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(All those left dark and slighted in his way);
And on the wretched plight of some poor shed
Pours all the glories of his golden head:
So heavenly Virtue on this envied lord
Points all his graces.
THE HISTORY OF ANTONIO AND MELLIDA.
THE FIRST PART.
BY JOHN MARSTON.
ANDRUGIO, Duke of Genoa, banished his country, with the loss of a son, supposed drowned, is cast upon the territory of his mortal enemy the Duke of Venice, with no attendants but LUCIO, an old nobleman, and a Page. Andr. Is not yon gleam the shudd'ring Morn that flakes
With silver tincture the east verge of heaven?
Luc. I think it is, so please your Excellence.
Andr. Away, I have no Excellence to please.
Prithee observe the custom of the world,
That only flatters greatness, states exalts.
And please my Excellence! O Lucio,
Thou hast been ever held respected, dear,
Even precious to Andrugio's inmost love;
Good, flatter not.
My thoughts are fixt in contemplation
Why this huge earth, this monstrous animal
That eats her children, should not have eyes and ears.
Philosophy maintains that Nature's wise,
And forms no useless nor unperfect thing.
Did Nature make the earth, or the earth Nature?
For earthly dirt makes all things, makes the man,
Moulds me up honour, and, like a cunning Dutchman
Paints me a puppet e'en with seeming breath,
And gives a sot appearance of a soul.
Go to, go to; thou liest, Philosophy.
Nature forms things unperfect, useless, vain.
Why made she not the earth with eyes and ears
That she might see desert and hear men's plaints
That when a soul is splitted, sunk with grief,
He might fall thus upon the breast of Earth,
And in her ear halloo his misery,
Exclaiming thus: O thou all-bearing Earth,
Which men do gape for till thou cramm'st their
And chok'st their throats with dust: open thy breast,
And let me sink into thee: look who knocks;
Andrugio calls. But O she's deaf and blind.
A wretch but lean relief on earth can find.
Luc. Sweet lord, abandon passion; and disarm.
Since by the fortune of the tumbling sea
We are roll'd up upon the Venice marsh,
Let's clip all fortune, lest more low'ring fate-
Andr. More low'ring fate! O Lucio, choke that
Now I defy chance. Fortune's brow hath frown'd,
Even to the utmost wrinkle it can bend :
Her venom's spit. Alas! what country rests,
What son, what comfort, that she can deprive?
Triumphs not Venice in my overthrow?
Gapes not my native country for my blood?
Lies not my son tomb'd in the swelling main?
And in more low'ring fate? There's nothing left
Unto Andrugio, but Andrugio:
Nor mischief, force, distress, nor hell can take:
Fortune my fortunes, not my mind, shall shake.
Luc. Spoke like yourself: but give me leave, my
To wish you safety. If you are but seen,
Your arms display you; therefore put them off, 30 And take
Andr. Would'st have me go unarm'd among my foes?
Being besieg'd by Passion, entering lists
To combat with Despair and mighty Grief:
My soul beleaguer'd with the crushing strength
Of sharp Impatience? Ha, Lucio; go unarm'd?
Come, soul, resume the valour of thy birth;
Myself, myself will dare all opposites:
I'll muster forces, an unvanquish'd power:
Cornets of horse shall press th' ungrateful earth:
This hollow-wombed mass shall inly groan
And murmur to sustain the weight of arms:
Ghastly Amazement, with upstarted hair,
Shall hurry on before, and usher us,
Whilst trumpets clamour with a sound of death.
Luc. Peace, good my lord, your speech is all too
Alas, survey your fortunes, look what's left
Of all your forces and your utmost hope;
A weak old man, a page, and your poor self.
Andr. Andrugio lives; and a Fair Cause of Arms.
Why, that's an army all invincible.
He who hath that, hath a battalion royal,
Armour of proof, huge troops of barbed steeds,
Main squares of pikes, millions of harquebush.
O, a Fair Cause stands firm, and will abide;
Legions of Angels fight upon her side.
