Page images
PDF
EPUB

[Thunder and lightning. O soul, be chang'd into little water-drops, And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found !

Enter Devils My God, my God, look not so fierce on me! Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while! Ugly hell, gape not ! come not, Lucifer! I'll burn my books !-Ah, Mephistophilis !

[Exeunt Devils with Faustus.

Enter Chorus Chor. Cut is the branch that might have

grown full straight, And burned is Apollo's laurel-bough, That sometime grew within this learned man. Faustus is gone: regard his hellish fall, Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise, Only to wonder at unlawful things, Whose deepness doth entice such forward

wits To practice more than heavenly power permits.

[Exit.

Ther. Nay, though I praise it, I can live

without it. Tamb. What say my other friends ? will you

be kings? Tech. I, if I could, with all my heart, my

lord. Tamb. Why, that's well said, Techelles: so

would I:And so would you, my masters, would you

not? Usum. What, then, my lord ? Tamb. Why, then, Casane, shall we wish for

aught The world affords in greatest novelty, And rest attemptless, faint, and destitute! Methinks we should not. I am strongly

mov'd, That if I should desire the Persian crown, I could attain it with a wondrous ease: And would not all our soldiers soon consent, If we should aim at such a dignity? Ther. I know they would with our persua

sions. Tamb. Why, then, Theridamas, I'll first

assay To get the Persian kingdom to myself; Then thou for Parthia; they for Scythia

and Media; And, if I prosper, all shall be as sure As if the Turk, the Pope, Afric, and Greece, Came creeping to us with their crowns a-piece.

[From Act. II, Sc. v.]

Terminat hora diem; terminat auctor opus

SELECTIONS FROM TAMBURLAINE

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE

1. The Will to Power Meander (to the Persian Prince). Your

majesty shall shortly have your wish, And ride in triumph through Persepolis. [Exeunt all except Tamburlaine and his

three Captains. Tamb. And ride in triumph through Per

sepolis ! Is it not brave to be a king, Techelles ! Usumcasane and Theridamas, Is it not passing brave to be a king, And ride in triumph through Persepolis ? Tech. O, my lord, it is sweet and full of

pomp! Usum. To be a king, is half to be a god. Ther. A god is not so glorious as a king: I think the pleasure they enjoy in heaven, Cannot compare with kingly joys in earth ;To wear a crown enchas'd with pearl and

gold, Whose virtues carry with it life and death; To ask and have, command and be obey'd ; When looks breed love, with looks to gain

the prize, Such power attractive shines in princes'

eyes. Tamb. Why, say, Theridamas, wilt thou be

a king?

2. Infinite Desire Tamburlaine (to the Persian Prince, whom

he has conquered). The thirst of reign

and sweetness of a crown, That caus’d the eldest son of heavenly Ops To thrust his doting father from his chair, And place himself in the empyreal heaven, Mov'd me to manage arms against thy state. What better precedent than mighty Jove? Nature, that fram'd us of four elements Warring within our breasts for regiment, Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds: Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend The wondrous architecture of the world, And measure every wandering planet's

course, Still climbing after knowledge infinite, And always moving as the restless spheres, Will us to wear ourselves, and never rest, Until we reach the ripest fruit of all, That perfect bliss and sole felicity, The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.

[From Act II, Sc. vii.] 3. In Praise of Beauty Ah, fair Zenocrate!-divine Zenocrate! Fair is too foul an epithet for thee,That in thy passion for thy country's love, And fear to see thy kingly father's harm, With hair disheveld wip'st thy watery

cheeks; And, like to Flora in her morning's pride, Shaking her silver tresses in the air, Rain'st on the earth resolved pearl in show

ers, And sprinklest sapphires on thy shining

face, Where Beauty, mother to the Muses, sits, And comments volumes with her ivory pen, Taking instructions from thy flowing eyes; Eyes, when that Ebena steps to heaven, In silence of thy solemn evening's walk, Making the mantle of the richest night, The moon, the planets, and the meteors,

light; There angels in their crystal armors fight A doubtful battle with my tempted thoughts For Egypt's freedom and the Soldan's life, His life that so consumes Zenocrate; Whose sorrows lay more siege unto my soul Than all my army to Damascus' walls; And neither Persia's sovereign nor the Turk Troubled my senses with conceit of foil So much by much as doth Zenocrate. What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then? If all the pens that ever poets held Had fed the feeling of their masters'

