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Pygmalion of his ivory image, Arachne of his But now cometh A pelles, who, I am sure, is as far wooden swan; especially painters, who, playing from thy thoughts as thou art from his cunning. with their own conceits, now coveting to draw a Diogenes, I will have thy cabin removed nearer glancing eye, then a rolling, now a winking, still to my court, because I will be a philosopher. mending it, never ending it, till they be caught Diog. And when you have done so, I pray you with it; and then, poor souls, they kiss the remove your court further from my cabin, becolours with their lips, with which before they cause I will not be a courtier, were loth to taint their fingers.
Alex. But here cometh Apelles.—Apelles, what Alex. I will find it out. Page, go speedily for piece of work have you now in hand? A pelles; will him to come hither; and when you Apel. None in hand, if it like your Majesty; see us earnestly in talk, suddenly cry out, A pelles's but I am devising a platform in my head. shop is on fire!
Alex. I think your hand put it in your head, Page. It shall be done.
Is it nothing about Venus? Alex. Forget not your lesson.
Apel. No; but something above Venus. liep. I marvel what your device shall be. Page. Apelles! Apelles ! look about you, your Alex. The event shall prove.
shop is on fire! Hep. I pity the poor painter, if he be in love. Apel. Ay me! if the picture of Campaspe be
Alex. Pity him not, I pray thee; that severe burnt, I am undone! gravity set aside, what do you think of love ? Alex. Stay, Apelles, no haste; it is your heart
Hep. As the Macedonians do of their herb is on fire, not your shop; and if Campaspe hang beet, which, looking yellow in the ground, and there, I would she were burnt. But have you black in the hand, think it better seen than the picture of Campaspe? Belike you love her touched.
well, that you care not though all be lost so she Alex. But what do you imagine it to be? be safe.
llep. A word, by superstition thought a god, Apel. Not love her; but your Majesty knows by use turned to an humour,' by self-will made that painters in their last works are said to excel a flattering madness.
themselves, and in this I have so much pleased Alex. You are too hard-hearted to think so of myself, that the shadow as much delighteth me love. Let us go to Diogenes.—Diogenes, thou being an artificer,” as the substance doih others mayst think it somewhat that Alexander cometh that are amorous. to thee again so soon.
Alex. You lay your colours grosly:' though I Diog. If you come to learn, you could not come could not paint in your shop, I can spy into soon enough; if to laugh, you be come too soon. your excuse. Be not ashamed, Apelles, it is a
Hep. It would better become thee to be more gentleman's sport to be in love. Call hither courteous, and frame thyself to please.
Campaspe. Methinks I might hava been made Diog. And you better to be less, if you durst privy to your affection; though my counsel had displease.
not been necessary, yet my countenance might Alex. What dost thou think of the time we
have been thought requisite. But Apelles, forhave here?
sooth, loveth under hand, yea and under AlexDiog. Tltat we have little, and lose much. ander's nose, and-but I say no more. Alex. If one be sick, what wouldst thou have Apel. A pelles loveth not so: but he liveth to him do?
do as Alexander will. Diog. Be sure that he make not his physician Alex. Campaspe, here is news. Apelles is his heir.
in love with you. Alex. If thou mightest have thy will, low Camp. It pleaseth your Majesty to say so. much ground would content thee?
Alex. Hephestion, I will try her too. CamDiog. As much as you in the end must be paspe, for the good qualities I know in Arelles, contented withal.
and the virtue I see in you, I am determined you Alex. What, a world?
shall enjoy one another. How say you, CamDiog. No, the length of my body:
paspe? would you say ay? Alex. Hephestion, shall I be a littlo pleasant Camp. Your handmaid must obey, if you comwith him?
mand. Hep. You may; but he will be very perverse Alex. Think you not, Hephestion, that she
would fain be commanded ? Alex. It skills not,2 I cannot be angry with Hep. I am no thought-catcher, but I guess unhim.—Diogenes, I pray thee, what dost thou happily.5 think of love?
