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Keep my accounts, and order my affairs;
They must be all your own: for you, dear sweet,
Be merry, take your pleasure at home, abroad;
Visit your neighbours; aught that may seem good
To your own will; down to the country ride ;
For cares and troubles lay them all aside,
And I will take them up; it's fit that weight
Should now lie all on me: take thou the height
Of quiet and content, let nothing grieve thee;
I brought thee nothing else, and that I'll give thee.

THE father of this dramatic poet was attached to the family of Henry, the second Earl of Pembroke, and died in the service of that honourable house. The name of a servant carried with it no sense of degradation in those times, when the great lords and officers of the court numbered inferior nobles among their followers. On one occasion the poet's father was the bearer of letters from the Earl of Pembroke to Queen Elizabeth; a circumstance which has been justly observed to indicate that he could be no mean person, considering the punctilious respect which Elizabeth exacted from her courtiers.

Wife. Will the tide never turn? was ever woman Thus burden'd with unhappy happiness? Did I from riot take him, to waste my goods, And he strives to augment it? I did mistake him.


[Born; 1584. Died, 1640.]

Massinger was born at Salisbury, or probably at Wilton, in its neighbourhood, the seat of the Earl of Pembroke, in whose family he also appears to have been educated. That nobleman died in the poet's sixteenth year, who thus unfortunately lost whatever chance he ever had of his protecting kindness. His father continued indeed in the service of the succeeding earl*, who was an accomplished man, a votary of the muses, and one of the brightest ornaments of the court of Elizabeth and James; but he withheld his patronage from a man of genius, who had claims to it, and would have done it honour, for reasons that have not been distinctly explained in the scanty and sorrowful history of the poet. Mr. Gifford, dissatisfied with former reasons alleged for this neglect, and convinced from the perusal of his writings that Massinger was a catholic, conjectures that it may be attributed to his having offended the earl by having apostatised while at the university to that obnoxious faith. He was entered as a commoner of St. Alban's Hall, Oxford, in his eighteenth year, where he continued only four years. Wood and Davies conclude that he missed a degree, and was suddenly withdrawn from the university, in consequence of Pembroke's disapprobation of his attachment to poetry and romances, instead of logic and philosophy. Mr. Gifford prefers the *William, the third Earl of Pembroke.

Doct. Spoil not a good text with a false comment; All these are blessings, and from heaven sent ; It is your husband's good, he's now transform'd To a better shade, the prodigal's return'd. Come, come, know joy, make not abundance scant; You 'plain of that which thousand women want.

authority of Langbaine, that he was not supported at all at Oxford by the Earl of Pembroke, but by his own father, and concludes that he was withdrawn from it solely by the calamitous event of his death. Whatever was the cause, he left the university abruptly, and coming to London, without friends, or fortune, or profession, was, as he informs us himself, driven by his necessities to the stage for support.

From the period of his arrival in London in 1606 till the year 1622, when his Virgin Martyr appeared in print, it is sufficiently singular that we should have no notice of Massinger, except in one melancholy relic that was discovered by Mr. Malone in Dulwich college, namely, a letter subscribed by him and two other dramatic poets +, in which they solicit the advance of five pounds from the theatrical manager, to save them from the horrors of a gaol. The distressful document accidentally discovers the fact of Massinger having assisted Fletcher in one of his dramas, and thus entitles Sir Aston Cokayne's assertion to belief, that he assisted him in more than one. Though Massinger therefore did not appear in print during the long period already mentioned, his time may be supposed to have been partly employed in those confederate undertakings which were so common during the early vigour of our stage; and there is the strongest presumptive evidence that he was also engaged in plays of his own composition, which have been lost to the world among those literary treasures that perished by the neglect of Warburton, the Somerset herald, and the unconscious sacrilege of his cook. Of Massinger's fame for rapidity in composition Langbaine has preserved a testimony in the lines of a contemporary poet: after the date of his first printed performance those of his subsequent works come in thick succession, and there can be little doubt that the period preceding it was equally prolific.

