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Pour'd into kennels by it, and who dares
Look well in the breast whom that impairs !
How all the court now look askance on me!
Go by without saluting, shun my sight,
Which, like a March sun, agues breeds in them,

From whence of late 'twas health to have a beam.

D'Auv. Now none will speak to us, we thrust ourselves

Into men's companies, and offer speech,

As if not made for their diverted ears,

Their backs tnrn'd to us, and their words to others,

And we must like obsequious parasites,
Follow their faces, wind about their persons
For looks and answers, or be cast behind,
No more view'd than the wallet of their faults.

Byr. Is't not an easy loss to lose their looks,
Whose hearts so soon are melted?

D'Auv. But methinks,

Being courtiers, they should cast best looks on men
When they thought worst of them.

Byr. O no, my Lord:

They ne'er dissemble but for some advantage.
They sell their looks and shadows, which they rate
After their markets, kept beneath the state.
Lord, what foul weather, their aspects do threaten !
See, in how grave a track he sets his vizard:
Passion of nothing, see, an excellent gesture.
Now courtship goes a ditching in their foreheads,
And we are fallen into those dismal ditches.
Why ev'n thus dreadfully would they be rapt
If the king's butter'd eggs were only spilt."

It is not without frequent attempts on the part of the King to induce Byron to confess his error, and receive a pardon, that he permits his ministers to proceed to extremities against the unfortunate marshal. Byron however still holds out, and persists in insolently maintaining his innocence, though Henry hints at his having in his possession undeniable proofs of his guilt. The king is represented as much agitated on the subject of the delinquency of his favourite, and its necessary consequences. In one of his solitary reflections on the subject, he gives utterance to these noble and elevated thoughts.

"O thou that govern'st the keen sword of kings,
Direct my arm in this important stroke,

Or hold it, being advanc'd. The weight of blood,
Even in the basest subject, doth exact
Deep consultation in the highest king:
For in one subject, death's unjust affrights,
Passions and pains, though he be ne'er so poor,
Ask more remorse than the voluptuous spleens
Of all kings in the world deserve respect.
He should be born grey-headed, that will bear
The sword of empire: judgment of the life,
Free state, and reputation of a man,

If he be just and worthy, dwells so dark,
That it denies access to sun and moon;
The soul's eye, sharpen'd with that sacred light
Of whom the sun itself is but a beam,
Must only give that judgment. O how much
Err those kings then that play with life and death,
And nothing put into their serious states

But humour and their lusts! For which alone
Men long for kingdoms, whose huge counterpoise
In cares and dangers, could a fool comprise,
He would not be a king, but would be wise."

"As a bird

Enter'd a closet, which unwares is made
His desperate prison, being pursued, amaz'd
And wrathful, beats his breast from wall to wall,
Assaults the light, strikes down himself, not qut,
And, being taken, struggles, gasps, and bites,
Takes all his taker's strokings to be strokes,
Abhorreth food, and, with a savage will,
Frets, pines, and dies, for former liberty."

Byron and D'Auvergne are, at length, committed to prison, and the former is afterwards brought to trial. The evidence of his confidential agent, La Fin, is brought against him, and in spite of his passionate defence of himself, and his own belief, he is condemned. From the moment of his committal to prison to that of his death, he behaves like a madman, with comparatively lucid intervals, if, at least, he may not be said to have done so from the opening of the play. In his confinement

he is described:

"As a savage boar, that, hunted long
Assailed and set up, with his only eyes,

2 c


And when brought to the scaffold, this simile is applied to

him :


Swimming in fire, keeps off the baying hounds,
Though sunk himself, yet holds his anger up,
And snows it forth in foam, holds firm his stand,
Of battalous bristles-feeds his hate to die,
And whets his tusks with wrathful majesty.

So fares the furious duke, and, with his looks,
Doth teach death horrors, makes the hangman learn
New habits for his bloody impudence."

The scenes of his execution are perhaps the best part of the second half of the play. The fierce impatience of the prisoner, his persisting in believing the trial and sentence a trick to frighten him, his constant delay in hopes of "mercy yet," and when he finds he must die, his determining to have a "will" in his death, and die just at the moment he pleases, are all in admirable keeping, and shew his outrageous character in a more natural light, than that in which it had hitherto been exhibited. When the archbishop desires to administer to him religious consolation, he exclaims:

"Let me alone in peace,.
Leave my soul to me, whom it most concerns:
You have no charge of it; I feel her free;
How she doth rouse, and, like a falcon, stretch
Her silver wings, as threat'ning death with death;
At whom I joyfully will cast her off.

