Slike strani

A strength 'gainst terror, and himself so good,
Occasion cannot vary, nor the night,
Youth, nor his wild desire; otherwise
A silent sorrow from mine eyes would steal,
And tell sad stories for me.

Eun. You are too tender of your honour, lady,
Too full of aguish trembling; the noble prince
Is as December frosty in desire;

Save what is lawful, he not owns that heat,
Which, were you snow, would thaw a tear from you.
Aph. This is the place appointed: pray heavens
Go well!
[all things
Eun. I will go call him: please you rest yourself:
Here lies a book will bear you company
Till I return, which will be presently.-
[APHELIA reads the book.
Hither I'll send the king; not that I mean [Aside.
To give him leave to cool his burning lust,
For Clovis shall prevent him in the fact,
And thus I shall endear myself to both,
Clovis, enraged, perhaps will kill the king,
Or by the king will perish; if both fall,
Or either, both ways make for me.
The queen as rootedly does hate her sons
As I her ladyship. To see this fray
She must be brought by me: she'll steel them on
To one another's damage; for her sake
I'll say I set on foot this hopeful brawl.
Thus on all sides the eunuch will play foul,
And as his face is black he'll have his soul.

Aph. (Reading.) How witty sorrow has found out discourse

Fitting a midnight season: here I see
One bathed in virgin's tears, whose purity
Might blanch a black-a-moor, turn nature's stream
Back on itself; words pure, and of that strain
Might move the Parc to be pitiful.

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Clot. Methinks I stand like Tarquin in the night When he defiled the chastity of Rome, Doubtful of what to do; and like a thief, I take each noise to be an officer.

[She still reads on.
She has a ravishing feature, and her mind
Is of a purer temper than her body:
Her virtues more than beauty ravish'd me,
And I commit, even with her piety,
A kind of incest with religion.

Though I do know it is a deed of death,
Condemn'd to torments in the other world.
Such tempting sweetness dwells in every limb,
That I must venture.

Aph. Alack, poor maid!

Poor ravish'd Philomel! thy lot was ill
To meet that violence in a brother, which
I in a stranger doubt not; yet methinks
I am too confident, for I feel my heart
Burden'd with something ominous: these men
Are things of subtle nature, and their oaths
Inconstant like themselves. Clovis may prove


Alack, why not? say he should offer foul,
The evil counsel of a secret place,

And night, his friend, might overtempt his will.
I dare not stand the hazard; guide me, light,
To some untrodden place, where poor I may
Wear out the night with sighs till it be day.

Clot. I am resolved, I will be bold and resolute : Hail, beauteous damsel !

Aph. Ha! what man art thou,

That hast thy countenance clouded with thy cloak,
And hidest thy face from darkness and the night
If thy intents deserve a muffler too,
Withdraw, and act them not-What art thou? speak,
And wherefore camest thou hither?

Clot. I came to find one beautiful as thou

Aph. I understand you not.

Clot. But you must; yea, and the right way too. Aph. Help! help! help!

Clot. Peace! none of your loud music, lady: If you raise a note, or beat the air with clamour, You see your death. [Draws his dagger. Aph. What violence is this, inhuman sir? Why do you threaten war, fright my soft peace With most ungentle steel? What have I done Dangerous, or am like to do? Why do you wrack me thus ?

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Than had Aphelia brought me forth an heir,
Whom now you must remember as a sister.

More than a living scorn upon your name?
The ashes in your urn shall suffer for't,
Virgins will sow their curses on your grave,
Time blot your kingly parentage, and call
Your birth in question. Do you think
This deed will lie conceal'd? the faults kings do Why dost thou harbour such unhallow'd guests,

Clovis. O that in nature there was left an art
Could teach me to forget I ever loved
This her great masterpiece! O well-built frame,

To house within thy bosom perjury?

Shine like the fiery beacons on a hill,
For all to see, and, seeing, tremble at.
It's not a single ill which you commit;
What in the subject is a petty fault
Monsters your actions, and 's a foul offence:
You give your subjects license to offend
When you do teach them how.

If that our vows are register'd in heaven,
Why are they broke on earth? Aphelia,
This was a hasty match, the subtle air

Clot. I will endure no longer : come along,
Or by the curious spinstry of thy head,
Which nature's cunningest finger twisted out,
I'll drag thee to my couch. Tempt not my fury.
Clovis. Hold!-hold, my heart; can I endure this?