Of his private life literally nothing can be said

Nathaniel Field and Robert Daborne.

to be known, except that his dedications bespeak incessant distress and dependence, while the recommendatory poems prefixed to his plays address him with attributes of virtue, which are seldom lavished with flattery or falsehood on those who are poor. In one of his dedications he acknowledges the bounty of Philip, Earl of Montgomery, the brother to that Earl of Pembroke who so unaccountably neglected him; but warm as Massinger's acknowledgments are, the assistance appears to have been but transitory. On the 17th of March, 1640, having gone to bed in apparent health the preceding night, he was found dead in the morning, in his own house, in the Bank-side. He was buried in the church-yard of St. Saviour's, and his fellowcomedians attended him to the grave; but it does not appear from the strictest search that a


Sforza, Duke of Milan, in his passionate attachment to his wife Marcelia, cannot endure the idea of her surviving him, and being called out to war, leaves an order to his favourite Francisco, that in the event of his falling in the contest he should put the duchess to death. Marcelia's discovery of this frantic order brings on the jealousy and deaths that form the catastrophe of the piece.


Fran. LET them first know themselves, and how you are

To be served and honour'd; which, when they


You may again receive them to your favour: And then it will show nobly.

Mar. With my thanks

The duke shall pay you his, if he return

To bless us with his presence.

Fran. There is nothing

That can be added to your fair acceptance;
That is the prize, indeed; all else are blanks,
And of no value. As, in virtuous actions,
The undertaker finds a full reward,
Although conferr'd upon unthankful men;
So, any service done to so much sweetness,
However dangerous, and subject to
An ill construction, in your favour finds
A wish'd, and glorious end.

Marc. From you, I take this

As loyal duty; but, in any other,
It would appear gross flattery.
Fran. Flattery, madam!

You are so rare and excellent in all things,
And raised so high upon a rock of goodness,
As that vice cannot reach you; who but looks on
This temple, built by nature to perfection,
But must bow to it; and out of that zeal,
Not only learn to adore it, but to love it?
Marc. Whither will this fellow ?

stone or inscription of any kind marked the place where his dust was deposited; even the memorial of his mortality is given with a pathetic brevity, which accords but too well with the obscure and humble circumstances of his life-" March 20, 1639-40, buried Philip Massinger, a stranger *;" and of all his admirers only Sir Aston Cokayne dedicated a line to his memory. Even posterity did him long injustice: Rowe, who had discovered his merits in the depth of their neglect, forbore to be his editor, in the hopes of concealing his plagiarism from the Fatal Dowry+; and he seemed on the eve of oblivion, when Dodsley's reprint of our old plays brought him faintly into that light of reputation, which has been made perfectly distinct by Mr. Gifford's edition of his works.

Fran. Pardon, therefore, madam, If an excess in me of humble duty Teach me to hope, and though it be not in The power of man to merit such a blessing, My piety, for it is more than love, May find reward.

Marc. You have it in my thanks;

And, on my hand, I am pleased that you shall take A full possession of it: but, take heed

That you fix here, and feed no hope beyond it; If you do, it will prove fatal.

Fran. Be it death,

And death with torments tyrants ne'er found out, Yet I must say, I love you.

Marc. As a subject;

And 'twill become you.

Fran. Farewell circumstance !

And since you are not pleased to understand me, But by a plain and usual form of speech;

All superstitious reverence laid by,

I love you as a man, and, as a man,

I would enjoy you. Why do you start, and fly me?
I am no monster, and you but a woman,
A woman made to yield, and by example
Told it is lawful: favours of this nature,
Are, in our age, no miracles in the greatest;
And, therefore, lady-

Marc. Keep off. O you Powers !— Libidinous beast! and, add to that, unthankful! A crime which creatures wanting reason fly from; Are all the princely bounties, favours, honours, Which, with some prejudice to his own wisdom, Thy lord and raiser hath conferr'd upon thee, In three days' absence buried? Hath he made thee, A thing obscure, almost without a name,

[* The real entry is, "1639. March 18. Philip Massinger, stranger"-that is, a non-parishioner; but it has hitherto been quoted as Mr. Campbell has quoted it.]

