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And makes him seem proud of his iron chain,
As though he wore it more for state than pain :
It is the beggar's music, and thus sings,—
Duke. What comfort do you find in being so calm ?
Candido. That which green wounds receive from sovereign balm. Patience, my lord! why, 't is the soul of peace; Of all the virtues 't is nearest kin to heaven; It makes men look like gods. The best of men That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer, A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit, The first true gentleman that ever breath'd. The stock of patience then cannot be poor; All it desires, it has; what award more ? It is the greatest enemy to law
That can be, for it doth embrace all wrongs,
And so chains up lawyer's and women's tongues:
'Tis the perpetual prisoner's liberty,
His walks and orchards: 't is the bond-slave's freedom,
Although their bodies beg, their souls are kings.
I had a doubt whether to put this exquisite passage into the present volume, or to reserve it for one of Contemplative poetry ; but the imagination, which few will not think predominant in it, together with a great admiration of the sentiments, of the thoughtful, good-natured alternation of jest and earnest, and of the sweetness of the versification, increased by a certain wild mixture of rhyme and blank verse, determined me to indulge the impulse. Perhaps Decker, who had experienced the worst troubles of poverty, not excepting loss of liberty, drew his patient man from himself, half-jesting over the portrait, in order to reconcile his praises of the virtue in the abstract, with a modest sense of it in his own person. To the strain in it of a "higher mood," I cannot but append what Mr. Hazlitt has said in his Lectures on the Literature of the Age of Elizabeth (Templeman's edition, p. 21). "There have been persons who, being sceptics as to the divine mission of Christ, have taken an unaccountable prejudice to his doctrines, and have been disposed to deny the merit of his character; but this was not the feeling of the great men in the age of Elizabeth (whatever might be their belief), one of whom says of him, with a boldness equal to its piety, 'The best of men,'" &c. (Here the lecturer quotes the verses alluded to and adds), "This was honest old Decker; and the lines ought to embalm his memory to every one who has a sense either of religion, or philosophy, or humanity, or true genius."
A WICKED DREAM.
Vittoria Corombona. To pass away the time I'll tell your grace A dream I had last night.
With pick-axe 'gan to dig; and your fell duchess
The earth, and scattered bones: Lord, how, methought,
I could not pray.
Flamineo. (aside.) No; the devil was in your dream. Vit. Cor. When to my rescue there arose, methought A whirlwind, which let fall a massy arm,
From that strong plant;
And both were struck dead by that sacred yew,
In that base shallow grave which was their due.
Flamineo. (aside.) Excellent devil! she hath taught him in a dream To make away his duchess and her husband
O, thou soft natural death, that art joint twin
(Sung by a Mother over her Son.)
Call for the robin red-breast and the wren,
Call unto his funeral dole
The ant, the field mouse, and the mole,
"I never saw," says Lamb, "anything like this dirge, except the ditty which reminds Ferdinand of his drowned father in the Tempest. That is of the water, watery; so this is of the earth, earthy. Both have that intenseness of feeling which seems to resolve itself into the elements which it contemplates."-Dramatic Specimens, Moxon's edition, vol. i., p. 251.
Be not cunning;
For those whose faces do belie their hearts
BEAUTEOUS MORAL EXAMPLE.
Her I hold
My honorable pattern; one whose mind
UNLOVELINESS OF FROWNING.
Cupid sets a crown
Upon those lovely tresses