Has not yet cool'd the breath with which thou
Thyself into my soul; and on thy cheeks [sworest
The print and pathway of those tears remain,
That woo'd me to believe so; fly me not,
I am no spirit; taste my active pulse,
And you shall find it make such harmony
As youth and health enjoy.

Eu. The queen! she faints.

Clovis. Is there a God left so propitious
To rid me of my fears? still let her sleep,
For if she wake (O king !) she will appear
Too monstrous a spectre for frail eyes
To see and keep their senses.
Lamot. Are you mad?

Clovis. Nothing so happy, Strephon; would I
In time's first progress I despair the hour [were!
That brings such fortune with it; I should then
Forget that she was ever pleasing to me;

I should no more remember she would sit
And sing me into dreams of Paradise ;
Never more hang about her ivory neck,
Believing such a one Diana's was ;
Never more doat she breathes Arabia,
Or kiss her coral lips into a paleness.

Lamot. See,she's return'd, and with majestic gaze,
In pity rather than contempt, beholds you.

Clovis. Convey me hence, some charitable man,
Lest this same creature, looking like a saint,
Hurry my soul to hell; she is a fiend
Apparell'd like a woman, sent on earth
For man's destruction.

Clotair. Rule your disorder'd tongue;
Clovis, what's past we are content to think
It was our brother spoke, and not our subject.

Clovis. I had forgot myself, yet well remember
Yon gorgon has transform'd me into stone;
And since that time my language has been harsh,
My words too heavy for my tongue, too earthly;
I was not born so, trust me, Aphelia ;
Before I was possess'd with these black thoughts,
I could sit by thy side, and rest my head
Upon the rising pillows of thy breast,
Whose natural sweetness would invite mine eyes
Lamot. Yes, sir, by my art he lives, though his To sink in pleasing slumbers, wake, and kiss
The rose-beds that afforded me such bliss ;
But thou art now a general disease

Monster of men!

Thou king of darkness! down unto thy hell!
I have a spell will lay thy honesty,
And this abused goodness.

Eun. Beat' down their swords-what do the princes mean?

Ring out the 'larum-bell-call up the court


In the sequel of the story, the guards of the king having fallen upon Clovis, he is apparently killed, but is nevertheless secretly cured of his wounds, and assumes a disguise. In the mean time, the queen mother, anxious to get rid of Aphelia, causes one of her own paramours to dress in the armour of Prince Clovis, and to demand, in the character of his ghost, that Aphelia shall be sacrificed upon his hearse. Clotair pretends to comply with this sacrifice, and Aphelia is brought out to execution; but when all is ready, he takes the sword from the headsman, lays it at her feet, and declares her his queen. Clovis attends in disguise, and the poet makes him behave with rather more composure than we should expect from his trying situation; but when he sees his mistress accept the hand of his royal brother, he at last breaks out.

Clovis. WHERE am I?
Awake! for ever rather let me sleep.

Is this a funeral? O that I were a hearse,
And not the mock what is pageanted+.
Clotair. Amazement quite confounds me-Clovis


Was not to have it known; this chest contains
Nothing but spices sweetly odoriferous.

Clotair. Into my soul I welcome thee, dear

This second birth of thine brings me more joy

A hearse, supposed to contain the corpse of Clovis, forms a part of the pageant here introduced.

That eat'st into my marrow, turn'st my blood,
And makest my veins run poison, that each sense
Groans at the alteration. Am I the Monsieur ?
Does Clovis talk his sorrows, and not act !

O man bewomanized! Wert thou not mine?
How comes it thou art his?

Clotair. You have done ill,
And must be taught so; you capitulate

Not with your equal, Clovis, she's thy queen.
Clovis. Upon my knees I do acknowledge her
Queen of my thoughts and my affections.
O pardon me, if my ill-tutor'd tongue
Has forfeited my head; if not, behold
Before the sacred altar of thy feet
I lie, a willing sacrifice.

Aphelia. Arise :

And henceforth, Clovis, thus instruct thy soul;
There lies a depth in fate which earthly eyes
May faintly look into, but cannot fathom:
You had my vow till death to be your wife,
You being dead my vows were cancelled,
And I, as thus you see, bestow'd.

