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Bel. All ill ones, sure, had charge of me this moment. Oh, give me daggers, fire or water:

How I could bleed, how burn, how drown, the waves
Huzzing and foaming round my sinking head,
Till I descended to the peaceful bottom!
Oh! there's all quiet-here, all rage and fury!
The air's too thin, and pierces my weak brain;
I long for thick substantial sleep: Hell! hell!
Burst from the centre, rage and roar aloud,
If thou art half so hot, so mad as I am.
Scene St Mark's Place Scaffold and a Wheel prepared for
the Execution of PIERRE.


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Jaf. Dead!

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Pier. Come, now I'm ready.

Captain, you should be a gentleman of honour:
Keep off the rabble, that I may have room
To entertain my fate, and die with decency.
You'll think on't?
Jaf. "Twont grow stale before to-morrow.
[PIERRE and JAFFIER ascend the scaffold.-

Pier. Now, Jaffier! now I'm going! Now-
Jaf. Have at thee,

Thou honest heart, then!-there-
And this is well too.


[Stabs him. [Stabs himself.

Pier. Now thou hast indeed been faithful! This was nobly done!-We have deceived the senate. Jaf. Bravely.

Pier. Ha, ha, ha

-oh! oh!

[Falls down on the scaffold, and dies. Jaf. Now, ye curs'd rulers,

Thus of the blood ye've shed, I make libation,
And sprinkle it mingling. May it rest upon you
And all your race. Oh, poor Belvidera!
Sir, I have a wife; bear this in safety to her,
A token that, with my dying breath, I bless'd her,
And the dear little infant left behind me.

Pier. Yes, dead, Jaffier; they've all died like men I'm sick—I'm quiet. too,

Worthy their character.

Jaf. And what must I do?

Pier. Oh, Jaffier!

Jaf. Speak aloud thy burden'd soul,

And tell thy troubles to thy tortur'd friend.

Pier. Friend! Couldst thou yet be a friend, a generous friend,

I might hope comfort from thy noble sorrows.
Heaven knows I want a friend!

Jaf. And I a kind one,

That would not thus scorn my repenting virtue, Or think, when he's to die, my thoughts are idle. Pier. No! live, I charge thee, Jaffer.

Jaf. Yes, I will live :

But it shall be to see thy fall reveng'd,

At such a rate, as Venice long shall groan for.
Pier. Wilt thou?

Jaf. I will, by Heaven!

Pier. Then still thou'rt noble,

And I forgive thee. Oh!-yet-shall I trust thee! Jaf. No; I've been false already.

Pier. Dost thou love me?

Jaf. Rip up my heart, and satisfy thy doubtings.
Pier. Curse on this weakness!
Jaf. Tears Amazement! Tears?

I never saw thee melted thus before;
And know there's something labouring in thy bosom,
That must have vent; though I'm a villain, tell me.
Pier. Seest thou that engine? [Pointing to the wheel.
Jaf. Why?


[The scene closes upon them. Scene-Apartment in PRIULI'S House. Enter PRIULI, BELVIDERA distracted, and two of her


Pri. Strengthen her heart with patience, pitying Heaven.

Bel. Come, come, come, come, come; nay, come to bed,

Pr'ythee, my love. The winds! hark how they whistle!
And the rain beats! Oh, how the weather shrinks me!
I say you shall not go; you shall not:
Whip your ill-nature; get you gone, then. Oh!
Are you returned? See, father, here he's come again :
Am I to blame to love him? O, thou dear one,
Why do you fly me? are you angry still, then?
Jaffier, where art thou? Father, why do you do thus?
Stand off-don't hide him from me. He's there some-

Stand off, I say! What! gone? Remember, tyrant,
I may revenge myself for this trick one day.

Enter CAPTAIN, and whispers PRIULI.

Pri. News-what news?

Capt. Most sad, sir;

Jaffier, upon the scaffold, to prevent

A shameful death, stabb'd Pierre, and next himself; Both fell together.

Bel. Ha! look there!

My husband bloody, and his friend too! Murder! Who has done this? Speak to me, thou sad vision: On these poor trembling knees I beg it. Vanish'd!

