Page images

Entreats could move her pity undertake
This honourable employment.

Tri. Do it with speedy diligence.
Dor. Her causeless frailty

Shall more confirm my truth.

My noble lord, pronounce

My happy sentence; 'twill be welcome to me
Enter Priest and Executioner.
As charming harmony, and swell my breast
With more than human pleasure.

Tri. Are you come? approach;
Behold this executioner, and this priest!
This is to wed you to destruction-that,
To this rich mine of purity; your choice
May accept either. If you fix on this,
Besides your own redemption, you enjoy
A lady who may claim as many hearts
As she has virtuous thoughts; but lean to that,
Your spring returns unpitied to the rude
Arms of perpetual winter, that will freeze you
To a ne'er-melting icicle: be sudden,

And wise in your election.

Dor. "Tis but vain: a saint may sooner be o'ercome to sell

His native piety. Come, thou grim man;

Thou art to me more lovely than the face of perfect

Beauty. Do thy office; it will free me

From these perplexities.

Sab. Well, my lord,

Since I'm unworthy to enjoy in life
Your fair society, my soul shall haste
To wait on you to death; there is no bliss

Without your presence: since you will not have
Mercy on your own life, by your example
I'll be as harsh to mine. I'll go

Before you to the other world,
And be your lov'd ghost's harbinger.
Tri. Hold, hold the lady!

Sab. Let no hand presume to seize me;
For the meanest touch that shall

Endeavour to prevent my will,

Shall urge my speedier ruin. Good, my lord,
Shall I have answer? I would fain be going
On my long journey.

Dor. I'm confounded

In my imagination. I must yield.

[ocr errors]

You have enforc'd a benefit upon me, I
Can hardly thank you for: yet I will try
To love you as my wife. That I were lost
In clouds of black forgetfulness!

Enter Chrisea and Eurione.

Chri. Sir, we come to gratulate your beauteous bride,

And wish your joys immortal.

Sab. I hope, madam, my innocence has giv'n you no offence,

That you refuse me, being a stranger to you,
The ceremonious wishes which pertain

To new-made brides, and only do confer them
Upon my lord.

Chri. Your happiness already Is so superlative, I cannot think

A new addition to it ;^ You enjoy

The very sum of fortune in your match

To such a noble and illustrious husband ;

I can no longer hold my passion in.

These walls of flesh are not of

Strength sufficient to contain

My big swoln heart. My lords, behold a creature

So infinitely wretched, I deserve not
The meanest show of pity, who have, like
A silly merchant, trifled away a gem
The darling of the quarry, lost a love
By my too foolish niceness, to regain
Whose forfeiture I would lay down my life;
But he is gone for ever, and I left
A piteous spectacle for the reproach
And scorn of wiser women.

Eur. Is this possible?

Was all her passion to Vitelli feign'd?
My hopes recover life again.

Tri. Why, Chrisea,

Whence springs this passionate fury?
Chri. Oh! my lord,

When you shall hear it, you will sigh for me,
And shed a charitable tear, at thought
Of my unkind disaster: sir, my justice
Cannot accuse your constancy, which stood
In the first trial of your love, as fast
And spotless as an alabaster rock,
That had it but persisted in that height
Of honourable loyalty, your glory

Had been advanc'd to heaven as the fix'd stars
To guide all lovers through the rough
Seas of affection.

Vit. This taxation

Cannot be just from you, who did enforce
The sad revolt upon him.

Dor. Is there in heaven no friendly

Bolt left, that will strike this frame into
The centre, and set free a wretch

So overgrown with misery, from life,

That death would be a comfort above health,

Or any worldly blessing. May time blot my name out

Of his book, that such a prodigy

May not affright succession, nor strike,

Like an o'erspreading leprosy, upon
The beauteous face of manhood.

