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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.
O, my dread liege! it is the sap of bliss,
Bears us aloft, makes men and angels kiss;
And last of all, to end a household strife,
It is the honey 'gainst a waspish wife.


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."


Vittoria Corombona. To pass away the time I'll tell your grace A dream I had last night.

Most wishedly.

Vit. Cor. A foolish idle dream,
Methought I walk'd, about the mid of night,
Into a church-yard, where a goodly yew-tree
Spread her large root in ground. Under that yew,
As I sat sadly leaning on a grave
Checquer'd with cross sticks, there came stealing in
Your duchess and my husband; one of them
A pick-axe bore, th' other a rusty spade,
And in rough terms they 'gan to challenge me
About this yew.


That tree?

Vit. Cor.
This harmless yew.
They told me my intent was to root up
That well-known yew, and plant i' th' stead of it
A wither'd black-thorn: and for that they vow'd
To bury me alive. My husband straight

With pick-axe 'gan to dig; and your fell duchess
With shovel, like a fury, voided out

The earth, and scattered bones: Lord, how, methought,
I trembled, and yet for all this terror

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


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O, thou soft natural death, that art joint twin
To sweetest slumber! no rough-bearded comet
Stares on thy mild departure; the dull owl
Beats not against thy casement; the hoarse wolf
Scents not thy carrion: pity winds thy corse,
Whilst horror waits on princes.



(Sung by a Mother over her Son.)

Call for the robin red-breast and the wren,
Since o'er shady groves they hover,
And with leaves of flowers do cover
The friendless bodies of unburied men.

Call unto his funeral dole

The ant, the field mouse, and the mole,
To raise him hillocks that shall keep him warm ;
And when gay tombs are robb'd, sustain no harm:
But keep the wolf far thence, that 's foe to men,
For with his nails he 'll dig them up again.


"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
Are witches ere they arrive at twenty years,
And give the devil suck.



Her I hold

My honorable pattern; one whose mind
Appears more like a ceremonious chapel
Full of sweet music, than a thronging presence.


Cupid sets a crown

Upon those lovely tresses
O, spoil not with a frown,
What he so sweetly dresses!



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