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ENGLISH DRAMATIC POETS.
GORBODUC, A TRAGEDY.
EARL OF DORSET ; AND THOMAS NORTON.
Whilst king GORBODUC in the presence of his councillors laments
the death of his eldest son, FERREX, whom PORREX, the younger son, has slain ; MARCELLA, a court lady, enters and relates the miserable end of PORREX, stabbed by his mother in his bed,
GORBODUC, AROSTUS, EUBULUS, and others. Gorb. What cruel destiny, What froward fate hath sorted us this chance ? That even in those where we should comfort find, Where our delight now in our aged days Should rest and be, even there our only grief And deepest sorrows to abridge our life, Most pining cares and deadly thoughts do grave. Arost. Your grace should now, in these grave years
how brittle our estate,
Than as the naked hand whose stroke assays
MARCELLA enters. Marc. Oh where is ruth? or where is pity now? Whither is gentle heart and mercy fled ? Are they exil'd out of our stony breasts, Never to make return ? is all the world Drowned in blood, and sunk in cruelty ! If not in women mercy may be found, If not (alas) within the mother's breast To her own child, to her own flesh and blood ; If ruth be banisht thence, if pity there May have no place, if there no gentle heart Do live and dwell, where should we seek it then ?
Gorb. Madam (alas) what means your woful tale ?
Marc. O silly woman I, why to this hour
Gorb. O Eubulus, oh draw this sword of ours,
* Nature ; natural affection.