she had found; then she betook herself to her habitation, with full purpose of advising her fellow murderers to repair with all dispatch to the village, and impeach our hero, who, wisely distrusting her professions, stayed no longer in the place than to hire a guide for the next stage, which brought him to the city of Chalons-sur-Marne.




[THOMAS DEKKER, or DECKER, was one of the numerous band of dramatists that belong to the Shaksperian æra. The exact time of his birth and death is not known. Between Dekker and Ben Jonson there was a fearful feud, and they each satirized the other on the public stage. There is much vigour and dramatic force, with, occa sionally, very beautiful poetry, in many of Dekker's plays. several of his contemporary dramatists he wrote many plays in union with other writers. The drama of Old Fortunatus,' is founded upon the story of Fortunatus's purse ;-it is very extravagant in parts; but the opening scene, the greater part of which we subjoin, is a favourable specimen of the author's power:-)

Enter a Gardener, a Smith, a Monk, a Shepherd, all crowned; a Nymph with a Globe, another with Fortune's Wheel, then Fortune: after her four Kings with broken Crowns and Sceptres, chained in Silver Gyves, and led by her. The first four come out singing; the four Kings lie down at the feet of Fortune, who treads on their Bodies as she ascends her Chair.


Fortune smiles; cry holyday!
Dimples on her cheek do dwell;
Fortune frowns; cry welladay!

Her love is heaven, her hate is hell:
Since heaven and hell obey her power,
Tremble when her eyes do lour;
Since heaven and hell her power obey,
When she smiles, cry holyday.
Holyday with joy we cry,

And bend, and bend, and merrily,
Sing hymns to fortune's deity,
Sing hymns to fortune's deity.

All. Let us sing merrily, merrily, merrily,
With our song let heaven resound;

Fortune's hands our heads have crowned,
Let us sing merrily, merrily, merrily.

1st King. Accursed queen of chance! what had we done, Who having sometimes, like young Phaetons,

Rid in the burnish'd chariot of the sun,

And sometimes been thy minions, when thy fingers
Weaved wanton love-nets in our curled hair,

And with sweet juggling kisses warm'd our cheeks,
Oh! how have we offended thy proud eyes,
That thus we should be spurn'd and trod upon,
While those infected limbs of the sick world
Are fix'd by thee for stars, in that bright sphere,
Wherein our sun-like radiance did appear?

All the Kings. Accursed queen of chance! damn'd sorceress ! The rest. Most powerful queen of chance! dread sovereigness! For. No more! curse on; your cries to me are music,

And fill the sacred roundure of mine ears

With tunes more sweet than moving of the spheres.
Curse on! on our celestial brows do sit

Unnumber'd smiles; which then leap from their throne,
When they see peasants dance, and monarchs groan;
Behold you not this globe, this golden bowl,

This toy called world, at our imperial feet?
This world is Fortune's ball wherewith she sports:
Sometimes I strike it up into the air,

And then create I emperors and kings;
Sometimes I spurn it, at which spurn crawls out
That wild beast multitude. Curse on, you fools,
"Tis I that tumble princes from their thrones,
And gild false brows with glittering diadems;
"Tis I that tread on necks of conquerors,
And when like demi-gods they have been drawn
In ivory chariots to the capitol,

Circled about with wonder of all eyes,

The shouts of every tongue, love of all hearts;
Being swoln with their own greatness, I have prick'd
The bladder of their pride, and made them die,
As water bubbles (without memory):

I thrust base cowards into honour's chair,

Whilst the true-spirited soldier stands by
Bare-headed, and all bare; whilst at his scars
They scoff, that ne'er durst view the face of wars.

I set an idiot's cap on virtue's head,

Turn learning out of doors, clothe wit in rags,
And paint ten thousand images of loam
In gaudy silken colours: on the backs
Of mules and asses I make asses ride,
Only for sport to see the apish world
Worship such beasts with sound idolatry.
This Fortune does, and when all this is done
She sits and smiles to hear some curse her name,

And some with adoration crown her fame.

