue which they adopted from the Spanish stage, and naturalised on the English. 'We cannot deny,' remarks Hallam, 'that the depths of Shakspeare's mind were often unfathomable by an audience; the bow was drawn by a matchless hand, but the shaft went out of sight. All might listen to Fletcher's pleasing, though not profound or vigorous language; his thoughts are noble, and tinged with the ideality of romance; his metaphors vivid, though sometimes too forced; he possesses the idiom of English without much pedantry, though in many passages he strains it beyond common use; his versification, though studiously irregular, is often rhythmical and sweet; yet we are seldom arrested by striking beauties. Good lines occur in every page, fine ones but rarely. We lay down the volume with a sense of admiration of what we have read, but little of it remains distinctly in the memory. Fletcher is not much quoted, and has not even afforded copious materials to those who cull the beauties of ancient lore.' His comic powers are certainly far superior to his tragic. Massinger impresses the reader more deeply, and has a moral beauty not possessed by


Generosity of Cæsar.

Ptolemy, king of Egypt, having secured the head of Pompey, comes with his friends Achoreus and Photinus to present it to Cæsar, as a means of gaining his favour. To them enter Cæsar,


From kingly Ptolemy I bring this present,
Photinus. Do not shun me, Cæsar.
The crown and sweat of thy Pharsalian labour,
The goal and mark of high ambitious honour.
Before, thy victory had no name, Cæsar ;
Thy travel, and thy loss of blood, no recompense;
Thou dream'dst of being worthy, and of war,
And all thy furious conflicts were but slumbers:
Here they take life; here they inherit honour,
Grow fixed, and shoot up everlasting triumphs.
Take it, and look upon thy humble servant,
With noble eyes look on the princely Ptolemy,
That offers with this head, most mighty Cæsar,
What thou wouldst once have given for 't—all Egypt.
Achoreus. Nor do not question it, most royal conqueror,
Nor disesteem the benefit that meets thee,
Because 'tis easily got, it comes the safer:
Yet, let me tell thee, most imperious Cæsar,
Though he opposed no strength of swords to win this,
Nor laboured through no showers of darts and lances,

Yet here he found a fort, that faced him strongly,
An inward war: He was his grandsire's guest,
Friend to his father, and when he was expelled
And beaten from this kingdom by strong hand,
And had none left him to restore his honour,
No hope to find a friend in such a misery,
Then in stept Pompey, took his feeble fortune,
Strengthened and cherished it, and set it right again :
This was a love to Cæsar.

Sceva. Give me hate, gods!

Pho. This Cæsar may account a little wicked; But yet remember, if thine own hands, conqueror, Had fallen upon him, what it had been then; If thine own sword had touched his throat, what that way! He was thy son-in-law; there to be tainted Had been most terrible! Let the worst be rendered, We have deserved for keeping thy hands innocent. Casar. O Sceva, Sceva, see that head! See, captains, The head of godlike Pompey!

Sce. He was basely ruined;

But let the gods be grieved that suffered it, And be you Cæsar.

Casar. O thou conqueror,

Thou glory of the world once, now the pity;
Thou awe of nations, wherefore didst thou fall thus?
What poor fate followed thee and plucked thee on
To trust thy sacred life to an Egyptian?
The life and light of Rome to a blind stranger,
That honourable war ne'er taught a nobleness,
Nor worthy circumstance shewed what a man was?
That never heard thy name sung but in banquets,
And loose lascivious pleasures? to a boy,
That had no faith to comprehend thy greatness,
No study of thy life to know thy goodness?
And leave thy nation, nay, thy noble friend,
Leave him distrusted, that in tears falls with thee,
In soft relenting tears? Hear me, great Pompey;
If thy great spirit can hear, I must task thee!
Thou hast most unnobly robbed me of my victory,
My love and mercy.

Antony. Oh, how brave these tears shew!
How excellent is sorrow in an enemy!

