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Are handsome pictures. One so young, and goodly,
Men. Why should such as I am
Amet. This little isle of Cyprus sure abounds
Men. Than any
Amet. Jewel, Menaphon?
Men. A jewel, my Amethus, a fair youth; A youth, whom, if I were but superstitious, I should repute an excellence more high, Than mere creations are: to add delight, I'll tell you how I found him.
Amet. Prithee do. Men. Passing from Italy to Greece, the tales Which poets of an elder time have feign'd To glorify their Tempe, bred in me Desire of visiting that paradise. To Thessaly I came ; and living private, Without acquaintance of more sweet companions Than the old inmates to my love, my thoughts, I day by day frequented silent groves, And solitary walks. One morning early This accident encounter'd me: I heard The sweetest and most ravishing contention, That act [and] nature ever were at strife in.'
1 Vide (Ford says) Fami. Stradam, lib. ii. Prolus. 6, Acad. 2, Imitat. Claudian. This story, as Mr. Lambe observes, has been para
Amet. I cannot yet conceive what you infer
Men. I shall soon resolve you.
Amet. And so do I'; good! on
Men. A nightingale,
Amet. How did the rivals part?
Men. You term them rightly; For they were rivals, and their mistress, harmony:Some time thus spent, the young man grew at last Into a pretty anger, that a bird Whom art had never taught cliffs, moods, or notes, Should vie with him for mastery, whose study Had busied many hours to perfect practice: To end the controversy, in a rapture Upon his instrument he plays so swiftly, So many voluntaries and so quick, That there was curiosity and cunning,
phrased by Crashaw, Ambrose Philips, and others : none of those vereions, however, can at all compare for harmony and grace with this before us.-GIFFORD,
Concord in discord, lines of differing method
Amet. Now for the bird.
Men. The bird, ordain'd to be Music's first martyr, strove to imitate These several sounds: which, when her warbling
throat Fail'd in, for grief, down dropp'd she on his lute, And brake her heart! It was the quaintest sad
Amet. I believe thee.
Men. He look'd upon the trophies of his art,
Amet. Thou hast discours'd
Men. I repriev'd
Thou hast discours'd A truth of mirth and pity.) This is evidently corrupt; but I can suggest no remedy. Pathetic, indeed, this most beautiful tale is, but it certainly contains nothing of merriment.-GIFFORD.
Endued with reason, ravish admiration:
Amet. But is this miracle
Men. I won him by degrees To choose me his companion. Whence he is, Or who, as I durst modestly inquire, So gently he would woo not to make known; Only (for reasons to himself reserv'd) He told me, that some remnant of his life Was to be spent in travel: for his fortunes, They were nor mean nor riotous; his friends Not publish'd to the world, though not obscure: His country Athens, and his name Parthenophill.
Amet. Came he with you to Cyprus ?
Amet. Now thou art doubly welcome:
Men. May I
Amet. Without offence !--Parthenophill Shalí find a worthy entertainment too. Thou art not still a coward ?
Men. She's too excellent, And I too low in merit.
Amet. I'll prepare A noble welcome; and, friend, ere we part, Unload to thee an overcharged heart. [Exeunt.
Another Room in the Palace.
Enter RHETIAS, carelessly attired. Rhe. I will not court the madness of the times; Not fawn upon the riots that embalm Our wanton gentry, to preserve the dust Of their affected vanities in coffins Of memorable shame. When commonwealths Totter and reel from that nobility And ancient virtue which renowns the great, Who steer the helm of government, while mush
Grow up, and make new laws to license folly ;
Pel. Rhetias, I sought thee out to tell thee news, New, excellent new news. Cuculus, sirrah, That gull, that young old gull, is coming this way. ! Why should not I, a May-game, &c.) i. e. an unconsidered trifte, a jest, a piece of mirth.-GirFord.
2 Snarl at the vices.] Snarl (as well as girl) is commonly made a dissyllable by our poet.-GIFFORD.
3 i. e. boldly, desperately, without care of consequences.