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ment bear me; [Throwing himself on the per guest, the abandoned and lost Maria brings Ground] even these are too good for such affair, and sees the subject and the cause of bloody monster. this world of woe. Silent and motionless
True. Shall fortune sever those whom he stands, as if his soul had quitted her abode, friendship joined? Thy miseries cannot lay and the lifeless form alone was left behind. thee so low, but love will find thee. Here will Barn. I groan, but murmur not. Just heawe offer to stern calamity; this place the altar, ven! I am your own; do with me what you please. and ourselves the sacrifice. Our mutual groans Maria. Why are your streaming eyes still shall echo to each other through the dreary fix'd below, as though thou'dst give the greedy vault; our sighs shall number the moments as earth thy sorrows, and rob me of my due? they pass; and mingling tears communicate such Were happiness within your power, you anguish, as words were never made to express. should bestow it where you pleased; but in Barn. Then be it so. [Rising] Since you your misery I must and will partake. propose an intercourse of woe, pour all your Barn. Oh, say not so; but fly, abhor, and griefs into my breast, and in exchange take leave me to my fate. Consider what you are. mine. [Embracing] Where's now the an- So shall I quickly be to you-as though I had guish that you promised? Oh, take, take some never been. of the joy that overflows my breast!
True. I do, I do. Almighty Power! how bast thou made us capable to bear at once the extremes of pleasure and of pain!
Barn. To meet and part with you, I thought was all I had to do on earth. What is there more for me to do or suffer?
True. I dread to tell thee, yet it must be known!-Maria
Barn. Our master's fair and virtuous daugh
True. The same.
Maria. When I forget you, I must be so indeed. Reason, choice, virtue, all forbid it. Let women, like Millwood, if there are more such women, smile in prosperity, and in adversity forsake. Be it the pride of virtue to repair, or to partake, the ruin such have made. True. Lovely, ill-fated maid!
Maria. Yes, fruitless is my love, and unavailing all my sighs and tears. Can they save thee from approaching death?-from such a death?-Oh, sorrow insupportable!
Barn. Preserve her, heaven, and restore her peace, nor let her death be added to my crimes! [Bell tolls]—I'm summoned to my fate.
Keep. Sir, the officers attend you. Millwood is already summoned.
Barn. Tell 'em I'm ready. [Exit Keeper] And now, my friend, farewell. [Embracing Support and comfort, the best you can, this Barn. No misfortune, I hope, has reached mourning fair.-No more-Forget not to pray that maid! Preserve her, heaven, from every for me.-[Turning to Maria]-Would you, ill, to show mankind that goodness is your care! bright excellence, permit me the honour of a True. Thy, thy misfortunes, my unhappy chaste embrace, the last happiness this world friend, have reached her ear. Whatever you could give were mine.-[She inclines towards and I have felt, and more, if more be possi- him; they embrace] Exalted goodness! Oh, ble, she feels for you. turn your eyes from earth and me to heaven, Barn. This is indeed the bitterness of death. where virtue like yours is ever heard. Pray [Aside. for the peace of my departing soul! Early my True. You must remember (for we all ob- race of wickedness began, and soon I reached served it), for some time past, a heavy me- the summit. Thus justice, in compassion to lancholy weighed her down. Disconsolate she mankind, cuts off a wretch like me; by one seemed, and pined and languished from a such example to secure thousands, from future cause unknown; till hearing of your dreadful ruin. fate, the long stifled flame blazed out, and in the transport of her grief discovered her own lost state, while she lamented yours.
Barn. [Weeping] Why did not you let me die, and never know it?
True. It was impossible. She makes no secret of her passion for you; she is determined to see you ere you die, and waits for me to introduce her. [Exit.
Barn. Vain, busy thoughts, be still! What avails it to think on what I might have been? I am now what I've made myself.
If any youth, like you, in future times
Or tender maid, like you, my tale shall hear,
Since you nor weep, nor I shall die in vain.