Alex. I will not enforce marriage, where I Diog. A little worser than I can of hate. cannot compel love. Alex. And why?
Camp. But your Majesty may move a question, Diog. Because it is better to hate the things where you be willing to have a match. which make to love, than to love the things Alex. Believe me, Hephestion, these parties are which give occasion of hate.
agreed; they would have me both priest and witAlex. Why, be not women the best creatures ness. A pelles, take Campaspe; why move ye in the world?
not? Campaspe, take A pelles; will it not be ? Diog. Next men and bees.
If you be ashamed one of the other, by my conAlex. What dost thou dislike chiefly in a sent you shall nover come together. But diswoman?
semble not, Campaspe; do you love A pelles? Diog. One thing. Alex. What? Diog. That she is a woman.
2 platform-(literally) fiat form, groundwork, or design
drawn on a level surface; here it means design, plan, Alex. In mine opinion thou wert never born of or sketch. a woman, that thou thinkest so hardly of women, 2 artifirer-artist.
3 That is, 'your attempt at deception is clumsy, and
easily seen through.' humour-caprice, temporary inclination or pro 4 There should have been an Enter Campaspe here, pensity.
and Enter Apelles above; but stage directions were 2 Il skills not-it matters not; makes no difference. seldom used by the earlier dramatists. Anglo-Saxon scylan-to distinguish.
Camp. Pardon, my lord, I love Apelles ! and in heaps of many words we fear divers unfit,
Alez. Apelles, it were a shame for you, being among some allowable. But as Demosthenes, loved so openly of so fair a virgin, to say the with often breathing? up the hill, amended his contrary. Do you love Campaspe? Apel. Only Campaspe!
stammering; so we hope with sundry labours Alex. Two loving worms, Hephestion! I per- against the hairs to correct our studies. If the ceive Alexander cannot subdue the affections of tree be blasted that blossoms, the fault is in the men, though he conquer their countries. Love wind, and not in the root; and if our pastimes falleth like a dew as well upon the low grass, as upon the high cedar. Sparks have their heat, be misliked that have been allowed, you must ants their gall, flies their spleen. Well, enjoy impute it to the malice of others, and not our one another; I give her thee frankly, Apelles. endeavour. And so we rest in good case, 5 if you Thou shalt see that Alexander maketh but a toy rest well content. 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; THE EPILOGUE AT THE COURT. no, no, it is children's game, a life for sempsters and scholars: the one, pricking in clouts, have We cannot tell whether we are fallen among nothing else to think on; the other, picking Diomedes's birds or his horses; the one received fancies out of books, have little else to marvel some men with sweet notes, the other bit all meu at. Go, Apelles, take with you your Campaspe; with sharp teeth. But as Homer's gods conveyed Alexander is cloyed with looking on that which them into clouds whom they would have kept thou wond'rest at.
Apel. Thanks to your Majesty on bended knee, from curses; and as Venus, lest Adonis should you have honoured Apelles.
be pricked with the stings of adders, covered his Camp. Thanks with bowed heart, you have face with the wings of swans; so we hope, being blessed Campaspe.
[Exeunt. shielded with your Highness's countenance, we Alex. Page, go warn Clytus and Parmenio and the other lords to be in a readiness; let the shall, though we hear the neighing, yet not feel trumpet sound, strike up the drum, and I will
the kicking of those jades; and receive, though presently into Persia. How now, Hephestion, is no praise (which we cannot deserve), yet a pardon, Alexander able to resist love as he list?
which in all humility we desire. As yet we Hep. The conquering of Thebes was not so
cannot tell what we should term our labours. honourable as the subduing of these thoughts.
Alex. It were a shame Alexander 'should iron or bullion ; only it belongeth to your Madesire to command the world, if he could not jesty to make them fit either for the forge or the command himself. But come, let us go, I will miut; current by the stamp, or counterfeit by try whether I can better bear my hand with my heart, than I could with mine eye. And, good unless it had been named white by the first
the anvil. For as nothing is to be called white, Hephestion, when all the world is won, and every country is thine and mine, either find me creator, so can there be nothing thought good out another to subdue, or, on my word, I will fall in the opinion of others, unless it be christened in love.