thoughts, And every sweetness that inspir'd their

hearts, Their minds, and muses on admired themes; If all the heavenly quintessence they still From their immortal flowers of poesy, Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive The highest reaches of a human wit; If these had made one poem's period, And all combin'd in beauty's worthiness, Yet should there hover in their restless heads One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the

least, Which into words no virtue can digest. But how unseemly is it for my sex, My discipline of arms and chivalry, My nature, and the terror of my name, To harbor thoughts effeminate and faint! Save only that in beauty's just applause, With whose instinct the soul of man is

touched; And every warrior that is rapt with love Of fame, of valor, and of victory, Must needs have beauty beat on his conceits:

I thus conceiving, and subduing both,
That which hath stoop'd the chiefest of the

gods, Even from the fiery-spangled veil of heaven, To feel the lovely warmth of shepherds'

flames, And mask in cottages of strowed reeds, Shall give the world to note, for all my birth, That virtue solely is the sum of glory, And fashions men with true nobility.

[From Act V, Sc. i.] “ALL KNOWLEDGE TO BE MY PROVINCE”

FRANCIS BACON [A Letter to Lord Chancellor Burghley]

My LORD— With as much confidence as mine own honest and faithful devotion unto your service and your honorable correspondence unto me and my poor estate can breed in a man, do I commend myself unto your Lordship. I wax now somewhat ancient; one and thirty years is a great deal of sand in the hour glass. My health, I thank God, I find confirmed; and I do not fear that action shall impair it, because I account my ordinary course of study and meditation to be more painful than most parts of act

are. I ever bare a mind (in some middle place that I could discharge) to serve her majesty, not as a man born under Sol, that loveth honor; nor under Jupiter, that loveth business (for the contemplative planet carrieth me away wholly); but as

a man born under an excellent sovereign, that deserveth the dedication of all men's abilities. Besides, I do not find in myself so much self-love, but tha; the greater parts of my thoughts are to deserve well (if I be able) of my friends, and namely of your Lordship; who, being the Atlas of this commonwealth, the honor of my house, and the second founder of my poor estate, I am tied by all duties, both of a good patriot and of an unworthy kinsman, and of an obliged servant, to employ whatsoever I am to do you service. Again, the meanness of my estate doth somewhat move me: for, though I cannot accuse myself that I am either prodigal or slothful, yet my health is not to spend, nor my course to get.

Lastly, I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken all knowledge to be my province; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations, and verbosi

ties, the other with blind experiments and of all men so desirous of that which no man auricular traditions and impostures, hath may obtain? It is an axiom of Nature that committed so many spoils, I hope I should natural desire cannot utterly be frustrate. bring in industrious observations, grounded This desire of ours being natural should conclusions, and profitable inventions and be frustrate, if that which may satisfy the discoveries; the best state of that province. same were a thing impossible for man to This, whether it be curiosity or vain glory, aspire unto. Man doth seek a triple peror nature, or (if one take it favorably), fection: first a sens

nsual, consisting in those philanthropia, is so fixed in my mind as it things which very life itself requireth either cannot be removed. And I do easily see, as necessary supplements, or as beauties and that place of any reasonable countenance ornaments thereof; then an intellectual, doth bring commandment of more wits than consisting in those things which none underof a man's own; which is the thing I greatly neath man is either capable of or acquainted affect. And for your Lordship, perhaps with; lastly a spiritual and divine, consistyou shall not find more strength and less ing in those things whereunto we tend by encounter in any other. And if your Lord- supernatural means here, but cannot here ship shall find now, or at any time, that I attain unto them. They who make the first do seek or affect any place whereunto any of these three the scope of their whole life, that is nearer unto your Lordship shall be are said by the Apostle to have no god but concurrent, say then that I am a most dis- only their belly, to be earthly-minded men. honest man. And if your Lordship will Unto the second they bend themselves, who not carry me on, I will not do as Anaxagoras seek especially to excel in all such knowldid, who reduced himself with contempla- edge and virtue as doth most commend men. tion unto voluntary poverty, but this I will To this branch belongeth the law of moral do—I will sell the inheritance I have, and and civil perfection. That there is somepurchase some lease of quick revenue, or what higher than either of these two, no some office of gain that shall be executed by other proof doth need than the very process deputy, and so give over all care of service, of man's desire, which being natural should and become some sorry book-maker, or a be frustrate, if there were not some farther true pioneer in that mine of truth, which thing wherein it might rest at the length (he said) lay so deep. This which I have

