« VorigeDoorgaan »
: their 'squires ; ours by their ladies. They stone to be a witness to the penitence twent buckled in their armour; ours muffled of the knight and the apprentice, the
in their cloaks. They traveld wildernesses latter of whom is doling out miserable
and deserts ; ours dare scarce walk the ballads, to the edification of the hear3 streets. They were still prest to engage
ers, far and near. These ballads are o their honour; ours ready to pawn their
an admirable burlesque of the puriThis clothes. They would gallop on at sight of e a monster ; ours run away at sight of a ser
tanical poetry of the time. jeant. They would help poor ladies ; ours make poor ladies.
" Touch. Who is this? my man Francis, Synd. Ay, madam ; they were the
and my son-in-law ! knights of the Round Table at Winches- Quick. Sir, it is all the testimony I shall ter that sought adventures ; but these of leave behind me to the world and my masthe Square Table, at ordinaries, that sit at
ter, that I have so offended. 1 hazard."
Friend. Good sir !
Quick. I writ it when my spirits were The whole scene is very pleasant, oppress’d. and we would gladly quote it did our
Pet. Ay, I'll be sworn for you, Francis. limits allow.
Quick. It is in imitation of ManningThe prisoners attempt a reconcilia- ton's; he that was hang’d at Cambridge,
that cut off the horse's head at a blow. tion with Touchstone, who is, how
Friend. So, sir. ever, immoveable. The account which
Quick. To the tune of, I wail in woe, I the keeper of the prison gives of their
plunge in pain. devout turn of mind and penitence is Pet. An excellent ditty it is, and wor
very humorous, and bears all the thy of a new tune. & marks of Ben Jonson's style.
Quick. In Cheapside, famous for gold and
plate, “Gold. Here's a great deal of humility Quicksilver I did dwell of late : i'these letters.
I had a master good and kind, Wolf. Humility, sir ? ay, were your That would have wrought me to his 2 worship an eye-witness of it you
mind. 80. The knight will be i'the Knight's.ward, He bade me still, work upon that ; Et do what we can, sir; and Mr Quicksilver
But, alas! I wrought I know not what. es would be i'the Hole, if we would let him. He was a Touchstone, black, but true;
I never knew or saw prisoners more peni- And told me still what would ensue.
tent, or more devout. They will sit you Yet, woe is me, I would not learn, j: up all night singing of psalms, and edify. I saw alas! but could not discern.
ing the whole prison. Only Security sings Friend. Excellent ! excellent well! a note too high sometimes ; because he lies Gold. 0, let him alone ; he is taken ali'the Twopenny-ward, far off, and cannot ready. take his tune. The neighbours cannot rest Quick. I cast my coat and cap away ; for him, but come every morning to ask, I went in silk and sattins gay ; what godly prisoners we have.
False metal of good manners, I Touch. Which on 'em is't is so devout, Did daily coin unlawfully. the knight or tother?
I scorn'd my master, being drunk; Wolf. Both, sir ; but the young man I kept my gelding and my punk ! especially ; I never heard his like. He has And with a knight, Sir Flash by name, cut his hair too; he is so well given, and (Who now is sorry for the same) has such good gifts! He can tell you al- Pet. I thank you, Francis ! most all the stories of the Book of Martyrs; I thought by sea to run away, and speak you all the Sick Man's Salve, But Thames and tempest did me stay. without book.
Touch. This cannot be feigned sure. Touch. Ay, if he had had grace, he was Heaven pardon my severity! The ragged brought up where it grew, I wis. On, Mr çolt may prove u good horse, Wolf.
Gold. How he listens and is transportWolf. And he has converted one Fangs, ed ! he has forgot me. a serjeant; a fellow could neither write nor
Quick. Still Eastward-hoe was all my read. He was called the ban-dog o'the
word; and he has brought him already But Westward I had no regard : to pair his nails, and say his prayers; and Nor ever thought what would come 'tis hop'd he will sell his place shortly, and
after, become an intelligencer.”
As did, alas ! his youngest daughter.
At last the black ox trod o' my foot, Golding finding his father reject all
And I saw then what ʼlong'd unto't : overtures from the humble prodigals Now cry I, Touchstone, touch me still, of the counter, to effect a reconcilia
And make me current by thy skill ! tion, by a stratagem procures Touch- Touch. And I will do it, Francis !
Wolf. Stay him, Mr Deputy, now is the to trace out the different authors in time; we shall lose the song else.
their several parts, and unquestionFriend. I protest it is the best that ever ably the difficulty is greater in comedy. I heard. Quick. How like you it, gentlemen ?
