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in the memory. But his mind was poctical; his better characters, especially females, express pure thoughts in pure language; he is never tumid or affected, and seldom obscure; the incidents succeed rapidly, the personages are numerous, and there is a general animation in the scenes, which causes us to read him with some pleasure. No very good play, nor possibly any very good scene, could be found in Shirley; but he has many lines of considerable beauty. Of these fine lines, Dr Farmer, in his Essay on the Learning of Shakspeare,' quoted perhaps the most beautiful, being part of Fernando's description, in the 'Brothers,' of the charms of his mistress :

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Her eye did seem to labour with a tear,
Which suddenly took birth, but overweigh'd,
With its own swelling, dropt upon her bosom,
Which, by reflection of her light appear'd
As nature meant her sorrow for an ornament.
After, her looks grew cheerful, and I saw
A smile shoot graceful upward from her eyes,
As if they had gain'd a victory o'er grief;
And with it many beams twisted themselves,
Upon whose golden threads the angels walk
To and again from heaven.

In the same vein of delicate fancy and feeling is the following passage in the Grateful Servant, where Cleona learns of the existence of Foscari, from her page Dulcino:

Cle. The day breaks glorious to my darken'd thoughts. He lives, he lives yet! Cease, ye amorous fears, More to perplex me. Prithee speak, sweet youth; How fares my lord? Upon my virgin heart I'll build a flaming altar, to offer up

A thankful sacrifice for his return

To life and me. Speak, and increase my comforts. Is he in perfect health?

Dul. Not perfect, madam,

Until you bless him with the knowledge of
Your constancy.

Cle. O get thee wings and fly then;
Tell him my love doth burn like vestal fire,
Which, with his memory richer than all spices,
Disperses odours round about my soul,
And did refresh it when 'twas dull and sad,
With thinking of his absence.

-Yet stay,
Thou goest away too soon; where is he? speak.
Dul. He gave me no commission for that, lady;
He will soon save that question by his presence.
Cle. Time has no feathers; he walks now on

Relate his gestures when he gave thee this.
What other words? Did mirth smile on his brow?
I would not for the wealth of this great world
He should suspect my faith. What said he, prithee?
Dul. He said what a warm lover, when desire
Makes eloquent, could speak; he said you were
Both star and pilot.

Cle. The sun's lov'd flower, that shuts his yellow


When he declineth, opens it again

At his fair rising with my parting lord I clos'd all my delight; till his approach It shall not spread itself.

The Prodigal Lady. [From the 'Lady of Pleasure."]


Stew. Be patient, madam, you may have your plea


Aret. 'Tis that I came to town for; I would not Endure again the country conversation

To be the lady of six shires! The men,
So near the primitive making, they retain
A sense of nothing but the earth; their brains
And barren heads standing as much in want
Of ploughing as their ground: to hear a fellow
Make himself merry and his horse with whistling
Sellinger's round; t' observe with what solemnity
They keep their wakes, and throw for pewter candle-
How they become the morris, with whose bells
They ring all into Whitsun ales, and swear
Through twenty scarfs and napkins, till the hobbyhorse
Tire, and the Maid-Marian, dissolved to a jelly,
Be kept for spoon meat.

Stew. These, with your pardon, are no argument
To make the country life appear so hateful;
At least to your particular, who enjoy'd
A blessing in that calm, would you be picas'd
To think so, and the pleasure of a kingdom:
While your own will commanded what should move
Delights, your husband's love and power joined
To give your life more harmony. You liv'd there
Secure and innocent, belov'd of all;

Prais'd for your hospitality, and pray'd for:
You might be envied, but malice knew
Not where you dwelt.-I would not prophesy,
But leave to your own apprehension
What may succeed your change.

No doubt, you have talk'd wisely, and confuted
Aret. You do imagine,
London past all defence. Your master should
Do well to send you back into the country,
With title of superintendent bailie.

Born. How now, what's the matter?
Angry, sweetheart?

Aret. I am angry with myself,

To be so miserably restrain'd in things
Wherein it doth concern your love and honour
To see me satisfied.

Born. In what, Aretina,

Dost thou accuse me? Have I not obeyed
All thy desires against mine own opinion!
Quitted the country, and remov'd the hope
Of our return by sale of that fair lordship
We liv'd in; chang'd a calm and retir'd life
For this wild town, compos'd of noise and charge !
Aret. What charge more than is necessary

For a lady of my birth and education?

Born. I am not ignorant how much nobility
Flows in your blood; your kinsmen, great and powerful
I' th' state, but with this lose not your memory
Of being my wife. I shall be studious,
Madam, to give the dignity of your birth
All the best ornaments which become my fortune,
But would not flatter it to ruin both,

And be the fable of the town, to teach
Other men loss of wit by mine, employed
To serve your vast expenses.
Aret. Am I then

Brought in the balance so, sir ?

