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into the designs of the enemies of his master, but replies to the incitements of one of their agents” —
“ Byr. O 'tis a dangerous and a dreadful thing To steal prey from a lion, or to hide A head distrustful in his open'd jaws; To trust our blood in others' veins, and hang 'Twixt heaven and earth in vapours of their breaths : To leave a sure space on continuate earth, And force a gate in jumps from tower to tower, As they do that aspire from height to height. The bounds of loyalty are made of glass, Soon broke, but can in no date be repair'd; And as the Duke D'Aumall (now here in court) Flying his country, had his statue torn Piecemeal with horses; all his goods confiscate ; His arms of honour kick'd about the streets; His goodly house at Annet razed to th' earth; And, for a strange reproach to his foul treason, His trees about it cut off by their waists ; So, when men fly the natural clime of truth, And turn themselves loose, out of all the bounds, Of justice, and the straightway to their ends, Forsaking all the sure force in themselves, To seek, without them, that which is not theirs, The forms of all their comforts are distracted ; The riches of their freedoms forfeited ; Their human noblesse shamed; the mansions Of their cold spirits eaten down with cares, And all their ornaments of wit and valour, Learning and judgment, cut from all their fruits."
“ Lafin, being brought over by the Duke of Savoy, is made the means of seducing Byron. He commences his operations by throwing himself in the duke's way, in a pretended fit of furious indig
nation. Lafin, it will be observed, hints at the skill in magic which he was supposed to possess, and the duke supposed to believe in."
“ Byr. Here is the man. My honour'd friend, Lafin, Alone and heavy-count'nanced! On what terms Stood th' insultation of the king upon you ?
Laf. Why do you ask?
Byr. I'll judge betwixt you,
Laf. Alas, my lord, not all your loyalty,
Byr. You much wrong me
Laf. I know not how your so affected zeal
Byr. How strange is this ! The shame of his disgrace Hath made him lunatick.
Laf. Since the king hath wrong'd me, He thinks I'll hurt myself: no, no, my lord ; I know that all the kings in Christendom, If they should join in my revenge, would prove Weak foes to him, still having you to friend. If you were gone (I care not if you tell him) I might be tempted then to right myself. [Exit. · Byr. He has a will to me, and dares not shew it: His state decay'd, and he disgraced, distracts him.
Byr. Stay, injured man, and know I am your friend.
Laf. You may be so; And yet you'll give me leave to be Lafin, A poor and expuate humour of the court : But what good blood came out with me; what veins And sinews of the triumphs now it makes, I list not vaunt; yet will I now confess, And dare assume it, I have power to add To all his greatness, and make yet more fix'd His bold security. Tell him this, my lord; And this (if all the spirits of earth and air Be able to enforce) I can make good. . If knowledge of the sure events of things, Even from the rise of subjects into kings, And falls of kings to subjects, hold a power Of strength to work it, I can make it good.
And tell him this too: if in midst of winter
Byr. 'Tis more than strange,
Laf. Who cannot friend himself, is foe to any,
Byr. How fit a sort were this to hansel fortune!
“ The following speech of Henry is, I think, eminently wise, humane, and, as a poetical composition, truly beautiful. Roiseau has just described the attempts to seduce the duke.”
Hen. It may be he dissembled, or, suppose He be a little tainted : men whom virtue Forms with the stuff of fortune, great and gracious, Must needs partake with fortune in her humour Of instability; and are like shafts Grown crook’d with standing, which to rectify Must twice as much be bow'd another way. He that hath borne wounds for his worthy parts, Must for his worst be borne with. We must fit Our government to men, as men to it. In old time, they that hunted savage beasts Are said to clothe themselves in savage skins : They that were fowlers, when they went on fowling, Wore garments made with wings resembling fowls : To bulls we must not shew ourselves in red, Nor to the warlike elephant in white. In all things govern'd, their infirmities Must not be stirr’d, nor wrought on. Duke Byron Flows with adust and melancholy choler, And melancholy spirits are venomous, Not to be touch'd but as they may be cured. I therefore mean to make him change the air, And send him further from those Spanish vapours, That still bear fighting sulphur in their breasts, To breathe awhile in temperate English air, Whose lips are spiced with free and loyal counsels ; Where policies are not ruinous but saving ; Wisdom is simple, valour righteous, Humane, and hating facts of brutish force, And whose grave natures scorn the scoffs of France, The empty compliments of Italy,