In The Fair Penitent.

The envy of great fortunes? Have I graced thee,
Beyond thy rank, and entertain'd thee, as
A friend, and not a servant? and is this,
This impudent attempt to taint mine honour,
The fair return of both our ventured favours!
Fran. Hear my excuse.

Marc. The devil may plead mercy,

And with as much assurance, as thou yield one.
Burns lust so hot in thee? or is thy pride
Grown up to such a height, that, but a princess,
No woman can content thee; and, add to it,
His wife and princess, to whom thou art tied
In all the bonds of duty?-Read my life,
And find one act of mine so loosely carried,
That could invite a most self-loving fool,
Set off with all that fortune could throw on him,
To the least hope to find way to my favour;
And, what's the worst mine enemies could wish me,
I'll be thy strumpet.

Fran. "Tis acknowledged, madam,

That your whole course of life hath been a pattern
For chaste and virtuous women. In your beauty,
Which I first saw, and loved, as a fair crystal,
I read your heavenly mind, clear and untainted;
And while the duke did prize you to your value,
Could it have been in man to pay that duty,
I well might envy him, but durst not hope
To stop you in your full career of goodness:
But now I find that he's fall'n from his fortune,
And, howsoever he would appear doting,
Grown cold in his affection; I presume,
From his most barbarous neglect of you,
To offer my true service. Nor stand I bound,
To look back on the courtesies of him,
That, of all living men, is most unthankful.
Marc. Unheard-of impudence!

Fran. You'll say I am modest,

When I have told the story. Can he tax me,
That have received some worldly trifles from him,
For being ungrateful; when he, that first tasted,
And hath so long enjoy'd, your sweet embraces,
In which all blessings that our frail condition
Is capable of, are wholly comprehended,
As cloy'd with happiness, contemns the giver
Of his felicity! and, as he reach'd not
The masterpiece of mischief which he aims at,
Unless he pay those favours he stands bound to,
With fell and deadly hate!-You think he loves you
With unexampled fervour; nay, dotes on you,
As there were something in you more than woman:
When, on my knowledge, he long since hath wish'd
You were among the dead;-and I, you scorn so,
Perhaps, am your preserver.

Marc. Bless me, good angels,

Or I am blasted! Lies so false and wicked,
And fashion'd to so damnable a purpose,
Cannot be spoken by a human tongue.
My husband hate me ! give thyself the lie,
False and accursed! Thy soul, if thou hast any,
Can witness, never lady stood so bound
To the unfeign'd affection of her lord,
As I do to my Sforza. If thou wouldst work

Upon my weak credulity, tell me, rather,
That the earth moves; the sun and stars stand still;
The ocean keeps nor floods nor ebbs; or that
There's peace between the lion and the lamb;
Or that the ravenous eagle and the dove
Keep in one aerie, and bring up their young;
Or anything that is averse to nature:
And I will sooner credit it, than that
My lord can think of me, but as a jewel,
He loves more than himself, and all the world.

Fran. O innocence abused! simplicity cozen'd! It were a sin, for which we have no name, To keep you longer in this wilful error. Read his affection here ;-[Gives her a paper.] -and then observe

How dear he holds you! 'Tis his character,
Which cunning yet could never counterfeit.

Marc. 'T his hand, I'm resolved of it. I'll try What the inscription is.

Fran. Pray you, do so.

Marc. (reads.) You know my pleasure, and the hour of Marcelia's death, which fail not to execute, as you will answer the contrary, not with your head alone, but with the ruin of your whole family. And this, written with mine own hand, and signed with my pricy signet, shall be your sufficient warrant. LODOVICO Sforza.

I do obey it; every word's a poniard,
And reaches to my heart.