Clovis. Farewell;

I will no more offend you would to God
Those cruel hands, not enough barbarous,
That made these bleeding witnesses of love,
Had set an endless period to my life too!
Clotair. Where there's no help it's bootless to

JAMES SHIRLEY was born in London. educated at Cambridge*, where he took the degree of A.M. and had a curacy for some time at or near St. Alban's, but embracing popery, became a schoolmaster [1623] in that town. Leaving this employment, he settled in London as a dramatic writer, and between the years 1625 and 1666 published thirty-nine plays. In the civil wars he followed his patron, the Earl of Newcastle, to the field; but on the decline of the royal cause returned to London, and, as the


[Born, 1596. Died, 1666.]
He was


Persons-The Duchess ROSAURA and her ladies VALERIA and CELINDA.



Valeria. SWEET madam, be less thoughtful; this obedience

To passion will destroy the noblest frame
Of beauty that this kingdom ever boasted.
Celinda. This sadness might become your
other habit,

And ceremonies black for him that died.
The times of sorrow are expired, and all

Clovis, she's mine; let not your spirit war
Or mutiny within you; because I say't;
Nor let thy tongue from henceforth dare presume
To say she might, or ever should be thine; [day.
What's past once more I pardon, 'tis our wedding-
Clovis. A long farewell to love: thus do I break
[Breaks the ring.
Your broken pledge of faith; and with this kiss,,
The last that ever Clovis must print here,
Unkiss the kiss that seal'd it on thy lips.

Ye powers, ye are unjust, for her wild breath,
That has the sacred tie of contract broken,
Is still the same Arabia that it was.

*He had studied also at Oxford, where Wood says that Laud objected to his taking orders, on account of a mole on his left cheek, which greatly disfigured him. This fastidiousness about personal beauty is certainly beyond the Levitical law. [As no mention of Shirley occurs in any of the public records of Oxford, the duration of his residence at St. John's College cannot be determined.-DYCE's Life, p. v.]

[The king, CLOTAIR, pulls him Nay, I have done: beware of jealousy! I would not have you nourish jealous thoughts; Though she has broke her faith to me, to you, Against her reputation, she'll be true: Farewell my first love lost, I'll choose to have No wife till death shall wed me to my grave. Come, Strephon, come and teach me how to die, That gavest me life so unadvisedly.

theatres were now shut, kept a school in Whitefriars, where he educated many eminent characters. At the re-opening of the theatres he must have been too old to have renewed his dramatic labours; and what benefit the Restoration brought him as a royalist, we are not informed. Both he and his wife died on the same day, immediately after the great fire of London, by which they had been driven out of their house, and probably owed their deaths to their losses and terror on that occasiont.

The joys that wait upon the court-your birth, And a new Hymen that is coming towards you, Invite a change.

Duch. Ladies, I thank you both.
I pray excuse a little melancholy

That is behind. My year of mourning hath not
So clear'd my account with sorrow, but there may
Some dark thoughts stay with sad reflections
Upon my heart, for him I lost. Even this
New dress and smiling garment, meant to show
A peace concluded 'twixt my grief and me,
Is but a sad remembrance: but I resolve

[ Shirley was the last of a great race, all of whom spoke nearly the same language, and had a set of moral feelings and notions in common. A new language, and quite a new turn of tragic and comic interest, came in with the Restoration.-LAMB.]

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Val. He's young and active, and composed most sweetly.

Duch. I have seen a face more tempting.
Val. It had then

Too much of woman in't; his eyes speak movingly,
Which may excuse his voice, and lead away
All female pride his captive. His black hair,
Which naturally falling into curls-

Duch. Prithee no more, thou art in love with him. The man in your esteem, Celinda, now.

Cel. Alvarez is, I must confess, a gentleman Of handsome composition, but with

His mind (the greater excellence) I think
Another may delight a lady more,

If man be well consider'd, that's Columbo,
Now, madam, voted to be yours.

Duch. My torment!

Val. She affects him not.


Cel. He has a person and a bravery beyond All men that I observe.

Val. He is a soldier,

A rough-hewn man, and may show well at distance;
His talk will fright a lady: war and grim-
Faced Honour are his mistresses-he raves
To hear a lute-Love meant him not his priest.
Again your pardon, madam: we may talk,
But you have art to choose and crown affection.

Duch. What is it to be born above these ladies, And want their freedom? They are not constrain'd, Nor slaved by their own greatness, or the king's, But let their free hearts look abroad and choose By their own eyes to love. I must repair My poor afflicted bosom, and assume

The privilege I was born with, which now prompts
To tell the king he hath no power nor art
To steer a lover's soul.