[Exeunt. good by the judgment of yourself. For our
selves again, we are like these torches of wax, 6 TIE EPILOGUE AT THE BLACK
of which, being in your Highness's hands, you FRIARS.
may make doves or vultures, roses or nettles,
laurel for a garland, or elder for a disgrace. WHERE the rainbow toucheth the tree, no caterpillars will hang on the leaves; where the
1 allowable--passable; praiseworthy. glow-worm creepeth in the night, no adder will
? We talk now-a-days of taking a breather, a climb or go in the day. We hope in the ears where our walk that tries the power of our lungs. travails' be lodged, no carping shall harbour in 3 against the hair-against the grain.
4 allowed-approved; praised. In this sense the word those tongues. Our exercises must be as your comes from Lat. laudo, to praise. judgment is, resembling water, which is always 3 case-condition. of the same colour into what it runneth. In the Greenwich, where the play was performed before Eliza
6 Alluding to the candles which lighted the hall in Trojan horse lay couched soldiers, with children; beth.
· The elder was regarded as a disgraced tree, because
Judas was popularly supposed to have hanged himselt travails-labours; works.
(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
yor. 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 indulgenee. 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 Wires' 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.]
THE LOVE OF KING DAVID AND FAIR BETHSABE,
WITH THE TRAGEDY OF ABSALON:
AS IT HATH BEEN DIVERS TIMES PLAYED ON THE STAGE.
WRITTEN BY GEORGE PEELE.
London: Printed by Adam Islip, 1599.
He gave alarm to the host of heaven,
That, wing'd with lightning, break the clouds, OF Israel's sweetest singer now I sing,
and cast His holy style and happy victories;
Their crystal armour at his conquering feet. Whose Muse was dipt in that inspiring dew
Of this sweet poet, Jove's musician, | Archangels stilled' from the breath of Jove,
And of his beauteous son, I press to sing.
Then help, divine Adonai, to conduct
The hearers' minds above the towers of heaven, The cherubims and angels laid their breasts;
And guide them so in this thrice-haughty flight, Ind, when his consecrated fingers struck
Their mounting feathers scorch not with the fire The golden wires of his ravishing harp,
That none can temper but thy holy hand:
To thee for succour flies my feeble Muse, I filled distilled.
2 Jore-Jehovali, | And at thy feet her iron pen doth use.
ABIATHAR, a Priest. Auxox, Son of Darid by Ahinoam.
Jonathan, his Son. CHILEAB, Son of David by Abigail.
ACHITOPHEL, Chief Counsellor to Absalon. ABSALON, Son of David by Maacah.
CUSAY. ADOXIA, Son of Darid by Haggith.
Sons of his sister HANON, King of Ammon.
MACHAAS, King of Gath.
SNephew of David, and Son of his THAMAR, Daughter of David by Jaacak.
Concubines to David.
Maid to Bethsave.
The Prologue-speaker, before going out, draws a Dav. Go know, and bring her quickly to the
curtain and discorers BETHSABE, with her Maid, king; bathing over a spring. She sings, and David Tell her, her graces have found grace with him. sits above viewing her.
Cu. I will, my lord.
[Ezit. Dav. Bright Dethsabe shall wash in David's
bower, Hot sun, cool fire, temper'd with sweet air,
In water mix'd with purest almond-flower, Black shade, fair nurse, shadow my white hair: And bathe her beauty in the milk of kids. Shine, sun; burn, fire; breathe, air, and ease me; Bright Bethsabe gives earth to my desires, Black shade, fair nurse, shroud me, and please me: Verdure to earth, and to that verdure flowers; Shadow, my sweet nurse, keep me from burning;
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 Beth. Come, gentle zephyr, trick'd with those
From forth his princely tower hath seen thee perfumes That erst in Eden sweeten'd Adam's love,
And thy sweet graces have found grace with And stroke my bosom with thy silken fan.
