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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.
84.-SCENE FROM OLD FORTUNATUS.
[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!
Her love is heaven, her hate is hell:
And bend, and bend, and merrily,
All. Let us sing merrily, merrily, merrily,
Fortune's hands our heads have crowned,
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
And with sweet juggling kisses warm'd our cheeks,
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.
Unnumber'd smiles; which then leap from their throne,
This toy called world, at our imperial feet?
And then create I emperors and kings;
Circled about with wonder of all eyes,
The shouts of every tongue, love of all hearts;
I thrust base cowards into honour's chair,
Whilst the true-spirited soldier stands by
I set an idiot's cap on virtue's head,
Turn learning out of doors, clothe wit in rags,
And some with adoration crown her fame.
Monk. True centre of this wide circumference, Sacred commandress of the destinies,
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.
[She comes down.
Stand by! now rise; behold here lies a wretch;
[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,
Stuck full of burning stars, which lent their light
For. This travel now expires: yet from this circle,
Thou canst not stir, unless I be thy guide.
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;
Six gifts I spend upon mortality,
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
Fort. Daughters of Jove and the unblemish'd Night,
And thou (like Phoebus) shalt speak oracle;
And read the statutes of eternity,
And see what's past, and learn what is to come:
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,
Shall be stretched out; thou shalt behold the change
And gladly kiss this bounteous hand of Fate,
* Sacra is used in the sense of the "Auri sacra fames" of Virgil.