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construction is much more classical than the preceding, and the unities of time and action are tolerably well preserved. There is no intricacy, and but little interest, in the plot. Tragedy, seated" in rich cothurnal pomp," sways the sceptre and the sword with a too despotic hand, and her attendants are too uniformly clad in her crimson livery. She exhibits a picture, which one who had "supped full of horrors" might imagine. A tragedy, says the author,

Ought to be grave, graves this shall beautify.

It is indeed a common sepulchre for all the actors, into which tragedy, like the plague, casts its victims to fester and pulverize by the score. Strange, but not pitiful; tragical, but most painful. Most of the scenes tend rather to ossify, than to soften the heart, yet are there one or two of redeeming tenderness, which shed a gentle and placid lustre upon their sterner brethren, like the moon tinging and softening with her beams, the dark edges of a thick forest.

The play represents the progress of Eleazar, a captive Moorish prince, through a series of crimes, to the throne of Spain.

Distinguished as a warrior in the service of Spain, revenge for the loss of crown and country was stimulated by contempt and contumely. 'Tis true, he was a villain, and he thanks nature for having stamped him one, but still with reference to the truth of character; this furnishes a motive for actions, in which revenge and ambition guide his steps to that bad eminence which he achieved whereas, in the mighty Tamburlaine, we look in vain for the motives of most of his cruelties.

When the infatuated Queen, enamoured of the Moor,

Of the proud complexion of his cheeks
Taken from the kisses of the amorous sun,"

calls out to the musicians,

"Chime out your softest strains of harmony,

And, on delicious music's silken wing,
Send ravishing delight to my love's ears,

That he may be enamour'd of your tunes;"

he replies with bitter scorn to all her caresses.-Aware of his power and her weakness, his natural fierceness breaks out into taunts and mockery, which, on her threats of discovery, are converted into instant placability and amorous dalliance.

This ferocious compound of every villainy under heaven, can seem gentle and humble, can fawn and flatter; but it is a distressing constraint for one, whose blood shoots through his veins

like lightning along a metallic conductor. He is, as the author of The Revenge says, one of those

"Souls made of fire, and children of the sun,

With whom revenge is virtue."

In this passion he is steeped to the lips.-There is but one faint, a very faint, glimmering of feeling through the clouds which darken his heart, when he speaks of his Maria-his wife, -a beautiful and innocent flower blossoming on corruption. She seems so sweet, so gentle a being, that Satan himself could hardly find it in his heart to hate or harm her. She looks like "the moon upon a midnight murder." It is, however, but a passing gleam. The queen, in murdering her, that she might have no let to her intercourse with the Moor, only anticipated what her fell husband would have made no scruple to do himself to forward his scheme of sovereignty and revenge. There is also something generous in his disdain to fight with Philip of Spain, unless on equal terms. The poet has invested him too with a quickness and depth of intellect, a commanding superiority of talent, which mitigates the horror we should otherwise feel at his crimes, and prevents us from being entirely disgusted. Alvero has some character, and Hortenso and Isabella are a fair couple. Upon the whole, this is not a bad play; it is at an immeasurable height above Tamburlaine, and vastly superior to the Jew of Malta. In general interest, it surpasses Doctor Faustus, though inferior in terrible effect. It is also distinguished by a greater chasteness and propriety of imagery, and a more exquisite melody in the versification than any of his other productions.

The following soliloquy of Eleazar is written with considerable force of expression.

"Now, purple villany,

Sit like a robe imperial on my back,
That under thee I closelier may contrive

My vengeance; foul deeds hid, do sweetly thrive.

Mischief, erect thy throne and sit in state,

Here, here upon this head; let fools fear fate,
Thus I defy my stars: I care not, I,
How low I tumble down, so I mount high:
Old Time, I'll wait bare-headed at thy heels,
And be a foot-boy to thy winged hours;
They shall not tell one minute out in sands,
But I'll set down the number; I'll still wake

And waste these balls of sight, by tossing them
In busy observations upon thee,

Sweet opportunity! I'll bind myself
To thee in base apprenticehood so long,
Till on thy naked scalp grow hair as thick
As mine, and all hands shall lay hold on thee,
If thou wilt lend me but thy rusty scythe,

To cut down all that stand within my wrongs
And my revenge."

The best scene is between the King Fernando and Maria, which is both beautiful and pathetic.

The King sends the Moor in pursuit of Prince Philip and Mendoza, to favor his designs upon his wife, who, to prevent them, administers a narcotic potion to him.

"Maria. Oh! kill me ere you stain my chastity.

King. My hand holds death, but love sits in mine eye.
Exclaim not, dear Maria, do but hear me :
Though thus in dead of night, as I do now,
The lustful Tarquin stole to the chaste bed
Of Collatine's fair wife, yet shalt thou be
No Lucrece, nor thy king a Roman slave,
To make rude villany thine honour's grave.

