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CHORUSES IN CLEOPATRA. the loss And was never satisfy'd :
But is it justice that all we, is trendom Ambition is a vulture vile, He can say by proof of toil,
The innocent poor multitude,
For great men's faults should punish'd be, Home That feeds upon the heart of pride,
And to destruction thus pursu'd ? nom nd finds no rest when all is try'd.
O why should th' Heavens us include,
Within the compass of their fall,
Who of themselves procured all ?
Or do the gods (in close) decree,
Occasion take how to extrude
Man from the Earth with cruelty ?
Ah no, the gods are ever just,
Our faults excuse their rigour must.
This is the period fate set down,
To Egypt's fat prosperity :
Which now unto her greatest grown,
Must perish thus, by course must die,
And some must be the causers why
This revolution must be wrought;
As born to bring their state to nought;
To change the people and the crown,
And purge the world's iniquity:
Which vice so far hath overgrown,
As we, so they that treat us thus,
FROM THE SAME.
O fearful frowning Nemisis,
Daughter of Justice most severe,
and queen of causes reigning here :
xternal Justice, righting wrong:
The prouds' decay, the weaks' redress: a legg de se But through thy power every where,
Dost raze the great, and raise the less;
Mysterious Egypt, wonder-breeder,
Strict religion's strange observer,
Fost'ring still intemp'rate fervour: !
All religion, law, and order?
Of all lands, that Nilus border ?
Where stern Law sat so severely?
Th' eye of Justice looking nearly?
re, bat bag
Ah no, the course of things requireth
Change and alteration ever :
Th' unconstant world yieldeth never.
And not see what doth import us:
Is the thing that most must hurt us.
'T is their fault that should prevent it,
Take their ease, as thongh contented.
Th'example of their light regarding,
Vulgar looseness much incenses:
Kings' small faults be great offences,
Unto licence, lust, and riot :
Whereby enter'd our disquiet,
placka VOL. III.
Those laws that old Sesostris founded,
And now wilt yield thy stream
A prey to other realms?
Draw back thy waters, flow
To thy concealed head : Did form the people of like sort.
Rocks strangle up thy wares,
Stop cataracts thy fall, For all (respecting private pleasure)
And turn thy courses so, Universally consenting
That sandy deserts dead, To abuse their time, their treasure,
(The world of dust that crases In their own delights contenting:
To swallow thee op all) And future dangers nought respecting,
May drink so much as shall Whereby, (O how easy matter
Revive from wasty graves, Made this so general neglecting,
A living green, which spread Confus'd weakness to discatter?)
Far flourishing, may grow Cæsar found th' effect true try'd,
On that wide face of death,
Where nothing new draws breath
Fatten some people there,
Ev'n as thou us hast done, Had wasted all our strength before.
With plenty's wanton store,
And feeble luxury: And thus in Egypt servile render'd
And them as us prepare To the insolent destroyer:
Fit for the day of moan, And all their sumptuous treasure tenderd,
Respite not before. All her wealth that did betray her.
Leave levelPd Egypt dry, Which poison (O if Heav'n be rightful)
A barren prey to lie, May so far infect their senses,
Wasted for evermore;
Of plenties yielding none
To recompense the care
Of victor's greedy lust,
And bring forth nought but dust
And so, O leave to be,
Sith thou art what thou art:
Have left them for their part:
The yoke of whose distress
Telling from whom it came.
Our weight of wantonness
Lies heavy on their heart,
Who nevermore shall see
The glory of that worth
They left, who brought us forth
O then all-seeing light,
High president of Heaven,
You magistrates, the stars,
Of that eternal court
Of providence and right,
Are these the bounds y' have gives
Th' untranspassable bars
That limit pride so short?
Is greatness of this sort,
That greatness greatness mars,
And racks itself, self-driven
On rocks of her own migbt ?
Doth order order so,
Disorders overthrow ?
FROM THE SAME.
The wait To is an
DEDICATION TO THE TRAGEDY OF PHILOTAS.
