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WOLSEY, ON HIS FALL FROM GREATNESS.
Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness !
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening,-nips his root,
And then he falls as I do. I have ventur'd
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
These many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth: my high blown pride,
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of the world, I hate ye !
I feel my heart new open'd, oh! how wretched
Is that poor man, who hangs on princes' favours !
There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than war or women have,
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to rise again !
JAFFIER LAMENTING HIS RUINED STATE.
There's not a wretch that lives on common charity,
But's happier than me : 'for I have known
The luscious sweets of plenty; every night
Have slept with soft content about my head,
And never wak'd but to a joyful morning;
Yet now must fall, like a full ear of corn,
Whose blossom’s ’scap'd yet's wither'd in the ripening.
-I've now not fifty ducats in the world,
Yet still I am in love, and pleased with ruin,
Oh! Belvidera! oh! she is my wife-
And we will bear our wayward fate together ;
But ne'er know comfort more.
GRIEF MODERATED BY PHILOSOPHY. CATO'S SPEECH ON THE DEATH OF HIS SON. Thanks to the gods,my boy has done his duty!
-Here set him down, my friends, Full in my sight; that I may view at leisure The bloody corse, and count those glorious wounds. How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue! Who would not be that youth ? What pity is it That we can die but once, to serve our country ! Why sits this sadness on your brows, my friends ? I should have blush'd, if Čato's house had stood Secure, and flourish'd in a civil war.
-RememberThy life is not thine own, when Rome demands it. When Rome demands ? But Rome is now no more ; The Roman empire's fall’n! O curs'd ambition !
Fall'n into Cæsar's hands ! our great forefathers
Had left him nought to conquer but his country.
Farewell, my friends ! If there be any of you
Who dare not trust the victor's clemency,
Know there are ships prepar'd by my command,
Their sails already opening to the winds,
That shall convey you to the wish’d-for port.
Is there ought else, my friends, I can do for you?
The Conqueror draws near; once more farewell !
If e'er we meet hereafter, we shall meet
In happier climes, and on a safer shore,
Where Cæsar never shall approach us more.
There the brave youth, with love of virtue fird
Who greatly in his country's cause expir’d,
Shall know he conquer'd. The firm patriot there,
Who made the welfare of mankind his care,
Though still by faction, vice, and fortune crossid,
Shall find the generous labor was not lost.
Grief, softened by time and reflection, is called Regret or
Tenderness, of which the following are examples.
REGRET-TENDERNESS. HAMLET, ON DISCOVERING YORICK'S SCULL. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio ; a fellow of infinite jests; of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times : and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is !—Here hung those lips, that I have kissed, I know not how oft. Where be your gibes, now? your gambols ? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? not one now, to mock your own grinning ? Quite chapfall’n ! Now get to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this complexion she must come: make her laugh at that.
MR. BETTERTON'S FUNERAL.-TATLER. Having received notice, that the famous actor Mr. Betterton, was to be interred this evening in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey. I was resolved to walk thither, and see the last offices done to a man whom I had always very much admired, and from whose acting I had received more strong impressions of human nature, than from the arguments of the most solid philosophers, or the descriptions of the most charming poets I had ever read.
Such an actor as Mr. Betterton ought to be recorded with the same respect as Roscius among the Romans. For I have hardly a notion that any performer of antiquity could surpass his acting in any of the occasions in which he has appeared on our stage; so that while I walked in the cloisters, I thought of him with the same concern as if I waited for the remains of a person, who in real life had done all I had seen him represent. The gloom of the place, and faint lights before the ceremony appeared, contributed to the melancholy disposition I was in; and I began to be extremely afflicted that Brutus and Cassius had any difference ; that Hotspur's gallantry was so unfortunate; and the mirth and humour of Falstaff could not exempt him from the grave. Nay, this occasion in me, who look upon the distinctions amongst men to be merely scenical, raised reflections upon the emptiness of all human perfection and greatness in general: and I could not but regret, that the sacred heads which lie buried in the neighbourhood of this little
portion of earth in which my poor old friend is deposited, are returned to dust as well as he, and that there is no difference in the grave between the imaginary and the real monarch.