Fran. What have I done!
Madam! for heaven's sake, madam!-O my fate!
I'll bend her body: this is, yet, some pleasure :
I'll kiss her into a new life. Dear lady!-
She stirs. For the duke's sake, for Sforza's sake-

Marc. Sforza's! stand off; though dead, I will And even my ashes shall abhor the touch [be his, Of any other.-O unkind, and cruel! Learn, women, learn to trust in one another; There is no faith in man: Sforza is false, False to Marcelia !

[She swoons.

Fran. But I am true,

And live to make you happy. All the pomp,
State, and observance you had, being his,
Compared to what you shall enjoy, when mine,
Shall be no more remember'd. Lose his memory,
And look with cheerful beams on your new creature;
And know, what he hath plotted for your good,
Fate cannot alter. If the emperor
Take not his life, at his return he dies,
And by my hand; my wife, that is his heir,
Shall quickly follow :-then we reign alone!
For with this arm I'll swim through seas of blood,
Or make a bridge, arch'd with the bones of men,
But I will grasp my aims in you, my dearest,
Dearest, and best of women!

Marc. Thou art a villain!

All attributes of archvillains made into one,
Cannot express thee. I prefer the hate
Of Sforza, though it mark me for the grave,
Before thy base affection. I am yet
Pure and unspotted in my true love to him;
Nor shall it be corrupted, though he's tainted:

st be











How is my soul divided! to confirm you
In the opinion of the world, most worthy
To be beloved, (with me you're at the height,
And can advance no further,) I must send you
To court the goddess of stern war, who, if
She see you with my eyes, will ne'er return you,
But grow enamour'd of you.

Leost. Sweet, take comfort!

And what I offer you, you must vouchsafe me,
Or I am wretched: All the dangers that

I can encounter in the war, are trifles;
My enemies abroad to be contemn'd;

The dreadful foes, that have the power to hurt me,
I leave at home with you.

Cleo. With me?

Leost. Nay, in you,

In every part about you, they are arm'd

To fight against me.

Cleo. Where?

Leost. There's no perfection

That you are mistress of, but musters up
A legion against me, and all sworn
To my destruction.

Cleo. This is strange !

Leost. But true, sweet;

Excess of love can work such miracles!
Upon this ivory forehead are intrench'd
Ten thousand rivals, and these suns command
Supplies from all the world, on pain to forfeit
Their comfortable beams; these ruby lips,
A rich exchequer to assure their pay;

This hand, Sibylla's golden bough to guard them
Through hell, and horror, to the Elysian springs;
Which who'll not venture for? and, should I name
Such as the virtues of your mind invite,

Their numbers would be infinite.

Cleo. Can you think

I may be tempted ?

Leost. You were never proved.


For me, I have conversed with you no further
Than would become a brother. I ne'er tuned
Loose notes to your chaste ears; or brought rich
For my artillery, to batter down
The fortress of your honour; nor endeavour'd
To make your blood run high at solemn feasts
With viands that provoke ; the speeding philtres:
I work'd no bawds to tempt you; never practised
The cunning and corrupting arts they study,
That wander in the wild maze of desire ;
Honest simplicity and truth were all
The agents I employ'd; and when I came
To see you, it was with that reverence
As I beheld the altars of the gods :
And Love, that came along with me, was taught
To leave his arrows and his torch behind,
Quench'd in my fear to give offence.

Cleo. And 'twas

That modesty that took me and preserves me,
Like a fresh rose, in mine own natural sweetness;
Which, sullied with the touch of impure heads,
Loses both scent and beauty.
Leost. But, Cleora,

When I am absent, as I must go from you
(Such is the cruelty of my fate), and leave you,
Unguarded, to the violent assaults

Of loose temptations; when the memory
Of my so many years of love and service

Is lost in other objects; when you are courted
By such as keep a catalogue of their conquests,
Won upon credulous virgins; when nor father
Is here to owe you, brother to advise you.
Nor your poor servant by, to keep such off,
By lust instructed how to undermine,
And blow your chastity up; when your weak senses,
At once assaulted, shall conspire against you,
And play the traitors to your soul, your virtue;
How can you stand? 'Faith, though you fall, and I
The judge, before whom you then stood accused,
I should acquit you.