True. In vain
With bleeding hearts, and weeping eyes, we
Re-enter TRUEman, with MARIA. True. Madam, reluctant I lead you to this dismal scene. This is the seat of misery and A humane, gen'rous sense of others woe, guilt. Here awful justice reserves her public Unless we mark what drew their ruin on, victims. This is the entrance to a shameful death. And, by avoiding that, prevent our own. Maria. To this sad place then, no impro-l [The Curtain descends to slow Music,
THIS excellent poet was son to Mr. Philip Massinger, a gentleman, who had some employment under the Earl of Pembroke, in whose service he died, after having spent several happy years in his family. Our author was born at Salisbury, in queen Elizabeth's reign, anno 1584, and at the age of 18, was entered a fellow-commoner of Alban Hall, in Oxford; in which station he remained three or four years, in order to complete his education, yet, though he was encouraged in the pursuit of his studies by his father's patron, the Earl of Pembroke, the natural bent of his genius lead him much more to poetry and polite literature, than to the dryer and more abstruse studies of logic and philosophy: being impatient for an opportunity of moving in a more public sphere of action, and improving his poetical fancy and his knowledge of the belles lettres, by conversation, with the world, and an intercourse with men of wit and genius; he quitted the university without taking any degree, and came to London, where, applying himself to writing for the stage, he presently rose into high reputation; his plays meeting with universal approbation, both for the purity of their style, and the ingenuity and oeconomy of their plots. "Those who are unacquainted with Mas singer's writings," says the Biographia Dramatica, "will, perhaps be surprised to find us placing him in an equal rank with Beaumont and Fletcher, and the immortal Ben; but we flatter ourselves that, upon a perusal of his plays, their astonishment will cease, that they will acquiesce with our opinion, and think themselves obliged to us, for pointing out so vast a treasury of entertainment and delight." Massinger has certainly equal invention, equal ingenuity, in the conduct of his plots, and an equal knowledge of character and nature, with Beaumont and Fletcher; and if it should be objected, that he has less of the vis comica, it will surely be allowed, that that deficiency is amply made amends for by that purity and decorum which he has preserved, and a rejection of that looseness and obscenity which run through most of their comedies. As to Ben Jonson, we shall readily allow that he excels this author with respect to the studied accuracy and classical correctness of his style; yet Massinger has so greatly the superiority over him in fre, pathos, and the fancy and management of his plots, that we cannot help thinking the balance stands pretty even between them. Though his pieces bespeak him a man of the first-rate abilities, and well qualified both as to learning and a most perfect acquaintance with the methods of dramatic writing, yet he was at the same time a person of the most consummate modesty, which rendered him extremely beloved by all his contemporary poets, few of whom but esteemed it as an honour to join with him in the composition of their works. He died in 1659, some say 69.
THE DUKE OF MILAN.
ACTED at Black Friars, 1623. The plot is taken partly from Guicciardini, book 8, and partly from Josephus's History of the Jews, book 15, ch. 4, where will be found the story of Herod's leaving orders with his uncle Joseph to put his beloved wife Mariamne to death; from which the instructions given by Sforza to his favourite Francisco, for the murder of the Duchess Marcelia, his wife, seem evidently borrowed. This piece was altered, and produced at Covent Garden, by Mr. Cumberland, in 1799, but the additions made to it, from Fenton's Mariamne, rather injured than improved the play, and it was acted only two or three times. In its present state it was reproduced at Drury Lane, March 9, 1816; and from its reception promises to be a long and lasting favourite. Massinger seems to have been buried in obscurity, and forgotten among the number of writers of the same period, whose names were not worth calling forth from the cavern of oblivion; but when we consider, how long many of those pieces, even of the immortal Shakspeare himself, which are now the greatest ornament of the stage, lay neglected, although they wanted nothing but a judicious pruning of some few luxuriancies, some little straggling branches, which overhung the fairer flowers, and hid some of the choicest fruits, it is the less to be wondered at, that this author who though second, stands no more than second to him, should share for a while the same destiny. Thus has this precious gem been once more presented to an admiring audience, the modern taste demanding a different dress to that of former years; and the few judicious alterations which have taken place in it, have fitted it to shine in all its lustre.
SCENE. For the first and second Acts, in MILAN; during part of the third, in the Imperial Camp near PAVIA; the rest of the Play, in MILAN and its Neighbourhood.
SCENE I-An outer Room in the Cas le.
Julio. But think
Enter GRACCHO, JULIO, and GIOVANNI, with Or, if you mitigate it, let such pay
Grac. TAKE every man his flagon; the oath
To all you meet; I am this day the state drunkard,
Julio. Very good, sir;
But say he be a sexton?
Grac. If the bells
Ring out of tune, as if the streets were burning,
And the duke himself, I dare not say dis-
But kind, and in his tottering chair carousing,
And he cry, "Tis rare music!" bid him Until it reel again, and with me cry,
Tis a sign he has ta'en his liquor: and if you
An officer preaching of sobriety,
Enter TIBERIO and STEPHANO.
Grac. Fie! no; I know them:
You need not swear them; your lord, by his Are these loud triumphs? in my weak opipatent,
Stands bound to take his rouse. Long live They are unseasonable.
But one continual pilgrimage through dangers, Affrights, and horrors, which his fortune,
Tib. I judge so too;
But only in the cause to be excus'd.
Steph. She knows it,
Tib. She bear's herself with such a majesty, That Sforza's mother, that would lose no part Of what was once her own, nor his fair sister, Will brook it well.
Come, let us to the court;
We there shall see all bravery and cost
Steph. I'll bear you company,
Another Room in the same.
Enter FRANCISCO, ISABELLA, and MARIANA.
By his strong judgment, still hath overcome), In her proud train.
Being now at stake; and all his hopes con- Fran. Tis done to the duke,
Or lost for ever.
Steph. I know no such hazard:
His guards are strong and sure, and though
In most parts of our western world, there is No enemy near us.
Tib. Dangers that we see
To threaten ruin, are with ease prevented;
Have interest'd, in either's cause, the most
And 'twas a doubtful choice.
