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[Died about 1638.)
At the close of the sixteenth century we find were brooding over their revenge when the Poetthat the theatres, conducted by Henslowe and aster came forth, in which Dekker was recogAlleyn, chiefly depended on Jonson, Heywood, nized as Demetrius. Either that his wrath made Chettle, and this poet, for composing or retouch him more willing, or that he was chosen the ing their pieces. Marston and Dekker had champion of the offended host, for his rapid laboured frequently in conjunction with Jonson, powers and popularity, he furnished the Satirowhen their well-known hostility with him com mastix ; not indeed a despicable reply to Jonson, menced. What grounds of offence Marston and but more full of rage than of ridicule. The little Dekker alleged, cannot now be told ; but Jonson that is known of Dekker's history, independent affirms, that after the appearance of his coinedy, of his quarrel with Jonson, is unfortunate. His “ Every Man in his Humour," they began to pro talents were prolific, and not contemptible ; but voke him on every stage with their “ petulant he was goaded on by want to hasty productions styles," as if they wished to single him out for -acquainted with spunging-houses, and an intheir adversary. When Jonson’s Cynthia's Re mate of the King's Bench prison*. Oldys thinks vels appeared, they appropriated the two charac that he was alive in 1638. ters of Hedon and Anaides to themselves, and
FORTUNE GIVING FORTUNATUS HIS CHOICE OF GOODS.
For. Sıx gifts I spend upon mortality,
Fort. Oh, most divine !
Be ever merry, ever revelling:
* Ile was there at one time for three years, according to Oldys. No wonder poor Dekker could rise a degree above the level of his ordinary genius in describing the blessings of Fortunatus's inexhaustible purse: he had probably felt but too keenly the force of what he ex. presses in the misanthropy of Ampedo.
I'm not enamour'd of this painted idol,
Fort. Oh, whither am I rapt beyond myself ? Still when thou thrust’st thy hand into the same, More violent conflicts fight in every thought, Thou shalt draw forth ten pieces of bright gold, Than his whose fatal choiceTroy’s downfall wrought. Current in any realm where then thou breathest : Shall I contract myself to wisdom's love ?
If thou canst dribble out the sea by drops,
Nor this grow empty.
[end. This age thinks better of a gilded fool,
For. The virtue ends when thou and thy sons Than of a thread-bare saint in wisdom's school. This path leads thee to Cyprus, get thee hence: I will be strong : then I refuse long life ;
Farewell, vain covetous fool, thou wilt repent, And though mine arm should conquertwentyworlds, That for the love of dross thou hast despised There's a lean fellow beats all conquerors :
Wisdom's divine embrace ; she would have borne
FROM « THE HONEST WHORE."
Hipolito's thoughts on his mistress's picture, from which
he turns to look on a scull that lies before him on a table, Lep’rous as sin itself, than hell more foul. The wisdom of this world is idiotism ;
My Infelice's face, her brow, her eye, Strength a weak reed ; health sickness' enemy, The dimple on her cheek : and such sweet skill (And it at length will have the victory ;)
Hath from the cunning workman's pencil flown, Beauty is but a painting ; and long life
These lips look fresh and lively as her own ; Is a long journey in December gone,
Seeming to move and speak. 'Las ! now I see Tedious and full of tribulation.
The reason why fond women love to buy
[Kneels down. False colours last after the true be dead.
Circumscribes all! Earth can no bliss afford :
No lip worth tasting. Here the worms will feed! Has gold, yet starves ; is famish'd in his store : As in her coffin. Hence then, idle art ! No, let me ever spend, be never poor.
True love's best pictured in a true-love's heart. For. Thy latest words confine thy destiny ; Here art thou drawn, sweet maid, till this be dead! Thou shalt spend ever, and be never poor : So that thou livest twice, twice art buried. For proof receive this purse; with it this virtue ; Thou figure of my friend, lie there.
(Died about 1638.)
