Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

CHAPTER VI.

THE DAWN OF THE DRAMA.

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE. 1563?-1593. (Manual, p. 126.)

nyo. From EDWARD II.

Murder of the King.
Berkley Castle. The King is left alone with Lightborn, a murderer.
Edw. Who's there? what light is that? wherefore comest thou?
Light. To comfort you, and bring you joyful news.
Edw. Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy looks.

Villain, I know thou comest to murder me.
Light. To murder you, my most gracious lord ?

Far is it from my heart to do you harm.
The queen sent me to see how you were used,
For she relents at this your misery:
And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears,

To see a king in this most piteous state?
Edw. Weep'st thou already? list awhile to me,

And then thy heart, were it as Gurney's ' is,
Or as Matrevis,' hewn from the Caucasus,
Yet will it melt, ere I have done my tale.
This dungeon where they keep me is a sink

Wherein the filth of all the castle falls.
Light. O villains !
Edw. And there, in mire and puddle have I stood

This ten days' space; and lest that I should sleep,
One plays continually upon a drum.
They give me bread and water, being a king;
So that, for want of sleep and sustenance,
My mind's distemper'd, and my body's numb’d,
And whether I have limbs or no, I know not.
O, would my blood drop out from every vein,
As doth this water from my tatter'd robes !
Tell Isabel the queen, I look'd not thus,
When for her sake I ran at tilt in France,
And there unhorsed the duke of Cleremont.

1 His keepers.

Light. O, speak no more, my lord! this breaks my heart.

Lie on this bed, and rest yourself awhile.
Edw. These looks of thine can harbour naught but death :

I see my tragedy written in thy brows.
Yet stay awhile, forbear thy bloody hand,
And let me see the stroke before it comes,
That even then when I shall lose my life,

My mind may be more steadfast on my God.
Light. What means your highness to mistrust me thus?
Edw. What mean'st thou to dissemble with me thus?
Light. These hands, were never stained with innocent blood,

Nor shall they now be tainted with a king's.
Edw. Forgive my thought, for having such a thought.

One jewel have I left, receive thou this.
Still fear I, and I know not what's the cause,
But every joint shakes as I give it thee.
O, if thou harbour'st murder in thy heart,
Let this gift change thy mind, and save thy soul.
Know that I am a king: O, at that name
I feel a hell of grief. Where is my crown?

Gone, gone, and do I still remain alive?
Light. You 're overwatch'd, my lord; lie down and rest.
Edw. But that grief keeps me waking, I should sleep;

For not these ten days have these eyelids closed.
Now as I speak they fall, and yet with fear

Open again. O, wherefore sitt'st thou here?
Light. If you mistrust me, I'll be gone, my lord.
Edw. No, no, for if thou mean'st to murder me,

Thou wilt return again; and therefore stay.
Light. He sleeps.
Edw. O, let me not die; yet stay, O, stay awhile.
Light. How now, my lord?
Edw. Something still buzzeth in mine ears,

And tells me if I sleep I never wake;
This fear is that which makes me tremble thus.

And therefore tell me, wherefore art thou come?
Light. To rid thee of thy life; Matrevis, come.
Edw. I am too weak and feeble to resist:

Assist me, sweet God, and receive my soul.

11. FROM Doctor FAUSTUS.

FAUSTUS alone. The clock strikes eleven.

Faust. O Faustus,

Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
And then thou must be damn'd perpetually.

Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven,
That time may cease and midnight never come.
Fair nature's Eye, rise, rise again, and make
Perpetual day: or let this hour be but
A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
That Faustus may repent and save his soul.
O lente lente currite noctis equi.
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The Devil will come, and Faustus must be damn'd.
O, I will leap to heaven: who pulls me down?
See where Christ's blood streams in the firmament:

One drop of blood will save me: O, my Christ, • Rend not my heart for naming of my Christ.

Yet will I call on him: 0 spare me, Lucifer.
Where is it now? 'tis gone;
And see, a threatening arm, and angry brow.
Mountains and hills, come, come, and fall on me,
And hide me from the heavy wrath of heaven.
No? then will I headlong run into the earth :
Gape earth. O no, it will not harbour me.
You stars that reign’d at my nativity,
Whose influence have allotted death and hell,
Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist
Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud;
That when you vomit forth into the air,
My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths,
But let my soul mount and ascend to heaven.

The watch strikes.

O half the hour is past: 'twill all be past anon.
O if my soul must suffer for my sin,
Impose some end to my incessant pain.
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years,
A hundred thousand, and at the last be saved :
No end is limited to damned souls.
Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul?
Or why is this immortal that thou hast?
O Pythgoras' Metempsychosis! were that true,
This soul should fly from me, and I be changed
Into some brutish beast.
All beasts are happy, for when they die,
Their souls are soon dissolved in elements :
But mine must live still to be plagued in hell.
Curst be the parents that engenderd me:
No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse Lucifer,
That hath deprived thee of the joys of heaven.

The clock strikes twelve.

It strikes, it strikes; now, body, turn to air,
Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell.
O soul, be changed into small water drops,
And fall into the ocean; ne'er be found.

Thunder, and enter the devils.

O mercy, Heaven! look not so fierce on me.
Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile:
Ugly hell gape not; come not, Lucifer:
I'll burn my books: 0, Mephostophilis !

CHAPTER VII.

SHA KSPEARE, 1564-1616.

(Manual, pp. 128-151.)

A.-COMEDIES.

From As You LIKE IT.

12. The World a Stage. — Act II. Sc. 7. Faques.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players :
They have their exits, and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms:
Then, the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school: and then, the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow: then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
E'en in the cannon's mouth: and then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances,
And so he plays his part: The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon;
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
His youthful hose well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big, manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound: Last scene of all,
That ends this strange, eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

« VorigeDoorgaan »