Chri. Oh, my lord, each grief of which
You 're sensible is mine, and not your
Torment: every sigh you breathe is an
Afflicting motion expir'd by my vex'd
Spirit; and if you could weep, each drop
Would be my blood, who am the spring
Of the whole flood of sorrow. Oh! forgive
The too exceeding honour of my love. I would
Have had you for your perfect truth so glorious,
Your loyalty should not, for

Preservation of your fame, have needed
To adopt a statue for its heir, or builded a
Monumental pyramid-but love
Is oft-times love's undoing.

Tri. This is such a cunning labyrinth of Sorrow, that no clew can lead them out of. Dor. It would be

A great affront to misery, should there live
person half so wretched to out-dare
The strength of my affliction. Methinks,


I'm like some aged mountain, that has stood,

In the sea's watery bosom, thousand shocks

Of threat'ning tempests; yet, by the flattering waves,
That cling and curl about his stony limbs,
Is undermin'd and ruin'd. I have 'scap'd
War's killing dangers, and, by peaceful love,
Suffer a strange subversion. Oh! Chrisea,
While I have reason left that can distinguish
Things with a cool and undistracted sense,

[blocks in formation]

Chri. My lord,

Human condition always censures things
By their event; my aims have had success
So strangely hapless, that will blast the truth
Of their intention's purity. I never
Harbour'd the least suspicion of your faith,
Which I did strive to perfect by the test,
As richest gold refin'd and purg'd

From dross of other baser metals; and besides
The trial of your constancy, I meant

To sound Vitelli's depth, upon whose love
My sister doted, so that I was loath
To see her cast the treasure of her heart
Upon a stranger, of whose constancy-
Tri. Gentle cousin,

Your good intents encounter'd bad success;
But I admire, since you must needs have notice
Of his disaster, that the law would pass
Upon his life, you did not, to prevent
All other virgin intercessors, haste
To pay the early tribute of your love.
Chri. My wretched fate,

With a too quick prevention, has o'erthrown
The justness of my purpose.

I relied so much upon his nobleness; I thought
The ugly horror of a thousand deaths

Could not have mov'd his temper; and besides,
Knowing his mighty courage, I permitted
The law proceed upon him, that hereafter,
He might be sure no merit can appease
Offended justice; otherwise I could
Easily have stopp'd this mischief."

We have only to add in conclusion, that the remaining four plays, written by Glapthorne, were never printed; and that he was also the author of a book of


ART. X.--The Hurricane: a Theosophical and Western Eclogue. To which is subjoined, a Solitary Effusion in a Summer's Evening. By William Gilbert.

"Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.
Favete linguis: Carmina non prius
Audita, Musarum Sacerdos
Virginibus puerisque canto."

HOR. Lib. iii. Od. i.

Bristol. 1796.

This is a little poem, interesting on its own account, as well as from the circumstances under which it was composed. It bears evident marks of having been written under the influence of partial insanity, while, at the same time, it contains passages of a high order of beauty. Of its author, William Gilbert, the little we have collected is chiefly from the information obligingly furnished to us by a distinguished literary character, an early friend of the author's, and by whose occasional notice of the work before us, concurring with a similar testimony from another quarter, our attention was directed to The Hurricane. He was born in the West Indies, and bred to the colonial bar. At some time between 1780 and 1790 he came over to this country, on a case of a court-martial, and, if we mistake not, passed the remainder of his days here; at first, in a state of distress, owing to the detention of some litigated property, which was, however, afterwards adjudged to him. Little is known of his private life, except that he was one of the large class of literary men who partook in the hopes excited by the breaking out of the French Revolution; an event in which he took a peculiar interest, from its imagined correspondence with some mystical notions of his own, relative to providential retribution, and the causes of the rise and fall of nations. He was likewise addicted to astrology. Besides The Hurricane, he published a pamphlet on the legal question abovementioned, and two works, entitled The Law of Fire, and The Standard of God displayed; these latter, from their titles, (which is all we know of them,) were, doubtless, expositions of the author's peculiar theological tenets.* He likewise wrote a poem in praise

* We remember seeing an extract from The Hurricane, in that rarissimum opus, Mr. Coleridge's Watchman, where it appeared previous to publication.

« PreviousContinue »