Page images

Sister, when I have finish'd my last days,
Lodge me, my wife, and this unequall'd friend,
All in one monument. Now to my vows.
Never henceforth let any passionate tongue
Mention Bianca's and Caraffa's name,
But let each letter in that tragic sound
Beget a sigh, and every sigh a tear :
Children unborn and widows whose lean cheeks
Are furrow'd up by age, shall weep whole nights
Repeating but the story of our fates;
While in the period, closing up their tale,
They must conclude, how for Bianca's love,
Caraffa, in revenge of wrongs to her,
Thus on her altar sacrificed his life. [Stabs himself.

Friar. Oh, hold the duke's hand !
Fior. Save my brother, save him !

Duke. Do, do; I was too willing to strike home
To be prevented. Fools, why could you dream
I would outlive my outrage ? sprightful flood,
Run out in rivers! Oh, that these thick streams
Could gather head, and make a standing pool,
That jealous husbands here might bathe in blood!
So, I grow sweetly empty; all the pipes
Of life unvessel life ;-now, heavens, wipe out.
The writing of my sin! Bianca, thus
I creep to thee--to thee-to thee, Bi-an-ca. [Diese

“The catastrophe of this drama,” as Mr. Gifford observes, with a severity which extracts less cautious than our own would have sufficiently justified, “does not shame its progress. The dutchess dying in odour of chastity, after confessing and triumphing in her lascivious passion; the poor duke, in defiance of it, affirming that“no man was ever blest with so good and loving a wife,” and falling upon his sword, that he may the sooner share her tomb, together with “his unequalled 'friend," who so zealously had laboured to dishonour him; with other anomalies of a similar kind, render this one of the least attractive of Ford's pieces : it is not, however, without its beauties; many scenes are charmingly written for the greater part, and few of our author's works contain more striking examples of his characteristic merits and defects."


Tus FANCIES, CHASTE AND NOBLE.] The leading characters in this play are well conceived, and judiciously sustained; but their merits grow out of a plot so revolting in its nature, that only one specimen of the dialogue in the principal story can with propriety be exhibited to the reader.

The second or underplot of Julio and Flavia, like most of our author's intermedes, contributes nothing to the advancement of the main story : it is not, however, without merit, and will tell its own tale.

VOL. II.-23

« PreviousContinue »