contented, which in the former it cannot do. writ unto your Lordship is rather thoughts For man doth not seem to rest satisfied, than words, being set down without all art, either with fruition of that wherewith his disguising, or reservation. Wherein I have

life is preserved, or with performance of done honor both to your Lordship’s wisdom, such actions as advance him most deservedly in judging that that will be best believed of

in estimation; but doth further covet, yea your Lordship which is truest, and to your oftentimes manifestly pursue with great Lordship's good nature, in retaining noth

sedulity and earnestness, that which cannot ing from you. And even so I wish your stand him in any stead for vital use; that Lordship all happiness, and to myself means which exceedeth the reach of sense; yea and occasions to be added to my faithful somewhat above capacity of reason, somedesire to do you service. From my lodgings what divine and heavenly, which with hidat Gray's Inn.

den exultation it rather surmiseth than conA MORE DIVINE PERFECTION

ceiveth; somewhat seeketh, and what that

is directly it knoweth not, yet very intentive RICHARD HOOKER

desire thereof doth so incite it, that all other [From Ecclesiastical Polity, Book 1, ch. xi.] known delights and pleasures are laid aside, Now if men had not naturally this de

they give place to the search of this but only sire to be happy, how were it possible that

suspected desire. If the soul of man did all men should have it? All men have.

serve only to give him being in this life, Therefore this desire in man is natural. It

then things appertaining unto this life would is not in our power not to do the same; how

content him, as we see they do other creashould it then be in our power to do it

tures; which creatures enjoying what they coldly or remissly? So that our desire being live by seek no further, but in this contentanatural is also in that degree of earnestness

tion do show a kind of acknowledgment that whereunto nothing can be added. And is it there is no higher good which doth any way probable that God should frame the hearts belong unto them. With us it is otherwise.

4

For although the beauties, riches, honors, sciences, virtues, and perfections of all men living, were in the present possession of one; yet somewhat beyond and above all this there would still be sought and earnestly thirsted for. So that Nature even in this life doth plainly claim and call for a more divine perfection than either of these iwo that have been mentioned.

SELF-DISCIPLINE: THE STORY OF GUYON

EDMUND SPENSER

[The Faerie Queene, Book II, Canto VII]

His yron cote, all overgrowne with rust, Was underneath enveloped with gold; Whose glistring glosse, darkned with filthy

dust, Well yet appeared to have beene of old A worke of rich entayle and curious mould, Woven with antickes and wyld ymagery; And in his lap a masse of coyne he told, And turned upside downe, to feede his eye And covetous desire with his huge threasury.

5 And round about him lay on every side Great heapes of gold that never could be

spent; Of which some were rude owre, not purifide Of Mulcibers devouring element; Some others were new driven, and distent Into great Ingowes and to wedges square; Some in round plates withouten moniment; But most were stampt, and in their metal

bare The antique shapes of kings and kesars

straunge and rare.

6

1 As Pilot well expert in perilous wave, That to a stedfast starre his course hath

bent, When foggy mistes or cloudy tempests have The faithfull light of that faire lampe

yblent, And cover'd heaven with hideous dreriment, ['pon his card and compas firmes his eye, The maysters of his long experiment, And to them does the steddy helme apply, Bidding his winged vessell fairely forward fly;

2 So Guyon having lost his trustie guyde, Late left beyond that Ydle lake, proceedes Yet on his way, of none accompanyde; And evermore himselfe with comfort feedes Of his own vertues and praise-worthie dedes. So, long he yode, yet no adventure found, Which fame of her shrill trompet worthy

reedes; For still he traveild through wide wastefull

ground, That nought but desert wildernesse shewed all around.