Dolabella. Glory appears not greater than this goodness.
Casar. Egyptians, dare ye think your highest pyramids,
Built to outdure the sun, as you suppose,
Where your unworthy kings lie raked in ashes,
Are monuments fit for him? No, brood of Nilus,
Nothing can cover his high fame but heaven;
No pyramids set off his memories,

But the eternal substance of his greatness,
To which I leave him. Take the head away,
And, with the body, give it noble burial:
Your earth shall now be blessed to hold a Roman,
Whose braveries all the world's earth cannot balance.
Sce. [Aside.] If thou be'st thus loving, I shall honour

But great men may dissemble, 'tis held possible,
And be right glad of what they seem to weep for;
There are such kind of philosophers. Now do I wonder
How he would look if Pompey were alive again;
But how he'd set his face.

Casar. You look now, king,

And you that have been agents in this glory, For our especial favour?

Ptolemy. We desire it.

Casar. And doubtless you expect rewards? Sce. Let me give 'em.

I'll give 'em such as Nature never dreamed of;
I'll beat him and his agents in a mortar,
Into one man, and that one man I'll bake then.

Casar. Peace!—I forgive you all; that's recompense. You're young and ignorant; that pleads your pardon ; And fear, it may be, more than hate, provoked you. Your ministers, I must think, wanted judgment, And so they erred: I'm bountiful to think this, Believe me, most bountiful. Be you most thankful; That bounty share amongst ye. If I knew what

To send you for a present, king of Egypt,
I mean a head of equal reputation,

And that you loved, though 'twere your brightest sister's

But her you hate-I would not be behind you.
Ptol. Hear me, great Cæsar!

Cæsar. I have heard too much;

And study not with smooth shows to invade My noble mind, as you have done my conquest: You 're poor and open. I must tell you roundly, That man that could not recompense the benefits, The great and bounteous services of Pompey, Can never dote upon the name of Cæsar. Though I had hated Pompey, and allowed his ruin, I gave you no commission to perform it. Hasty to please in blood are seldom trusty; And, but I stand environed with my victories, My fortune never failing to befriend me, My noble strengths, and friends about my person, I durst not try you, nor expect a courtesy, Above the pious love you shewed to Pompey. You've found me merciful in arguing with ye; Swords, hangmen, fires, destructions of all natures, Demolishments of kingdoms, and whole ruins, Are wont to be my orators. Turn to tears, You wretched and poor reeds of sunburnt Egypt, And now you've found the nature of a conqueror, That you cannot decline, with all your flatteries, That where the day gives light, will be himself still; Know how to meet his worth with humane courtesies! Go, and embalm those bones of that great soldier, Howl round about his pile, fling on your spices, Make a Sabæan bed, and place this phoenix Where the hot sun may emulate his virtues, And draw another Pompey from his ashes Divinely great, and fix him 'mongst the worthies! Ptol. We will do all.

Cæsar. You've robbed him of those tears His kindred and his friends kept sacred for him, The virgins of their funeral lamentations; And that kind earth that thought to cover him— His country's earth-will cry out 'gainst your cruelty, And weep unto the ocean for revenge, Till Nilus raise his seven heads and devour ye! My grief has stopt the rest! When Pompey lived, He used you nobly; now he's dead, use him so. The False One, Act II. sc. I.

Grief of Aspatia for the Marriage of Amintor and

EVADNE, ASPATIA, DULA, and other Ladies.
[To Dula.

Evadne. Would thou couldst instil
Some of thy mirth into Aspatia.
Aspatia. It were a timeless smile should prove my

It were a fitter hour for me to laugh,
When at the altar the religious priest
Were pacifying the offended powers

With sacrifice, than now. This should have been
My night, and all your hands have been employed
In giving me a spotless offering

To young Amintor's bed, as we are now

For you: pardon, Evadne; would my worth Were great as yours, or that the king, or he,

Or both thought so! Perhaps he found me worthless; But till he did so, in these ears of mine

These credulous ears-he poured the sweetest words That art or love could frame.

Evad. Nay, leave this sad talk, madam.

Asp. Would I could, then should I leave the cause. Lay a garland on my hearse of the dismal yew. Evad. That's one of your sad songs, madam. Asp. Believe me, 'tis a very pretty one. Evad. How is it, madam ?

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