« PreviousContinue »
With tears, for ruth to reave such one by death;
Should nature yet consent to slay her son ?
O mother, thou to murder thus thy child !
Even Jove with justice must with lightning flames
From heaven send down some strange revenge on thee.
Ah noble prince, how oft have I beheld
Thee mounted on thy fierce and trampling steed,
Shining in armour bright before the tilt,
And with thy mistress' sleeve tied on thy helm,
There charge thy staff, to please thy lady's eye,
That bow'd the head-piece of thy friendly foe !
How oft in arms on horse to bend the mace,
How oft in arms on foot to break the sword,
Which never now these eyes may see again!
Arost. Madam, alas, in vain these plaints are shed.
Rather with me depart, and help to assuage
The thoughtful griefs, that in the aged king
Must needs by nature grow, by death of this
His only son, whom he did hold so dear.
Marc. What wight is that which saw that I did see,
And could refrain to wail with plaint and tears ?
Not I, alas, that heart is not in me;
But let us go, for I am griev'd anew,
To call to mind the wretched father's woe.
Chorus of aged men. When greedy lust in royal seat to reign
Hath reft all care of gods and eke of men;
And cruel heart, wrath, treason, and disdain,
Within th' ambitious breast are lodged, then
Behold how mischief wide herself displays,
And with the brother's hand the brother slays.
When blood thus shed doth stain this heaven's face,
Crying to Jove for vengeance of the deed,
The mighty God even moveth from his place
With wrath to wreak; then sends he forth with speed
The dreadful Furies, daughters of the night,
With serpents girt, carrying the whip of ire,
With hair of stinging snakes, and shining bright
With flames and blood, and with a brand of fire :
These, for revenge of wretched murder done,
Doth cause the mother kill her only son.
Blood asketh blood, and death must death requit;
Jove by his just and everlasting doom
Justly hath ever so requited it.
This times before record and times to come
Shall find it true, and so doth present proof
Present before our eyes for our behoof.
O happy wight that suffers not the snare
Of murderous mind to tangle him in blood :
And happy he that can in time beware
By others harms, and turn it to his good :
But woe to him that fearing not to offend,
Doth serve his lust, and will not see the end.
[Act iv., Sc. 2.'] The style of this old play is stiff and cumbersome, like the dresses of its times. There may be flesh and blood underneath, but we cannot get at it. Sir Philip Sidney has praised it for its morality. One of its authors might easily furnish that. Norton was an associate to Hopkins, Sternhold, and Robert Wisdom, in the Singing Psalms. I am willing to believe that Lord Buckhurst supplied the more vital parts. The chief beauty in the extract is of a secret nature. Marcella obscurely intimates that the murdered prince Porrex and she had been lovers.
THE SPANISH TRAGEDY: OR HIERONIMO IS MAD
AGAIN, A TRAGEDY (PUBLISHED 1592, COMPOSED
ABOUT 1584-9]. BY THOMAS KYD (1557 ?-1595 ?] Horatio the son of Hieronimo is murdered while he is sitting
with his mistress Belimperia by night in an arbour in his
father's garden. The murderers (Balthazar his rival, and
Lorenzo, the brother of Belimperia) hang his body on a
tree. Hieronimo is awakened by the cries of Belimperia,
and coming out into his garden, discovers by the light of
a torch, that the murdered man is his son. Upon this he
Hier. My son! and what's a son ?
A thing begot within a pair of minutes, there about :
A lump bred up in darkness, and doth serve
To balance those light creatures we call women;
And at the nine months' end creeps forth to light.
What is there yet in a son,
To make a father doat, rave or run mad ?
Being born, it pouts, cries, and breeds teeth,
What is there yet in a son ?
He must be fed, be taught to go, and speak.
Ay, or yet? why might not a man love a calf as well ?
Or melt in passion o'er a frisking kid, as for a son ?
Methinks a young bacon,
[Edited Miss Toulmin Smith, Heilbronn, 1883.)
Or a fine little smooth horse colt,
Should move a man as much as doth a son ;
For one of these, in very little time,
Will grow to some good use; whereas a son
The more he grows in stature and in
The more unsquar'd, unlevelld he appears ;
Reckons his parents among the rank of fools,
Strikes cares upon
their heads with his mad riots,
Makes them look old before they meet with age :
This is a son ; and what a loss is this, consider'd truly!
out of reach of those
Insatiate humours: he lov'd his loving parents :
He was my comfort, and his mother's joy,
The very arm that did hold up our house-
Our hopes were stored up in him,
None but a damned murderer could hate him.