Monk. True centre of this wide circumference, Sacred commandress of the destinies,

Our tongue

shall only sound thy excellence.

The rest. Thy excellence our tongues shall only sound. 2nd King. Thou painted strumpet! that with honied smiles Opened'st the gates of heaven, and cried'st, come in; Whose glories being seen, thou with one frown (In pride) lower than hell tumbled'st us down.

All Kings. Even for ever will we ban thy name.
For. How sweet your howlings relish in mine ears!

[She comes down.

Stand by! now rise; behold here lies a wretch;
To vex your souls, this beggar I'll advance
Beyond the sway of thought; take instruments,
And let the raptures of choice harmony,
Thorough the hollow windings of his ear,

[Music awhile, and he waketh. Carry their sacred sounds, and make each sense To stand amazed at our bright eminence.

Fort. Oh, how am I transported! is this earth, Or blest Elysium?

For. Fortunatus, rise

Fort. Dread goddess! how should such a wretch as I Be known to such a glorious deity?

Oh, pardon me! for to this place I came

Led by my fate, not folly; in this wood

With weary sorrow have I wandered,

And three times seen the sweating sun take rest,
And three times frantic Cynthia naked ride,
About the rusty highways of the skies,

Stuck full of burning stars, which lent their light
To court her negro paramour, grim Night.

For. This travel now expires: yet from this circle,
Where I and these with fairy troops abide,

Thou canst not stir, unless I be thy guide.
I the world's empress am, Fortune my name;
This hand hath written in thick leaves of steel

An everlasting book of changeless fate,

Shewing who's happy, who unfortunate.

Fort. If every name (dread queen!) be there writ down, I am sure mine stands in characters of black;

Though happiness herself lie in my name,

I am sorrow's heir, and eldest son to shame.

Kings. No, we are sons to shame, and sorrow's heirs. For. Thou shalt be one of Fortune's minions;

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Six gifts I spend upon mortality,

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Wisdom, strength, health, beauty, long life, and riches; Out of my bounty, one of these is thine,

Choose then which likes thee best.

Fort. Oh, most divine!

Give me but leave to borrow wonder's eye,

To look (amazed) at thy bright majesty.

Wisdom, strength, health, beauty, long life, and riches?

For. Before thy soul (at this deep lottery)

Draw forth her prize, ordained by destiny,

Know that here's no recanting a first choice:

Choose then discreetly (for the laws of Fate
Being graven in steel, must stand inviolate).

Fort. Daughters of Jove and the unblemish'd Night,
Most righteous Parcæ, guide my genius right!
Wisdom, strength, health, beauty, long life, and riches?
For. Stay, Fortunatus, once more hear me speak ;
If thou kiss wisdom's cheek and make her thine,
She'll breathe into thy lips divinity,

And thou (like Phoebus) shalt speak oracle;
Thy heaven-inspired soul, on wisdom's wings,
Shall fly up to the parliament of Jove,

And read the statutes of eternity,

And see what's past, and learn what is to come:
If thou lay claim to strength, armies shall quake
To see thee frown; as kings at mine do lie,
So shall thy feet trample on empery:

Make health thine object, thou shalt be strong proof, 'Gainst the deep searching darts of surfeiting;

Be ever merry, ever revelling:

Wish but for beauty, and within thine eyes

Two naked Cupids amorously shall swim,

And on thy cheeks I'll mix such white and red,
That Jove shall turn away young Ganymede
And with immortal hands shall circle thee:
Are thy desires long life? thy vital thread

Shall be stretched out; thou shalt behold the change
Of monarchies; and see those children die
Whose great-great grandsires now in cradles lie:
If through gold's sacred hunger thou dost pine;
Those gilded wantons, which in swarms do run
To warm their slender bodies in the sun,
Shall stand for number of those golden piles,
Which in rich piles shall swell before thy feet;
As those are, so shall these be infinite.
Awaken then thy soul's best faculties,

And gladly kiss this bounteous hand of Fate,
Which strives to bless thy name of Fortunate.

* Sacra is used in the sense of the "Auri sacra fames" of Virgil.

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