3 At last he came unto a gloomy glade, Cover'd with boughes and shrubs from heav

ens light, Whereas he sitting found in secret shade An uncouth, salvage, and uncivile wight, Of griesly hew and fowle ill favour'd sight; His face with smoke was tand, and eies were

bleard, His head and beard with sout were ill

bedight, His cole-blacke hands did seem to have been

seard In smythes fire-spitting forge, and nayles

like clawes appeard.

Soone as he Guyon saw, in great affright
And haste he rose for to remove aside
Those pretious hils from straungers envious

sight, And downe them poured through an hole

full wide Into the hollow earth, them there to hide. But Guyon, lightly to him leaping, stayd His hand that trembled as one terrifyde; And though himselfe were at the sight

dismayd, Yet him perforce restraynd, and to him

doubtfull sayd:

7

“What art thou, man, (if man at all thou

art) That here in desert hast thine habitaunce, And these rich hils of welth doest hide apart From the worldes eye, and from her right

usaunce ?" Thereat, with staring eyes fixed askaunce, In great disdaine he answerd: "Hardy

Elfe, That darest view my direful countenaunce, I read thee rash and heedlesse of thy selfe, To trouble my still seate, and heapes of pre

tious pelfe.

8

And him that raignd into his rowme thrust

downe, “God of the world and worldlings I me call,

And whom I lust do heape with glory and Great Mammon, greatest god below the skye,

renowne?That of my plenty poure out unto all,

12 And unto none my graces do envye: Riches, renowme, and principality,

“All otherwise" (saide he) "I riches read, Honour, estate, and all this worldes good, And deeme them roote of all disquietnesse; For which men swinck and sweat inces- First got with guile, and then preserv'd santly,

with dread, Fro me do flow into an ample flood, And after spent with pride and lavishnesse, And in the hollow earth have their eternall Leaving behind them griefe and heavinesse: brood.

Infinite mischiefes of them doe arize, 9

Strife and debate, bloodshed and bitter

nesse, "Wherefore, if me thou deigne to serve and

Outrageous wrong, and hellish covetize, sew,

That noble heart as great dishonour doth At thy command lo! all these mountaines

despize. bee:

13 Or if to thy great mind, or greedy vew, All these may not suffise, there shall to thee "Ne thine be kingdomes, ne the scepters Ten times so much be nombred francke and thine; free."

But realmes and rulers thou doest both con"Mammon," (said he) “thy godheads vaunt found, is vaine,

And loyall truth to treason doest incline: And idle offers of thy golden fee;

Witnesse the guiltlesse blood pourd oft on To them that covet such eye-glutting gaine ground, Proffer thy giftes, and fitter servaunts enter- The crowned often slaine, the slayer cround; taine.

The sacred Diademe in peeces rent, 10

And purple robe gored with many a wound,

Castles surprizd, great cities sackt and “Me ill besits, that in der-doing armes

brent: And honours suit my vowed daies do spend,

So mak'st thou kings, and gaynest wrongUnto thy bounteous baytes and pleasing

full government. charmes, With which weake men thou witchest, to at

14 tend; Regard of worldly mucke doth fowly blend, “Long were to tell the troublous stormes that And low abase the high heroicke spright,

tosse That joyes for crownes and kingdomes to The private state, and make the life uncontend;

sweet: Faire shields, gay steedes, bright armes be Who swelling sayles in Caspian sea doth my delight;

crosse, Those be the riches fit for an advent'rous And in frayle wood on Adrian gulf doth knight.”

fleet, 11

Doth not, I weene, so many evils meet."

Then Mammon wexing wroth, “And why “Vaine glorious Elfe” (saide he) "doest not

then," sayd, thou weet,

“Are mortall men so fond and undiscreet That money can thy wantes at will sup

So evill thing to seeke unto their ayd, ply?

And having not complaine, and having it Sheilds, steeds, and armes, and all things

upbrayd ?” for thee meet,

15 It can purvay in twinckling of an eye; And crownes and kingdomes to thee mul- "Indeede," (quoth he) "through fowle intiply.

temperaunce, Do not I kings create, and throw the Frayle men are oft captiv'd to covetise; crowne

But would they thinke with how small alSometimes to him that low in dust doth ly, lowaunce

« PreviousContinue »