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The glistering beams which do abroad appear
In other heavens, fire is not half so clear.
For still in all the regions I have seen,
I scorn’d to crowd among the muddy throng
Of the rank multitude, whose thicken'd breath
(Like to condensed fogs) do choke that beauty,
Which else would dwell in every Kingdom's cheek.
No; I still boldly stepp'd into their Courts :
For there to live 'tis rare, O 'tis divine,
There shall you see faces angelical ;
There shall you see troops of chaste Goddesses,
Whose star-like eyes have power (might they still shine)
To make night day, and day more crystalline.
Near these you shall behold great Heroes,
White-headed Counsellors, and Jovial spirits,
Standing like fiery Cherubims to guard
The monarch, who in godlike glory sits
In midst of these, as if this deity
Had with a look created a new world,
The standers by being the fair workmanship.
And. O, how my soul is rapt to a Third Heaven !
I'll travel sure, and live with none but Kings.
Amp. But tell me, father, have you in all Courts
Beheld such glory, so majestical,
In all perfection, no way blemished ?
Fort. In some Courts shall you see Ambition
Sit, piecing Dedalus' old waxen wings ;
But being clapt on, and they about to fly,
Even when their hopes are busied in the clouds,
They melt against the sun of Majesty,
And down they tumble to destruction.
By travel, boys, I have seen all these things.
Fantastic Compliment stalks up and down,
Trickt in outlandish feathers; all his words,
His looks, his oaths, are all ridiculous,
All apish, childish, and Italianate.
[Act ii., Sc. 2.) Orleans to his friend Galloway defends the passion with which
(being a prisoner in the English king's Court) he is enamoured to frenzy of the king's daughter Agripyna.
Orl. This music makes me but more out of tune. O Agripyna !
Gall. Gentle friend, no more.
Thou sayest Love is a madness: hate it then,
Even for the name's sake.
Orl. O, I love that Madness,
Even for the name's sake.
Gall. Let me tame this frenzy,
By telling thee thou art a prisoner here,
By telling thee she's daughter to a King,
By telling thee the King of Cyprus' son
Shines like a sun between her looks and thine,
Whilst thou seem'st but a star to Agripyne.
He loves her.
Orl. If he do, why so do I.
Gall. Love is ambitious and loves Majesty.
Orl. Dear friend, thou art deceived: Love's voice doth sing As sweetly in a beggar as a king.
Gall. Dear friend, thou art deceiv’d: 0 bid thy soul
Lift up her intellectual eyes to heaven,
And in this ample book of wonders read,
Of what celestial mould, what sacred essence,
Her self is form'd : the search whereof will drive
Sounds musical among the jarring spirits,
And in sweet tune set that which none inherits.
Orl. I'll gaze on heaven if Agripyne be there.
If not: fa, la, la, Sol, la, etc.
Gall. () call this madness in: see, from the windows
Of every eye Derision thrusts out cheeks
Wrinkled with idiot laughter; every finger
Is like a dart shot from the hand of Scorn,
By which thy name is hurt, thy honour torn.
Orl. Laugh they at me, sweet Galloway ?
Gall. Even at thee.
Orl. Ha, ha, I laugh at them: are they not mad,
my true true sorrow make them glad ? I dance and sing only to anger Grief, That in his anger he might smite life down With his iron fist : good heart! it seemeth then, They laugh to see grief kill me: O fond Men, You laugh at others' tears; when others smile, You tear yourselves in pieces ; vile, vile, vile. Ha, ha, when I behold a swarm of Fools Crowding together to be counted Wise, I laugh because sweet Agripyne's not there. But weep because she is not anywhere; And weep because (whether she be or not) My love was ever and is still forgot : forgot, forgot, forgot.
Gall. Draw back this stream: why should my Orleans mourn?
Orl. Look yonder, Galloway, dost thou see that sun ?
Nay, good friend, stare upon it, mark it well :
Ere he be two hours elder, all that glory
Is banish'd heaven, and then, for grief, this sky
(That's now so jocund) will mourn all in black.
And shall not Orleans mourn ? alack, alack !
O what a savage tyranny it were
To enforce Care laugh, and Woe not shed a tear !
Dead is my Love; I am buried in her scorn:
That is my sunset; and shall I not mourn !
Yes, by my troth I will.
Gall. Dear friend, forbear;
Beauty (like Sorrow) dwelleth everywhere.
Rase out this strong idea of her face :
As fair as her's shineth in any place.
Orl. Thou art a Traitor to that White and Red,
Which sitting on her cheeks (being Cupid's throne)
Is my heart's Soveraine : 0, when she is dead,
This wonder (beauty) shall be found in none.
Now Agripyne's not mine, I vow to be
In love with nothing but deformity.
