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That such a one in her white innocence,
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Hel. Then behold 7901257,1',''),
Sebast. 'Tis most strange.
Hel. How should I know that ring to be the same
Doth your guilt ..
And sink you down to hell.
Bon. What prostrates them
Isab. Oh, till now, . ,!
“ The Challenge for Beauty” is full of action and interest, and possesses a great variety of well-discriminated characters; the arrogant and vain-glorious Isabella, the vivacious vanity of Petrocella, and the noble innocence and enterprise of Hellena, amongst the female, and the weak and yielding king and his lying courtiers, the mixture of boasting and pride, with high honour, in Valladaura, and the fierce contempt and rigid integrity of Mountferrers, amongst the male characters, form altogether a varied and pleasing group.
There is great vivacity in this performance, and sometimes considerable smartness of repartee; as for example, in the following scene between Petrocella and Valladaura, an old lover just returned from a cruise, and Aldana, the lady's foolish old father.
“Pet. Come, be not passionate : though I know both my worth and beauty, and understand what orb they move into, I am not so much infected with that same court-sickness, philautia, or self-love, to scorn. the service of any generous spirit.
Ald. How, neither for thy profit, nor thy father's honour?
Pet. In sober conference'then, what bounded service have you ever done my beauty, that may challenge the least interest in my love?
Val. As many as man can : I writ myself
Pet. What did you ?
Ald. For thy honour now,
Val. As much as any man
Undress'd and unbound up deliver.
Pet. They are tongue-ty’d, and cannot speak for blushing; pretty ornaments for a soldier: how came you by them trow? honestly?
Val. As noble Hector did by his, but by An enemy far more valiant than his. .
Ald. I like that well; thy further honour still?
Val. At sea I met with a bold man of war, And somewhat more, an Englishman: Oh had Your eye (but fate deny'd that blessedness) Witness'd our bearing, and how far the thought Of you and your rare beauty carried me
Above my strength. Pèt. I should have said what you are forced to acknowledge, that my beauty had been the better man.
Ald. I am proud of that, thy further honour still?
Pet. All this while you are beholden to my beauty, and I nothing in debt to your valour, which, for ought I gather, is nothing at all.
Val. Nothing, to enter and hold single combat
Pet. 'Twas I confess somewhat to take these wounds; yet in my mind he that gives the cognizance has more reason to boast of it, than he that wears it: shew me the man that gave you these wounds, and I'll commend his valour.
Ald. For giving of 'em? Knight, there's small honour in taking of 'em though, in my judgment: but what was he?
Val. A man whose noble valour I must speak.
Pet. So I thought, for you wear a livery of his, cut to the skin and lined with crimson: had you gi’n’t him, I should have ta'en you for the master. But, pardon me, I soar too high for a serving man: your ear; I am modest: away! hie to the suburbs, bribe some honest barber-surgeon to wash off your dishonour and heal your infamy.
“ The Royal King and Loyal Subject” is a good play, without possessing any very striking scenes, but we cannot say so much for the moral of it.-It is a perfect sample of loyal non-resistance—of passive obedience pushed to its extreme verge ; it is not the case of a pliant sycophant-a mere court nonentity, the contempt which must accompany whose all. complying nature would have been a sufficient equipoise to his slavish obedience ; but it is that of a magnanimous, valiant, and discreet gentleman, who is as blindly submissive as the most absolute despot . could desire. Beaumont and Fletcher's play of “ The Royal Subject” bears a considerable resemblance to this play, “ The Loyal Subject,” of Heywood. The substance of the story is, that certain noble persons about court, jealous of the virtues, fame, and kingly favour which the marshal," the loyal subject,” enjoys, endeavour to prejudice the royal mind against him. They succeed so far as to induce the royal, or tyrant king to prove him—to put his virtue, that is his power of bearing and forbearing, to the severest test which royal ingenuity can devise. The king first strips him of all his offices, one by one, and in the most public and contemptuous manner bestows them upon his unworthy enemies, and then banishes him from court. Understanding that the marshal has two daughters, the king despatches a nobleman with a command for him to send to court her of the two who is the most dear to him. The marshal sends the elder, who, by her beauty and grace, gains the affections of majesty, and is made his queen. The marshal, who foresaw this event, had instructed his daughter, when she found herself pregnant, to speak of the superior beauty of her sister, and the greater affection which the marshal had for her. Hereupon his majesty, in seeming rage, packs off his queen to her father, and requires the other daughter to be sent to him. The marshal delays complying with this requisition (the only instance of his disobedience,) for three months. At last, he sends the queen crowned, accompanied with a double dowry, and attended by her sister to court, he himself remaining at a convenient distance, and begging permission to present his majesty with a more valuable present than any thing he had yet sent. The king consents—the marshal approaches, and presents a magnificent cradle and a young prince.- A reconciliation takes place, and the marshal receives a king's daughter for his wife, but his probation does not end here-he undergoes a public trial, and, that having terminated in his triumph, and the discomfiture of his enemies, the scene closes. .
As we have rather a long extract to give from another of Heywood's plays, we shall not attempt to illustrate our observations on this play by any quotation from it, but proceed at once to the best known and best of his plays,-—" À Woman killed with Kindness.” This is the most tearful of tragedies ; the most touching in story; the most pathetic in detail ;-it raises, in the reader's breast,“ a sea of troubles ;” a sympathy the most engrossing; a grief the most profound. We are overwhelmed with the emotion of the unhappy sufferers, and are carried along in the stream of distress, incapable of resistance, and unconscious of any thing but the scene before us. If the miserable termination of a guilty connection can ever serve as an example to those who are still innocent, the unparalleled agony, the immedicable wound
" which no cooling herb,
exhibited in this tragedy, must serve as an awful beacon to warn the pure and inexperienced. The most phlegmatic in feeling, the most obtuse in understanding, cannot remain unaffected; it must emphatically come home to men's business and bosoms. The subject of this domestic tragedy, the conjugal infidelity of Mrs. Frankford, is pretty much the same as that of “ The English Traveller," but is infinitely more distressing in its details. Mrs. Frankford is represented as a pure and good woman, and yet she surrenders at discretion, or rather at indiscretion, hardly making a shew of resistance. It must be admitted, that the tempter sustains his cause in a very artful manner, with many a glozing wile ; but yet the conquest appears unnaturally precipitate. This, however, does not at all diminish the interest, or intensity, of the scenes which follow. The under plot of this play is also of an interesting and affecting kind. The occasional rhyme, with which some, even the most solemn passages, canter off, gives an unpleasant jerk to the course of our feelings; it causes too violent a change in the measure and produces a disagreeable effect.
The passages we are about to quote immediately succeed the discovery of the guilty connection between Mrs. Frankford and Wendoli, the creature of Mr. Frankford's bounty. They need no commentary, and we shall not weaken their effect by another word. They will form an appropriate conclusion to a paper on Heywood's plays.
Mr. Frankford discovers that his Wife has been unfaithful to him.
Mrs. Fra. O by what words, what title, or what name
Fran. Spare thou thy tears, for I will weep for thee.