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Pri. Oh! lead me into some place that's fit for

Where the free air, light, and the cheerful sun,
May never enter; hang it round with black,
Set up one taper, that may light a day

As long as I've to live; and there all leave me :
Sparing no tears when you this tale relate,
But bid all cruel fathers dread my fate.


With all his dreadful bristles raised on high;
They seem'd a grove of spears upon his back :
Foaming, he came at me, where I was posted,
Whetting his huge long tusks, and gaping wide,
As he already had me for his prey;

Till, brandishing my well-pois'd javelin high,
With this bold executing arm I struck
The ugly brindled monster to the heart.


Another tragic poet of this period was NATHANIEL LEE, who possessed no small portion of the fire of genius, though unfortunately 'near allied' to madness. Lee was the son of a Hertfordshire clergyman, and [Exeunt Omnes. received a classical education, first at Westminster school, and afterwards at Trinity college, Cambridge. He tried the stage both as an actor and author, was four years in bedlam from wild insanity; but recovering his reason, resumed his labours as a dramatist, and though subject to fits of partial derangement, continued to write till the end of his life. He was the author of eleven tragedies, besides assisting Dryden in the composition of two pieces, Edipus and the Duke of Guise. The unfortunate poet was in his latter days supported by charity: he died in London, and was buried in St Clement's church, April 6, 1692. The best of Lee's tragedies are the Rival Queens, or Alexander the Great, Mithridates, Theodosius, and Lucius Junius Brutus. In praising Alexander, Dryden alludes to the power of his friend in moving the passions, and counsels him to despise those critics who condemn

Where am I? Sure I wander 'midst enchantment,
And never more shall find the way to rest.
But O Monimia! art thou indeed resolv'd
To punish me with everlasting absence!
Why turn'st thou from me? I'm alone already!
Methinks I stand upon a naked beach
Sighing to winds and to the seas complaining;
Whilst afar off the vessel sails away,
Where all the treasure of my soul's embark'd!
Wilt thou not turn? O could those eyes but speak!
I should know all, for love is pregnant in them!
They swell, they press their beams upon me still!
Wilt thou not speak? If we must part for ever,
Give me but one kind word to think upon,
And please myself with, while my heart is breaking.
The Orphan.

[Picture of a Witch.]

Through a close lane as I pursued my journey,
And meditating on the last night's vision,
I spied a wrinkled hag, with age grown double,
Picking dry sticks, and mumbling to herself;
Her eyes with scalding rheum were gall'd and red,
And palsy shook her head; her hands seemed wither'd;
And on her crooked shoulder had she wrapp'd
The tatter'd remnant of an old striped hanging,
Which served to keep her carcass from the cold.
So there was nothing of a piece about her.
Her lower weeds were all o'er coarsely patched
With different coloured rags-black, red, white, yellow,
And seem'd to speak variety of wretchedness.
I ask'd her of the way, which she informed me ;
Then craved my charity, and bade me hasten
To save a sister.

[Description of Morning.]

Wish'd Morning 's come; and now upon the plains,
And distant mountains, where they feed their flocks,
The happy shepherds leave their homely huts,
And with their pipes proclaim the new-born day.
The lusty swain comes with his well-fill'd scrip
Of healthful viands, which, when hunger calls,
With much content and appetite he eats,
To follow in the field his daily toil,
And dress the grateful glebe that yields him fruits.
The beasts that under the warm hedges slept,
And weather'd out the cold bleak night, are up;
And, looking towards the neighbouring pastures, raise
Their voice, and bid their fellow-brutes good morrow.
The cheerful birds, too, on the tops of trees,
Assemble all in choirs; and with their notes
Salute and welcome up the rising sun.

[Killing a Boar.]