Born. Though you weigh

Me in a partial scale, my heart is honest,
And must take liberty to think you have
Obeyed no modest counsel to affect,
Nay study, ways of pride and costly ceremony.
Your change of gaudy furniture, and pictures
Of this Italian master and that Dutchman's;
Your mighty looking-glasses, like artillery,
Brought home on engines; the superfluous plate,
Antique and novel; vanities of tires;
Banquets for t'other lady, aunt and cousins;
Fourscore pound suppers for my lord, your kinsman ;

1 A favourite though homely dance of those days, taking its title from an actor named St Leger.

And perfumes that exceed all: train of servants,
To stifle us at home and show abroad,
More motley than the French or the Venetian,
About your coach, whose rude postilion
Must pester every narrow lane, till passengers
And tradesmen curse your choking up their stalls,
And common cries pursue your ladyship
For hind'ring o' the market.

Aret. Have you done, sir?

Born. I could accuse the gaiety of your wardrobe And prodigal embroideries, under which Rich satins, plushes, cloth of silver, dare Not show their own complexions. Your jewels, Able to burn out the spectator's eyes, And show like bonfires on you by the tapers. Something might here be spared, with safety of Your birth and honour, since the truest wealth Shines from the soul, and draws up just admirers. I could urge something more.

Aret. Pray do; I like

Your homily of thrift.

Born. I could wish, madam, You would not game so much. Aret. A gamester too?

Born. But are not come to that repentance yet Should teach you skill enough to raise your profit; You look not through the subtlety of cards And mysteries of dice, nor can you save Charge with the box, buy petticoats and pearls; Nor do I wish you should. My poorest servant Shall not upbraid my tables, nor his hire, Purchas'd beneath my honour. You may play, Not a pastime, but a tyranny, and vex Yourself and my estate by 't.

Aret. Good-proceed.

Born. Another game you have, which consumes more
Your fame than purse; your revels in the night,
Your meetings called the ball, to which appear,
As to the court of pleasure, all your gallants
And ladies, thither bound by a subpoena
Of Venus and small Cupid's high displeasure;
'Tis but the family of love translated

Into more costly sin. There was a play on 't,
And had the poet not been brib'd to a modest
Expression of your antic gambols in 't,

Some darks had been discover'd, and the deeds too;
In time he may repent, and make some blush
To see the second part danc'd on the stage.
My thoughts acquit you for dishonouring me
By any foul act, but the virtuous know
"Tis not enough to clear ourselves, but the
Suspicions of our shame.

Aret. Have you concluded

Your lecture?

Born. I have done; and howsoever

My language may appear to you, it carries
No other than my fair and just intent
To your delights, without curb to their modest
And noble freedom.

In the Ball,' a comedy partly by Chapman, but chiefly by Shirley, a coxcomb (Bostock), crazed on the point of family, is shown up in the most admirable manner. Sir Marmaduke Travers, by way of fooling him, tells him that he is rivalled in his suit of a particular lady by Sir Ambrose Lamount.

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Mar. He thinks he has good cards for her, and likes His game well.

Bos. Be an understanding knight,

And take my meaning; if he cannot show

As much in heraldry

Mar. I do not know how rich he is in fields, But he is a gentleman.

Bos. Is he a branch of the nobility?

How many lords can he call cousin ?-else
He must be taught to know he has presumed
To stand in competition with me.

Mar. You will not kill him?

Bos. You shall pardon me ;

I have that within me must not be provok'd;
There be some living now that have been kill'd
For lesser matters.

Mar. Some living that have been kill'd!

Bos. I mean some living that have seen examples, Not to confront nobility; and I

Am sensible of my honour.

Mar. His name is

Sir Ambrose.

Bos. Lamount; a knight of yesterday,

And he shall die to-morrow; name another.
Mar. Not so fast, sir; you must take some breath.
Bos. I care no more for killing half a dozen
Knights of the lower house-I mean that are not
Descended from nobility-than I do

To kick any footman; an Sir Ambrose were
Knight of the Sun, king Oberon should not save him,
Nor his queen Mab.


Mar. Unluckily he's here, sir.
Bos. Sir Ambrose,

How does thy knighthood? ha!

Amb. My nymph of honour, well; I joy to see thee. Bos. Sir Marmaduke tells me thou art suitor to Lady Lucina.

Amb. I have ambition

To be her servant.

Bos. Hast thou'rt a brave knight, and I commend Thy judgment.

Amb. Sir Marmaduke himself leans that way too. Bos. Why didst conceal it? Come, the more the


But I could never see you there.
Mar. I hope,

Sir, we may live.

