Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Beaumont & Fletcher, Four Plays, Or Moral Representations, In One

Beaumont & Fletcher, Four Plays, Or Moral Representations, In One, The Works of Beaumont & Fletcher, Volume II, Ed. The Rev. Alexander Dyce, London, Edward Moxon, Dover Street, 1843.

At what date these Four Plays in One were originally produced, it is impossible to ascertain.
From internal evidence Weber concludes that Beaumont furnished the Induction and the two first Triumphs, and that Fletcher was the writer of the other two: there is at least every reason to believe that both poets were concerned in the composition of this medley. (473)

Rinaldo: Ay; could not you be content to be an owl in such an ivy-bush, (483)

Sophocles: Young sir, you err: if Fortune could be call’d
Or his, or yours, or mine, in good or evil,
For any certain space, thou hadst spoke truth;
But she but jests with man, and in mischance
Abhors all constancy, flouting him still
With some small touch of good, or seeming good,
Midst him straight doff his armour and his fence,
He had prepar’d before, to break her strokes:
So from the very zenith of her wheel,
When she has dandled some choice favourite,
Given him his boons in women, honour, wealth,
And all the various delicies of earth,
That the fool scorns the gods in his excess,
She whirls, and leaves him at th’Antipodes. (485)

Martius: This Athens nurseth arts as well as arms. (486)

Sophocles: Kneel, and ask mercy! Roman, art a god?
I never kneel’d or begg’d of any else.
Thou art a fool; and I will lose no more
Instructions on thee, now I find thy ears
Are foolish, like thy tongue. (487)

Martius: Shall I thus fall? I will not: no; my tears,
Cast on my heart, shall quench these lawless fires:
He conquers best, conquers his lewd desires. (498)

Dorigen: Oh, Martius, Martius! Wouldst thou in one minute
Blast all thy laurels, which so many years
Thou hast been purchasing with blood and sweat? (499)

Martius: Oh, thou confut’st divinely, and thy words
Do fall like rods upon me! But they have
Such silken lines and silver hooks, that I
Am faster snar’d: … (499)

Valerius: I am in love.
Martius: Why, so am I. With whom? Ha!
Valerius: Dorigen.
Martius: With Dorigen! How dost thou love her? Speak.
Valerius: Even to the height of lust; and I must have her,
Or else I die.
Martius: Thou shalt, thou daring traitor!
On all the confines I have rid my horse,
Was there no other woman for thy choice
But Dorigen? … (500)

Dorigen: Hence, lewd magician! Dar’st thou make the gods
Bawds to thy lust? Will they do miracles
To further evil? Or do they love it now? (503)

Gerrard: … Oh, unexpressible love, thou art
An undigested heap of mix’d extremes,
Whose pangs are wakings, and whose pleasures dreams! (511)

Ferdinand: …Does servitude
Upbraid thy freedom, that she suffers it? (516)

Ferdinand: Nothing will keep me company: the flowers
Die at my moan; the gliding silver streams
Hasten to flee my lamentations;

Only the earth is kind, that stays; then, Earth,
To thee will I complain. … (524)

Gerrard: … My lords, the law
Is but the great man’s mule; he rides on it,
And tramples poorer men under his feet: (531)

First Courtiers: His appetite to women (for there he carries
His main-sail spread) so boundless and abominable, (539)

Casta: Good sir, be not so cruel as to seek
To kill that sweet content you’ve bred me to.
Have I not here enough to thank Heaven for,--
The free air, uncorrupted with new flattery;
The water that I touch, unbrib’d with odours
To make me sweet to others; the pure fire,
Not smother’d up, and chok’d with lustful incense
To make my blood sweat, but, burning clear and high,
Tells me my mind must flame up so to heaven?
What should I do at court? Wear rich apparel?
Methinks these are as warm, and, for your state, sir,
Wealthy enough: is it, you would have me proud,
And, like a pageant, stuck up for amazements?
Teach not your child to tread that path; for fear, sir,
Your dry bones, after death, groan in your grave
The miseries that follow. (542)

Lavall: There, take my cloak and sword. Where is this banquet? (551)

Gabriella: What goddess have I not been, or what goodness?

(But drunkenness and drabbing, thy two morals)
Have not I reach’d to? What spring was ever sweeter?
What Scythian snow so white? What crystal chaster? (552)


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