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THA. The cause that Thamar shameth to disclose. ABs. Say; I thy brother will revenge that cause. THA. Ammon, our father's son, hath forced me, And thrusts me from him as the scorn of Israel. Abs. Hath Ammon forced thee? by David's hand And by the covenant God hath made with him, Ammon shall bear his violence to hell; Traitor to heaven, traitor to David's throne, Traitor to Absalon and Israel. This fact hath Jacob's ruler seen from heaven, And through a cloud of smoke, and tower of fire, (As he rides vaunting him upon the greens) Shall tear his chariot wheels with violent winds, And throw his body in the bloody sea; At him the thunder shall discharge his bolt; And his fair spouse, with bright and fiery wings,” Sit ever burning on his hateful bones: Myself, as swift as thunder, or his spouse, Will hunt occasion with a secret hate, To work false Ammon an ungracious end.— Go in, my sister; rest thee in my house; And God, in time, shall take this shame from thee. THA. Nor God, nor time, will do that good for me, [Exit Thamar. Restat Absalon. * And his fair spouse, with bright and fiery wings] Hawkins,

(Preface to the Origin of the Eng. Dr. vol. i. p. 11.) thinks this “a metaphor worthy of Æschylus.”

Enter DAv ID with his train. DAv. My Absalon, what mak'st thou here alone, And bears such discontentment in thy brows 7 ABs. Great cause hath Absalon to be displeas'd, And in his heart to shroud the wounds of wrath. DAv. 'Gainst whom should Absalon be thus displeas'd : ABs. 'Gainst wicked Ammon, thy ungracious son, My brother and fair Thamar's by the king, My step-brother, by mother, and by kind; He hath dishonour'd David's holiness, And fix’d a blot of lightness on his throne, Forcing my sister Thamar when he feign'd A sickness, sprung from root of heinous lust. DAv. Hath Ammon brought this evil on my house, And suffer'd sin to smite his father's bones? Smite, David, deadlier than the voice of heaven, And let hate's fire be kindled in thy heart: Frame in the arches of thy angry brows, Making thy forehead, like a comet, shine, To force false Ammon tremble at thy looks. Sin with his sevenfold crown, and purple robe, Begins his triumphs in my guilty throne; There sits he watching with his hundred eyes Our idle minutes, and our wanton thoughts; And with his baits, made of our frail desires, Gives us the hook that hales our souls to hell: But with the spirit of my kingdom's God I'll thrust the flattering tyran” from his throne, * tyran] For tyrant, a form frequently used by our old poets.

And scourge his bondslaves from my hallow'd court
With rods of iron, and thorns of sharpen'd steel.
Then, Absalon, revenge not thou this sin;
Leave it to me, and I will chasten him.
ABs. I am content; then grant, my lord the king,
Himself with all his other lords would come
Up to my sheep-feast on the plain of Hazor.
DAv. Nay, my fair son, myself, with all my
Will bring thee too much charge; yet some shall go.
ABs. Butlet my lord the king himself take pains;
The time of year is pleasant for your grace,
And gladsome summer in her shady robes,
Crowned with roses and with planted flowers,
With all her nymphs shall entertain my lord,
That from the thicket of my verdant groves,
Will sprinkle honey dews about his breast,
And cast sweet balm upon his kingly head:
Then grant thy servant's boon, and go, my lord.
DAv. Let it content my sweet son Absalon,
That I may stay, and take my other lords.
ABs. But shall thy best beloved Ammon go 2
DAv. What needeth it, that Ammon go with thee?
ABs. Yet do thy son and servant so much grace.
DAv. Ammon shall go, and all my other lords,
Because I will give grace to Absalon.

Enter CUs A Y and URIAs, with others.

CU. Pleaseth my lord the king, his servant Joab Hath sent Urias from the Syrian wars.

DAv. Welcome, Urias, from the Syrian wars, Welcome to David as his dearest lord. UR. Thanks be to Israel's God, and David's grace, Urias finds such greeting with the king. DAv. No other greeting shall Urias find As long as David sways th' elected seat, And consecrated throne of Israel. Tell me, Urias, of my servant Joab; Fights he with truth the battles of our God, And for the honour of the Lord's anointed 2 ! . UR. Thy servant Joab fights the chosen wars, With truth, with honour, and with high success; And 'gainst the wicked king of Ammon's sons, Hath by the finger of our sovereign's God, Besieg'd the city Rabbah, and achiev'd The court of waters, where the conduits run, And all the Ammonites' delightsome springs: Therefore he wisheth David's mightiness Should number out the host of Israel, And come in person to the city Rabbah, tThat so her conquest may be made the king's, And Joab fight as his inferior. DAv. This hath not God, and Joab's prowess done, Without Urias’ valours, I am sure, Who, since his true conversion from a Hethite, < To an adopted son of Israel, Hath fought like one whose arms were lift by heaven, And whose bright sword was edg'd with Israel's wrath; Go therefore home, Urias, take thy rest; Visit thy wife, and household, with the joys

A victor and a favourite of the king's
Should exercise with honour after arms.
UR. Thy servant's bones are yet not half so craz'd,
Nor constitute on such a sickly mould,
That for so little service he should faint,
And seek, as cowards, refuge of his home:
Nor are his thoughts so sensually stirr'd,
To stay the arms with which the Lord would smite
And fill their circle with his conquer'd foes,
For wanton bosom of a flattering wife.
DAv. Urias hath a beauteous sober wife,
Yet young, and fram'd of tempting flesh and blood;
Then, when the king hath summon'd thee from arms,
If thou unkindly shouldst refrain her bed,
Sin might be laid upon Urias' soul,
If Bethsabe by frailty hurt her fame:
Then go, Urias, solace in her love;
Whom God hath knit to thee, tremble to lose.
UR. The king is much too tender of my ease;
The ark, and Israel, and Judah, dwell
In palaces, and rich pavilions,
But Joab, and his brother in the fields,
Suffering the wrath of winter and the sun :
And shall Urias (of more shame than they)
Banquet and loiter in the work of heaven 2
As sure as thy soul doth live, my lord,
Mine ears shall never lean to such delight,
When holy labour calls me forth to fight.
DAv. Then, be it with Urias' manly heart
As best his fame may shine in Israel.

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