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COUNTESS OF CUMBERLAND
«. Yet, ere I die, thus much my soul doth vow,
Revenge shall sweeten death with ease of mind :
OCTAYTA TO MARCUS ANTONIUS.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE AND MOST VIRTUOUS LADY,
THE LADY MARGARET,
ALTHOUGH the meaner sort (whose thoughts are
The sphere of greatness) cannot rightly taste
What touch it hath, nor right her passions know:
Words apon grief, as my griefs comprehend,
And made this great afflicted lady show, " For those walls, which the credulous devout
Out of my feelings, what she might have penn'd:
And here the same, I bring forth to attend
Upou thy reverend name, to live with thee
Most virtuous lady, that voachsaf'st to lend
That one day may thine own fair virtues spread, but in Re-edify'd the wreck of my decays, " And were it not thy favourable lines
Being secretary now but to the dead.
through jealousy of a disproportion of eminency)
between the triumviri Octavius Cæsar, Marcus An" Then when confusion in her course shall bring tonius, and Lepidus; Octavia, the sister of Octavius Sad desolation on the times to come :
Cæsar, was married to Antonius, as a link to comWhen mirthless Thames shall have no swan to sing, bine that which never yet, the greatest strength of All music silent, and the Muses dumb;
Nature, or any power of nearest respect, could long And yet even then it must be known to some, hold together; who, made but the instrument of That once they flourish'd, though not cherish'd so, others' ends, and delivered up as an ostage, to And Thames had swans as well as ever Po. serve the opportunity of advantages, met not with
that integrity she brought; but as highly preferred " But here an end, I may no longer stay,
to affliction, encountered with all the grievances I must return t'attend at Stygian flood :
that beat upon the misery of greatness, exposed to Yet, ere I go, this one word more I pray,
stand betwixt the diverse tending humours of unTell Delja, now her sigh may do me good, quiet parties: for Antony having yet upon him the And will her note the frailty of our blood.
fetters of Egypt, laid on by the power of a most And if I pass unto those happy banks,
incomparable beauty, could admit no new laws Then she must have her praise, thy pen her thanks.” into the state of his affection, or dispose of himself,
being not himself; but as having his heart turned So vanish'd she, and left me to return
eastward, whither the point of his desires are diTo prosecute the terrour of my woes:
rected, touched with the strongest allurements al botas de a Eternal matter for my Muse to mourn,
that ambition and a licentious sovereignty could But yet the world hath heard too much of those, draw a man unto, could not truly descend to the Testing and trains
My youth such errours must no more disclose. private love of a civil nurtred matron, whose en-
affections in any other colours than the plain the last that
habit of truth, wherein she ever suited all her acthat our lates
tions, and used all her best ornaments of honesty, to win the good liking of him that held her, but as
a curtain, drawn between him and Octavius, to -HOP CU BÀN ath, and froe meer
shadow his other purposes withal, which the sharp sight of an equally jealous ambition would soon
pierce into, and as easily look through and over For I conld never think the aspiring mind
Yet why should I, bearing no part of sin,
And his renown being 'clips'd, mine cannot shise.
Which makes me, as I do, hide from the eye To thee (yet dear) though most disloyal lord,
Of the misjudging vulgar, that will deem, Whom impious love keeps in a barbarous land,
That sure there was in me some reason why Thy wronged wife Octavia sendeth word
Which made thee thus my bed to disesteem: Of the unkind wounds received by thy hand;
So that, alas! poor undeserving I Great Antony, O! let thine eyes afford
A cause of thy unclean deserts shall seem, But to permit thy heart to understand
Though lust takes never joy in what is due, The hurt thou dost, and do but read her tears, But still leaves known delights to seek out ner. That still is thine, though thou wilt not be hers.
And yet my brother Cæsar laboured Although, perhaps, these my complaints may come To have me leave thy house, and live more free; Whilst thou in the arms of that incestuous queen,
But God forbid Octavia should be led, The stain of Egypt, and the shame of Rome,
To leave to live in thine, though left by thee; Shalt dallying sit, and blush to have them seen, The pledges here of thy forsaken bed Whilst proud disdainful she, guessing from whom Are still the objects that remember me, The message came, and what the cause hath been, What Antony was once, althongh false now, Will scorning say, “Faith, this comes from your dear, And is my lord, though he neglect his von. Now, sir, you must be shent for staying here.”
These walls that here do keep me ought of sight, From her indeed it comes, delicious dame,
Shall keep me all unspotted unto thee, (Thou royal concubine and queen of lust)
And testify that I will do thee right, Whose armsyet pure,whose breasts are void ofblame, I'll never stain thy house, though thou shame me: And whose most lawful fame proves thine unjust: The now sad chamber of my once delight 'T is she that sends the message of thy shame, Shall be the temple of my piety, And his untruth that hath betray'd thy trust; Sacred unto the faith I reference, Pardon, dear lord, from her these sorrows are, Where I will pay my tears for thy offence. Whose bed brings neither infamy nor war. And therefore bear her words, that too too much
Although my youth, thy absence, and this wrong Hath heard the wrongs committed by thy shame; Might draw my blood to forfeit unto shame, Although at first my truth in thee was such,
Nor need. I frustrate my delights so long, As it held out against the strongest fame;
That have such means to carry so the same, My heart would never let in once a touch
Since that the face of greatness is so strong, Of least belief, till all confirm'd the same;
As it dissolves suspect, and bears out blame, That I was almost last that would believe,
Having all secret helps that long thereto, Because I knew me first that most must grieve.
