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supposed the mansion capable of containing. I asked if Ellinor O'Donoghoe was at home? but the dog barked, the geese cackled, the turkeys gobbled, and the beggars begged, with one accord so loudly, that there was no chance of my being heard. When the girl had at last succeeded in appeasing them all with her pitchfork, she answered, that Ellinor O'Donoghoe was at home, but that she was out with the potatoes ; and she ran to fetch her, after calling to the boys, who were within in the room smoking, to come out to his honour. As soon as they had crouched under the door, and were able to stand upright, they welcomed me with a very good grace, and were proud to see me in the kingdom. I asked if they were all Ellinor's sons. “All entirely,' was the first answer. ' Not one but one,' was the second answer. The third made the other two intelligible. "Plase your honour, we are all her sons-in-law, except myself, who am her lawful son. Then you are my foster-brother ?' 'No, plase your honour; it's not me, but my brother, and he's not in it.' 'Not in it ?' “No, plase your honour; because he's in the forge up above. Sure he's the blacksmith, my lard. “And what are you?' • I'm Ody, plase your honour ;' the short for Owen.”

CHAP. IV.

DRAMATIC POETRY.

“ No department of English poetry,” said Egeria, one evening after tea, on taking up a volume of Ben Jonson's works, “ no department of English poetry is more rich in beautiful passages than the dramatic, and none of which the riches are so little known.

“ The speech of Petreius in THE CATILINE of this author, I have always thought one of the most magnificent passages in the whole compass of English literature,-listen.”

Petreius. The straits and needs of Catiline being such, As he must fight with one of the two armies That then had near enclosed him, it pleased fate To make us th' object of his desperate choice, Wherein the danger almost poised the honour: And, as he rose, the day grew black with him, And fate descended nearer to the earth, As if she meant to hide the name of things Under her wings, and make the world her quarry. At this we roused, lest one small minute's stay Had left it to be inquired what Rome was ; And (as we ought) arm'd in the confidence Of our great cause, in form of battle stood, Whilst Catiline came on, not with the face Of any man, but of a public ruin : His countenance was a civil war itself : And all his host had, standing in their looks, The paleness of the death that was to come; Yet cried they out like vultures, and urged on, As if they would precipitate our fates. Nor stay'd we longer for 'em, but himself Struck the first stroke, and with it fled a life, Which out, it seem'd a narrow neck of land Had broke between two mighty seas, and either Flow'd into other ; for so did the slaughter ; And whirl'd about, as when two violent tides Meet and not yield. The furies stood on hills, Circling the place, and trembling to see men Do more than they ; whilst piety left the field, Grieved for that side, that in so bad a cause They knew not what a crime their valour was.

The sun stood still, and was, behind a cloud
The battle made, seen sweating, to drive up
His frighted horse, whom still the noise drove backward: :
And now had fierce Enyo, like a flame,
Consumed all it could reach, and then itself,
Had not the fortune of the commonwealth
Come, Pallas-like, to every Roman thought;
Which Catiline seeing, and that now his troops
Cover'd the earth they 'ad fought on with their trunks,
Ambitious of great fame to crown his ill,
Collected all his fury, and ran in
(Arm’d with a glory high as his despair) .
Into our battle, like a Libyan lion
Upon his hunters, scornful of our weapons,
Careless of wounds, plucking down lives about him,
Till he had circled-in himself with death :
Then fell he too, ť embrace it where it lay.
And as in that rebellion 'gainst the gods,
Minerva holding forth Medusa's head,
One of the giant brethren felt himself
Grow marble at the killing sight; and now,
Almost made stone, began to inquire what flint,
What rock, it was that crept through all his limbs ;
And, ere he could think more, was that he fear’d:
So Catiline, at the sight of Rome in us,
Became his tomb; yet did his look retain.
Some of his fierceness, and his hands still moyed,
As if he labour'd yet to grasp the state
With those rebellious parts.

Cato. A brave bad death!
Had this been honest now, and for his country,
As 'twas against it, who had e'er fall’n greater ?”

“ It is very fine,” said Benedict; “ but, after all, my love, I should not much like to see many of the old dramatists, even with all their merits, restored to

ount of their imeservedly fallen will find, I sus

the use of the general reader. You will find, I suspect, that they have deservedly fallen into obscurity on account of their impure language and gross allusions. It may be said of them all as it was said of Marston by one of his contemporaries,— He cared not for modest close-couched terms, but dealt in plain naked words, stripped from their shirts."

“ And yet,” replied the nymph, “ a judicious selection from their works would be a valuable addition to the library of the boudoir. Many passages of Marston himself are of the very highest order of poetry. Look at his explanation of what it is to be a king."

“Why, man, I never was a prince till now.
'Tis not the bared pate, the bended knees,
Gilt tipstaffs, Tyrian purple, chairs of state,
Troops of pied butterflies, that flutter still
In greatness' summer, that confirm a prince :
'Tis not the unsavoury breath of multitudes,
Shouting and clapping with confused din,
That makes a prince. No, Lucio, he's a king,
A true right king, that dares do aught, save wrong ;
Fears nothing mortal, but to be unjust :
Who is not blown up with the flattering puffs
Of spungy sycophants : who stands unmoved,
Despite the justling of opinion :
Who can enjoy himself, maugre the throng
That strive to press his quiet out of him :
Who sits upon Jove's footstool, as I do,
Adoring, not affecting, majesty :
Whose brow is wreathed with the silver crown
Of clear content: this, Lucio, is a king,
· And of this empire, every man's possess’d,

That's worth his soul.”

“ The description of Antonio's visit to the vaults in which the body of his father lies, affords also a specimen of very splendid poetry.”

“ I purify the air with odorous fume. Graves, vaults, and tombs, groan not to bear my weight. Cold flesh, bleak trunks, wrapt in your half-rot shrouds, I press you softly with a tender foot. Most honour'd sepulchre, vouchsafe a wretch Leave to weep o'er thee. Tomb, I'll not be long Ere I creep in thee, and with bloodless lips Kiss my cold father's cheek. I pr’ythee, grave, Provide soft mould to wrap my carcass in. Thou royal spirit of Andrugio, where'er thou hoverest, (Airy intellect) I heave up tapers to thee (view thy son), On celebration of due obsequies. Once every night I'll dew thy funeral hearse With my religious tears. O blessed father of a cursed son ! Thou diedst most happy, since thou livedst not To see thy son most wretched, and thy wife Pursued by him that seeks my guiltless blood. O, in what orb thy mighty spirit soars, Stoop and beat down this rising fog of shame, That strives to blur thy blood, and girt defame About my innocent and spotless brows.”

46 And the death of Mellida is full of tenderness and beauty. The fool alluded to is Antonio in disguise.” ,

“Being laid upon her bed, she grasp'd my hand,
And kissing it, spake thus : Thou very poor,
Why dost not weep? The jewel of thy brow,
The rich adornment that enchased thy breast,
Is lost; thy son, my love, is lost, is dead. •

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