Bos. I'll tell you, gentlemen,

Cupid has given us all one livery;

I serve that lady too; you understand me?

But who shall carry her, the fates determine;

I could be knighted too.

Amb. That would be no addition to

Your blood.

Bos. I think it would not; so my lord told me ;
Thou know'st my lord, not the earl, my other
Cousin there's a spark his predecessors
Have match'd into the blood; you understand
He put me upon this lady; I proclaim
No hopes; pray let's together, gentlemen ;
If she be wise-I say no more; she shall not
Cost me a sigh, nor shall her love engage me
To draw a sword; I have vow'd that.

Mar. You did but jest before.
Amb. "Twere pity that one drop

Of your heroic blood should fall to th' ground:
Who knows but all your cousin lords may die.
Mar. As I believe them not immortal, sir.
Amb. Then you are gulf of honour, swallow all,
May marry some queen yourself, and get princes
To furnish the barren parts of Christendom.

There was a long cessation of the regular drama. In 1642, the nation was convulsed with the elements of discord, and in the same month that the sword

was drawn, the theatres were closed. On the 2d of September, the Long Parliament issued an ordinance, suppressing public stage plays throughout the kingdom during these calamitous times.' An infraction of this ordinance took place in 1644, when some players were apprehended for performing Beaumont and Fletcher's King and no King'-an ominous title for a drama at that period. Another ordinance was issued in 1647, and a third in the following year, when the House of Commons appointed a provost marshall, for the purpose of suppressing plays and seizing ballad singers. Parties of strolling actors occasionally performed in the country; but there was no regular theatrical performances in London, till Davenant brought out his opera, the Siege of Rhodes, in the year 1656. Two years afterwards, he removed to the Cockpit Theatre, Drury Lane, where he performed until the eve of the Restoration. A strong partiality for the drama existed in the nation, which all the storms of the civil war, and the zeal of the Puritans, had not been able to crush or subdue.

MISCELLANEOUS PIECES OF THE PERIOD 1558-1649. [Convivial Song, by Bishop Still.]

[From the play of Gammer Gurton's Needle,' about 1565.] I cannot eat but little meat,

My stomach is not good;

But sure I think that I can drink
With him that wears a hood.
Though I go bare, take ye no care,
I nothing am a-cold;

I stuff my skin so full within
Of jolly good ale and old.

Back and side go bare, go bare;

Both foot and hand go cold;

But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.

I love no roast but a nut-brown toast,
And a crab laid in the fire;

And little bread shall do me stead;
Much bread I nought desire.

No frost, no snow, no wind, I trow,
Can hurt me if I wold,

I am so wrapp'd, and thoroughly lapp'd,
Of jolly good ale and old.

Back and side, &c.

And Tib, my wife, that as her life

Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she, till ye may see
The tears run down her cheek:
Then doth she troul to me the bowl,
Even as a maltworm should,

And saith,Sweetheart, I took my part
Of this jolly good ale and old.'

Back and side, &c.

Now let them drink till they nod and wink,
Even as good fellows should do ;
They shall not miss to have the bliss

Good ale doth bring men to.

And all poor souls that have scour'd bowls, Or have them lustily troul'd,

God save the lives of them and their wives, Whether they be young or old.

Back and side, &c.

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No princely port, nor wealthy store,
Nor force to win a victory;
No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to win a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall,
For why, my mind despise them all.
I see that plenty surfeits oft,
And hasty climbers soonest fall;
I see that such as are aloft,

Mishap doth threaten most of all; These get with toil, and keep with fear: Such cares my mind can never bear.

I press to bear no haughty sway;
I wish no more than may suffice;
I do no more than well I may,
Look what I want, my mind supplies;
Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
My mind's content with anything.

I laugh not at another's loss,
Nor grudge not at another's gain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss ;
I brook that is another's bane;
I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend;

I loathe not life, nor dread mine end.

My wealth is health and perfect ease, And conscience clear my chief defence;

I never seek by bribes to please,

Nor by desert to give offence; Thus do I live, thus will I die; Would all do so as well as I!


[From the same.]

What pleasure have great princes
More dainty to their choice,
Than herdsmen wild, who careless
In quiet life rejoice:

And Fortune's fate not fearing,
Sing sweet in summer morning.
Their dealings plain and rightful,
Are void of all deceit ;
They never know how spiteful
It is to feel and wait

On favourite presumptuous,
Whose pride is vain and sumptuous

All day their flocks each tendeth,
All night they take their rest,
More quiet than who sendeth

His ship into the East,
Where gold and pearl are plenty,
But getting very dainty.