Tib. But he, well knowing
And hating too, it seems, the Spanish pride,
Tib. But should it change,
The duke's undone. They have drawn to the field
Two royal armies, full of fiery youth,
Who hath the better cause; for the success Concludes the victor innocent, and the vanquish'd
Most miserably guilty.
In such a time, when every knee should bend
And not to her; and, my sweet wife, re
And, madam, if you please, receive my counsel, As Sforza is your son, you may command him;
And, as a sister, you may challenge from
A brother's love and favour: but this granted,
Isa. You are ever forward
Mari. Others are as fair; I am sure as noble.
Fran. I detract from none
In giving her what's due. Were she deform'd, Yet, being the dutchess, I stand bound to serve her;
But as she is, to admire her. Never wife
She confident in herself he's wholly hers,
And therefore to contest with her, that is
My happiness, and mighty kings look pale
Fran. Your excellence,
Their numbers full, and in their councils wise;
Marc. Speak to him, Francisco. Fran. Excellent lady, One gale of your sweet breath will easily Though I confess you give her but her own, Disperse these clouds; and, but yourself, there's Forces her modesty to the defence
Of a sweet blush.
Sfor. It need not, my Marcelia;
That, but to speak the least part to the height,
Isa. You still court her
As if she were a mistress, not your wife.
My pride, my glory, in a word, my all!
Sfor. 'Tis believ'd
Believ'd, my blest one.
Mari. How she winds herself Into his soul!
Sfor. Sit all. Let others feed
On those gross cates, while Sforza
Immortal viands ta'en in at his eyes.
Enter a Courier.
Cour. From Pavia, my dread lord.
That dare speak to him.
Marc. I will run the hazard.
Sfor. Ha! pardon me, Marcelia, I am trou
And stand uncertain, whether I am master
And I have heard you swear, I being safe,
Is by your gift made mine. Can you revoke
Sfor. Out of my sight!
[Throws away the Letter. And all thoughts that may strangle mirth, forsake me.
Fall what can fall, I dare the worst of fate: Though the foundation of the earth should shrink,
Cour. [Delivers a Letter] The letter
Fran. How his hand shakes,
That wears one furrow in his face.
Come, make me happy once again. I am rapt'Tis not to-day, to-morrow, or the next,
But all my days and years shall be employ'd
To do thee honour. [A Trumpet without.
I will not interrupt my present pleasures,
[Aside. To heighten our delights.
Sfor. Though it bring death, I'll read it.
May it please your excellence to un
Enter another Courier.
Cour. That was, my lord.
Sfor. How? dead?"
derstand, that the very hour I wrote From Gaspero?
Cour. [Delivers a Letter] With the delivery of this, and prayers,
van guard committed to my charge, en- To guard your excellency from certain dangers, Your high- He ceased to be a man. GASPERO. Sfor. All that my fears.
forces me to end abruptly. ness's humble servant.
Ready to join!-By this, then, I am nothing. Could fashion to me, or my enemies wish,, [Aside. Is fallen upon me. Silence that harsh music;
Or my estate secure.
Tis now unseasonable: a tolling bell,
This pamper'd lump of flesh must feast the
Is fitter for me: I am sick.
Mare. My lord!
Think, think, Marcelia, what a cursed thingI were, beyond expression!
Marc. Do not feed
Those jealous thoughts; the only blessing that
Sfor. Sick to the death, Marcelia. Remove Besides, were I now in another's power,
Sorrow and ruin.
Marc. Bless us, heaven!
Marc. What sudden change is this?
I'll bear alone the burden of my grief, And must admit no partner. I am yet Your prince, where's your obedience?
I was born only yours, and I will die so. Sfor. Angels reward the goodness of this woman!
All I can pay is nothing. Why, uncall'd for? Fran. It is of weight, sir, that makes me thus press
Upon your privacies. Your constant friend, [Exeunt Tiberio, Stephano, Fran- The marquis of Pescara, tir'd with haste, Hath business that concerns your life and for-tunes,
cisco, Isabella, Mariana, and At
I cannot be so greedy of a sorrow,
I will sustain my part. Why look
May flow from me, not danger.
It is for thee I fear; for thee, thy Sforza
To so proud enemies.
Marc. Then you have just cause To show you are a man.
Sfor. All this were nothing,
I would be Sforza still. But when I think
Marc. Good sir, have patience :
I can as well partake your adverse fortune,
Sfor. But should that will
To be so-forced, Marcelia; and I live
And with speed to impart.
Sfor. Waip phim hither. [Exit Francisco. And, dearest, au thy closet. Let thy prayers Assist my councils.
Marc. To spare imprecations
[Exit. Sfor. The marquis of Pescara! a great soldier; And though he serv'd upon the adverse party, Ever my constant friend.
Re-enter FRANCISCO, with PEscara.
[Apart Pes. Blame him not, good Francisco, He hath much cause to grieve; would I might end so, And not add this to fear!
Sfor. My dear Pescara; A miracle in these times! a friend, and happy, Cleaves to a falling fortune!
Pes. If it were