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Pygmalion of his ivory image, Arachne of his wooden swan; especially painters, who, playing with their own conceits, now coveting to draw a glancing eye, then a rolling, now a winking, still mending it, never ending it, till they be caught with it; and then, poor souls, they kiss the colours with their lips, with which before they were loth to taint their fingers.

Alex. I will find it out. Page, go speedily for Apelles; will him to come hither; and when you see us earnestly in talk, suddenly cry out, Apelles's shop is on fire!

Page. It shall be done.

Alex. Forget not your lesson.

Hep. I marvel what your device shall be.
Alex. The event shall prove.

Hep. I pity the poor painter, if he be in love. Alex. Pity him not, I pray thee; that severe gravity set aside, what do you think of love?

Hep. As the Macedonians do of their herb beet, which, looking yellow in the ground, and black in the hand, think it better seen than touched.

Alex. But what do you imagine it to be? Hep. A word, by superstition thought a god, by use turned to an humour,' by self-will made a flattering madness.

Alex. You are too hard-hearted to think so of love. Let us go to Diogenes.-Diogenes, thou mayst think it somewhat that Alexander cometh to thee again so soon.

Diog. If you come to learn, you could not come soon enough; if to laugh, you be come too soon. Hep. It would better become thee to be more courteous, and frame thyself to please.

Diog. And you better to be less, if you durst displease.

Alex. What dost thou think of the time we have here?

Diog. That we have little, and lose much. Alex. If one be sick, what wouldst thou have him do?

Diog. Be sure that he make not his physician his heir.

Alex. If thou mightest have thy will, how much ground would content thee?

Diog. As much as you in the end must be contented withal.

Alex. What, a world?

Diog. No, the length of my body.

Alex. Hephestion, shall I be a little pleasant with him?

Hep. You may; but he will be very perverse with you.

Alex. It skills not, I cannot be angry with him. Diogenes, I pray thee, what dost thou think of love?

Diog. A little worser than I can of hate.
Alex. And why?

Diog. Because it is better to hate the things which make to love, than to love the things which give occasion of hate.

Alex. Why, be not women the best creatures in the world?

Diog. Next men and becs.

Alex. What dost thou dislike chiefly in a woman?

Diog. One thing.

Alex. What?

Diog. That she is a woman.

Alex. In mine opinion thou wert never born of a woman, that thou thinkest so hardly of women.

1 humour-caprice, temporary inclination or propensity.

2 It skills not-it matters not; makes no difference. Anglo-Saxon scylan-to distinguish.

But now cometh Apelles, who, I am sure, is as far from thy thoughts as thou art from his cunning. Diogenes, I will have thy cabin removed nearer to my court, because I will be a philosopher.

Diog. And when you have done so, I pray you remove your court further from my cabin, because I will not be a courtier.

Alex. But here cometh Apelles.-Apelles, what piece of work have you now in hand?

Apel. None in hand, if it like your Majesty; but I am devising a platform' in my head. Alex. I think your hand put it in your head. Is it nothing about Venus?

Apel. No; but something above Venus. Page. Apelles! Apelles! look about you, your shop is on fire!

Apel. Ay me! if the picture of Campaspe be burnt, I am undone!

Alex. Stay, Apelles, no haste; it is your heart is on fire, not your shop; and if Campaspe hang there, I would she were burnt. But have you the picture of Campaspe? Belike you love her well, that you care not though all be lost so she be safe.

Apel. Not love her; but your Majesty knows that painters in their last works are said to excel themselves, and in this I have so much pleased myself, that the shadow as much delighteth me being an artificer, as the substance doth others that are amorous.

Alex. You lay your colours grosly: though I could not paint in your shop, I can spy into your excuse. Be not ashamed, Apelles, it is a gentleman's sport to be in love. Call hither Campaspe. Methinks I might have been made privy to your affection; though my counsel had not been necessary, yet my countenance might have been thought requisite. But Apelles, forsooth, loveth under hand, yea and under Alexander's nose, and-but I say no more.

Apel. Apelles loveth not so: but he liveth to do as Alexander will.

Alex. Campaspe, here is news. Apelles is in love with you.

Camp. It pleaseth your Majesty to say so.

Alex. Hephestion, I will try her too. Campaspe, for the good qualities know in Apelles, and the virtue I see in you, I am determined you shall enjoy one another. How say you, Campaspe? would you say ay?

Camp. Your handmaid must obey, if you com


Alex. Think you not, Hephestion, that she would fain be commanded?

Hep. I am no thought-catcher, but I guess unhappily.5

Alex. I will not enforce marriage, where I cannot compel love.