[The situation of Andrugio and Lucio resembles that of Lear and Kent, in that King's distresses. Andrugio, like Lear, manifests a kind of royal impatience, a turbulent greatness, an affected resignation. The Enemies which he enters lists to combat, Despair and mighty Grief, and sharp Impatience," and the Forces ("Cornets of Horse," &c.) which he brings to vanquish them, are in the boldest style of Allegory. They are such a race of mourners as "the infection of sorrows loud" in the intellect might beget on 66 some pregnant cloud" in the imagination.]
THE SECOND PART OF THE HISTORY OF
ANTONIO AND MELLIDA.
BY THE SAME.
The rawish dank of clumsy winter ramps
The fluent summer's vein; and drizzling sleet
* This Prologue for its passionate earnestness, and for the tragic note of preparation which it sounds, might have preceded
Chilleth the wan bleak cheek of the numb'd earth,
While snarling gusts nibble the juiceless leaves
From the nak'd shudd'ring branch, and pills the
From off the soft and delicate aspects.
O now methinks a sullen tragic scene
Would suit the time with pleasing congruence.
May we be happy in our weak devoir,
And all part pleas'd in most wish'd content.
But sweat of Hercules can ne'er beget
So blest an issue. Therefore we proclaim,
If any spirit breathes within this round
Uncapable of weighty passion,
(As from his birth being hugged in the arms
And nuzled 'twixt the breasts of Happiness +)
Who winks and shuts his apprehension up
From common sense of what men were, and are ;
Who would not know what men must be let such
Hurry amain from our black-visag'd shows;
We shall affright their eyes. But if a breast,
Nail'd to the earth with grief; if any heart,
Pierc'd through with anguish, pant within this
If there be any blood, whose heat is chok'd
And stifled with true sense of misery:
If aught of these strains fill this consort up,
They arrive most welcome. O that our power
Could lackey or keep wing with our desires;
That with unused poise of style and sense
We might weigh massy in judicious scale!
Yet here's the prop that doth support our hopes :
When our scenes falter, or invention halts,
Your favour will give crutches to our faults.
one of those old tales of Thebes, or Pelops' line, which Milton has so highly commended as free from the common error of the poets in his days, "of intermixing comic stuff with tragic sadness and gravity, brought in without discretion corruptly to gratify the people."-It is as solemn a preparative as the "warning voice which he who saw th' Apocalypse, heard cry."
"Sleek favourites of Fortune."-Preface to Poems by S. T. Coleridge.
ANTONIO, son to ANDRUGIO, Duke of Genoa, whom PIERO the Venetian Prince and father-in-law to ANTONIO has cruelly murdered, kills PIERO's little son, JULIO, as a sacrifice to the ghost of ANDRUGIO.-The scene, a churchyard: the time, midnight.
Jul. Brother Antonio, are you here i' faith? Why do you frown? Indeed my sister said, That I should call you brother, that she did, When you were married to her. Buss me: good truth, I love you better than my father, 'deed.
Ant. Thy father? gracious, O bounteous heaven, I do adore thy justice. Venit in nostras manus Tandem vindicta, venit et tota quidem.
Jul. Truth, since my mother died, I loved you best.
Something hath anger'd you: pray you, look merrily.
Ant. I will laugh, and dimple my thin cheek
With capering joy; chuck, my heart doth leap
To grasp thy bosom. Time, place, and blood,
How fit you close together! heaven's tones
Strike not such music to immortal souls,
As your accordance sweets my breast withal.
Methinks I pace upon the front of Jove,
And kick corruption with a scornful heel,
Griping this flesh, disdain mortality.
O that I knew which joint, which side, which limb
Were father all, and had no mother in it;
That I might rip it vein by vein, and carve revenge
In bleeding traces: but since 'tis mix'd together,
Have at adventure, pell-mell, no reverse.
Come hither, boy; this is Andrugio's hearse.
Jul. O God, you'll hurt me. For my sister's sake, Pray you do not hurt me. An you kill me, 'deed
I'll tell my father.
Ant. Oh, for thy sister's sake I flag revenge. [ANDRUGIO'S Ghost cries "Revenge."
Ant. Stay, stay, dear father, fright mine eyes no
Revenge as swift as lightning, bursteth forth
And cleaves his heart. Come, pretty tender child,
It is not thee I hate, not thee I kill."
Thy father's blood that flows within thy veins,