In tragedy there is less danger of mis
take, inasmuch as the conception and All. O admirable, sir.
Quick. This stanza now following al- expression of passion take a more cerludes to the story of Mannington, from tain character from the mind which whence I took my project for my invention. forms them, and fall more into a Friend. Pray you go on, sir.
marked and distinguishing mould, by Quick. O Mannington! thy stories show which that may be ascertained, than
Thou cut'st a horse-head off at a blow; the sentiments of common life, which But I confess I have not the force, allow of little variation, or the displays For to cut off th' head of a horse ; of wit, which admit scarcely more. Yet I desire this grace to win, Yet there appears little reason to That I may cut off the horse-head of doubt that Jonson had not the chief
part in the writing of this play.And leave his body in the dust
İt bears no marks of his peculiar exOf sin's high-way, and bogs of lust; Whereby I may take virtue's purse,
cellencies or defects; it has not that And live with her, for better, for worse.
bold delineation of character, that Friend. Admirable, sir ! and excellent- high-wrought finish of dialogue, or ly conceited !
that peculiar richness of humour, Quick. Alas, sir !
which his best pieces display, and Touch. Son Golding, and Mr Wolf, I which, at the time of the composition thank you ; the deceit is welcome, especi- of the present comedy, being shortly ally from thee, whose charitable soul in this after the production of those pieces, hath shewn a high point of wisdom and he would have been fully able to bring honesty. Listen! I am ravished with his forth. Neither, on the other hand, is repentance, and could stand here a whole it distinguished by his hardnesses. 'prenticeship to hear him.”
He elaborated his characters frequentThe result is easily anticipated. The ly too much, by continually retouchpenitents are forgiven, and restored to ing them; and altered and added to favour again—the proud daughter, the his scenes and dialogue, till he lost the extravagant son-in-law, and the idle freedom of the former, and encrusted apprentice, are reformed, and are ren- the latter with conceits. There is nodered wiser by experience.
thing of this in the present play. The There are no scenes in this play pee style of it bears more resemblance to culiarly rich in humour, nor are any that of Chapman, in whose comedies of the characters marked with great there is a more feeble conception of force; yet, upon the whole, it is an character, and a less poignant vein of agreeable performance. The plot is humour, but much simplicity and easy, natural, and unperplexed, the unpretending ease. Probably Jonson dialogue is flowing, and seldom defi- first sketched the plan, which might cient in pleasantry. The latter is oc- be filled up by Chapman, and receive casionally disfigured by grossness and a few witty and satirical touches from double-entendre ; it has, however, less the pen of Marston,* whose manner of conceits and quaintness than is usu- is, however, more difficult to catch at. ally met with in comedies of the day. The whole, it is likely, underwent the When it is not licentious, it is gene- revisal of Jonson, traces of whom are rally intelligible, and has lost little by chiefly discernible in the character of time.
Touchstone, and in the concluding In conjunct performances of this scenes. kind, it is frequently rather difficult
Marston certainly wrote the passage upon the Scotch, for which he and his coadjators were imprisoned. There is another similar stroke of ridicule in his Satires. Mr Gifford has abīy examined the accounts of their imprisonment, which are full of idle gossiping and inaccuracies. Marston seems to have had much of the gall of the satirist about him. His disposition was not more amiable than his writings.
it a very
AFTER residing nearly a year in one thin layer of snow which covered the of the most distant posts of the North- ice, and rendered the footing tolerably West Company, and conducting the fur secure. At last, I fired at the ducks, trade there, I began
to look forward to and killed one and wounded another. my return to Montreal. I waited with I immediately picked up the first, but
greatest impatience for the arrival its companion, having only been wingof the period which was to terminate my ed, began to leap away before I caught banishment, and restore me to society. hold of it. I followed, but had not I was nearly three thousand miles dis- advanced more than twenty yards, tant from any settlements, and my on- when, to my astonishment, I found
were two young men, that the ice was in many places coverclerks of the establishment, whosecha- ed with water to the depth of several racters, and limited acquirements, ren- inches. I stopped short full of alarm, dered them very uninteresting associ- and irresolute what to do. It was eviates. My situation was one of consi- dent that a thaw had already commenderable responsibility. A great num- ced, and as I well knew with what raber of Canadians, in the service of the pidity the ice broke up when once afCompany, resided at the post, and fected by a change of temperature, I were under
my controul; but I found became alive to all the dangers of my
difficult matter to keep them situation, and almost shuddered at the in a state of due subordination, and to thought of moving from the spot on prevent them from quarrelling and which I stood. fighting with the detached parties of The weather had grown calm and Indians that occasionally visited us hazy, and the sky was very black and for the purpose of trading. Interest lowering. Large flakes of snow soon and personal safety, alike, required began to fall languidly and perpendithat we should be on friendly terms cularly through the air; and after a with the natives; and I spent many little time, these were accompanied by anxious hours in endeavouring to pro
a thick shower of sleety rain, which mote mutual peace and good-humour. gradually became so dense, that I could
Our post was situated upon the banks not discern the shore. I strained my of a small lake, about sixteen miles eyes to catch a glance of some living broad. This lake discharged itself by object, but a dreary and motionless means of a river in to another of much expanse stretched around me on every greater dimensions, and thick forests side, and the appalling silence that
every part of the neighbouring prevailed was sometimes interrupted country.