Forth from the thicket rush'd another boar,
So large, he seem'd the tyrant of the woods,

The too much vigour of his youthful muse. We have here indicated the source both of Lee's strength and of his weakness. In tenderness and genuine passion, he excels Dryden; but his style often degenerates into bombast and extravagant frenzya defect which was heightened in his late productions by his mental malady. The author was aware of his weakness. It has often been observed against me,' he says in his dedication of Theodosius, 'that I abound in ungoverned fancy; but I hope the world will pardon the sallies of youth: age, despondency, and dulness, come too fast of themselves. I discommend no man for keeping the beaten road; but I am sure the noble hunters that follow the game must leap hedges and ditches sometimes, and run at all, or never come into the fall of a quarry.' He wanted discretion to temper his tropical genius, and reduce his poetical conceptions to consistency and order; yet among his wild ardour and martial enthusiasm are very soft and graceful lines. Dryden himself has no finer image than the following:

Speech is morning to the mind;

It spreads the beauteous images abroad, Which else lie furled and clouded in the soul. Or this declaration of love :

I disdain

All pomp when thou art by: far be the noise
Of kings and courts from us, whose gentle souls
Our kinder stars have steer'd another way.
Free as the forest-birds we'll pair together,
Fly to the arbours, grots, and flowery meads,
And, in soft murmurs, interchange our souls:
Together drink the crystal of the stream,
Or taste the yellow fruit which autumn yields;
And when the golden evening calls us home,
Wing to our downy nest, and sleep till morn.
The heroic style of Lee (verging upon rhodomon-
tade) may be seen in such lines as the following,
descriptive of Junius Brutus throwing off his dis-

guise of idiocy after the rape of Lucrece by Tar- The violated genius of thy country
quin :-

As from night's womb the glorious day breaks forth,
And seems to kindle from the setting stars;

So, from the blackness of young Tarquin's crime
And furnace of his lust, the virtuous soul

Of Junius Brutus catches bright occasion.


I see the pillars of his kingdom totter:
The of Lucrece is the midnight lantern
That lights my genius down to the foundation.
Leave me to work, my Titus, O my son !
For from this spark a lightning shall arise,
That must ere night purge all the Roman air,
And then the thunder of his ruin follows.

[Scene between Brutus and Titus, his son.]

[Titus having joined the Tarquin conspiracy, is condemned by his own father to suffer the death of a traitor. Brutus takes a last farewell of him.]

Rears his sad head, and passes sentence on thee:
This morning sun, that lights thy sorrows on
To the tribunal of this horrid vengeance,

Shall never see thee more.

Tit. Alas! my lord,

Why art thou moved thus? why am I worthy of thy


Why should the godlike Brutus shake to doom me?
Why all these trappings for a traitor's hearse }
The gods will have it so.

Bru. They will, my Titus;

Nor Heaven, nor earth, can have it otherwise;
Nay, Titus, mark; the deeper that I search,
My harass'd soul returns the more confirm'd.
Methinks I see the very hand of fire
Moving the dreadful wheels of this affair,
That whirl thee, like a machine, to thy fate;
It seems as if the gods had pre-ordain'd it,
To fix the reeling spirits of the people,
And settle the loose liberty of Rome.

Brutus. Well, Titus, speak ; how is it with thee now? "Tis fix'd: O, therefore, let not fancy fond thee:

I would attend awhile this mighty motion,
Wait till the tempest were quite overblown,
That I might take thee in the calm of nature
With all thy gentler virtues brooding on thee.
So hush'd a stillness, as if all the gods

Look'd down and listen'd to what we were saying:
Speak, then, and tell me, O my best beloved,
My son, my Titus, is all well again?

Titus. So well, that saying how, must make it nothing;

So well, that I could wish to die this moment,
For so my heart with powerful throbs persuades me :
That were indeed to make you reparation-
That were, my lord, to thank you home, to die;
And that for Titus too, would be most happy.
Bru. How's that, my son would death for thee be

Tit. Most certain, sir; for in my grave I 'scape
All those affronts which I in life must look for,
All those reproaches which the eyes, and fingers,
And tongues of Rome will daily cast upon me;
From whom, to a soul so sensible as mine,
Each single scorn would be far worse than dying:
Besides, I 'scape the stings of my own conscience,
Which will for ever rack me with remembrance,
Haunt me by day, and torture me by night,
Casting my blotted honour in the way
Where'er my melancholy thoughts shall guide me.
Bru. But is not death a very dreadful thing?
Tit. Not to a mind resolv'd. No, sir; to me
It seems as natural as to be born:

Groans, and convulsions, and discolour'd faces,
Friends weeping round us, blacks, and obsequies,
Make it a dreadful thing; the pomp of death
Is far more terrible than death itself.

