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Massinger was joint author with Decker, of the play from which the scene of the lady and the angel is taken; but nobody who knows the style of the two men can doubt for a moment to which it belongs. I have, therefore, without hesitation assigned it according to the opinion expressed by Mr. Lamb.
Scene, a Field. Enter HECATE, STADLIN, HOPPO, and other Witches. FIRESTONE in the background.
Hec. The moon's a gallant; see how brisk she rides!
Stad. Here's a rich evening, Hecate.
O't will be precious!
Heard you the owl yet?
Briefly in the copse,
'T is high time for us then
You are fortunate still; The very screech-owl lights upon your shoulder, And woos you like a pigeon. Are you furnished? Have you your ointments?
I'll overtake you swiftly.
We shall be up betimes.
Prepare to flight then;
Hie thee, Hecate;
I'll reach you quickly.
[Exeunt all the Witches except HECATE. Fire. They are all going a birding to-night: they talk of fowls i' th' air that fly by day; I am sure they'll be a company of foul sluts there to-night: if we have not mortality after 't, I'll be hanged, for they are able to putrefy it, to infect a whole region. She spies me now.
Hee. What, Firestone, our sweet son ?
Fire. A little sweeter than some of you, or a dunghill were too good for
Hec. How much hast here?
Fire. six lizards and three serpentine eggs.
Hec. Dear and sweet boy! what herbs hast thou?
Nineteen, and all brave plump ones, besides
Fire. I have some marmartin and mandragon.
Fire. Here's panax too—I thank thee-my pan aches I'm sure, with kneeling down to cut 'em.
Hedge-hysop too; how near he goes my cuttings!
Every blade of 'em,
Or I'm a moon-calf, mother.
Fire. Aloft, quoth you? I would you would break your neck once, that
And Hoppo too, and Hellwain too;
[A spirit like a cat descends. [Voice above.] There's one comes down to fetch his dues, A kiss, a coll, a sip of blood;
And why thou stay'st so long, I muse,
Since the air 's so sweet and good?
Hec. O, art thou come? what news, what news?
Spirit. All goes still to our delight,
Either come, or else refuse.
Hec. Now I'm furnished for the flight.
Fire. Hark, hark, the cat rings a brave treble in her own language!
[Hec. going up.] Now I go, now I fly,
Malkin my sweet spirit and I.
To ride in the air
When the moon shines fair,
And sing and dance, and toy and kiss!
Or cannon's throat our height can reach.
[Voice above.] No ring of bells, &c.
Fire. Well, mother, I thank your kindness: you must be gambolling i' th' air, and leave me to walk here, like a fool and a mortal.
THE CHRISTIAN LADY AND THE ANGEL.
An ANGEL, in the guise of a Page, attends on DOROTHEA.
Dor. My book and taper
Here, most holy mistress.
Dor. Thy voice sends forth such music, that I never
Ang. No, my dear lady; I could weary stars,
Be nigh me still then.
This little, pretty body, when I, coming
Ang. Proud am I, that my lady's modest eye
I am not: I did never
DOROTHEA is executed; and the ANGEL visits THEOPHILUS, the Judge
that condemned her.
This Christian slut was well,
Are you amazed, sir?
So great a Roman spirit, and doth it tremble?
I had a mistress, late sent hence by you
Upon a bloody errand; you entreated,
That, when she came into that blessed garden
Whither she knew she went, and where, now happy,
Will give you entrance.
Both. My lord.
Are my gates shut?
Yes, if the master
Here he enter'd, a young lad;
A thousand blessings danc'd upon his eyes;
A smooth-fac'd glorious thing, that brought this basket.
Saw you not
Geta. No, sir.
Theoph. Away! but be in reach, if my voice calls you.
A fine sweet earthquake, gently mov'd