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Our mutual vows, thou canst suspect it possible
I should revoke a promise made to heaven
And thee, so soon? This must arise from some
Distrust of thy own faith.

D'Alv. Your grace's pardon :

To speak with freedom, I am not so old
In cunning to betray, nor young in time
Not to see where and when I am at loss,
And how to bear my fortune and my wounds;
Which, if I look for health, must still bleed inward,
A hard and desperate condition.

I am not ignorant your birth and greatness
Have placed you to grow up with the king's grace
And jealousy, which to remove his power
Hath chosen a fit object for your beauty
To shine upon-Columbo, his great favourite.
I am a man on whom but late the king

Has pleased to cast a beam, which was not meant
To make me proud, but wisely to direct
And light me to my safety. Oh, dear madam,
I will not call more witness of my love,
If you will let me still give it that name,
Than this, that I dare make myself a loser,
And to your will give all my blessings up.
Preserve your greatness, and forget a trifle,
That shall at best, when you have drawn me up,
But hang about you like a cloud, and dim
The glories you are born to.

Duch. Misery

Of birth and state! that I could shift into
A meaner blood, or find some art to purge
That part which makes my veins unequal. Yet
Those nice distinctions have no place in us;
There's but a shadow difference, a title ;

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D'Alv. If I then be happy

To have a name within your thought, there can
Be nothing left to crown me with new blessing.
But I dream thus of heaven, and wake to find
My am'rous soul a mockery, when the priest
Shall tie you to another, and the joys
Of marriage leave no thought at leisure to
Look back upon Alvarez, that must wither
For loss of you: yet then I cannot lose
So much of what I was once in your favour,
But in a sigh pray still you may live happy.


Duch. My heart is in a mist; some good star Upon my resolution, and direct Two lovers in their chaste embrace to meet. Columbo's bed contains my winding-sheet.

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Conference of the Duchess and the Cardinal, after the Duchess has sent a letter to Columbo, praying him to renounce her, and has received an answer from the camp, complying with the request.

Duch. 'Tis easy to interpret.
Card. From my nephew.

May I deserve the

favour? [Gives him the letter. Duch. He looks as though his eyes would fire the paper;

They are a pair of burning glasses, and
His envious blood doth give them flame.

Card. What lethargy could thus unspirit him? I am all wonder. Do not believe, madam, But that Columbo's love is yet more sacred To honour and yourself, than thus to forfeit What I have heard him call the glorious wreath To all his merits, given him by the king, From whom he took you with more pride than ever He came from victory; his kisses hang Yet panting on your lips, and he but now Exchanged religious farewell, to return But with more triumph to be yours. Duch. My lord,

You do believe your nephew's hand was not
Surprised or strain'd to this?

Card. Strange arts and windings in the worldmost dark

And subtle progresses. Who brought this letter? Duch. I inquired not his name. I thought it not Considerable to take such narrow notice.

Card. Desert and honour urged it here, nor can I blame you to be angry; yet his person Obliged you should have given a nobler pause Before you made your faith and change so violent From his known worth, into the arms of one, However fashion'd to your amorous wish, Not equal to his cheapest fame, with all The gloss of blood and merit.

Duch. This comparison,

My good lord cardinal, I cannot think Flows from an even justice, it betrays You partial where your blood runs.

Card. I fear, madam,

Your own takes too much license, and will soon
Fall to the censure of unruly tongues.
Because Alvarez has a softer cheek,
Can, like a woman, trim his wanton hair,
Spend half a day with looking in the glass
To find a posture to present himself,
And bring more effeminacy than man

Or honour, to your bed-must he supplant him?
Take heed, the common murmur, when it catches
The scent of a lost fame,-

Duch. My fame, lord cardinal!

It stands upon an innocence as clear

As the devotions you pay to heaven.

I shall not urge, my lord, your soft indulgence
At my next shrift.

Card. You are a fine court lady.

Duch. And you should be a reverend churchman. Card. One that, if you have not thrown off moWould counsel you to leave Alvarez. [desty,

Cardinal. MADAM.

Duchess. My lord.

Card. The king speaks of a letter that has brought The church and law allows me? A riddle in't

Duch. 'Cause you dare do worse Than marriage, must not I be admitted what

Card. Insolent! then you dare marry him? Duch. Dare! let your contracted flame and malice, with

Columbo's rage higher than that, meet us
When we approach the holy place, clasp'd hand
In hand,-we'll break through all your force, and fix
Our sacred vows together there.
Card. I knew

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