Yes, sir; I call the powers of heaven to witness,
Titus dares die, if so you have decreed;
Nay, he shall die with joy, to honour Brutus,
To make your justice famous through the world,
And fix the liberty of Rome for ever.
Not but I must confess my weakness too:
Yet it is great thus to resolve against it,
To have the frailty of a mortal man,
But the security of the immortal gods.

Bru. O Titus, O thou absolute young man!
Thou flattering mirror of thy father's image,
Where I behold myself at such advantage!
Thou perfect glory of the Junian race!
Let me endear thee once more to my bosom ;
Groan an eternal farewell to thy soul;
Instead of tears, weep blood, if possible:
Blood, the heart-blood of Brutus, on his child;
For thou must die, my Titus; die, my son:
I swear the gods have doom'd thee to the grave.

So fix'd thy death, that 'tis not in the power
Of gods or men to save thee from the axe.

Tit. The axe? O heaven! Then must I fall so basely! What! Shall I perish by the common hangman?

Bru. If thou deny me this, thou giv'st me nothing. Yes, Titus, since the gods have so decreed That I must lose thee, I will take th' advantage Of thy important fate-cement Rome's flaws, And heal their wounded freedom with thy blood; I will ascend myself the sad tribunal, And sit upon my sons; on thee, my Titus: Behold thee suffer all the shame of death, The lictor's lashes bleed before the people; Then with thy hopes and all thy youth upon thee, See thy head taken by the common axe, Without a groan, without one pitying tear, If that the gods can hold me to my purpose, To make my justice quite transcend example.

Tit. Scourg'd like a bondman? Ha! a beaten slave! But I deserve it all: yet here I fail;

The image of this suffering quite unmans me.
O sir, O Brutus, must I call you father,
Yet have no token of your tenderness?
No sign of mercy? What! not bate me that?
Can you resolve on all th' extremity

Of cruel rigour? to behold me too?

To sit unmov'd and see me whipt to death?
Where are your bowels now? Is this a father?
Ah! sir, why should you make my heart suspect
That all your late compassion was dissembled
How can I think that you did ever love me?

Bru. Think that I love thee by my present passion,
By these unmanly tears, these earthquakes here,
These sighs that twitch the very strings of life:
Think that no other cause on earth could move me
To tremble thus, to sob, or shed a tear,
Nor shake my solid virtue from her point,
But Titus' death: O, do not call it shameful,
That thus shall fix the glory of the world.

I own thy sufferings ought t' unman me thus,
To make me throw my body on the ground,
To bellow like a beast, to gnaw the earth,
To tear my hair, to curse the cruel fates
That force a father thus to drag his bowels.
Tit. O rise, thou violated majesty,
Rise from the earth; or I shall beg those fates
Which you would curse, to bolt me to the centre.
I now submit to all your threaten'd vengeance:
Come forth, you executioners of justice,
Nay, all you lictors, slaves, and common hangmen ;
Come, strip me bare, unrobe me in his sight,
And lash me till I bleed; whip me like furies;
And when you'll have scourg'd me till I foam and

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JOHN CROWNE was patronised by Rochester, in opposition to Dryden, as a dramatic poet. Between 1661 and 1698, he wrote seventeen pieces, two of which, namely, the tragedy of Thyestes, and the comedy of Sir Courtly Nice, evince considerable talent. The former is, indeed, founded on a repulsive classical story. Atreus invites his banished brother, Thyestes, to the court of Argos, and there at a banquet sets before him the mangled limbs and blood of his own son, of which the father unconciously partakes. The return of Thyestes from his retirement, with the fears and misgivings which follow, are vividly described:

[Extract from Thyestes.]


