Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

1 Fish. What mean you, sir?

Per. To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of worth, For it was sometime target to a king; I know it by this mark. He loved me dearly, And for his sake, I wish the having of it; And that you'd guide me to your sovereign's court, Where with't I may appear a gentleman; And if that ever my low fortunes better, I'll pay your bounties; till then, rest your debtor.

1 Fish. Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady? Per. I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.

1 Fish. Why, do ye take it, and the gods give thee good on't !

2 Fish. Ay, but hark you, my friend; 'twas we that made up this garment through the rough seams of the waters; there are certain condolements, certain vails. I hope, sir, if you thrive, you'll remember from whence

you had it.

Per. Believe't, I will.
Now, by your furtherance, I am clothed in steel ;
And spite of all the rupture of the sea,
This jewel holds his biding on my arm ;
Unto thy value will I mount myself
Upon a courser, whose delightful steps
Shall make the gazer joy to see him tread.
Only, my friend, I yet am unprovided
Of a pair of bases.

2 Fish. We'll sure provide. Thou shalt have my best gown to make thee a pair; and I'll bring thee to the court myself.

Per. Then honor be but a goal to my This day I'll rise, or else add ill to ill. [Exeunt.

3

will;

1 The rupture of the sea may mean the breaking of the sea, as Malone suggests ; Mr. Singer proposes to read rapture ; i. e. violent seizure.

2 The old copy reads, “ his building ;” but biding was probably the Poet's word. Any ornament of enchased gold was anciently styled a jewel.

3 Bases were a sort of petticoat that hung down to the knees. The Highlanders wear a kind of bases at this day,

SCENE II. The same. A public Way, or Platform,

leading to the Lists. A Pavilion by the side of it, for the reception of the King, Princess, Lords, fic.

Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, and Attendants. Sim. Are the knights ready to begin the triumph ?

1 Lord. They are, my liege; And stay your coming to present themselves.

Sim. Return them, we are ready; and our daughter, In honor of whose birth these triumphs are, Sits here, like beauty's child, whom nature gat For men to see, and seeing wonder at. [Exit a Lord.

Thai. It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express My commendations great, whose merit's less.

Sim. 'Tis fit it should be so; for princes are
A model, which Heaven makes like to itself.
As jewels lose their glory, if neglected,
So princes their renown, if not respected.
'Tis now your honor, daughter, to explain
The labor of each knight, in his device.

Thai. Which, to preserve mine honor, I'll perform.

Enter a Knight: he passes over the stage, and his Squire

presents his shield to the Princess. Sim. Who is the first that doth prefer himself?

Thai. A knight of Sparta, my renowned father ; And the device he bears upon his shield Is a black Æthiop, reaching at the sun ; The word, Lux tua vita mihi. Sim. He loves you well, that holds his life of you.

[The second Knight passes. Who is the second that presents himself?

1 i. e. return them notice that we are ready, &c.

2 The sense would be clearer were we to substitute both in this and in the following instance office for honor. Honor may, however, mean her situation as queen of the feast, as she is afterwards called.

3 i. e. the mot or motto. See Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 5:-“ Now to my word."

Thai. A prince of Macedon, my royal father; And the device he bears upon his shield Is an armed knight, that's conquered by a lady; The motto thus, in Spanish, Piu per dulçura que per fuerça.

[The third Knight passes. Sim. And what's the third ? Thai.

The third, of Antioch; And his device, a wreath of chivalry ; The word, Me pompe provexit apex.?

[The fourth Knight passes. Sim. What is the fourth ? Thai. A burning torch, that's turned upside down; The word, Quod me alit, me extinguit. Sim. Which shows that beauty hath his power and

will, Which can as well inflame, as it can kill.

· [The fifth Knight passes. Thai. The fifth, an hand environed with clouds; Holding out gold, that's by the touchstone tried ; The motto thus, Sic spectanda fides.

[The sixth Knight passes. Sim. And what's the sixth and last, which the knight

himself With such a graceful courtesy delivered ?