579 Unto the hope of you, that you one day
May grace this now neglected harmony,
Which set unto your glorious actions, may
Though I the remnant of another time,
Am never like to see that happiness,
To others' travel, that in better place,
And better comfort, they may be incbear'd
Who shall deserve, and who shall have the grace o you, most hopeful prince, not as you are, To have a Muse held worthy to be heard. [know, Cut as you may be, do I give these lines:
And know, sweet prince, when you shall come to hat when your judgment shall arrive so far, That 't is not in the pow'r of kings to raise 's t' overlook th' intricate designs
A spirit for verse, that is not born thereto, The state oulith what encounters greatest fortunes close, f uncontented man; you may behold
Nor are they born in every prince's days:
For late Eliza's reign gave birth to more
And it may be, the genius of that time
Would leave to her the glory in that kind, nd fathelum 'o wantonness, and unto luxury,
And that the utmost powers of English rhyme
Should be within her peaceful reign confin'd ; t for the dinind you shall find the greatest enemy plany things want, but to ambition all.
For since that time, our songs could never thrive,
But lain as if forlord; though in the prime pe Di ber 'hat man can have, is his prosperity.
Of this new raising season, we did strive eame leteli Here shall you see how men disguise their ends, To bring the best we could unto the time. barten Sind plant bad courses under pleasing shows, sud igre me low well presumption's broken ways defends,
And I, although among the latter train,
And least of those that sung unto this land, plentes szige Vhich clearey'd judgment gravely doth disclose. Have borne my part, though in an humble strain, poubelere shall you see how th' easy multitude,
And pleased the gentler that did understand : Factor's pretty Cransported, take the party of distress;
And never had my harmless pen at all
Distaind with any loose immodesty,
For either favour or our virtue fails.
Of former grace, acceptance, and delight, But will be wrought upon the self-same frame. I would my lines late born beyond the fate spel pene
Of her spent line, had never come to light; are fra Beni The sure records of books, in which we find
So had I not been tax'd for wishing well, Tepat e rex The tenure of our state, how it was held
Nor now mistaken by the censuring stage, bears to By all our ancestors, and in what kind
Nor, in my fame and reputation fell, 2 Terbare L We held the same, and likewise how in the end Which I esteem more than what all the age Elory of text me This frail possession of felicity
Or th' earth can give. But years hath done this left, wie image Shall to our late posterity descend
wrong, By the same patent of like destiny.
To make me write too much, and live too long. En all-coming lite In them we find that nothing can accrue
And yet I grieve for that unfinish'd frame, presiden din, To man, and his condition that is new.
Which thou, dear Muse, didst vow to sacrifice tagsina na Which images here figur'd in this wise,
Unto the bed of peace, and in the same I eternal or I leave unto your more mature survey,
Design our happiness to memorize, Tidence intent Amongst the vows that others sacrifice
Must, as it is, remain, though as it is: * the bandi, Unto the hope of you, that you one day
It shall to after-times relate my zeal transpezDJ Will give grace to this kind of harmony. [know, To kings and unto right, to quietness, Test pa se
For know, great prince, when you shall come to And to the union of the commonweal.
But this may now seem a superfluous vow,
And more than will be heard, and then as good
As not to write, as not be understood. der unters And is no lesser honour to a crown
And though you have a swannet of your own,
We as the chorus of the vulgar, stand
Spectators here, to see these great men play
Their parts both of obedience and command, Amongst the vows that others sacrifice
And censure all they do, and all they say.
FROM THE SAME.
For though we be esteem'd but ignorant,
For in this height of fortune are imbred Yet are we capable of truth, and know
Those thund'ring fragors that affright the Eart: Where they do well, and where their actions want From thence have all distemp'ratures the tra The grace that makes them prove the best in show: That brings forth desolation, famine, dearth: And though we know not what they do within, There certain order is disordered, Where they attire their mysteries of state, And there it is confusion hath her birth. Yet know we by th' events what plots have been, It is that height of fortune doth undo And how they all without do personate.
Both her own quietness and others too.
Fail in a greater and disgrace the same.
FROM THE SAME. We see affliction act a better scene (clean; Than prosperous fortune, which hath marr'd it See how these great men clothe their private hate We see that all which we have prais'd in some,
In those fair colours of the public good; Have only been their fortune, not desert: (come, And to effect their ends, pretend the state, Some war have grac'd, whom peace doth ill be- As if the state by their affections stood : And lustful ease hath blemish'd all their part:
And arm'd with pow'r and princes' jealousies, We see Philotas acts his goodness ill,
Will put the least conceit of discontent And makes his passions to report of him
Into the greatest rank of treacheries, Worse than he is : and we do fear he will
That no one action shall seem innocent: Bring his free nature to b’intrap'd by them. Yea, valour, honour, bounty shall be made For sure there is some engine closely laid
As accessaries unto ends unjust: Against his grace and greatness with the king :
And e'en the service of the state must lade And that unless his humours prove more stay'd,
The needfull'st undertakings with distrust. We soon shall see his utter ruining.
