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Shall be my charge : remove the bloodless body.
A Temple. An Altar, covered with white; two lights of virgin
wax upon it.-Recorders ; during which enter Attendants, bearing ITHOCLES on a hearse, in a rich robe, with a crown on his head; and place him on the one side of the Altar. After which, enter CALANTHA, in white, crowned, attended by EUPHRANEA, PHILEMA, and CHRISTALLA, also in white; NEARCHUS, ARMOSTES, CROTOLON, PROPHILUS, AMELUS, BASSANES, HE
MOPHIL, and GRONEAS. CALANTHA kneels before the Altar, the Ladies kneeling
behind her, the rest stand off. The Recorders cease during her devotions. Soft music. CALANTHA and the rest rise, doing obeisance to the Altar.
Cal. Our orisons are heard ; the gods are merciful. Now tell me, you, whose loyalties pay tribute To us your lawful sovereign, how unskilful Your duties or obedience is, to render Subjection to the sceptre of a virgin, Who have been ever fortunate in princes of masculine and stirring composition ? A woman has enough to govern wisely Her own demeanours, passions, and divisions. A nation warlike, and inured to practice Of policy and labour, cannot brook A feminate authority; we therefore Command your counsel, how you may advise us In choosing of a husband, whose abilities Can better guide this kingdom.
Near. Royal lady,
Arm. We have seen tokens
Crot. Yet, if your highness settle on a choice,
Cal. Hold you the same mind?
Bass. Alas, great mistress ! reason is so clouded With the thick darkness of my infinite woes, That I forecast nor dangers, hopes, or safety. Give me some corner of the world to wear out The remnant of the minutes I must number, Where I may hear no sounds, but sad complaints Of virgins, who have lost contracted partners; Of husbands howling that their wives were ravish'd By some untimely fate; of friends divided By churlish opposition; or of fathers Weeping upon their children's slaughtered car
Cal. Cousin of Argos!
Cal. Were I presently
Near. Name them, virtuous lady.
Cal. I would presume you would retain the royalty Of Sparta in her own bounds; then in Argos Armostes might be viceroy; in Messene Might Crotolon bear sway; and BassanesBass. I, queen ? alas ! what, I ? Cal. Be Sparta's marshal;
The multitudes of high employments could not
Bass. This is a testament !
Near. All this should be perform’d.
Cal. Lastly, for Prophilus;
Pro. I am unworthy
Euph. Excellent lady!
[Places a ring on the finger of ITHOCLES. Thus I new-marry him, whose wise I am: Death shall not separate us. Oh, my lords, I but deceiv'd your eyes with antic gesture, When one news straight came huddling on another, Of death! and death! and death! still I danced for
ward! But it struck home, and here, and in an instant. Be such mere women, who, with shrieks and out
cries, Can vow a present end to all their sorrows, Yet live to (court) new pleasures, and outlive them : They are the silent griefs which cut the heart
strings; Let me die smiling.
Near. 'Tis a truth too ominous.
Near. Sirs, the song!
Cho. Glories, pleasures, pomps, delights, and
Can but please
Is [or) untroubled, or by peace refined.
Beauties shine, but fade away. Second. Youth
inay revel, yet it must
Lie down in a bed of dust. Third. Earthly honours flow and waste,
Time alone doth change and last.
Rest for care,
Can find no comfort for a BROKEN HEART. Arm. Look to the queen!
Bass. Her“ heart is broke” indeed.
Arm. Wise Tecnicus! thus said he.
Near. I am your king.
All. Long live
Near. Her last will
Shall never be digress'd from; wait in order
(Exeunt. 1 “I do not know," says Mr. Lamb, who brings to the perusal of our od dramatists a sensibility almost painfully exquisite," where to find, in any play, a catastrophe so grand, 50 solemn, and so surprising as this. This is indeed, according to Millon, to describe high passions and high actions. The fortitude of the Spartan Boy, who let a beast gnaw out his bowels till he died, without expressing a groan, is a faint bodily image of this dilaceration of the spirit, and exenteration of the inmost mind, which Calantha, with a holy violence against her nature, keeps closely covered till the last duties of a wife and a queen are fulfilled.-But Ford was of the first order of poets. He sought for sublimity, not by parcels in metaphors or visible images, but directly where she has full residence in the heart of man, in the actions and sufferings of the greatest minds."--LAMB's Specimens of Dramatic Poets.
WHERE noble judgments and clear eyes are fix'd