LANGBAINE only informs us of this writer, that of Appius and Virginia, the Devil's Law Case, and he was clerk of St. Andrew's parish, Holborno, the Duchess of Malfi. From the advertisement
and esteemed by his contemporaries. He wrote, prefixed to Vittoria Corombona, the piece seems ' in conjunction with Rowley Dekker, and Marston. not to have been successful in the representation.
Among the pieces, entirely his own, are The The author says, “ that it wanted that which is White Devil, or Vittoria Corombona, the tragedy the only grace and setting out of a tragedy, a
*[**Gildon, I believe, was the first who asserted that full and understanding auditory.” The auditory, our author was clerk of St. Andrew's. I searched the it may be suspected, were not quite so much registers of that church, but the name of Webster did
struck with the beauty of Webster's horrors, as pot occur in them; and I examined the MSS. belonging to the Parish Clerks' Hall, in Wood Street, with as little
Mr. Lamb seems to have been in writing the success."—DYCE's Webster, vol. i. p. 1.)
notes to his Specimens of our old Dramatic Poetry.
In the same preface Webster deprives himself of modestly compares himself to Euripides. In his the only apology that could be offered for his tragedy of the Duchess of Malfi, the duchess is absurdities as a dramatist, by acknowledging married and delivered of several children in the that he wrote slowly; a circumstance in which he course of the five acts.
VITTORIA, THE MISTRESS OF BRACHIANO,
FROM THE DUCHESS OF MALFI.
The Duchess of Malfi having privately married Antonio, FROM VITTORIA COROMBONA, TAE VENETIAN COURTEZAN.
her own steward, is inhumanly persecuted by her bro
ther Ferdinand, who confines her in a house of madPersons. - VITTORIA COROMBONA; DUKE OF BRACHIANO ; men, and in concert with his creature Bosola murders
COROM BONA, the mother, and FLAMIN EO, the brother of her and her attendant Cariola.
Persons-DUCHESS OF MALFI; CARIOLA, her faithful atten.' A dream I had last night.
[grace dant; FERDINAND, her cruel brother ; Bosola, his creaBrachiano. Most wishedly.
ture and instrument of cruelty; Madmen, Executioners,
Duch. Wuat hideous noise was that?
Car. 'Tis the wild concert
Hath placed about your lodging : this tyranny
and folly And in rough terms they 'gan to challenge me Can keep me in my right wits, whereas reason About this yew.
And silence make me stark mad. Sit down ; Bra. That tree?
Discourse to me some dismal tragedy. Vit. This harmless yew.
Cari. Oh, 'twill increase your melancholy.
Duch. Thou art deceived ;
Cari. Yes, but you shall live
To shake this durance off, With shovel, like a fury, voided out
Duch. Thou art a fool : The earth, and scatter'd bones : Lord, how me The robin-redbreast and the nightingale thought
Never live long in cages. I trembled, and yet for all this terror
Cari. Pray dry your eyes. I could not pray:
What think you of, madam ?
Duch. Of nothing :
Cari. Like a madman, with your eyes open. From that strong plant,
Duch. Dost thou think we shall know one another And both were struck dead by that sacred yew,
In th' other world.
Duch. O that it were possible we might a dream,
But hold some two days' conference with the dead! To make away his duchess, and her husband. From them I should learn somewhat, I am sure
Bra. Sweetly shall I interpret this your dream. I never shall know here. I'll tell thee a miracle: You are lodged within his arms who shall protect I am not mad yet, to my cause of sorrow, you
The heaven o'er my head seems made of molten From all the fevers of a jealous husband,
brass, From the poor envy of our phlegmatic duchess; The earth of flaming sulphur ; yet I am not mad. I'll seat you above law and above scandal. I am acquainted with sad misery, Give to your thoughts the invention of delight As the tann'd galley-slave is with his oar : And the fruition, nor shall government
Necessity makes me suffer constantly, Divide me from you longer than a care
And custom makes it easy. Who do I look like now! To keep you great : you shall to me at once
Cari. Like to your picture in the gallery. Be dukedom, health, wife, children, friends, and A deal of life in show, but none in practice ; all.
Or rather like some reverend monument, Cor. Woe to light hearts, they still forerun our
Whose ruins are even pitied.