That seldom wants there ought but will to do. How oft have poor abused I took part
Which yet to do, ere Just this heart shall frame, With falsehood, only for to make thee true? Earth swallow me alive, Hell wrap me bence : How oft have I argued against iny heart,
Shall I, because despis’d, contemn my sbame, Not suffering it to know that which it knew ? And add disgrace to others' impudence? And for I would not have thee what thou art, What can my power, but give more power to fame? I made myself unto myself untrue:
Greatness must make it great incontinence: So much my love labour'd against my sin, Chambers are false, the bed and all will tell, To shut out fear, which yet kept fear within. No door keeps in their shame that do not well.
LETTER FROM OCTAVIA TO MARCUS ANTONIUS. 569
But to stand fair and bright above the base ? In what it hath, but still in' what it would,
Which draws you on to do us this unright,
Whilst fear in us of loosing what we hold, *** What privilege hath honour by his place?
For if uncleanness make them but all one, Keeps us in still to you, that set us light, 2. What though our sins go brave and better clad,
So that, what you unties, doth us infold?
Then Love, 't is thou that dost confound us so, They are as those in rags, as base, as bad. To make our truth, th' occasion of our woe. . I know not how, but wrongfully I know
Distressed womankind, that either must, 2. Hath undiscerning custom plac'd our kind For loving loose your loves, or get neglect : 1. Under desert, and set us far below
Whilst wantons are more card for than the just,
And falsehood cherish'd, faith without respect : 2. Charging our wrong reputed weakness, how
Better she fares in whom is lesser trust,
And more is lov'd that is in more suspect.
To be most theirs, that use you most unkind.
Yet well it fits, for that sin, ever must *** Of power to do of life's best benefit ; Unequal partage, to b' allowed no share
Be tortur'd with the rack of his own frame;
For he that holds no faith, shall find no trust,
But sowing wrong, is sure to reap the same :
How can he look to have his measure just,
That fills deceit, and reckons not of shame,
And be'ng not pleas'd with what he hath in lot,
Shall ever pine for that wbich he hath not?
Yet if thou could'st not love, thou might'st have
, and whose deeds, though Though to have seem'd had likewise been unjust: Must yet be made to seem far otherwise: (naught, Yet so much are lean shows of us esteem'd,
That oft they feed, though not suffice our trust :
Because our nature grieveth to be deem'd
To be so wrong'd, although we be, and must;
And it 's some ease yet to be kindly us'd
In outward show, though secretly abus’d.
But woe to her that both in show despis’d,
And in effect disgrac'd, and left forlorn,
For whom no comforts are to be devis'd,
Nor no new hopes can evermore be born:
O Antony, could it not bave suffic'd
That I was thine, but must be made her scorn, .
That envies all her blood, and doth divide
Thee from thyself, only to serve her pride ?
What fault have I committed that should make
So great dislike of me and of my love?
Or doth thy fault but an occasion'take
Por to dislike what most doth it reprove ?
Because the conscience gladly would mistake
Her own misdeeds, which she would fain remove;
And they that are unwilling to amend,
Will take offence, because they will offend.
Making it now their side, their part, their right,
And to turn back, would show t' have done amiss:
For now they think, not to be opposite
Whilst you have stretch'd your lust upon your will, Su much doth folly thrust them into blame,
That ev'n to leave off shame, they count it shame.
With me, poor me, that doth not spite, but moum;
As I forgive, these plaints had been forborne:
Though deep doth sit the hard recovering smart Thus they assail thy nature's weakest side,
In what confused case is thy soul in,
I cannot tell, but sure I dare believe Weary and weak with toil, and all distress'd, My travels needs must some compassion more: After I had with sorrow compassed
For no such lock to blood could Nature gire, A hard consent, to grant me that request :
To shut out pity, though it shut out love: And how my travel was considered,
Conscience must leave a little way to grieve, And all my care and cost, thyself knows best, To let in hortour, coming to reprore. That would'st not move one foot from lust for me, The guilt of thine offence that caus'd the same, That had left all was dear to come to thee. For deepest wounds the hand of our own shame For first, what great ado had I to win
Never have unjust pleasures been complete, My offended brother Cæsar's backward will? In joys entire, but still fear kept the door, And pray'd, and wept, and cry'd to stay the sin And held back something from that full of sweet, Of civil rancour, rising 'twixt you still :
To intersour unsure delights the more: For in what case shall wretched I be in,
For never did all circumstances meet Set betwixt both, to share with both your ill ? With those desires which were conceiv'd befors, “ My blood,” said I, “ with either of you goes, Something must still be left to check our sin, Whoever win, I shall be sure to loose.”