He had not seen the back of nineteen years,
When his strong arm unhors’d the proud prince Balthazar ;
And his great mind, too full of honour, took
To mercy that valiant but ingnoble Portuguese.
Well, heaven is heaven still !
And there is Nemesis, and furies,
And things callid whips,
And they sometimes do meet with murderers :
They do not always 'scape, that's some comfort.
Ay, ay, ay, and then time steals on, and steals, and steals,
Till violence leaps forth, like thunder
Wrapp'd in a ball of fire,
And so doth bring confusion to them all.
[Exit. [Act iii., Sc. 11.)
JAQUES and PEDRO, servants.
Jaq. I wonder, Pedro, why our master thus
At midnight sends us with our torches light,
When man and bird and beast are all at rest,
Save those that watch for rape and bloody murder.
Ped. O Jaques, know thou that our master's mind
Is much distract since his Horatio died :
And, now his aged years should sleep in rest,
His heart in quiet, like a desperate man
Grows lunatic and childish for his son:
Sometimes as he doth at hi table sit,
He speaks as if Horatio stood by him.
[Kyd, Works, ed. Boas, 1901.]
Then starting in a rage, falls on the earth,
Cries out Horatio, where is my Horatio ?
So that with extreme grief, and cutting sorrow,
There is not left in him one inch of man:
See here he comes.
Hier. I pry thro' every crevice of each wall,
Look at each tree, and search thro' every brake,
Beat on the bushes, stamp our grandame earth,
Dive in the water, and stare up to heaven:
Yet cannot I behold my son Horatio.
How now, who's there, sprights, sprights ?
Ped. We are your servants that attend you, sir.
Hier. What make you with your torches in the dark ?
Ped. You bid us light them, and attend you here.
Hier. No, no, you are deceiv'd, not I, you are deceivd.
Was I so mad to bid you light your torches now?
Light me your torches at the mid of noon,
When as the sun god rides in all his glory;
Light me your torches then.
Ped. Then we burn day light.
Hier. Let it be burnt; night is a murd'rous slut,
That would not have her treasons to be seen:
And yonder pale-faced Hecate there, the moon,
Doth give consent to that is done in darkness.
And all those stars that gaze upon her face,
Are aglets ? on her sleeve, pins on her train :
And those that should be powerful and divine,
Do sleep in darkness when they most should shine.
Ped. Provoke them not, fair sir, with tempting words,
The heavens are gracious; and your miseries
And sorrow make you speak you know not what.
Hier. Villain, thou lyest, and thou doest nought
But tell me I am mad : thou lyest, I am not mad :
I know thee to be Pedro and he Jaques.
I'll prove it to thee; and were I mad, how could I ?
Where was she the same night, when my Horatio was murder'd ?
She should have shone : search thou the book :
Had the moon shone in my boy's face, there was a kind of grace,
That I know, nay I do know had the murd'rer seen him,
His weapon would have fallen, and cut the earth,
Had he been fram'd of nought but blood and death;
Alack, when mischief doth it knows not what,
What shall we say to mischief?
ISABELLA his wife enters.
Isa. Dear Hieronimo, come in a doors ;
O seek not means to increase thy sorrow.
Hier. Indeed, Isabella, we do nothing here;
I do not cry, ask Pedro and Jaques :
Not I indeed; we are very merry, very merry.
Isa. How? be merry here, be merry here?
Is not this the place, and this the very tree,
Where my Horatio died, where he was murder'd ?
Hier. Was, do not say what: let her weep it out.
This was the tree, I set it of a kernel ;
And when our hot Spain could not let it grow,
But that the infant and the human sap
Began to wither, duly twice a morning
Would I be sprinkling it with fountain water :
At last it grew and grew, and bore and bore :
Till at length it grew a gallows, and did bear our son.
It bore thy fruit and mine. Owicked, wicked plant !
See who knocks there. (One knocks within at the door.)
Ped. It is a painter, sir.
Hier. Bid him come in, and paint some comfort,
For surely there's none lives but painted comfort.
Let him come in, one knows not what may
God's will that I should set this tree! but even so
Masters ungrateful servants rear from nought,
And then they hate them that did bring them up.
The Painter enters.
Pain. God bless you, sir.
Hier. Wherefore? why, thou scornful villain ?
How, where, or by what means should I be blest ?
Isa. What wouldst thou have, good fellow ?
Pain. Justice, madam.
Hier. O ambitious beggar, wouldst thou have that
That lives not in the world?
Why, all the undelved mines cannot buy
An ounce of justice, 'tis a jewel so inestimable.
I tell thee, God hath engross'd all justice in his hands,
And there is none but what comes from him.
Pain. O then I see that God must right me for my murderd