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nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
but life, being weary of these worldly bars,
never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
that part of tyranny, that I do bear,
I can shake off at pleasure.
887 "ALAS!" said they, "such fictions children feare, 887"
these are not terrours, shewing danger neare,
but motives sent by some propitious power,
to make you watchfull at this early hower:
these proue that your uictorious care preuents
your slouthfull foes, that slumber in their tents.
This precious time must not in uaine be spent,
which God (your helpe) by heau'nly meanes hath lent."
He by these false coniectures much appeas'd,
contemning fancies, which his mind diseas'd,
replies: "I should haue been asham'd to tell
fond dreames to wise men: whether Heau'n or Hell,
or troubled Nature these effects hath wrought,
I know, this day requires another thought.
If some resistless strength my cause should crosse,
fear will increase, and not redeeme the losse;
all dangers, clouded with the mist of feare,
seeme great farre off, but lessen comming neare.
Away, ye black illusions of the night!
if ye, combin'd with Fortune, haue the might
to hinder my designes, ye shall not barre
my courage seeking glorious death in warre."
HAPPINESS will thus, my friend, be thine, which I must needs forego; say, is that right? Thou only would'st forego what thou thyself, as things at present stand, could'st not enjoy. So calmly shall I banish hence a friend? Rather retain, whom thou dost seem to banish.
The duke will ne'er consent to part with him.
When he shall see as we do, he will yield.
'Tis painful in one's friend to doom oneself.
Yet with thy friend, thou'lt also save thyself.
I cannot give my voice that this shall be.
An evil still more grievous then expect.
Thou giv'st me pain,-uncertain thy success.
Ere long we shall discover which is right.
Well, if it needs must be so, say no more.
He conquers grief, who firmly can resolve.
Resolv'd I'm not; but even let it be,
if he does not absent himself too long.
And let us, Leonora, care for him,
that he may never be oppress'd by want,
but that the duke, e'en in a distant land,
may graciously assign him maintenance.
THE WIFE'S DUTY TO HER HUSBAND
IE, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow; and dart not scornful glances from those eyes, to wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
it blots thy beauty, as frosts do bite the meads;
confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds;
and in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman mov'd is like a fountain 'troubled,
muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
and while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
will deign to sip, or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
and for thy maintenance: commits his body
to painful labour both by sea and land,
to watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
while thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
and craves no other tribute at thy hands
but love, fair looks, and true obedience,-
too little payment for so great a debt.
890 Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
even such a woman oweth to her husband;
and, when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
and not obedient to his honest will,
what is she but a foul contending rebel,
and graceless traitor to her loving lord?—
I am ashamed that women are so simple
to offer war, where they should kneel for peace;
or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
when they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
but that our soft conditions and our hearts,
should well agree with our external parts?
Come, come you froward and unable worms!
my mind has been as big as one of yours,
my heart as great; my reason, haply, more,
to bandy word for word, and frown for frown:
but now I see our lances are but straws;
our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,—
that seeming to be most, which we indeed least are.
Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
and place your hands below your husband's foot:
in token of which duty, if he please,
my hand is ready, may it do him ease,
891 CHARACTEr of the duke of devonshire
ILD, affable, and easy of access
he was; but with a due reservedness;
so that the passage to his favour lay
not common to all comers; nor yet was
so narrow, but it gave a gentle way
to such as fitly might, or ought to pass.
Nor sold he smoke; nor took he up to-day
commodities of men's attendances,
and of their hopes; to pay them with delay,
and entertain them with fair promises.
But as a man that lov'd no great commerce
with bus'ness and with noise, he ever flies
that maze of many ways, which might disperse
him into other men's uncertainties;
and with a quiet calm sincerity,
he effects his undertakings really.
His tongue and heart did not turn backs; but went
one way, and kept one course with what he meant.
He us'd no mask at all, but ever ware
his honest inclination open-faced:
the friendships that he vow'd most constant were,
and with great judgment and discretion plac'd.
ADVERSITY THE TRIAL OF MAN
lies the true proof of men: the sea being smooth, how many shallow bauble boats dare sail
upon her patient breast, making their way
with those of nobler bulk!
but let the ruffian Boreas once enrage
the gentle Thetis, and, anon, behold
the strong-ribb'd bark through liquid mountains cut,
bounding between the two moist elements,
like Perseus' horse: where's then the saucy boat
whose weak untimbered sides but even now
co-rivall'd greatness? either to harbour fled,
or made a toast for Neptune. Even so
doth valour's show and valour's worth divide
in storms of fortune: for in her day and brightness
the herd hath more annoyance by the breese
than by the tiger: but when the splitting wind
makes flexible the knees of knotted oaks,
and flies fled under shade, why, then the thing of
as roused with rage, with rage doth sympathise,
and with an accent tuned in selfsame key,
retorts to chiding fortune.
AREWELL! a long farewell, to all my greatness!
FAREWELL a long to all my greatnes
the tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
and bears his blushing honours thick upon him:
the third day, comes a frost, a killing frost,
and,-when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
his greatness is a-ripening,-nips his root,
and then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd,
like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
this many summers in a sea of glory:
but far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
at length broke under me; and now has left me,
weary and old with service, to the mercy
of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye;
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!
There is betwixt that smile he would aspire to,
that sweet aspéct of princes, and their ruin,
more pangs and fears than wars or women have;
and when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
894 THE CONJUNCTION OF JUPiter and venuS
enough of blood has wet thy rocks, and stained
thy rivers: deep enough thy chains have worn
their links into thy flesh: the sacrifice
of thy pure maidens, and thy innocent babes,
and reverend priests, has expiated all
thy crimes of old. In yonder mingling lights
there is an omen of good days for thee.
Thou shalt arise from midst the dust and sit
again among the nations: thine own arm
shall yet redeem thee. Not in wars like thine
the world takes part. Be it a strife of kings-
despot with despot battling for a throne-
and Europe shall be stirred throughout her realms,
nations shall put on harness, and shall fall
upon each other, and in all their bounds
the wailings of the childless shall not cease.
Thine is a war for liberty, and thou
must fight it single-handed. Yet thy wrongs
shall put new strength into thy heart and hand,
and God and thy good sword shall yet work out
for thee a terrible deliverance.