Camp. But your Majesty may move a question, where you be willing to have a match.

Alex. Believe me, Hephestion, these parties are agreed; they would have me both priest and witness. Apelles, take Campaspe; why move ye not? Campaspe, take Apelles; will it not be? If you be ashamed one of the other, by my consent you shall never come together. But dissemble not, Campaspe; do you love Apelles?

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Camp. Pardon, my lord, I love Apelles! Alex. Apelles, it were a shame for you, being loved so openly of so fair a virgin, to say the contrary. Do you love Campaspe?

Apel. Only Campaspe!

Alex. Two loving worms, Hephestion! I perceive Alexander cannot subdue the affections of men, though he conquer their countries. Love falleth like a dew as well upon the low grass, as upon the high cedar. Sparks have their heat, ants their gall, flies their spleen. Well, enjoy one another; I give her thee frankly, Apelles. Thou shalt see that Alexander maketh but a toy of love, and leadeth affection in fetters; using fancy as a fool to make him sport, or a minstrel to make him merry. It is not the amorous glance of an eye can settle an idle thought in the heart; no, no, it is children's game, a life for sempsters and scholars: the one, pricking in clouts, have nothing else to think on; the other, picking fancies out of books, have little else to marvel at. Go, Apelles, take with you your Campaspe; Alexander is cloyed with looking on that which

thou wond'rest at.

Apel. Thanks to your Majesty on bended knee, you have honoured Apelles.

Camp. Thanks with bowed heart, you have blessed Campaspe. [Exeunt. Alex. Page, go warn Clytus and Parmenio and the other lords to be in a readiness; let the trumpet sound, strike up the drum, and I will presently into Persia. How now, Hephestion, is Alexander able to resist love as he list?

Hep. The conquering of Thebes was not so honourable as the subduing of these thoughts. Alex. It were a shame Alexander should desire to command the world, if he could not command himself. But come, let us go, I will try whether I can better bear my hand with my heart, than I could with mine eye. And, good Hephestion, when all the world is won, and every country is thine and mine, either find me out another to subdue, or, on my word, I will fall in love. [Exeunt.



WHERE the rainbow toucheth the tree, no caterpillars will hang on the leaves; where the glow-worm creepeth in the night, no adder will go in the day. We hope in the ears where our travails' be lodged, no carping shall harbour in those tongues. Our exercises must be as your judgment is, resembling water, which is always of the same colour into what it runneth. In the Trojan horse lay couched soldiers, with children;

1 travails-labours; works.


and in heaps of many words we fear divers unfit, among some allowable.' But as Demosthenes, with often breathing up the hill, amended his stammering; so we hope with sundry labours against the hair3 to correct our studies. If the tree be blasted that blossoms, the fault is in the wind, and not in the root; and if our pastimes be misliked that have been allowed, you must impute it to the malice of others, and not our endeavour. And so we rest in good case,3 if you rest well content.


WE cannot tell whether we are fallen among Diomedes's birds or his horses; the one received some men with sweet notes, the other bit all men with sharp teeth. But as Homer's gods conveyed them into clouds whom they would have kept from curses; and as Venus, lest Adonis should be pricked with the stings of adders, covered his face with the wings of swans; so we hope, being shielded with your Highness's countenance, we shall, though we hear the neighing, yet not feel the kicking of those jades; and receive, though no praise (which we cannot deserve), yet a pardon, which in all humility we desire. As yet we cannot tell what we should term our labours.

iron or bullion; only it belongeth to your Majesty to make them fit either for the forge or the mint; current by the stamp, or counterfeit by the anvil. For as nothing is to be called white, unless it had been named white by the first creator, so can there be nothing thought good in the opinion of others, unless it be christened good by the judgment of yourself. For ourselves again, we are like these torches of wax," of which, being in your Highness's hands, you may make doves or vultures, roses or nettles, laurel for a garland, or elder for a disgrace.

