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Till she had such another, and commit it
Palamon and Arcite repining at their hard condition,' in be
ing made taptives for life in Athens, derive consolation from the enjoyment of each other's company in prison. Pal. How do you, noble cousin ? Arc. How do you, sir?
Pal. Why strong enough to laugh at misery,
Arc. I believe it,
Pal. Oh cousin Arcite,
Shall we two exercise, like twins of honour,
Arc. No, Palamon,
Pal. 'Tis too true, Arcite. To our Theban hounds, That shook the aged forest with their echoes, No more now must we halloo, no more shake Our pointed javelins, whilst the angry swine Flies like a Parthian quiver from our rages, Struck with our well-steeld darts. All valiant uses (The food and nourishment of noble minds) i In us two here shall perish: we shall die (Which is the curse of honour) lastly Children of grief and ignorance. :
Arc. Yet cousin,
Arc. Shall we make worthy uses of this place
Pal. How, gentle cousin ?
Arc. Let's think this prison holy sanctuary, To keep us from corruption of worse men; We are young, and yet desire the ways of honour, That liberty and common conversation, The poison of pure spirits, might (like women) Woo us to wander from. What worthy blessing Can be, but our imaginations May make it ours ? And here being thus together, We are an endless mine to one another; We are one another's wife, ever begetting New births of love; we are father, friends, acquaintance; We are, in one another, families; I am your heir, and you are mine. This place Is our inheritance; no hard oppressor Dare take this from us; here with a little patience We shall live long, and loving; no surfeits seek us; The hand of war hurts none here, nor the seas Swallow their youth. Were we at liberty, A wife might part us lawfully, or business; Quarrels consume us; envy of ill men Crave our acquaintance; I might sicken, cousin, Where you should never know it, and so perish
Without your noble hand to close mine eyes,
Pal. You have made me
103 This scene bears indubitable marks of Fletcher : the two which precede it give strong countenance to the tradition that Shakspeare had a hand in this play. The same judgment may be formed of the death of Arcite, and some other passages, not here given. They have a luxuriance iu them which strongly resembles Shakspeare's manner in those parts of his plays where, the progress of the interest being subordinate, the poet was at leisure for description. I might fetch instances from Troilus and Timon. That Fletcher should have copied Shakspeare's manner through so many entire scenes (which is the theory of Mr. Steevens) is not very probable, that he could have done it with such facility is to me not certain. His ideas moved slow; his versification, though sweet, is tę. dious, it stops every moinent; he lays line upon line, making up one after the other, adding image to image so deliberately that we see where they join: Shakspeare mingles every thing, he runs line into line, embarrasses sentences and metaphors; before one idea has burst its shell, another is hatched and clamorous for disclosure. If Fletcher wrote some scenes in imitation, why did he stop? or shall we say that Shakspeare wrote the other scenes in imitation of Fletcher? that he gave Shakspeare a curb and a bridle, and that Shakspeare gave him a pair of spurs : as Blackmore and Lucan are brought in exchanging gifts in the Battle of the Books? Ee 2
THE THE CITY MADAM.' A COMEDY. BY PHILIP
Luke, from a state of indigence and dependance, is sud
denly raised into immense afluence by a deed of gift of the estates of his brother Sir John Frugal, a merchant, retired from the world. He enters, from taking a survey of his new riches.
Luke. 'Twas no fantastic object, but a truth,
(To the Key.) "That without a charm Didst make my entrance easy, to possess What wise men wish and toil for. Hermes' Moly; Sybilla's golden bough; the great elixir,' Imagin’d only by the alchymist; Compar'd with thee, are shadows, thou the substance And guardian of felicity. No marvel, "My brother made thy place of rest his bosom,
Thou being the keeper of his heart, a mistress · To be hugg'd ever. In by-corners of
This sacred room, silver, in bags heap'd up,