Page images

Dissembled him the lawful heir of England;
Yet this was all but French dissimulation,
Aiming at peace with us; which, being granted
On honourable terms on our part, suddenly
This smoke of straw was pack'd from France again,
T' infect some grosser air: and now we learn
(Maugre the malice of the bastard Nevill,
Sirl Taylor, and a hundred English rebels)
They're all retired to Flanders, to the dam
That nursed this eager whelp, Margaret of Bur-

But we will hunt him there too! we will hunt him,
Hunt him to death, even in the beldam's closet,
Though the archduke were his buckler!

Sur. She haš styled him,
“ The fair white rose of England."

Daw. Jolly gentleman!
More fit to be a swabber to the Flemish,
After a drunken surfeit.

Urs. Gracious sovereign,
Please you peruse this paper. [The king reads.

Dur. The king's countenance
Gathers a sprightly blood.

Daw. Good news; believe it.
K. Hen. Urswick, thine ear. 2-Thou hast lodged

him ?

1 Sir Taylor is a very unusual method of designating a knight; but perhaps the king does it in scorn.-GIFFORD.

2 Urswick, thine ear.) Christopher Urswick was at this time almoner to the king. He had been chaplain to the Countess of Richmond, who afterward married Thomas Lord Stanley, the elder brother of Sir W. Stanley, the person here implicated; and was trusted by this nobleman with the correspondence between him and Richmond (Henry VII.), and therefore, perhaps, much in his confidence and esteem. His eager importunity to betray the brother of his former patron argues but little for his character; but in those days much consistency is rarely to be found. Weaver, who gives his epitaph (by which it appears that he possessed and resigned several high stations in the church), concludes thus"Here let him rest, as an example for all unjust prelates to admire, and for few or none to imitate.”—The news which Urswick now communi.

Org. By mine; this weapon
Was instrument to my revenge; the reasons
Are just, and known: quit him of these, and then
Never lived gentleman of gieater merit,
Hope, or abiliment to steer a kingdom.

Crot. Fy, Orgilus !
Euph. Fy, brother!
Cal. You have done it?
Bass. How it was done, let him report, the for-

Of whose allegiance to our laws doth covet
Rigour of justice; but, that done it is,
Mine eyes have been an evidence of credit
Too sure to be convinced. Armostes, rend not
Thine arteries with hearing the bare circumstances
of these calamities: thou hast lost a nephew,
A niece, and I a wife: continue man' still;
Make me the pattern of digesting evils,
Who can outlive my mighty ones, not shrinking
At such a pressure as would sink a soul
Into what's most of death, the worst of horrors.
But I have seal'd a covenant with sadness,
And enter'd into bonds without condition,
To stand these tempests calmly; mark me, nobles,
I do not shed a tear, not for Penthea!
Excellent misery!

Cal. We begin our reign
With a first act of justice: thy confession,
Unhappy Orgilus, dooms thee a sentence;
But yet thy father's or thy sister's presence
Shall be excus'd. Give, Crotolon, a blessing
To thy lost son; Euphranea, take a farewell,
And both be gone.

Crot. [to Org.] Confirm thee, noble sorrow,
In worthy resolution!

1 Mine eyes have been an evidence of credit

Too sure to be convinced.] Convince is used here in the primitive sense of conquered, overthroun. In modern terms,"my evidence is too true to be confused "QIFPORAN

Euph. Could my tears speak,
My griefs were slight.

Org. All goodness dwell among ye!
Enjoy my sister, Prophilus; my vengeance
Aim'd never at thy prejudice.
Cal. Now withdraw.

[Exeunt Crot. Pro. and EUPH.'
Bloody relater of thy stains in blood,
For that thou hast reported him, whose fortunes
And life by thee are both at once snatch'd from

him, With honourable mention, make thy choice Of what death likes thee best; there 's all our

But to excuse delays, let me, dear cousin,
Entreat you and these lords see execution,
Instant, before you part.

Near. Your will commands us.
Org. One suit, just queen, my last : vouchsafe your

That by no common hand I be divided
From this my humble frailty.

Cal. To their wisdoms Who are to be spectators of thine end, I make the reference: those that are dead, Are dead; had they not now died, of necessity They must have paid the debt they owed to nature, One time or other.-Use despatch, my lords; We'll suddenly prepare our coronation.

[Exeunt Cal. Phil. and CHRIS. Arm. 'T is strange, these tragedies should never

touch on Her female pity.

Bass. She has a masculine spirit:
And wherefore should I pule, and, like a girl,
Put finger in the eye ? let's be all toughness,
Without distinction betwixt sex and sex.

Near. Now, Orgilus, thy choice?
Org. To bleed to death.

Arm. The executioner?

Org. Myself, no surgeon; I am well skill'd in letting blood. Bind fast This arm, that so the pipes may from their conduits Convey a full stream; here's a skilful instrument:

[Shows his dagger.
Only I am a beggar to some charity
To speed me in this execution,
By lending th’ other prick to th’ other arm,
When this is bubbling life out.

Bass. I am for you,
It most concerns my art, my care, my credit ;
Quick fillet both his arms.

Org. Gramercy, friendship!
Such courtesies are real, which flow cheerfully
Without an expectation of requital.
Reach me a staff in this hand.—[They give him a

staff.']-If a proneness, Or custom in my nature, from my cradle, Had been inclined to fierce and eager bloodshed, A coward guilt, hid in a coward quaking, Would have betray'd me to ignoble flight, And vagabond pursuit of dreadful safety; But look upon my steadiness, and scorn not The sickness of my fortune ; which, since Bassanes Was husband to Penthea, had lain bedrid. We trifle time in words :-thus I show cunning In opening of a vein too full, too lively.

[Pierces the vein with his dagger. Arm. Desperate courage! Near. Honourable infamy! Hem. I tremble at the sight. Gron. 'Would I were loose! Bass. It sparkles like a lusty wine new broach'd ; The vessel must be sound from which it issues. Grasp hard this other stick-I'll be as nimbleBut prithee, look not pale-Have at ye !-stretch out Thine arm with vigour, and unshak[en] virtue.

1 This was for the purpose of being grasped during the bleeding; a practice familiar to every village doctor in the kingdom-GIFFORD.

[Opens the vein. Good! oh, I envy not a rival, fitted To conquer in extremities: this pastime Appears majestical ; some high-tuned poem, Hereafter, shall deliver to posterity The writer's glory, and his subject's triumph. How is't, man ?-droop not yet.

Org. I feel no palsies. On a pair-royal do I wait in death; My sovereign as his liegeman; on my mistress, As a devoted servant; and on Ithocles, As if no brave, yet no unworthy enemy: Nor did I use an engine to entrap His life, out of a slavish fear to combat Youth, strength, or cunning ;' but for that I durst

not Engage the goodness of a cause on fortune, By which his name might have outfaced my ven

geance. Oh, Tecnicus, inspired with Phæbus' fire ! I call to mind thy augury, 't was perfect; Revenge proves its own executioner. When feeble man is bending to his mother, The dust he was first framed on, thus he totters—

Bass. Life's fountain is dried up.

Org. So falls the standard of my prerogative in being a creature ! A mist hangs o'er mine eyes, the sun's bright splen

Is clouded in an everlasting shadow;
Welcome, thou ice, that sit’st about my heart,
No heat can ever thaw thee.

[Dier. Near. Speech hath left him. Bass. He hath shook hands with time; his funeral


1 Youth, strength, or cunning,] I. e. practical skill in tho nude or armo. GuPPORD.

« PreviousContinue »