Thy. O wondrous pleasure to a banish' man,
I feel my lov'd long look'd-for native soil!
And oh my weary eyes, that all the day

Had from some mountain travell'd toward this place,
Now rest themselves upon the royal towers
Of that great palace where I had my birth.
O sacred towers, sacred in your height,
Mingling with clouds, the villas of the gods,
Whither for sacred pleasures they retire:
Sacred, because you are the work of gods;
Your lofty looks boast your divine descent;
And the proud city which lies at your feet,
And would give place to nothing but to you,
Owns her original is short of yours.

And now a thousand objects more ride fast
On morning beams, and meet my eyes in throngs:
And see, all Argos meets me with loud shouts !
Phil. O joyful sound!

Thy. But with them Atreus too

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How miserable a thing is a great man!
Take noisy vexing greatness they that please;
Give me obscure and safe and silent ease.
Acquaintance and commérce let me have none
With any powerful thing but Time alone:
My rest let Time be fearful to offend,
And creep by me as by a slumbering friend;
Till, with ease glutted, to my bed I steal,
As men to sleep after a plenteous meal.
Oh, wretched he who, call'd abroad by power,
To know himself can never find an hour!
Strange to himself, but to all others known,
Lends every one his life, but uses none;
So, e'er he tasted life, to death he goes,
And himself loses ere himself he knows.


We oft by lightning read in darkest nights; And by your passions I read all your natures, Though you at other times can keep them dark.

[Love in Women.]

These are great maxims, sir, it is confess'd;
Too stately for a woman's narrow breast.
Poor love is lost in men's capacious minds;
In ours, it fills up all the room it finds.

[Inconstancy of the Multitude.]
I'll not such favour to rebellion show,
To wear a crown the people do bestow;
Who, when their giddy violence is past,
Shall from the king, the Ador'd, revolt at last;
And then the throne they gave they shall invade,
And scorn the idol which themselves have made.


I hate these potent madmen, who keep all
Mankind awake, while they, by their great deeds,
Are drumming hard upon this hollow world,
Only to make a sound to last for ages.


A more popular rival and enemy of Dryden was

Phil. What ails my father that he stops, and shakes, THOMAS SHADWELL (1640-1692), who also wrote And now retires?

Thy. Return with me, my son,

And old friend Peneus, to the honest beasts,
And faithful desert, and well-seated caves;
Trees shelter man, by whom they often die,
And never seek revenge; no villany
Lies in the prospect of a humble cave.
Pen. Talk you of villany, of foes, and fraud?
Thy. I talk of Atreus.

Pen. What are these to him?

Thy. Nearer than I am, for they are himself. Pen. Gods drive these impious thoughts out of your mind.

Thy. The gods for all our safety put them there. Return, return with me.

seventeen plays, chiefly comedies, in which he affected to follow Ben Jonson. Shadwell, though only known now as the Mac-Flecknoe of Dryden's satire, possessed no inconsiderable comic power. His pictures of society are too coarse for quotation, but they are often true and well-drawn. When the Revolution threw Dryden and other excessive loyalists into the shade, Shadwell was promoted to the office of poetlaureate. SIR GEORGE ETHEREGE (1636-1694) gave a more sprightly air to the comic drama by his Man of Mode or Sir Fopling Flutter, a play which contains the first runnings of that vein of lively humour and witty dialogue which were afterwards displayed by Congreve and Farquhar. Sir George was a gay libertine, and whilst taking leave of a festive party

one evening at his house in Ratisbon (where he resided as British plenipotentiary), he fell down the stairs and killed himself. The greatest of the comic dramatists was WILLIAM WYCHERLEY, born in the year 1640, in Shropshire, where his father possessed a handsome property. Though bred to the law, Wycherley did not practise his profession, but lived gaily upon town.' Pope says he had a true nobleman look,' and he was one of the favourites of the abandoned Duchess of Cleveland. He wrote various comedies, Love in a Wood (1672), the Gentleman Dancing Master (1673), the Country Wife (1675), and the Plain Dealer (1677). In 1704 he published a volume of miscellaneous poems, of which it has been said the style and versification are beneath criticism; the morals are those of Rochester.' In advanced age, Wycherley continued to exhibit the follies and vices of youth. His name, however, stood high as a dramatist, and Pope was proud to receive the notice of the author of the 'Country Wife.' Their published correspondence is well-known, and is interesting from the marked superiority maintained in their intercourse by the boy-poet of sixteen over his mentor of sixty-four. The pupil grew too great for his master, and the unnatural friendship was dissolved. At the age of seventy-five, Wycherley married a young girl, in order to defeat the expectations of his nephew, and died ten days afterwards, in December 1715. The subjects of most of Wycherley's plays were borrowed from the Spanish or French stage. He wrought up his dialogues and scenes with great care, and with considerable liveliness and wit, but without sufficient attention to character or probability. Destitute himself of moral feeling or propriety of conduct, his characters are equally objectionable, and his once fashionable plays may be said to be quietly inurned' in their own corruption and profligacy. A female Wycherley appeared in MRS APHRA BEHN, celebrated in her day under the name of Astræa