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[GEORGE PEELE, a gentleman by birth, was born in Devonshire about 1558. He was educated at Oxford, having been a member of Broadgate's Hall (now Pembroke College), probably taking his degree of Master of Arts in 1579. We are informed by Anthony á Wood that Peele was esteemed a most noted poet in the University;' and Mr. Dyce thinks it probable that the Tale of Troy, which he published in 1589, and which he calls 'an old poem of mine own,' was written during his academic course. He repaired to London about 1580; there he no doubt passed most of the remainder of his life, figuring as one of the authors by profession,' who formed so numerous a body during the reign of Elizabeth. He was on terms of intimacy with most of his contemporary brother-dramatists, and shared but too freely in the wild Bohemianism which characterized most of their lives. Among the town wits of those days,' says Mr. Dyce, 'habits of debauchery were but too prevalent. Not a few of them hung loose upon society, now struggling with poverty, and "driven to extreme shifts," and now, when successful plays or poems had put money in their purses, revelling in the pleasures of taverns and ordinaries, some of them terminating a career of folly by a miserable and untimely death. Peele, there is every reason to believe, mingled as eagerly as any of his contemporaries in the dissipations of London.' Peele must have been one of the most thriftless and dissipated of this mad crew; and if we may believe the tract entitled Merrie Conceited Jests of George Peele, he frequently resorted to the lowest and most rascally shifts to relieve his wretched poverty, and supply him with the means of dissipation. Mr. Dyce professes to believe that these stories are most of them fictitious, although he does not doubt the authenticity of some of them. But, making every allowance, we are afraid that he must be regarded as having been almost entirely destitute of honour, and even of common honesty. He appears for a time to have held the post of city poet, and devised several of the pageants which graced the inauguration of a new Lord Mayor. The date of Peele's death is not known. 'This person,' says Anthony á Wood, 'was living, in his middle age, in the latter end of Queen Elizabeth; but when or where he died I cannot tell.' He certainly died previous to 1598; for, in a book published in that year, we are told that his death was the result of disease caught by licentious indulgence. Perhaps, with the exception of Greene, Peele's life and death were more miserable, and his character certainly more contemptible, than those of any of the brilliant Bohemians with whom he mingled. Of Peele's dramatic works, Dyce thinks that not half has survived the ravages of time. The following are his dramas still extant:-The Arraignment of Paris: a Pastoral (printed 1584); The Famous Chronicle History of King Edward the First (1593), one of our most ancient Chronicle Histories,' and deserving attention, Mr. Collier thinks, more on this account than because it possesses much merit as a theatrical production ; The Battle of Alcazar (1594), with much probability, ascribed to Peele; Old Wives' Tale (1595); this is chiefly remarkable as containing the same story as that upon which Milton founded his mask of Comus. Warton has attempted to show that Milton derived the narrative and idea of his poem from Peele; but, as Mr. Collier says, it yet remains to be seen whether they do not each make use of the same original narrative. David and Bethsabe was first printed in 1599, but how much earlier it was written there is no means of ascer taining. Besides these dramas, Peele wrote several poems and pageants. Collier's estimate of Pecle as a dramatist appears to us to be just. When Thomas Nash, in 1587, gave


Peele the praise of being primus verborum artifier, he adopted a phrase which seems happily to describe the character of Peele's poetry: his genius was not bold and original, and he was wanting in the higher qualities of invention; but he had an elegance of fancy, a gracefulness of expression, and a melody of versification which, in the earlier part of his career, was scarcely approached.' The play, David and Bethsabe, which we have selected as a specimen, is universally admitted to be his best. It is founded on a well-known incident in the life of King David, and is chiefly characterized by the smoothness of its language, occasional pathos and vigour of expression, and richness of imagery. There is not much of a plot, little art is displayed in the conduct of the story, and none of the characters can be said to be distinctly marked; still, on the whole, it is pleasant and readable.]




London: Printed by Adam Islip, 1599.


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He gave alarm to the host of heaven,
That, wing'd with lightning, break the clouds,

and cast

Their crystal armour at his conquering feet.
Of this sweet poet, Jove's musician,
And of his beauteous son, I press to sing.
Then help, divine Adonai, to conduct
Upon the wings of my well-temper'd verse
The hearers' minds above the towers of heaven,
And guide them so in this thrice-haughty flight,
Their mounting feathers scorch not with the fire
That none can temper but thy holy hand:
To thee for succour flies my feeble Muse,
And at thy feet her iron pen doth use.

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The Prologue-speaker, before going out, draws a curtain and discorers BETHSABE, with her Maid, bathing over a spring. She sings, and DAVID sits above viewing her.


Hor sun, cool fire, temper'd with sweet air,
Black shade, fair nurse, shadow my white hair:
Shine, sun; burn, fire; breathe, air, and ease me;
Black shade, fair nurse, shroud me, and please me:
Shadow, my sweet nurse, keep me from burning;
Make not my glad cause cause of [my] mourning.
Let not my beauty's fire
Inflame unstaid desire,

Nor pierce any bright eye
That wandereth lightly.