him. This shade, sun-proof, is yet no proof for thee;
Come, then, and kneel unto him where he stands; Thy body, smoother than this waveless spring, And purer than the substance of the same,
The king is gracious, and hath liberal hands. Can creep through that his lances cannot pierce. Or what is David, that he should desire,
Beth. Ah! what is Bethsa be to please the king? Thou, and thy sister, soft and sacred Air, Goddess of life, and governess of health,
For fickle beauty's sake, his servant's wife? Keep every fountain fresh and arbour sweet.
Cu. David, thou know'st, fair dame, is wise
and just, No brazen gate her passage can repulse,
Elected to the heart of Israel's God;
Then do not thou expostulate with him
Beth. My lord the king, elect to God's own Dav. What tunes, what words, what looks, Should not his gracious jealousy incense?
heart, what wonders pierce My soul, incensed 1 with a sudden fire ?
Whose thoughts are chaste : I hate incontinence. What tree, what shade, what spring, what para
Cu. Woman, thou wrong'st the king, and
doubt'st his honour, dise,
Whose truth maintains the crown of Israel, Enjoys the beauty of so fair a dame ? Fair Eva, placed in perfect happiness,
Making him stay that bade me bring thee straight Lending her praise-notes to the liberal heavens,
Beth. The king's poor handmaid will obey my
lord. Struck with the accents of archangels' tunes, Wrought not inore pleasure to her husband's
Cu. Then come, and do thy duty to his grace,
And do what seemeth favour in his sight. thoughts Than this fair woman's words and notes to mine.
[Exil, below, with BETHSABE.
Dav. Now comes my lover tripping like the May that sweet plain, that bears her pleasant
roe, weight, Be still enameli'd with discolour'da flowers;
And brings my longings tangled in her hair, That precious fount bear sand of purest gold;
To joy 3 ber love I'll build a kingly bower, And, for the pebble, let the silver streams
Seated in hearing of a hundred streams, That pierce earth's bowels to maintain the source,
That, for their homage to her sovereign joys, Play upon rubies, sapphires, chrysolites;
Shall, as the serpents fold into their nests The brims let be embraced with golden curls
In oblique turnings, wind their nimble waves
About the circles of her curious walks,
And with their murmur summou easeful sleep Let all the grass that beautifies her bower
To lay his golden sceptre on her brows.Bear manna every morn instead of dew;
Open the doors, and entertain my love; Or let the dew be sweeter far than that
Open, I say, and, as you open, singThat hangs, like chains of pearl, on Hermon bill,
Welcome, fair Bethsa be, King David's darling! Or balm which trickled from old Aaron's beard.
Enter, above, CUSAY with BETHSABE. Cusay, come up, and serve thy lord the king.
Welcome, fair Bethsabe, King David's darling. Enter Cusay, above.
Thy bones' fair covering, ersts discovered fair, Cu. What service doth my lord the king com
And all mine eyes with all thy beauties pierced ; mand?
As heaven's bright eye burns most when most
he climbs Dav. See, Cusay, see the flower of Israel, The fairest daughter that obeys the king
The crooked zodiac with his fiery sphere, In all the land the Lord subdued to me;
And shineth furthest from this earthly globe; Fairer than Isaac's lover at the well,
So, since thy beauty scorch'd my conquer'd soul, Brighter than inside-bark of new-hewn cedar,
I call'd thee nearer for my nearer cure.
1 i.e. somewhat affrighted.' On zephyr's wings before the King of Heaven!
2 incense-kindle. Bethsabe no doubt here refers to Cu. Is it not Bethsabe the Hethite's wife, her husband. Urias, now at Rabbah siege with Joab?
* Joys. Dyce thinks the sense seems to require "charms.'
5 erst-first or formerly. 1 encensed-inflamed.
G and all mine eyes. Mr. Dyce thinks a line has pro2 discoloured-variously coloured.
bably dropt out here.