Thai. He seems to be a stranger; but his present is A withered branch, that's only green at top; The motto, In hac spe

vivo.3 Sim. A pretty moral ; From the dejected state wherein he is, He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish. 1 Lord. He had need mean better than his outward

show

1 i. e. more by sweetness than by force. It should be “Mas per dulçura," &c. Piu is Italian, not Spanish.

2 The work which appears to have furnished the author of the play with this and the two subsequent devices of the knights, has the following title:-“The heroical Devices of M. Claudius Paradin, canon of Beaugen; whereunto are added the Lord Gabriel Symeon's, and others. Translated out of Latin into English, by P. S.” 1591, 24mo. Mr. Douce has given copies of some of them in his Illustrations, vol. ii. P 126.

3 This device and motto may have been taken from Daniel's translation of Paulus Jovius, 1585; in which it will be found at sig. H. 7. b.

Can any way speak in his just commend?
For, by his rusty outside, he appears
To have practised more the whipstock,' than the lance.

2 Lord. He well may be a stranger, for he comes To an honored triumph, strangely furnished.

3 Lord. And on set purpose let his armor rust Until this day, to scour it in the dust.

Sim. Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan
The outward habit by the inward man.?
But stay, the knights are coming; we'll withdraw
Into the gallery.

[Exeunt. [Great shouts, and all cry, The mean knight.

SCENE III.

The same.

A Hall of State.
A Banquet prepared.

Enter SIMONIDES, Thaisa, Lords, Knights, and At

tendants.
Sim. Knights,
To say you are welcome, were superfluous.
To place upon the volume of your deeds,
As in a title-page, your worth in arms,
Were more than you expect, or more than's fit,
Since every worth in show commends itself.
Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast;
You are princes, and my guests.
Thai.

But you, my knight and guest;
To whom this wreath of victory I give,
And crown you king of this day's happiness.

Per. 'Tis more by fortune, lady, than my merit.

Sim. Call it by what you will, the day is yours; And here, I hope, is none that envies it. In framing artists, art hath thus decreed, To make some good, but others to exceed; And you're her labored scholar. Come, queen o’the

feast,

1 i. e. the carter's whip.

2 i. e. “ that makes us scan the inward man by the outward habit.” Such inversions are not uncommon in old writers.

.

(For, daughter, so you are,) here take your place;
Marshal the rest, as they deserve their grace.

Knights. We are honored much by good Simonides.

Sim. Your presence glads our days; honor we love,
For who hates honor, hates the gods above.

Marsh. Sir, yond's your place.
Per.

Some other is more fit.
1 Knight. Contend not, sir; for we are gentlemen,
That neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,
Envy the great, nor do the low despise.

Per. You are right courteous knights.
Sim.

Sit, sit, sir; sit.
Per. By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,
These cates resist me,' she not thought upon.

Thai. By Juno, that is queen
Of marriage, all the viands that I eat
Do seem unsavory, wishing him my meat ;
Sure he's a gallant gentleman.
Sim.

He's but
A country gentleman.
He has done no more than other knights have done ;
Broken a staff, or so; so let it pass.

Thai. To me he seems like diamond to glass.
Per. Yon king's to me, like to my father's picture,
Which tells me, in that glory once he was ;
Had princes sit, like stars, about his throne,
And he the sun, for them to reverence.
None that beheld him, but like lesser lights,
Did vail ? their crowns to his supremacy;
Where now his son's a glowworm in the night,
The which hath fire in darkness, none in light ;
Whereby I see that Time's the king of men,
For he's their parent, and he is their grave,
And gives them what he will, not what they crave.

Sim. What, are you merry, knights ?
1 Knight. Who can be other, in this royal presence ?

1 i. e. “ these delicacies go against my stomach.”—The old copy gives this speech to Simonides, and reads, “ he not thought upon.”

2 Lower.

3 Where is here again used for whereas.

« VorigeDoorgaan »