Duch. Very proper ;
Cari. O my sweet lady !
Bos. I am the common bellman,
Duch. Even now thou said'st
Bos. 'Twas to bring you
Cari. Hence villains, tyrants, murderers! Alas!
Duch. To whom, to our next neighbours ? they
Duch. Farewell, Cariola ;
Cari. I will die with her.
Duch. I pray thee look thou givest my little boy
Bos. Strangling: here are your executioners.
Duch. I forgive them :
Bos. Doth not death fright you ?
Duch. Who would be afraid on't,
Bos. Yet, methinks,
Duch. Not a whit :
Best gift is they can give, or I can take.
And should I die this instant, I had lived I would fain put off my last woman's fault :
Her time to a minute. I'll not be tedious to you.
Bos. It seems she was born first. Exec. We are ready.
You have bloodily approved the ancient truth, Duch. Dispose my breath how please you ; but
That kindred commonly do worse agree
Ferd. Let me see her face again.
An excellent honest man might'st thou have been, Yet stay, heaven's gates are not so highly arch'd
If thou hadst borne her to some sanctuary, As princes' palaces ; they that enter there
Or, bold in a good cause, opposed thyself, Must go upon their knees. Come, violent death, With thy advanced sword above thy head, Serve for mandragora to make me sleep.
Between her innocence and my revenge ! Go tell my brothers, when I am laid out,
I bade thee, when I was distracted of my wits, They then may feed in quiet. [They strangle her. Go kill my dearest friend, and thou hast done't. Bos. Where's the waiting-woman?
For let me but examine well the cause : Fetch her : some other strangle the children.
What was the meanness of her match to me ? Look you, there sleeps your mistress.
Only I must confess I had a hope, Cari. Oh, you are damn'd
Had she continued widow, to have gain’d Perpetually for this. My turn is next,
An infinite mass of treasure by her death; Is't not so order'd ?
And what was the main cause ? Her marriage ! Bos. Yes ; and I am glad
That drew a stream of gall quite through my heart. You are so well prepared for't.
For thee, (as we observe in tragedies, Cari. You are deceived, sir,
That a good actor many times is cursed I am not prepared fort ; I will not die ;
For playing a villain's part,) I hate thee fort : I will first come to my answer, and know
And, for my sake, say thou hast done much ill well. How I have offended.
Bos. Let me quicken your memory, for I perceive Bos. Come, despatch her!
You are falling into ingratitude ; I challenge You kept her counsel, now you shall keep ours.
The reward due to my service. Cari. I will not die; I must not; I am contracted
Ferd. I'll tell thee To a young gentleman.
What I'll give thee.
For this murder. Bos. Delays? throttle her!
Bos. Ha ! Erec. She bites and scratches.
Ferd. Yes ; and 'tis
The largest bounty I can study to do thee.
This bloody sentence ?
Bos. By yours. Cari. I am quick with child.
Ferd. Mine ? was I her judge ? Bos. Why then
Did any ceremonial form of law Your credit's saved ; bear her into th' next room. Doom her to not-being ? did a complete jury Let this lie still.
[They strangle her. Deliver her conviction up i' th' court ? Ferd. Is she dead?
Where shalt thou find this judgment register'd, Bos. She is what
Unless in hell? See : like a bloody fool, You'll have her. But here begin your pity : Thou hast forfeited thy life, and thou shalt die for't.
[Shows the children strangled. Bos. The office of justice is perverted quite, Alas, how have these offended ?
When one thief hangs another : who shall dare Ferd. The death
To reveal this? Of young wolves never to be pitied.
Ferd. Oh, I'll tell thee : Bos. Fix your eye here.
The wolf shall find her grave and scrape it Ferd. Constantly.
Not to devour the corse, but to discover Bos. Do you not weep?
The horrid murder. Other sins only speak, murder shrieks out,
Bos. You, not I, shall quake for't.
Ferd. Leave me !
Bos. When your ingratitude
Is judge, I am so. Seem'd to have years too many.
Ferd. O horror! Ferd. She and I were twins ;
That not the fear of Him which binds the devils