Beth. Come, gentle zephyr, trick'd with those perfumes

That erst in Eden sweeten'd Adam's love,
And stroke my bosom with thy silken fan.
This shade, sun-proof, is yet no proof for thee;
Thy body, smoother than this waveless spring,
And purer than the substance of the same,
Can creep through that his lances cannot pierce.
Thou, and thy sister, soft and sacred Air,
Goddess of life, and governess of health,
Keep every fountain fresh and arbour sweet.
No brazen gate her passage can repulse,
Nor bushy thicket bar thy subtle breath:
Then deck thee with thy loose delightsome robes,
And on thy wings bring delicate perfumes,
To play the wanton with us through the leaves.
Dav. What tunes, what words, what looks,
what wonders pierce

My soul, incensed with a sudden fire?
What tree, what shade, what spring, what para-

Enjoys the beauty of so fair a dame?
Fair Eva, placed in perfect happiness,
Lending her praise-notes to the liberal heavens,
Struck with the accents of archangels' tunes,
Wrought not more pleasure to her husband's

Than this fair woman's words and notes to mine. May that sweet plain, that bears her pleasant weight,

Be still enamell'd with discolour'd flowers;
That precious fount bear sand of purest gold;
And, for the pebble, let the silver streams
That pierce earth's bowels to maintain the source,
Play upon rubies, sapphires, chrysolites;
The brims let be embraced with golden curls
Of moss, that sleeps with sound the waters make,
For joy to feed the fount with their recourse.
Let all the grass that beautifies her bower
Bear manna every morn instead of dew;
Or let the dew be sweeter far than that
That hangs, like chains of pearl, on Hermon hill,
Or balm which trickled from old Aaron's beard.-
Cusay, come up, and serve thy lord the king.

Enter CUSAY, above.

Cu. What service doth my lord the king command?

Dav. See, Cusay, see the flower of Israel, The fairest daughter that obeys the king In all the land the Lord subdued to me; Fairer than Isaac's lover at the well, Brighter than inside-bark of new-hewn cedar, Sweeter than flames of fine-perfumèd myrrh, And comelier than the silver clouds that dance On zephyr's wings before the King of Heaven! Cu. Is it not Bethsabe the Hethite's wife, Urias, now at Rabbah siege with Joab?

1 incensed-inflamed.

2 discoloured-variously coloured.

Dav. Go know, and bring her quickly to the king;

Tell her, her graces have found grace with him. Cu. I will, my lord. [Exit.

Dav. Bright Bethsabe shall wash in David's bower,

In water mix'd with purest almond-flower,
And bathe her beauty in the milk of kids.
Bright Bethsabe gives earth to my desires,
Verdure to earth, and to that verdure flowers;
To flowers sweet odours, and to odours wings,
That carry pleasures to the hearts of kings.
Enter CUSAY, below, to BETHSABE, she starting
as something affright.'

Cu. Fair Bethsabe, the king of Israel From forth his princely tower hath seen thee bathe,

And thy sweet graces have found grace with him.

Come, then, and kneel unto him where he stands; The king is gracious, and hath liberal hands.

Beth. Ah! what is Bethsabe to please the king?
Or what is David, that he should desire,
For fickle beauty's sake, his servant's wife?
Cu. David, thou know'st, fair dame, is wise
and just,

Elected to the heart of Israel's God;
For any action that contents his soul.
Then do not thou expostulate with him

Beth. My lord the king, elect to God's own Should not his gracious jealousy incense? heart, Whose thoughts are chaste: I hate incontinence. Cu. Woman, thou wrong'st the king, and doubt'st his honour,

Whose truth maintains the crown of Israel,
Making him stay that bade me bring thee straight.
Beth. The king's poor handmaid will obey my

And do what seemeth favour in his sight.
Cu. Then come, and do thy duty to his grace,

[Exit, below, with BETHSABE. Dav. Now comes my lover tripping like the


And brings my longings tangled in her hair.
To joy her love I'll build a kingly bower,
Seated in hearing of a hundred streams,
That, for their homage to her sovereign joys,*
Shall, as the serpents fold into their nests
In oblique turnings, wind their nimble waves
About the circles of her curious walks,
And with their murmur summon easeful sleep
To lay his golden sceptre on her brows.-
Open the doors, and entertain my love;
Open, I say, and, as you open, sing-
Welcome, fair Bethsabe, King David's darling!'

Enter, above, CUSAY with BETHSABE. Welcome, fair Bethsabe, King David's darling. Thy bones' fair covering, erst discovered fair, And all mine eyes with all thy beauties pierced; As heaven's bright eye burns most when most he climbs

The crooked zodiac with his fiery sphere,
And shineth furthest from this earthly globe;
So, since thy beauty scorch'd my conquer'd soul,
I call'd thee nearer for my nearer cure.

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