So that base vileness, idle luxury, And his affliction our compassion draws,
Seem safer far, than to do wortbily.
Doth through the tincture of her own conceit
That what way ever the suspected take,
Still envy will most cunningly forelay
But this is still the fate of those that are How dost thou wear, and weary out thy days,
By nature or their fortunes eminent, Restless Ambition, never at an end!
Who either carried in conceit too far, Whose travels no Herculean pillar stays,
Do work their own or others' discontent, But still beyond thy rest thy labours tend,
Or else are deemed fit to be suppress'd, Above good fortune thou thy hopes dost raise,
Not for they are, but that they may be ill, Still climbing, and yet never canst ascend:
Since states have ever had far more unrest For when thou hast attain'd unto the top
By spirits of worth, than men of meaner skill; Of thy desires, thou hast not yet got up.
And find, that those do always better prote, That height of fortune either is control'd
Wh' are equal to employment, not abore. By some more pow'rful overlooking eye,
For self-opinion would be seen more wise, (That doth the fulness of thy grace withhold) Than present counsels, customs, orders, lass: Or countercheck'd with some concurrency,
And to the end to have them otherwise, That it doth cost far more ado to hold
The commonwealth into cumbustion drass, The height attain'd, than was to get so high, As if ordain'd t' embroil the world with sit,
Where stand thou canst not, but with careful toil, As well as grossness, to disbonour it.
Nor loose thy hold without thy utter spoil.
GRECIAN AND PERSIAN.
That others shook, oppression is oppress'd. That either happiness dwells not so high,
Well, then, I see there is small difference Or else above, whereto pride cannot rise:
Betwixt your state and ours; you civil Greeks, And that the high'st of man's felicity,
You great contrivers of free governments, But in the region of affliction lies :
Whose skill the world from out all countries seeks; And that we climb but up to misery.
Those whom you call your kings, are but the saint Higb fortunes are but high calamities.
As are cur sovereign tyrants of the east;
Th' effects they sbow, agree, or near at least.
FROM THE SAME.
FROM THE SAME.
Your great men here, as our great satrapaes,
I see laid prostrate are with basest shame,
Indeed since prosperous fortune gave the rein
To head-strong power and lust, I must confess
We Grecians have lost deeply by our gain,
And this our greatness makes us much the less :
The strongest truth, his sword the process ends Which Alexander wondrously hath got, \ With present death, and makes no more ado:
He hath forgot himself and us, and rates
His state above mankind, and ours at nought.
This hath thy pomp (0 feeble Asia) wrought! In other hue than that it ought to bear,
Thy base adorings hath transformed the king Wherein plain dealing best his course commends: Into that shape of pride, as he is brought en e What need have Alexander so to strive For more h' offends who by the law offends. Out of his wits, out of acknowledging
From whence the glory of his greatness springs,
How well were we within the narrow bounds
Of our sufficient yielding Macedon,
Before our kings enlarg'd them with our wounds, Ce Th' offender, not th' offence, is punish'd here. And made these sallies of ambition !
And what avails the fore-condemnd to speak? Before they came to give the regal law [awe!
They by these large dominions are made more,
But we became far weaker than before. Ez Ah, but it satisfies the world, and we
What get we now by winning, but wide minds Think that well done, which done by law we see. And weary bodies, with th' expense of blood ?
What should ill do, since happy fortune finds PERSIAN.
But misery, and is not good though good ?
Action begets still action, and retains
Our hopes beyond our wishes, drawing on
A never ending circle of our pains,
That makes us not have done, when we have done.
What can give bounds to Alexander's ends.
And his desires beyond his prey distends, (great; us ten. The greatest majesty on Earth to kings. To do men justice, as the thing that brings
Like beasts, that murder more than they can eat?
That tends beyond the ocean and the Sun?
What discontentments will there still arise
In such a camp of kings, to intershock
Will put him from his comforts, and will mock
His hopes, and never suffer him to have
That which he hath of all which fortune gave?
Whose body now rent on the torture lies,
Will flow that vein of fresh conspiracies,
As overflow him will, do what he can:
But them more wary makes than they have been.
Must they be likewise rack'd as other men ?
qual to ensure
Your king begins this course, and what will you be Treason affords a privilege to none,
Who like offends, hath punishment all one.