« PreviousContinue »
And follow'd will be impudence, Bonduca,
And grow to no belief, to taint these Romans,
Have I not seen the Britons
Run, run, Bonduca, not the quick rack swifter;
The virgin from the hated ravisher
Not half so fearful ;--not a flight drawn home,
A round stone from a sling, a lover's wish,
E’er made that haste that they have. By heavens,
I have seen these Britons that you magnify,
Run as they would have out-run time, and roaring,
Basely for mercy, roaring; the light shadows,
That in a thought scur o'er the fields of corn,
Halted on crutches to them,
Bon. O ye powers,
What scandals do I suffer !
Car. Yes, Bonduca,
I have seen thee run too, and thee, Nennius;
Yea run apace, both; then when Penyus,
The Roman girl, cut through your armed carts,
And drove them headlong on ye down the hill :
Then when he hunted ye like Britain-foxes,
More by the scent than sight: then did I see
These valiant and approved men of Britain,
Like boading owls, creep into tods of ivy,
And hoot their fears to one another nightly.
Nen. And what did you then, Caratach?
Car, I fled too,
But not so fast; your jewel had been lost then,
Young Hengo there; he trasht me, Nennius :
For when your fears out-run him, then stept I,
And in the head of all the Roman's fury
Took him, and, with my tough belt to my back
I buckled him ; behind him, my sure shield;
And then I follow'd. If I say I fought
Five times in bringing off this bud of Britain,
I lie not, Nennius. Neither had
heard Me speak this, or ever seen the child more,
But that the son of Virtue, Penyus,
Seeing me steer through all these storms of danger,
My helm still in my hand (my sword) my prow
Turn'd to my foe (my face) he cried out nobly,
“ Go Briton, bear thy lion's whelp off safely ;
Thy manly sword has ransom'd thee: grow strong, “ And let me meet thee once again in arms: " Then if thou stand'st, thou art mine." I took his
offer, And here I am to honour him.
THE BLOODY BROTHER; OR, ROLLO.
GEDY. BY JOHN FLETCHER.
Rollo, Duke of Normandy, a bloody tyrant, puts to death
kis tutor Baldwin, for too freely reproving him for his crimes; but afterwards falls in love with Edith, daughter to the man he has slain. She makes a show of returning kis love, and invites him to a banquet ; her design being to train him there, that she may kill him : but overcome by his flatteries, and real or dissembled remorse, she faints in her resolution.
Rol. What bright star, taking beauty's form upon her,
In all the happy lustre of heaven's glory,
Has dropt down from the sky to comfort me?
Wonder of Nature, let it not prophane thee
My rude hand touch thy beauty, nor this kiss,
The gentle sacrifice of love and service,
Be offer'd to the honour of thy sweetness.
Edi. My gracious lord, no deity dwells here,
Nor nothing of that virtue but obedience;
The servant to your will affects no flattery.
Rol. Can it be flattery to swear those eyes
e Love's eternal lamps he fires all hearts with:
at tongue the smart string to his bow? those sighs
le deadly shafts he sends into our souls?
1, look upon me with thy spring of beauty,
Edi. Your grace is full of game.
Rol. By heaven, my Edith,
hy mother fed on roses when she bred thee.
he sweetness of the Arabian wind still blowing
pon the treasures of perfumes and spices,
n all their pride and pleasures, call thee mistress.
Edi. Wilt please you sit, sir?
Rol. So you please sit by me.
Fair gentle maid, there is no speaking to thee,
The excellency that appears upon thee
Ties up my tongue : pray speak to me.
Edi, Of what, sir?
Rol. Of any thing, any thing is excellent.
take my directions ? speak of love then ;
Speak of thy fair self, Edith : and while thou speak’st,
Let me thus languishing give up myself, wench.
Edi. H’as a strange cunning tongue. Why do
you sigh, sir?
How masterly he turns himself to catch me.
Rol. The way to paradise, my gentle maid,
Is hard and crooked; scarce repentance finding,
With all her holy helps, the door to enter.
Give me thy hand, what dost thou feel?
Edi. Your tears, sir;
You weep extremely; strengthen me now, justice,
Why are these sorrows, sir?
Rol. Thou’lt never love me,
If I should tell thee; yet there's no way left
Ever to purchase this blest paradise,
But swimming thither in these tears.
Edi. I stagger.
Rol. Are they not drops of blood ?
Rol. They're for blood then, For guiltless blood; and they must drop, my Edith, They must thus drop, till I have drown'd my mischiefs.
Edi. If this be true, I have no strength to touch him. Rol. I prithee look' upon me, turn not from me; Alas I do confess I'm made of mischiefs, Begot with all man's miseries upon me: But see my sorrows, maid, and do not thou, Whose only sweetest sacrifice is softness, Whose true condition, tenderness of nature,
Edi. My anger melts, oh, I shall lose my justice.
Rol. Do not thou learn to kill with cruelty,
As I have done, to murder with thine eyes,
(Those blessed eyes) as I have done with malice.
When thou hast wounded me to death with scorn,
(As I deserve it, lady) for my true love,
When thou hast loaden me with earth for ever,
Take heed my sorrows, and the stings I suffer,
Take heed my nightly dreams of death and horror
Pursue thee not: no time shall tell thy griefs then,
Nor shall an hour of joy add to thy beauties,
Look not upon me as I kill'd thy father,
As I was smear'd in blood, do not thou hate me;
But thus in whiteness of
In my heart's tears and truth of love to Edith,
fair life hereafter, Edi. He will fool me.
Rol. Oh, with thine angel eyes behold and bless me: Of heaven we call for mercy and obtain it, To justice for our right on earth and have it, Of thee I beg for love, save me, and give it.
Edi. Now, heaven, thy help, or I am gone for ever, His tongue has turn’d me into melting pity.
THIERRY AND THEODORET. A TRAGEDY.
Thierry, King of France, being childless, is foretold by an
Astrologer, that he shall hate Children if he sacrifice the first Woman that he shall meet at sun-rise coming out of the Temple of Diana. He waits before the Temple, and the first Woman he sees, proves to be his own Wife Ordella.
THIERRY, MARTEL, a Nobleman.
Mart. Your grace is early stirring
Thier. How can he sleep
Whose happiness is laid up in an hour
He knows comes stealing towards him? Oh Martel!
Is't possible the longing bride, whose wishes
Out-run her fears, can on that day she is married
Consume in slumbers; or his arms rust in case,
That hears the charge, and
sees the honour'd purchase
Ready to guild his valour? Mine is more,
A power above these passions; this day France,
France, that in want of issue withers with us,
And like an aged river, runs his head
Into forgotten ways, again I ransom,
And his fair course turn right.
Mart. Happy woman, that dies to do these things.
Thier. The Gods have heard me now, and those that
Mothers of many children and blest fathers
That see their issue like the stars unnumber'd,
Their comfort more than them, shall in my praises
Now teach their infants songs; and tell their ages
From such a son of mine, or such a queen,
That chaste Ordella brings me.