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first is borrowed a good deal from Terence, and the character of Valerio, an accomplished rake, who passes with his father for a person of the greatest economy and rusticity of manners, is an excellent idea, executed with spirit. Eastward Hoe was written in conjunction with Ben Jonson and Marston; and for his share in it, on account of some allusions to the Scotch, just after the accession of James I. our author, with his friends, had nearly lost his ears. Such were the notions of poetical justice in those days! The behaviour of Ben Jonson's mother on this occasion is remarkable. “On his release from prison, he gave an entertainment to his friends, among whom were Camden and Selden. In the midst of the entertainment, his mother, more an antique Roman than a Briton, drank to him, and shewed him a paper of poison, which she intended to have given him in his liquor, having first taken a portion of it herself, if the sentence for his punishment had been executed." This play contains the first idea of Hogarth's Idle and Industrious Apprentices.

It remains for me to say something of Webster and Deckar. For these two writers I do not know how to shew my regard and admiration sufficiently. Noble-minded Webster, gentlehearted Deckar, how may I hope to “express ye

unblam'd,” and repay to your neglected manes some part of the debt of gratitude I owe for proud and soothing recollections? I pass by the Appius and Virginia of the former, which is however a good, sensible, solid tragedy, cast in a frame-work of the most approved models, with little to blame or praise in it, except the affecting speech of Appius to Virginia just before he kills her; as well as Deckar's Wonder of a Kingdom, his Jacomo Gentili, that truly ideal character of a magnificent patron, and Old Fortunatus and his Wishing-cap, which last has the idle garrulity of age, with the freshness and gaiety of youth still upon its cheek and in its heart. These go into the common catalogue, and are lost in the crowd; but Webster's Vittoria Corombona I cannot so soon part with ; and old honest Deckar's Signior Orlando Friscobaldo I shall never forget! I became only of late acquainted with this last-mentioned worthy character; but the bargain between us is, I trust, for life. We sometimes regret that we had not sooner met with characters like these, that seem to raise, revive, and give a new zest to our being. Vain the complaint ! We should never have known their value, if we had not known them always: they are old, very old acquaintance, or we should not recognise them at first sight. We only find in books what is already written within “ the red-leaved tables of our hearts.” The pregnant materials are there; “ the pangs, the internal pangs are ready; and poor humanity's afflicted will struggling in vain with ruthless destiny.” But the reading of fine poetry may

indeed

open the bleeding wounds, or pour balm and consolation into them, or sometimes even close them up for ever! Let any one who has never known cruel disappointment, nor comfortable hopes, read the first scene between Orlando and Hippolito, in Deckar's play of the Honest Whore, and he will see nothing in it. But I think few persons will be entirely proof against such passages as some of the following.

Enter Orlando Friscobaldo. Omnes. Signior Friscobaldo.

Hipolito. Friscobaldo, oh! pray call him, and leave me ; we two have business.

Carolo. Ho, Signior! Signior Friscobaldo, the Lord Hipolito.

[Exeunt. Orlando. My noble Lord! the Lord Hipolito! The Duke's son ! bis brave daughter's brave husband! How does your honour'd Lordship? Does your nobility remember so poor a gentleman as Signior Orlando Friscobaldo? old mad Orlando?

Hip. Oh, Sir, our friends! they ought to be unto us as our jewels; as dearly valued, being locked up and unseen, as when we wear them in our hands. I see, Friscobaldo, age hath not command of your blood ; for all time's sickle hath gone over you, you are Orlando still.

Orl. Why, my Lord, are not the fields mown and cut down, and stript bare, and yet wear they not pied coats again ?

*

Though my head be like a leek, white, may not my lieart be like the blade, green?

Hip. Scarce can I read the stories on your brow, Which age hath writ there: you look youthful still.

Orl. I eat snakes, my Lord, I eat snakes. My heart shall never have a wrinkle in it, so long as I can cry Hem! with a clear voice.

Hip. You are the happier man, Sir,

Orl. May not old Friscobaldo, my Lord, be merry now, ha ? I have a little, have all things, have nothing : I have no wife, I have no child, have no chick, and why should I not be in my jocundare?

Hip. Is your wife then departed ?

Orl. She's an old dweller in those high countries, yet not from me: here, she's here; a good couple are seldom parted.

Hip. You had a daughter, too, Sir, had you not?

Orl. Oh, my Lord ! this old tree had one branch, and but one branch, growing out of it: it was young, it was fair, it was strait : I pruned it daily, drest it carefully, kept it from the wind, help'd it to the sun; yet for all my skill in planting, it grew crooked, it bore crabs: I hew'd it down. What's become of it, I neither know nor care.

Hip. Then can I tell you what's become of it: that branch is wither'd.

Orl. So 'twas long ago.
Hip. Her name, I think, was Bellafront; she's dead.
Orl. Ha! dead ?

Hip. Yes, what of her was left, not worth the keeping,
Even in my sight, was thrown into a grave.

Orl. Dead! my last and best peace go with her! death's a good trencherman; he can eat coarse homely meat as well as the daintiest- Is she dead?

Hip. She's turn'd to earth.
Orl. Would she were turned to Heaven. Umh! Is she

I see

dead? I am glad the world has lost one of his idols: no whoremonger will at midnight beat at the doors: in her grave sleep all my shame and her own; and all my sorrows, and all her sins.

Hip. I'm glad you are wax, not marble ; you are made Of man's best temper; there are now good hopes That all these heaps of ice about your heart, By which a father's love was frozen up, Are thaw'd in those sweet show'rs fetch'd from your eye: We are ne'er like angels till our passions die. She is not dead, but lives under worse fate; I think she's poor; and more to clip her wings, Her husband at this hour lies in the jail, For killing of a man: to save his blood, Join all your force with mine; mine shall be shown, The getting of his life preserves your own.

Orl. In my daughter you will say! Does she live then ? I am sorry I wasted tears upon a harlot! but the best is, I have a handkerchief to drink them up, soap can wash them all out again. Is she poor?

Hip. Trust me, I think she is.

Orl. Then she's a right strumpet. I never knew one of their trade rich two years together; sieves can hold no water, nor harlots hoard up money: taverns, tailors, bawds, pavders, fiddlers, swaggerers, fools, and kpaves, do all wait upon a common harlot's trencher; she is the gallypot to which these drones fly: not for love to the pot, but for the sweet sucket in it, her

her

money,

money. Hip. I almost dare pawn my word, her bosom gives warmth to no such snakes; when did you see her ?

Orl. Not seventeen summers.
Hip. Is your hate so old?

Orl. Older; it has a white head, and shall never die 'till she be buried: her wrongs shall be my bed-fellow,

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