Cleo. Will you then confirm

That love and jealousy, though of different natures,
Must of necessity be twins; the younger
Created only to defeat the elder,
And spoil him of his birthright? 'tis not well.
But being to part, I will not chide, I will not;
Nor with one syllable or tear, express
How deeply I am wounded with the arrows
Of your distrust: but when that you shall hear,
At your return, how I have borne myself,
And what an austere penance I take on me,
To satisfy your doubts; when, like a vestal,
I show you, to your shame, the fire still burning,
Committed to my charge by true affection,
The people joining with you in the wonder;
When by the glorious splendour of my sufferings,
The prying eyes of jealousy are struck blind,
The monster too that feeds on fears, e'en starved
For want of seeming matter to accuse me ;
Expect, Leosthenes, a sharp reproof
From my just anger.

Leost. What will you do?

Cleo. Obey me,

Or from this minute you are a stranger to me;
And do't without reply. All-seeing sun,
Thou witness of my innocence, thus I close
Mine eyes against thy comfortable light,
Till the return of this distrustful man!
Now bind them sure ;-nay, do't: [He binds her
eyes.] If, uncompell'd,

I loose this knot, until the hands that made it
Be pleased to untie it, may consuming plagues
Fall heavy on me! pray you guide me to your lips.
This kiss, when you come back, shall be a virgin
To bid you welcome; nay, I have not done yet:
I will continue dumb, and, you once gone,
No accent shall come from me.

Now to my


My tomb, if you miscarry: there I'll spend
My hours in silent mourning, and thus much
Shall be reported of me to my glory,
And you confess it, whether I live or die,
My chastity triumphs o'er your jealousy.



Enter PISANDER, speaking, at the door, to the

Pisander. HE that advances

A foot beyond this, comes upon my sword: You have had your ways, disturb not mine. Timandra. Speak gently,

Her fears may kill her else.

Pisan. Now Love inspire me !
Still shall this canopy of envious night
Obscure my suns of comfort? and those dainties
Of purest white and red, which I take in at
My greedy eyes, denied my famish'd senses?-
The organs of your hearing yet are open;

And you infringe no vow, though you vouchsafe
To give them warrant to convey unto
Your understanding parts, the story of
A tortured and despairing lover, whom
Not fortune but affection marks your slave:
Shake not, best lady! for believe't, you are
As far from danger as I am from force:
All violence I shall offer, tends no further
Than to relate my sufferings, which I dare not
Presume to do, till, by some gracious sign,
You show you are pleased to hear me.
Timand. If you are,

Hold forth your right hand.

[CLEORA holds forth her right hand. Pisan. So 'tis done; and I With my glad lips seal humbly on your foot, My soul's thanks for the favour: I forbear To tell you who I am, what wealth, what honours I made exchange of, to become your servant : And, though I knew worthy Leosthenes (For sure he must be worthy, for whose love You have endured so much) to be my rival; When rage and jealousy counsell'd me to kill him, Which then I could have done with much more ease, Than now, in fear to grieve you, I dare speak it, Love, seconded with duty, boldly told me The man I hated, fair Cleora favour'd: And that was his protection.

[CLEORA bows.

Timand. See, she bows

Her head in sign of thankfulness.
Pisan. He removed by

The occasion of the war, (my fires increasing
By being closed and stopp'd up,) frantic affection
Prompted me to do something in his absence,
That might deliver you into my power,
Which you see is effected; and, even now,
When my rebellious passions chide my dulness,
And tell me how much I abuse my fortunes,
Now it is in my power to bear you hence,
[CLEORA starts.
Or take my wishes here, (nay, fear not, madam;
True love's a servant, brutish lust a tyrant,)

I dare not touch those viands that ne'er taste well,
But when they're freely offer'd: only thus much,

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