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SCENE V. Wrong and Infolence.
Now breathlefs wrong
Shal fit and pant in your great chairs of ease
And purfy infolence fhall break his wind
With fear and horrid flight.
ILT thou draw near the nature of the
Draw near them then in being merciful;
Sweet Mercy is nobility's true badge.
Of noble minds, is honourable meed.
SCENE IV. An Invitation to Love. (2) The birds chaunt melody on every bush, The fnake lies rolled in the chearful fun,
(1) Wilt, &c.] See vol. I. p. 69. n. 11. This, as Mr. Whalley has obferved, is directly the fenfe and words of a paffage in one of Cicero's fineft orations Homines ad Deos nulla re propius accedunt, quam falutem Hominibus dando. Orat, pro legar. fub. fin. See Enquiry into the learning of Shakespear, p. 64.
(2) The Birds, &c.]
Nobilis æftivas platanus, &c.
A plain diffus'd its bow'ring verdure wide
With trembling pines, which to the Zephyrs figh'd;
Laurels with berries crown'd, the boughs inwove,
And the foft cyprefs ever whifp'ring love :
Midft thefe a brook in winding murmurs ftray'd,
Chiding the pebbles over which it play'd,
'Twas love's Elyfium. Petron Arb. by Addison junior:
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a chequer'd fhadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us fit,
And whilft the babling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying thrilly to the well-tun'd horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us fit down and mark their yelling noise :
And after conflict, fuch as was fuppos'd
The wand'ring prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy ftorm they were surpriz'd,
And curtain'd with a counfel-keeping cave;
We may each wreathed in the others arms,
(Our paftime done) poffefs a golden flumber
Whilft hounds and horns, and fweet melodious birds
Be unto us, as is a nurse's fong
Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep.
SCENE V. Vale, a dark and melancholy one defcribed
(3) A barren and detefted vale, you fee, it is.
The trees, tho' fummer, yet forlorn and lean,
O'ercome with moss, and baleful miffelto.
Here never shines the fun: Here nothing breeds
Non bac autumno tellus viret, aut alit berbas,
Cefpite lætus ager: non verno perfona cantu
Mollia difcordi ftrepitu virgulta loquuntur:
Sed chaos & nigro fquallentia pumice Saxa
Gaudent ferali circum tumulata cupressu.
No autumn here, e'er cloaths herself with green,
Nor joyful fpring the languid herbage cheers;
Nor feather'd warblers chant their pleafing ftrains,
In vernal concert to the rustling boughs:
But chaos reigns, and ragged rocks around,
With nought but baleful cyprefs are adorn'd.
Petron. Arbit, translated by Baker.
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven,
And when they fhew'd me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hiffing fnakes,
Ten thousand fwelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make fuch fearful and confufed cries,
As any mortal body, hearing it,
Should strait fall mad, or elfe die fuddenly.
SCENE VII. A Ring, in a dark Pit,
(4) Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole;
Which, like a taper in fome monument,
Doth fhine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
And fhews the ragged entrails of this pit.
Young Lady playing on the Lute, and finging.
Fair Philomela, fhe but loft her tongue,
And in a tedious fampler few'd her mind.
But, lovely neice, that mean is cut from thee;-
A craftier Tereus haft thou met withal,
And he hath cut thofe pretty fingers off,
That could have better few'd than Philomel.
Oh, had the monster seen thofe lilly hands
Tremble, like Aspen leaves, upon a lute
(4) Upon, &c.] We may fuppofe the light thrown into the pit by this ring; fomething of that kind Milton speaks of, in the first book of Paradife Loft.
A dungeon horrible on all fides round,
As one great furnace flam'd: yet from thefe flames
No light, but rather darknefs vifible
Serv'd only to difcover fights of woe, &. P. 61.
The feat of defolation void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames,
Cafts pale and dreadful,-
And make the filken ftrings delight to kiss them;
He would not then have touch'd them for his life.
(5) Or had he heard the heav'nly harmony,
Which that sweet tongue hath made :
He would have dropt his knife, and fell asleep,
As Cerberus at the Thracian poets feet.
A Lady's Tongue cut out.
O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,
That blab'd them with fuch pleafing eloquence,
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,
Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung
Sweet various notes, inchanting every ear!
(5) Or, &c. This puts me in mind of that most excellent paffage in Milton's Comus, where upon the lady's finging, Comus obferves,
Can any mortal mixture of earths mould
Breathe fuch divine inchanting ravishment?
Sure fomething holy lodges in that breast,
And with thefe raptures moves the vocal air
To teftify his hidden refidence :
How fweetly did they float upon the wings
Of filence, thro' the empty-vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven down
Of darkness, till it fmil'd! I have oft heard
My mother Circe, with the Sirens three
Amidft the flow'ry-kirtled Naiades
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Who as they fung, wou'd take the prifon'd foul
And lap it in Elyfium: Sylla wept
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charibdis murmur'd foft applaufe:
Yet they in pleafing flumber lull'd the fenfe
And in fweet madness robb'd it of itself.
But fuch a facred and home-felt Delight,
Such fober certainty of waking blifs,
I never heard till now