O fair Deformity, I muse all eyes
Are not enamour'd of thee: thou didst never
Murder men's hearts, or let them pine like wax
Melting against the sun of thy destiny ; 1
Thou art a faithful nurse to Chastity";
Thy beauty is not like to Agripyne's,
For cares, and age, and sickness her's deface,
But thine's eternal: O Deformity,
Thy fairness is not like to Agripyne's,
For (dead) her beauty will no beauty have,
But thy face looks most lovely in the grave.
(Act iii., Sc. 1.] The humour of a frantic Lover is here done to the life. Orleans is as passionate an Inamorato as any which Shakspeare ever drew. He is just such another adept in Love's reasons. The sober people of the world are with him
a swarm of fools Crowding together to be counted wise. He talks "pure Biron and Romeo," he is almost as poetical as they, quite as philosophical, only a little madder. After all, Love's Sectaries are a "reason unto themselves." We have gone retrograde in the noble Heresy since the days when Sidney proselyted our nation to this mixed health and disease; the kindliest symptom yet the most alarming crisis in the ticklish state of youth; the nourisher and the destroyer of hopeful wits; the mother of twin-births, wisdom and folly, valour and weakness; the servitude above freedom; the gentle mind's religion; the liberal superstition. 1
[Mr. Swinburne suggests “disdain.” Nineteenth century, Jan., 1887.)
THE HONEST WHORE. A COMEDY [PUBLISHED 1604).
BY THOMAS DECKER [PART I.]
Hospital for Lunatics.
There are of mad men, as there are of tame,
All humour'd not alike. We have here some
So apish and fantastick, play with a feather ;
And, though 'twould grieve a soul to see God's image
So blemish'd and defac'd, yet do they act
Such antick and such pretty lunacies,
That, spite of sorrow, they will make you smile.
Others again we have, like hungry lions,
Fierce as wild bulls, untameable as flies.-
[Act v., Sc. 2.']
Patience ! why, 'tis the soul of peace :
Of all the virtues, 'tis nearest kin to heaven;
It makes men look like gods.— The best of men
That e'er wore earth about him was a Sufferer,
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit;
The first true gentleman that ever breath’d.
[Act. v., Sc. 2.)
THE SECOND PART OF THE HONEST WHORE
[EARLIEST EXTANT EDITION 1630].? BY THOMAS DECKER
Bellafront, a reclaimed harlot, recounts some of the miseries of
Like an ill husband, though I knew the same
To be my undoing, follow'd I that game.
Oh when the work of lust had earn'd
To taste it how I trembled, lest each bit
Ere it went down should choke me chewing it.
My bed seem'd like a cabin hung in hell,
The bawd hell's porter, and the lickorish wine
The pandar fetch'd was like an easy fine
For which methought I leas'd away my soul;
And oftentimes even in my quaffing-bowl
[Mermaid Series, Decker, edited Rhys.) ? [Not divided into Acts.]
Thus said I to myself: I am a Whore,
And have drunk down thus much confusion more.
when in the street
A fair young modest damsel ? I did meet,
She seem'd to all a Dove, when I pass'd by,
And I to all a Raven : every eye
That follow'd her, went with a bashful glance;
At me each bold and jeering countenance
Darted forth scorn: to her as if she had been
Some Tower unvanquished would they vail ;
'Gainst me swoln rumour hoisted
She crown'd with reverend praises passed by them,
I though with face mask'd could not scape the Hem;
For, as if heaven had set strange marks on whores,
Because they should be pointing stocks to man,
Drest up in civilest shape a Courtezan,
Let her walk saint-like noteless and unknown,
Yet she's betray'd by some trick of her own.
[Act iv., Sc. 1.3]
The happy Man.
He that makes gold his wife, but not his whore,
He that at noonday walks by a prison door,
He that in the Sun is neither beam nor moat,
He that's not mad after a petticoat,
He for whom poor men's curses dig no grave,
He that is neither Lord's nor Lawyer's slave,
He that makes This his sea and That his shore,
He that in's coffin is richer than before,
He that counts Youth his sword and Age his staff,
[Seven and a half lines omitted.]
% This simple picture of Honour and Shame, contrasted without violence, and expressed without immodesty, is worth all the strong lines against the Harlot's Profession, with which both Parts of this play are offensively crowded. A Satyrist is always to be suspected, who, to make vice odious, dwells upon all its acts and minutest circumstances with a sort of relish and retrospective gust. But so near are the boundaries of panegyric and invective, that a worn-out Sinner is sometimes found to make the best Declaimer against Sin. The same high-seasoned descriptions which in his unregenerate state served to inflame his appetites, in his new province of a Moralist will serve him (a little turned) to expose the enormity of those appetites in other men. No one will doubt, who reads Marston's Satires, that the Author in some part of his life must have been something more than a theorist in vice. Have we never heard an old preacher in the pulpit display such an insight into the mystery of ungodliness, as made us wonder with reason how a good man came by