The stage how loosely does Astræa tread !


The comedies of Mrs Behn are grossly indelicate; and of the whole seventeen which she wrote (besides various novels and poems), not one is now read or remembered. The history of Mrs Behn is remarkable. She was daughter of the governor of Surinam, where she resided some time, and became acquainted with Prince Oroonoko, on whose story she founded a novel, that supplied Southerne with materials for a tragedy on the unhappy fate of the African prince. She was employed as a political spy by Charles II., and, while residing at Antwerp, she was enabled, by the aid of her lovers and admirers, to give information to the British government as to the intended Dutch attack on Chatham. She died in 1689.

[Scene from Sir George Etherege's Comical Revenge.] [A portion of this comedy is written in rhyme. Although the versification of the French dramatic poets is mostly so, its effect in our own language is far from good, especially in passages of rapid action. In the following scene, the hero and his second arrived at the place of meeting for a duel; but are set upon by hired assassins. Their adversaries opportunely appear, and set upon them.]

Enter BEAUFORT and SIR FREDERICK, and traverse the stage. Enter BRUCE and Lovis at another door.

Should I your friendship and my honour rate
Below the value of a poor estate?
A heap of dirt. Our family has been
To blame, my blood must here atone the sin.

Enter the five villains with drawn swords.

1st Villain, pulling off his vizard.—Bruce, look on me, and then prepare to die. Bruce. O treacherous villain!

1st Villain. Fall on and sacrifice his blood to my


Lovis. More hearts than one shall bleed if he must die. [They fight.

Enter BEAUFORT and SIR FREDERICK. Beau. Heavens! what is this I see? Sir Frederick, draw. Their blood's too good to grace such villains' swords. Courage, brave men; now we can match their force ! Lovis. We'll make you slaves repent this treachery. Beau. So. [The villains run. Bruce. They are not worth pursuit; we'll let them go. Brave men! this action makes it well appear 'Tis honour, and not envy, brings you here. Beau. We come to conquer, Bruce, and not to see Such villains rob us of our victory. Your lives our fatal swords claim as their due; We'd wrong'd ourselves had we not righted you.


[In Mrs Behn's' Abdelazer, or the Moor's Revenge."] Love in fantastic triumph sat,

Whilst bleeding hearts around him flow'd, For whom fresh pains he did create,

And strange tyrannic power he show'd. From thy bright eyes he took his fires, Which round about in sport he hurl'd; But 'twas from mine he took desires

Enough t' undo the amorous world. From me he took his sighs and tears, From thee his pride and cruelty; From me his languishment and fears, And every killing dart from thee: Thus thou, and I, the god have arm'd, And set him up a deity;

But my poor heart alone is harm'd,

While thine the victor is, and free.

MISCELLANEOUS PIECES OF THE PERIOD 1649-1689. [Hallo my Fancy.] [Anonymous.]

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Bruce. Your friendship, noble youth, 's too prodigal; Fain would I know what makes the roaring thunder,

For one already lost you venture all:

Your present happiness, your future joy;
You for the hopeless your great hopes destroy.

Lovis. What can I venture for so brave a friend?

I have no hopes but what on you depend.

And what these lightnings be that rend the clouds asunder,

And what these comets are on which we gaze and wonder.

Hallo my fancy, whither wilt thou go!

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