Puslapio vaizdai

Like a proud river peering o'er its bounds?
Be thefe fad fighs confirmers of thy words?
Then speak again, not all thy former tale,
But this one word, whether thy tale be true.

A Mother's Fondness for a beautiful Child.

(6) If thou, that bid'at me be content, wert grim,
Ugly, and fland'rous to thy mother's womb,
Full of unpleafing blots, and fightless stains,
Lame, foolish, crooked, fwart, prodigious,
Patch'd with foul moles, and eye-offending marks;
I would not care, I then would be content :
For then I fhould not love thee: no, nor thou
Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown.

(6) If thou, &c.] So in the Unnatural Combat of Maffinger, the father, who was ftruggling with the violent and fhocking paffion he had conceived for his daughter, observes,

-If thou hadft been born

Deform'd and crooked in the features of

Thy body, as the manners of thy mind,

Moor-lip'd, flat-nos'd, dim-ey'd and beetle-brow'd,
With a dwarf's ftature to a giant's waist:

Sour breath'd, with claws for fingers on thy hands,
Splay-footed, gouty-legg'd, and over all
A loathfome leprofy had fpread itself,

And made thee fhun'd of human fellowships,
I had been bleft-

Rather than as now,

(Tho' I had drown'd thee for it in the fea)
Appearing as thou dost a new Pandora,
With Juno's fair cow eyes, Minerva's brow,
hurora's blufhing cheeks, Hebe's fresh youth,
Venus foft paps, and Thetis filver feet.


Act. 4. S. I.

The laft lines of Malfinger are an immediate tranflation from a pretty Greek epigram, the author of which compares his mistress'a eyes to Juno's, her paps to Venus', &c.

Ομματ' εχεις Ηρης, Μελιτη, τας χειρας Αθηνης,

Τις μάζες Παφίη, τα όφυρα της Θετιδος, &c.

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But thou art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy!
(7) Nature and fortune join'd to make thee great.
Of nature's gifts thou may'it with lilies boaft,
And with the half-blown rofe.

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I will inftruct my forrows to be proud;
For grief is proud, and makes the owner ftout.

SCENE II. Conftance to Auftria.

O Lymoges, O Auftria! thou doft shame That bloody fpoil: thou flave, thou wretch, thou cow


Thou little valiant, great in villainy!

Thou ever ftrong upon the ftronger fide;
Thou fortune's champion, that durft never fight,
But when her humorous ladyship is by
To teach thee fafety! thou art perjur'd too,
And footh'd up greatnefs. What a fool art thou,
A ramping fool, to brag, to ftamp and swear,
Upon my party; thou cold-blooded flave,
Haft thou not spoke like thunder on my fide?
Been fworn my foldier, bidding me depend
Upon thy ftars, thy fortune, and thy strength?
And doft thou now fall over to my foes?
Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for fhame,
And hang a calve's skin on those recreant limbs.


(7) Nature, &c.] In the Philoctetes of Sophocles, it is faith

Αλλ' εύγενης καρ η φύσις, κα' ξ ευγένων
Ω τέκνον, η ση

Noble thy nature, as thy birth, my fon,

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SCENE V. The Horrors of a Confpiracy.

(8) I had a thing to fay,-but, let it go:
The fun is in the heav'n, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds,
To give me audience. If the midnight-bell,
Did with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;


(8) I had, &c.] The Reader cannot but be struck with the peculiar excellencies of this fpeech: we fee into the very workings of King John's troubled foul, while he is wishing yet afraid to difclofe his bloody purpose to Hubert; and how finely does the author defcribe the fituation the mind should be in to hear and embrace fuch a propofal, the place fittest to disclose it in, the time moft fuitable to pour it into the bofom of the hearer. See Julius Cæfar. Shakespear, when he would express the most dreadful time of night, always fpeaks of the hours of twelve or one; for that, in the vulgar opinion, was the peculiar time of ghofts and fpirits. In Midsummer Night's Dream, he fays,

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.

And the ghost in Hamlet juft then stalks forth, when Bernardo giving an account of it comes to

The bell then beating one,

A most beautiful break, and finely imagin'd,

The king, in Beaumont and Fletcher's King and no King, is alike troubled and fearful to difclofe his intentions. Mardonius fays of him,

-He has follow'd me

Thro' twenty rooms, and ever when I stay
To wait's command, he blushes like a girl,
And looks upon me as if modesty
Kept in his bufinefs: fo turns away from me:
But if I go on, he follows me again.

And the king fays of himsel

I cannot utter it; why fhou'd I keep

A breaft to harbour thoughts I dare not fpeak?
Darkness is in my bofom, and there lie

A thousand thoughts that cannot brook the light:
How wilt thou vex me, when this deed is done,
Confcience that art afraid to let me name it?

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If this fame were a church-yard, where we stand,
And thou pofieffed with a thoufand wrongs;
Or if that furly spirit melancholy

Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy-thick,
Which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot laughter keep mens eyes,
And ftrain their cheeks to idle merriment;
(A paffion hateful to my purposes)

Or if that thou couldft fee ine without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, ufing conceit alone
Without eyes, ears, and harmful foul of words;
Then in defpight of broad-ey'd watchful day,
I would into thy bofom pour iny thoughts;
But ah, I will not.-

SCENE V. A Mother's Ravings.

I am not mad; this hair I tear is mine;
My name is Conftance, I was Geffery's wife:
Young Arthur is my fon, and he is loft,
I am not mad: I would to heav'n I were !
For then 'tis like, I fhould forget myself.
Oh, if I could, what grief fhould I forget!
Preach fome philofophy to make me mad,
And thou shalt be canoniz'd Cardinal,
For being not mad, but fenfible of grief,
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be deliver'd of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself.
If I were mad, I fhould forget my fon,
Or madly think, a babe of clouts were he:
I am not mad; too well, too well I feel,
The diff'rent plague of each calamity.

Apoftrophe to Death.

-Oh! amiable, lovely death!
Thou odoriferous french, found rottennefs,
F 4


Arife forth from thy couch of lasting night,
Thou hate and terror to profperity,
And I will kifs thy deteftable bones;
And put my eye-balls in thy vaulty brows;
And ring these fingers with thy houfhold worms,
And ftop this gap of breath with fulfome duft,
And be a carrion monfter like thyself;
Come grin on me, and I will think thou fmil'st,
And kifs thee as thy wife; mifery's love,
O come to me!

A Mother's Grief.

Father Cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall fee and know our friends in heav'n;
If that be, I fhall fee my boy again.
For fince the birth of Cain, the first male-child,
To him that did but yesterday fufpire,
There was not fuch a gracious creature born.
But now will canker forrow eat my bud,
And chace the native beauty from his cheek;
And he will look as hollow as a ghost;
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And fo he'll die; and rifing fo again,
When I fhall meet him in the court of heav'n,
I shall not know him; therefore, never, never
Muft I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Pand. You hold too heinous a refpect of grief.
Conft. He talks to me, that never had a fon.-
K. Phil. You are as fond of grief as of your child;
Conft. Grief fills the room up of my abfent child.
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me;
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts;
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then have I reason to be fond of grief.


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