Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

I kiss these fingers [Kisses her hand.] for eternal

peace : Who art thou?

say,
that I
may

honour thee. Mar. Margaret my name; and daughter to a king, The king of Naples, whosoe'er thou art.

Suf. An earl I am, and Suffolk am I call’d.
Be not offended, nature's miracle,
Thou art allotted to be ta’en by me:
So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
Keeping them prisoners underneath her wings.
Yet, if this servile usage once offend,
Go, and be free again as Suffolk's friend.

[She turns away as going. 0, stay!--I have no power to let her pass; My hand would free her, but my

heart

says-no.
As plays the sun upon the glassy streams,
Twinkling another counterfeited beam,
So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes 7.
Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak:
I'll call for

pen
and ink, and write my

mind :
Fye, De la Poole ! disable not thyself®;
Hast not a tongue? is she not here thy prisoner?
Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight?

[ocr errors]

7 This comparison, made between things sufficiently unlike (Johnson observes), is intended to express the softness and delicacy of Lady Margaret's beauty, which delighted, but did not dazzle; which was bright, but gave no pain by its lustre. Thus Tasso:

Qual raggio in onda, le scintilla un riso

Negli umidi occhi tremulo.' Sidney, in his Astrophel and Stella, serves to support Johnson's explanation :

• Lest if no vaile these brave gleams did disguise,

They, sunlike, should more dazzle than delight.' 8 Do not represent thyself so weak.' To disable was to dispraise, or impeach. Thus in As You Like It, Act v. 'If again it was not well cut, he disabled my judgment.'

Ay; beauty's princely majesty is such,
Confounds the tongue, and makes the senses rougb 9.

Mar. Say, earl of Suffolk,-if thy name be so, What ransome must I

pay
before I

pass

? For, I perceive, I am thy prisoner.

Suf. How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit, Before thou make a trial of her love? [Aside.

Mar. Why speak’st thou not? what ransome must

I pay?

Suf. She's beautiful; and therefore to be woo'd: She is a woman ; therefore to be won. [Aside.

Mar. Wilt thou accept of ransome, yea, or no?

Suf. Fond man! remember, that thou hast a wife: Then how can Margaret be thy paramour? [Aside.

Mar. I were best leave him, for he will not hear.
Suf. There all is marr’d; there lies a cooling card".
Mar. He talks at random; sure, the man is mad.
Suf. And yet a dispensation may be had.
Mar. And yet I would that you would answer me.

Suf. I'll win this Lady Margaret. For whom? Why, for my king: Tush! that's a wooden thing",

Mar. He talks of wood: It is some carpenter.

Suf. Yet so my fancy 12 may be satisfied, And peace

established between these realms.

[ocr errors]

9 The meaning of rough here is not very evident. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads crouch.

10 A cooling card was most probably a card so decisive as to cool the courage of the adversary. Metaphorically, something to damp or overwhelm the hopes of an expectant. Thus in Beaumont and Fletcher's Island Princess :

These hot youths, I fear, will find a cooling card.' 11 i.e. an awkward business, an undertaking not likely to succeed. It is sport to see a bold fellow out of countenance, for that puts his face into a most shrunken and wooden posture. 12 i. e. love. Thus in Midsummer Night's Dream :

• Fair Helena in fancy following me.'

But there remains a' scruple in that too;
For though her father be the king of Naples,
Duke of Anjou and Maine, yet he is poor,
And our nobility will scorn the match. [Aside.

Mar. Hear ye, captain? Are you not at leisure ?

Suf. It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much: Henry is youthful, and will quickly yield.Madam, I have a secret to reveal. Mar. What though I be enthrall’d ? he seems a

knight, And will not any way dishonour me. [Aside.

Suf. Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.

Mar. Perhaps, I shall be rescu'd by the French; And then I need not crave his courtesy. [Aside.

Suf. Sweet madam, give me hearing in a causeMar. Tush: women have been captivate ere now.

[Aside. Suf. Lady, wherefore talk you so ? Mar. I cry you mercy, 'tis but quid for quo.

Suf. Say, gentle princess, would you not suppose Your bondage happy, to be made a queen?

Mar. To be a queen in bondage, is more vile, Than is a slave in base servility; For princes should be free. Suf.

And so shall you, If happy England's royal kingʻ be free.

Mar. Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?

Suf. I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen;
To put a golden sceptre in thy hand,
And set a precious crown upon thy head,
If thou wilt condescend to be my-
Mar.

What?
Suf. His love.
Mar. I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.

Suf. No, gentle madam; I unworthy am
To woo so fair a dame to be his wife,

[blocks in formation]

To me.

And have no portion in the choice myself.
How say you, madam; are you so content?

Mar. An if my father please, I am content.

Suf. Then call our captains, and our colours, forth: And, madam, at your father's castle walls We'll crave a parley to confer with him.

[Troops come forward. A Parley sounded. Enter REIGNIER, on the

Walls. Suf. See, Reignier, see, thy daughter prisoner. Reig. To whom? Suf. Reig.

Suffolk, what remedy? I am a soldier, and unapt to weep, Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.

Suf. Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord:
Consent (and, for thy honour, give consent),
Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king;
Whom I with pain have woo'd and won thereto;
And this her easy-held imprisonment
Hath gain'd thy daughter princely liberty.

Reig. Speaks Suffolk as he thinks ?
Suf.

Fair Margaret knows, That Suffolk doth not flatter, face 13, or feign.

Reig. Upon thy princely warrant, I descend, To give thee answer of thy just demand.

[Exit, from the Walls. Suf. And here I will expect thy coming. Trumpets sounded. Enter REIGNIER, below.

Reig. Welcome, brave earl, into our territories: Command in Anjou what your honour pleases.

13 To face it is to carry a false appearance, to play the hypocrite. Hence the name of one of Ben Johnson's characters in The Alchymist.

Suf. Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child.
Fit to be made companion with a king :
What answer makes your grace unto my suit ?
Reig. Since thou dost deign to woo her little

worth,
To be the princely bride of such a lord;
Upon condition I may quietly
Enjoy mine own, the county Maine, and Anjou,
Free from oppression, or the stroke of war,
My daughter shall be Henry's, if he please.

Suf. That is her ransome, I deliver her;
And those two counties, I will undertake,
Your grace shall well and quietly enjoy.

Reig. And I again,-in Henry's royal name, As deputy unto that gracious king, Give thee her hand, for sign of plighted faith.

Suf. Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks, Because this is in traffick of a king : And yet, methinks, I could be well content To be mine own attorney in this case.

[Aside. I'll over then to England with this news, And make this marriage to be solemniz'd; So, farewell, Reignier! Set this diamond safe In golden palaces, as it becomes.

Reig. I do embrace thee, as I would embrace The Christian prince, King Henry, were he here. Mar. Farewell, my lord! Good wishes, praise,

and prayers, Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret. [Going. Suf. Farewell, sweet madam! But hark you, Mar

garet; No princely commendation to my king ?

Mar. Such commendations as become a maid, A virgin, and his servant, say to him.

Suf. Words sweetly plac'd, and modestly directed.

« AnteriorContinuar »