For lawyers and their pleading
They esteem it not a straw;
They think that honest meaning
Is of itself a law;
Where Conscience judgeth plainly,
They spend no money vainly.
O happy who thus liveth,
Not caring much for gold,
With clothing which sufficeth
To keep him from the cold:
Though poor and plain his diet,
Yet merry it is and quiet.

Meditation when we go to Bed. [From the Handful of Honeysuckles.' By William Hunnis: 1585.]

O Lord my God, I wandered have

As one that runs astray,

And have in thought, in word, and deed,
In idleness and play,



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"From the Poor Widow's Mite.' By William Hunnis: 1585.]

Thou, God, that rul'st and reign'st in light,
That flesh cannot attain;

Thou, God, that know'st the thoughts of men
Are altogether vain ;

Thou, God, whom neither tongue of man
Nor angel can express;
Thou, God, it is that I do seek,

Thou pity my distress!

Thy seat, O God, is everywhere,

Thy power all powers transcend ;
Thy wisdom cannot measured be,
For that it hath no end!

Thou art the power and wisdom too,
And sole felicity;

But I a lump of sinful flesh,
Nurse of iniquity.
Thou art by nature merciful,
And Mercy is thy name;
And I by nature miserable,

The thrall of sin and shame :
Then let thy nature, O good God!
Now work this force in me;
And cleanse the nature of my sin,
And heal my misery.

One depth, good Lord, another craves;
My depth of sinful crime

Requires the depth of mercy great,

For saving health in time.

Sweet Christ, grant that thy depth of grace
May swallow up my sin;
That I thereby may whiter be,
Than even snow hath been.

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The maid, with whom he fell in love, as much as one might be.

Unhappy youth! what should he do? his saint was kept in mew,

Nor he, nor any noble man admitted to her view.
One while in melancholy fits he pines himself away;
Anon he thought by force of arms to win her if he may,
And still against the king's restraint did secretly in-

At length the high controller, Love, whom none may disobey,

Imbased him from lordliness unto a kitchen drudge, That so, at least, of life or death she might become his judge.

Access so had to see, and speak, he did his love bewray, And tells his birth: her answer was, she husbandless

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Assured therefore of his love, but not suspecting who The lover was, the king himself in his behalf did woo. The lady, resolute from love, unkindly takes that he Should bar the noble, and unto so base a match agree; And therefore, shifting out of doors, departed thence by stealth,

Preferring poverty before a dangerous life in wealth. When Curan heard of her escape, the anguish in his heart

Was more than much; and after her from court he did depart :

Forgetful of himself, his birth, his country, friends, and all,

And only minding whom he mist-the foundress of his thrall!

Nor means he after to frequent, or court, or stately towns,
But solitarily to live amongst the country grownes.
A brace of years he lived thus; well-pleased so to live;
And shepherd-like to feed a flock, himself did wholly

So wasting, love, by work and want, grew almost to the

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And whilst his pieba. 1 cur did sleep, and sheep-hook lay him by,

On hollow quills of saten straw he piped melody. But when he spied her, his saint, he wip'd his greasy shoes,

And clear'd the drivel from his beard, and thus the shepherd woos:

I have, sweet wench, a piece of cheese, as good as tooth may chaw,

And bread, and wildings, souling well;' and therewithal did draw

His lardry; and, in eating, 'See yon crumpled ewe,' quoth he,

'Did twin this fall; faith thou art too elvish, and too coy;

Am I, I pray thee, beggarly, that such a flock enjoy? I wis I am not; yet that thou dost hold me in disdain is brim abroad, and made a gibe to all that keep this plain.

There be as quaint, at least that think themselves as quaint, that crave

The match which thou (I wot not why) may'st, but mislik'st to have.

How would'st thou match? (for well I wot, thou art a female); I,

I know not her, that willingly, in maidenhood would


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Her stature comely tall, her gait well graced, and her wit

To marvel at, not meddle with, as matchless, I omit. A globe-like head, a gold-like hair, a forehead smooth and high,

An even nose, on either side stood out a grayish eye: Two rosy cheeks, round ruddy lips, with just set teeth within,

A mouth in mean, and underneath a round and dimpled chin.

Her snowy neck, with bluish veins, stood bolt upright upon

Her portly shoulders; beating balls, her veined breasts,

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A nymph, no tongue, no heart, no eye, might praise, might wish, might see,

For life, for love, for form, more good, more worth, more fair than she !

Yet such an one, as such was none, save only she was such :

Of Argentile, to say the most, were to be silent much.' 'I knew the lady very well, but worthless of such praise,'

The neatress said; ' and muse I do, a shepherd thus should blaze

The coat of beauty. Credit me, thy latter speech bewrays Thy clownish shape, a coined show. But wherefore dost thou weep ?'

(The shepherd wept, and she was woe, and both did silence keep.)

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