I know this body but a sink of folly,

The groundwork and rais'd frame of woe and frailty;
The bond and bundle of corruption;

A quick corpse, only sensible of grief;

A walking sepulchre or household thief;
A glass of air broken with less than breath;

A slave bound face to face to death, till death ;
And what said all you more? I know, besides,
That life is but a dark and stormy night,

Of senseless dreams, terrors, and broken sleeps;
A tyranny, devising pains to plague

And make man long in dying, racks his death,
And death is nothing: what can you say more?
I bring a long globe, and a little earth,

Am seated like earth betwixt both the heavens,
That if I rise, to heaven I rise; if fall,

I likewise fall to heaven: what stronger faith
Hath any of your souls? what say you more?
Why lose I time in these things? Talk of knowledge,
It serves for inward use. I will not die

Like to a clergyman; but like the captain
That pray'd on horseback, and with sword in hand
Threaten'd the sun, commanding it to stand:
These are but ropes of sand.

Chan. Desire you then

To speak with any man ?

Byr. I would speak with La Force and St. Blancart. Do they fly me!

Where is Prevost, comptroller of my house?

Pra. Gone to his house i'th' country, three days since. Byr. He should have staid here; he keeps all my blanks. O all the world forsakes me! Wretched world, Consisting most of parts, that fly each other; A firmness, breeding all inconstancy;

A bond of all disjunction. Like a man
Long buried, is a man that long hath liv'd;
Touch him, he falls to ashes. For one fault
I forfeit all the fashion of a man.

Why should I keep my soul in this dark light,
Whose black beams lighted me to lose myself,
When I have lost my arms, my fame, my wind,
Friends, brother, hopes, fortunes, and even my fury?
O happy were the man could live alone,
To know no man, nor be of any known!

Har. My lord, it is the manner once again
To read the sentence.

Byr. Yet more sentences!

How often will ye make me suffer death,
As ye were proud to hear your powerful dooms!
I know and feel you were the men that gave it,
And die most cruelly to hear so often
My crimes and bitter condemnation urg'd.
Suffice it, I am brought here and obey,
And that all here are privy to my crimes.

Chan. It must be read, my lord; no remedy.
Byr. Read, if it must be, then; and I must talk."

As he is proceeding to execution, he says:

"Good sir, I pray

Go after and beseech the Chancellor,
That he will let my body be interr'd
Amongst my predecessors at Byron.

Desc. I go, my lord.
Byr. Go, go! can all go thus!


And no man come with comfort! Farewell, world:
He is at no end of his actions blest

Whose ends will make him greatest, and not best.
They tread no ground, but ride in air on storms,
That follow state, and hunt their empty forms.
Who see not that the valleys of the world
Might even right with the mountains: that they grow
Green and lie warmer; and ever peaceful are
When clouds spit fire at hills, and burn them bare.
Not valley's part, but we should imitate streams
That run below the vallies, and do yield

To every mole-hill; every bank embrace

That checks their currents; and when torrents come,
That swell and raise them past their natural height,
How mad they are and troubled; like low strains
With torrents crown'd are men with diadems.

Vit. My lord, 'tis late; wilt please you to go up?
Byr. Up! 'tis a fair preferment, ha, ha, ha!

There should go shouts to upshots. Not a breath
Of any mercy yet! Come, since we must.
Who's this?

Pral. The executioner, my lord.

Byr. Death, slave, down! or by the blood that moves me I'll pluck thy throat out. Go, I'll call you straight."

The archbishop again exhorts the dying man, now blinded for execution, to turn his thoughts to heaven; but meets with a similar repulse. After which, the duke arranges matters with his executioner, appeals to the soldiery in vain, and then submits to his fate.

"Arch. My lord, now you are blind to this world's sight, Look upwards to a world of endless light.

Byr. Ay, ay, you talk of upward still to others,
And downwards look, with headlong eyes yourselves.
Now come you up, sir; but not touch me yet:
Where shall I be now?

Hang. Here, my lord.

Byr. Where's that?

Hang. There, there, my lord.

Byr. And where, slave, is that there?
Thou see'st I see not, yet speak as I saw.
Well, now is't fit?

Hang. Kneel, I beseech your grace,
That I may do my office with most order.

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