by the receding cries of the wounded One afternoon I took my gun, and bird. All nature seemed to be awaitstrolled out in search of game. Though ing some terrible event. I listened in it was now the beginning of spring, the fearful suspense, though I knew not lake was still frozen completely across, what I expected to hear. I soon disthe cold of the preceding winter having tinguished a distant thundering noise, been very intense. I soon fell in with which gradually became stronger, and a flock of wild ducks, but before I appeared to approach the place where could get a shot at them, they began I stood. Repeated explosions, and holto fly towards the middle of the lake; low murmurings of irregular loudness, however, I followed them fearlessly were succeeded by a tremendous sound, over the ice, in the expectation that like that of rocks bursting asunder. they would soon alight. The weather The ice trembled beneath my feet, and was mild, though rather blowy. De- the next moment it was disunited by tached black clouds moved rapidly a vast chasm, which opened itself along the face of Heaven in immense within a few yards of me. The water masses, and the sun blazed forth in of the lake rushed upwards through unobscured splendour at one moment, the
gap with foaming fury, and began and was completely shrouded from the to flood the surface all around. eye the next. I was so intent on the
I started backwards, and ran, as I pursuit of my game, that I hastened conceived, towards the shore ; but my forwards almost unconsciously, my progress
was soon stopped by one of progress being much facilitated by a
those weak parts of the ice called air
holes. While walking cautiously round drowsiness, produced by intense cold, it, my mind grew somewhat composed, would begin to affect me; but I did and I resolved not to advance any far- not feel in the slightest degree chilled, ther, until I had fixed upon some way and the temperature of the air was in of regulating my course; but I found reality above freezing. I had lain only a this to be impossible. I vainly endeac few minutes when I heard the howl of voured to discern land, and the moan- a wolf. The sound was indescribably ing of the wind among the distant fo- delightful to my ear, and I started up rests alone indicated that there was any with the intention of hastening to the at all near me. Strong and irregular spot from whence it seemed to problasts, loaded with snow and sleet, ceed; but hopeless as my situation swept wildly along, involving every then was, my heart shrunk within me thing in obscurity, and bewildering when I contemplated the dangers I my steps with malignant influence. I would encounter in making such an sometimes fancied I saw the spot where attempt. My courage failed, and I our post was situated, and even the resumed my former position, and listtrees and houses upon it; but the next ened to the undulations of the water moment gust of wind would whirl as they undermined, and beat against away the fantastic shaped fogs that had the lower part of the ice on which I produced the agreeable illusion, and lay. reduce me to actionless despair. I fi- About midnight the storm ceased, red my gun repeatedly, in the hope and most of the clouds gradually forthat the report would bring some one, sook the sky, while the rising moon to my assistance ; however, the shores dispelled the darkness that had prealone acknowledged, by feeble echoes, viously prevailed. However, a thick that the sound had reached them. haze covered the heavens, and ren
The storm increased in violence, and dered her light dim and ghastly, and at intervals the sound of the ice break- similar to that shed during an eclipse
. ing up, rolled upon my ear like distant A succession of noises had continued thunder, and seemed to mutter appal- with little interruption for several ling threats. Alarm and fatigue made hours, and at last the ice beneath me me dizzy, and I threw down my gun began to move. I started up, and, on aud rushed forwards in the of the looking around, saw that the whole drifting showers, which were now so surface of the lake was in a state of thick as to affect my respiration. I agitation. My eyes became dim, and, is soon lost all sense of fear, and began 1 stretched out my arms to catch hold to feel a sort of frantic delight in of some object, and felt as if all creastruggling against the careering blasts. ted things were passing away. The I hurried on, sometimes running along hissing, grinding, and crashing, prothe brink of a circular opening in the duced by the different masses of ice ice, and sometimes leaping across coming into collision, were tremenfrightful chasms—all the while un- dous. Large fragments sometimes got conscious of having any object in wedged together, and impeded the pro- ii view. The ice every where creaked gress of those behind them, which beunder my feet, and I knew that death ing pushed forward by others still farawaited me, whether I filed away or ther back, were forced upon the top of a remained on the same spot. I felt as the first, and fantastic-shaped pyra- < one would do, if forced by some perse- mids and towers could be indistinctly cuting fiend to range over the surface seen rising among the mists of night
, of a black and shoreless ocean; and and momentarily changing their forms, aware, that whenever his tormentor and finally disorganizing themselves withdrew his sustaining power, he with magical rapidity and fearful tu« : would sink down and be suffocated mult. At other times, an immense among the billows that struggled be- mass of ice would start up into a neath him.
