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"I lie and dream of your full Mermaid wine."-Beaumont.

UNEXPURGATED EDITION

LONDON: 'IZETELLY & CO., 16, HENRIETTA STREET,

COVENT GARDEN.

1888.

“What things have we seen
Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have been
So nimble, and so full of subtle flame,
As if that every one from whence they came
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest,
And had r. solved to live a fool the rest
Of his dull life.”

Master Francis Beuumont to Ben Jonson. ,

-ooooo

“ Souls of Poets dead and gone,

What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern ? "

Keuts.

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LONDON:
J. S. VIRTUE AND CO., LIMITED, PRINTERS, CITY ROAD.

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Do not know where to find in any play a catastrophe so grand, so solemn, and so surprising as this [of The Broken Heart). This is indeed, according to Milton, to “describe high passions and high actions." The fortitude of the Spartan boy who let a beast gnaw out his bowels till he died without expressing a groan, is a faint bodily image

of this dilaceration of the spirit and exenteration of the inmost mind, which Calantha with a holy violence against her nature keeps closely covered, till the last duties of a wife and a queen are fulfilled. Stories of martyrdom are but of chains and the stake; a little bodily suffering; these torments

On the purest spirits prey
As on entrails, joints, and limbs,

With answerable pains, but more intense. What a noble thing is the soul in its strength and in its weaknesses! Who would be less weak than Calantha ? Who can be so strong ? The expression of this transcendent scene almost bears me in imagination to Calvary and the Cross; and I seem to perceive some analogy between the scenical sufferings which I am here contemplating, and the real agonies of that final completion to which I dare no more than hint a reference.

Ford was of the first order of poets. He sought for sublimity, not by parcels in metaphors or visible images, but directly where she has her full residence in the heart of man; in the actions and sufferings of the greatest minds. There is a grandeur of the soul above mountains, seas, and the elements. Even in the poor perverted reason of Giovanni and Annabella we discover traces of that fiery particle, which in the irregular starting from out of the road of beaten action, discovers something of a right line even in obliquity, and shows hints of an improvable greatness in the lowest descents and degradations of our nature.

CHARLES LAMB.

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