And give a touch of wbat should not have beer. For what shame should such mighty persons get, Wretched mankind! wherefore hath Nature teade For two weak women's cause to disagree? The lawful undelightful, th' unjust shame? Nay, what shall I that shall be deem'd to set
As if our pleasure only were forbad, Th’enkindled fire, seeming inflam'd for me? But to give fire to lust, t'add greater flame: O, if I be the motive of this heat,
Or else, but as ordained more to lade Let these unguilty hands the quenchers be, Our heart with passions to confound the same; And let me trudge to mediate an accord,
Which though it be, yet add not worse to ill, The agent 'twixt my brother and my lord.
Do, as the best men do, bound thine cun will. With prayers, vows, and tears, with urging hard, Redeem thyself, and now at length make peace I wrung from him a slender grant at last,
With thy divided heart, oppress'd with toil : And with the rich provisions I prepar'd
Break up this war, this breast-dissention cease, For thy (intended) Parthian war made baste,
Thy passions to thy passions reconcile: Weighing not how my poor weak body fard,
I do not only seek my good t' increase,
But thine own ease and liberty; the while
And be thine own, and then thou wilt be mine
I know my pitied love doth aggravate Then sent I back, to know what should be done
Envy and wrath for these wrongs offered:
And that my sufferings add with my estate With th' horse, and men, and money I had there:
Coals in thy bosom, hatred on thy huad: Whereat, perhaps, when some remorse begun
Yet is not that my fault, but my hard fate, To touch thy soul, to think yet what we were, Th' enchantress straight step'd 'twixt thy heart Of all but thee, than that my love should be
Who rather wish t' have been unpitied
Hurtful to him that is so dear to me.
Cannot the busy world let me alone,
To bear alone the burden of my grief, And bring thy coming grace to a retreat,
But they must intermeddle with my moan, The power of all her subtlety to prove :
And seek t' offend me with unsought relief Now pale and faint she laaguishes, and straight
Whilst my afflictions labour to move node
But only thee: must pity play the thief,
Of my inrolled grief all that is past:
And I will not so much as once afford Thy wife, and she esteem'd thy concubine: Place for a thought, to think I was disgrac'd; Advance thy heart, raise it unto his right,
And pity shall bring back again with me, And let a sceptre baser passions quit."
Th' offended hearts that have forsaken thee.
nd therefore come, dear lord, lest longer stay
A PASTORAL TRAGI-COMEDY
TO THE MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY OF THE BIOHEST BORN DE 33 Vith what strange forms and shadows ominous,
PRINCESS, ANN OF DENMARK, QUÉEN OF ENGLAND, to block Pid my last sleep my griev'd soul entertain ?
SCOTLAND, FRANCE, AND IRELAND. thought and dreamt, yet ! dreams are but frivolous, leates logind yet I'll tell it, and God grant it vain.
Here, what your sacred influence begat comiethought a mighty hippopotamus',
(Most lov'd, and most respected majesty)
Unto the glory of your memory:
Which your magnificence did celebrate
In hallowing of those roofs (you rear'd of late) mething that like in kind, of strength and power as good :
With fires and cheerful hospitality ; are dedichu 24t whose engrappling, Neptune's mantle takes
Whereby, and by your splendent worthiness, eie purple coloar, dy'd with streams of blood;
Your name shall longer live, than shall your walls : a whop Whereat this looker-on amaz'd, forsakes
For that fair structure goodness finishes, till be better champion there, who yet the better stood :
Bears off all change of times, and never falls. di sbar shu But see'ng her gone, straight after her he hies,
And that is it hath let you in so far
Into the heart of England, as you are.
That more a people's love have merited one oren follows wrath upon disgrace and fear,
By all good graces, and by having been
The means our state stands fast established,
And bless'd by your bless'd womb, who are this day
The bighest-born queen of Europe, and alone These secret figures Nature's message bear
Have brought this land more blessings every way, Of coming woes, were they desciphered right;
Than all the daughters of strange kings have done.
For we by you no claims, no quarrels have,
No factions, no betraying of affairs :
You do not spend our blood, nor states, but sare: this bar present, great spirit, the tempests that begin,
You strength us by alliance, and your heirs. passics menf lust and thy ambition have left way
Not like those fatal marriages of France, my rood But to look out, and have not shut all in,
For whom this kingdom hath so dearly paid, e and liber To stop thy judgment from a true survey
Which only our affictions did advance, t of the 3f thy estate, and let thy heart within
And brought us far more miseries than aid. and then the Consider in what danger thou dost lay
Renowned Denmark, that hast furnished
The world with princes, how much do we owe ore deti To follow hopes with shadows overcast.
To thee for this great good thou didst bestow,
Thou did'st not so much hurt us heretofore,
But what do I on this high subject fall
This a more grave and spacious room requires,
Your majesty's most humble servant,
SAMUEL DÁNIEL. Words still with my increasing sorrows grow : meddle I know t' have said too much, but not enow.
Wherefore no more, but only I commend cos labores To thee the heart that's thine; and so I end.
HYMEN, OPPOSED BY AVARICE, ENVY, AND JEALOUSY, THE 1 A sea-horse.
DISTURBERS OF QUIET MARRIAGE, FIRST ANTERS.
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