perpendicular position, and continue At last night came on, and, exhaust- gleaming in the moonshine for a little ed by fatigue and mental excitement, period, and then vanish like a spectre I wrapped myself in my cloak, and lay among the abyss of waters beneath it. down upon the ice. It was so dark The piece of ice on which I had first that I could not have moved one step taken my position, happened to be without running the risk of falling in- very large and thick, but other frag, to the lake. I almost wished that the ments were soon forced above it, and
formed a mound six or seven feet nor any vestiges of them. Thick fohigh, on the top of which I stood, rests covered the banks of the river, and contemplating the awful scene around extended back as far as my eye could me, and feeling as if I no longer had reach. I feared to penetrate them, lest I the least connection with the world, or should get bewildered in their recesses, retained any thing human or earthly and accordingly walked along the edge in my composition.
of the stream. It was not long before I The wind, which was pretty strong, discovered a column of smoke rising drove the ice down the lake very fast, among the trees. I immediately diMy alarms and anxieties had gradually rected
my steps towards the spot, and, become less intense, and I was several on reaching it, found a party seated times overcome by a sort of stupor; round a fire. during the continuance of which, ima- They received me with an air of gination and reality combined their indifference and unconcern, not very distracting influence. At one time I agreeable or encouraging to one in my fancied that the snow still drifted as destitute condition. However, I pla
as ever, and that I distin- ced myself in their circle, and tried to guished, through its hazy medium, a discover to what tribe they belonged, band of Indian chiefs walking past me by addressing them in the different upon the surface of the lake. Their Indian languages with which I was Steps were noiseless, and they went acquainted. I soon made myself inalong with wan and dejected looks and telligible, and related
the circumstandowncast eyes
, and paid no attention ces that had brought me so unexpect, to my exclamations and entreaties for edly among them. At the conclusion relief. At another, I thought I was of my narrative, the men pulled their Hoating in the middle of the ocean, tomahawk pipes from their mouths, and that a blazing sun fained in the and looked at each other with increcloudless sky, and made the ice which dulous smiles. I did not make any supported me melt so fast, that I heard attempt
them of the truth streams of water pouring from its sides, of what I said, knowing it would be and felt myself every moment descend- yain to do so, but asked for something ing towards the surface of the billows. to eat. After some deliberation, they
was usually wakened from such gave me a small quantity of pemican, Ef dreams by some noise or violent con- but with an unwillingness that did
cussion, but always relapsed into them not evince such a spirit of hospitality whenever the cause of disturbance cea as I had usually met with among In
dians. The longest and last of these slum, The party consisted of three men, bers was broken by a terrible shock, two women, and a couple of children, which my ice island received, and all of whom sat or lay near the fire in which threw me from my scat, and absolute idleness; and their minds nearly precipitated me into the lake. seemed to be as unoccupied as their boDo regaining my former position, and dies, for nothing resembling conversalooking round, I perceived
to my joy tion ever passed between them. The E and astonishment, that I was in a river. weather was dreary and comfortless. E The water between me and the shore A thick small rain, such as usually
was still frozen over, and was about falls in North America during a thaw, thirty yards wide, consequently the filled the air, and the wigwam under fragment of ice on which I stood could which we sat afforded but an imperfect not approach any nearer than this. shelter from it. I passed the time in After a moment of irresolution, I leap- the most gloomy and desponding reupon
the frozen surface, and began flections. I saw no means by which to run towards the bank of the river. I could return to the trading post, and ice, so great was my terror lest it should doubt if they would be inclined to give way beneath me; but I reached grant me that support and protection the shore in safety, and dropped down without which I could not long exist. completely exhausted by fatigue and One man gazed upon me so constant
ly and steadily, that his scrutiny anIt was now broad day-light, but I noyed me, and attracted my particular neither saw animals por human beings, attention. Vol. X.
He appeared to be the
sed to operate.