Maria. Why from my bed have you thus frighted me?
King. To let thee view a bloody horrid tragedy.
Maria. Begin it then; I'll gladly lose my life,

Rather than be an emperor's concubine.

King. By my high birth, I swear thou shalt be none;
The tragedy I'll write with my own hand,

A king shall act it, and a king shall die,

Except sweet mercy's beam shine from thine eye.

If this affright thee, it shall sleep for ever.

If still thou hate me, thus this noble blade,

This royal purple temple shall invade.

Maria. My husband is from hence, for his sake spare me.
King. Thy husband is no Spaniard; thou art one,

So is Fernando; then, for country's sake,

Let me not spare thee: on thy husband's face,
Eternal night in gloomy shades doth dwell;

But I'll look on thee like the gilded sun,,

When to the west his fiery horses run.

Maria. True, here you look on me with sun-set eyes,

For by beholding you my glory dies..

King. Call me thy morning then, for like the morn,

In pride Maria shall through Spain be borne.

[Music plays within.

This music was prepar'd to please thine ears:
Love me, and thou shalt hear no other sounds.

[A banquet brought in.

Lo, here's a banquet set with my own hands;
Love me, and thus I'll feast thee like a queen.
I might command thee, being thy sovereign;
But love me, and I'll kneel and sue to thee,
And circle this white forehead with the crown
Of Castile, Portugal, and Arragon,
And all those petty kingdoms which do bow
Their tributary knees to Philip's heir.
Maria. I cannot love you whilst my
husband lives.
King. I'll send him to the wars, and in the front
Of some main army shall he nobly die..

Maria. I cannot love you if you murder him.
King. For thy sake then I'll call a Parliament,
And banish, by a law, all Moors from Spain.

Maria. I'll wander with him into banishment.
King. It shall be death for any Negro's hand
To touch the beauty of a Spanish dame.
Come, come, what needs such cavils with a king?
Night blinds all jealous eyes, and we may play ;
Carouse that bowl to me, I'll pledge all this;
Being down, we'll make it more sweet with a kiss.
Begin, I'll lock all doors; begin, Spain's queen,

[Locks the doors.

Love's banquet is most sweet when 'tis least seen.
Maria. Oh! thou conserver of my honour's life,
Instead of poisoning him, drown him in sleep;
Because I'll quench the flames of wild desire,
I'll drink this off, let fire conquer love's fire.

King. Were love himself in real substance here,
Thus would I drink him down; let your sweet strings
Speak louder, pleasure is but a slave to kings,
In which love swims. Maria, kiss thy king:
Circle me in this ring of ivory;

Oh! I grow dull, and the cold hand of sleep
Hath thrust his icy fingers in my breast,
And made a frost within me: sweet, one kiss,
To thaw this deadness that congeals my soul.
Maria. Your majesty hath over-watch'd yourself.
He sleeps already, not the sleep of death,
But a sweet slumber which the powerful drug
Instill'd through all the spirits. Oh! bright day,

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Bring home my dear lord ere his king awake,
Else of his unstain'd bed he'll shipwreck make.

Enter the Queen, Alvero, and Roderigo.

[Offers to go.

Queen. I murder but the murd'ress of my son.
All. We murder the murd'ress of our king.

Alv. Ah, me! my child! oh! oh, cease your torturing! Maria. Heaven, ope your windows, that my spotless soul, Riding upon the wings of innocence,

May enter Paradise.

[She dies. King wakes. King. Who calls Fernando? Love, Maria, speak; Oh! whither art thou fled? Whence flow these waters, That fall like winter storms from the drown'd eyes? Alv. From my Maria's death.

King. My Maria dead!

Damn'd be the soul to hell that stopp'd her breath.

Maria! oh, me! who durst murder her?

Qu. Mo. I thought my dear Fernando had been dead, And in my indignation murder'd her.

King. I was not dead until you murder'd me,

By killing fair Maria.

Qu. Mo. Gentle son—

King. Ungentle mother, you a deed have done

Of so much ruth, that no succeeding age

Can ever clear you off. Oh! my dear love!

Yet heavens can witness thou wert never mine.

Spain's wonder was Maria.

Qu. Mo. Sweet, have done.

King. Have done! for what? For shedding zealous tears

Over the tomb of virtuous chastity?

You cry, have done, now I am doing good;

But cry'd, do on, when you were shedding blood.
Have you done, mother? Yes, yes, you have done
That which will undo your unhappy son.

Rod. These words become you not, my gracious lord.
King. These words become not me! no more it did
Become you lords to be mute standers by,
When lustful fury ravish'd chastity;
It ill becomes me to lament her death:
But it became you well to stop her breath.

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