GRIEF AND DISTRACTION.
CONSTANCE LAMENTING PRINCE ARTHUR.
K. Phil. Patience, good lady, comfort, gentle Constance.
Cons. No, I defy all counsel, all redress,
But that which ends all counsel, true redress,
Death, Death, oh amiable, lovely Death!
Thou odoriferous stench, sound rottenness,
Arise from forth the couch of lasting night,
Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
And I will kiss thy detestable bones ;
And put my eye-balls in thy vaulty brows,
And ring these fingers with thy household worms,
And stop this gap
of breath with fulsome dust,
And be a carrion monster like thyself :
Come grin on me; and I will think thou smil'st,
And buss thee as thy wife; Misery's love !
O, come to me!
MELANCHOLY. MELANCHOLY, or fixed grief, is gloomy, sedentary, motionless. The lower jaw falls; the lips pale, the eyes are cast down, half shut, eye-lids swollen and red, or livid, tears trickling silent and unperceived ; with a total inattention to every thing that passes. Words, if any, few; and those dragged out, rather than spoken; the accents weak and interrupted, sighs breaking into the middle of sentences and words. Melancholy, when softened by time, assumes a less gloomy character, and may more properly be termed Pensiveness ; in which stage it is not always unpleasing. This sort of Philosophical Melancholy, is admirably described by Milton, Collins, and other poets.
PERSONIFICATION OF MELANCHOLY.
With eyes uprais'd, as one inspir'd,
Pale melancholy sat retir'd;
And from her wild sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul,
And dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels join’d the sound;
Through glades and glooms, the mingled measures stole.
Or o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing
Love of peace, and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.
MELANCHOLY FROM“IL PENSEROSO.”
-hail, thou goddess, sage and holy,
Hail, divinest Melancholy,
Whose saintly visage is too bright
To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore to our weaker view
O'erlaid with black, staid wisdom's hue.
Sweet bird that shunn'st the noise of Folly,
Most musical, most melancholy,
Thee, chantress, oft the woods among
I woo to hear thy evening song,-
-may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cel],
Where I may sit and nightly spell
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
'Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain,
These pleasures, Melancholy give,
And I with thee will choose to live.
SADNESS. Foreboding, or anticipation of any unfortunate event that may happen, produces the species of melancholy called Sadness, as in the following Examples :
ANTONIO, DOUBTFUL OF HIS VENTURES AT SEA.
In sooth, I know not why I am so sad,
It wearies me, you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof 'tis born,
I am to learn-and such a want wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.
HENRY VI. WAITING NEWS FROM HIS ARMY.
This battle fares like to the morning's war,
When dying clouds contend with glowing light;
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day, or night,
Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea,
Forced by the tide to combat with the wind ;-
'Would I were dead! if God's good will were so :
For what is in this world, but grief and woe ?
O God ! methinks, it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill as I do now,
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run.
RICHARD II. ON BOLINGBROKE'S REVOLT AND SUCCESS.
Of comfort no man speak:
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs ;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes,
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's chuse executors, and talk of wills;
And yet not so,-for what can we bequeath,
Save our deposed bodies to the ground ?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own, but death :
And that small model of the barren earth,
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For heaven's sake, let's sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been depos’d, some slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos’d,
Some poison’d by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd :-For within the hollow crown,
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps death his court, and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene
To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,-
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable; and, humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin,
Bores through his castle-wall, and— farewell king,
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence. Throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while ;
I live with bread like
Taste grief, need friends; subjected thus,
How can you say to me,- I am a king ?
VALENTINE IN HIS BANISHMENT.
How use doth breed a habit in a man!
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns ;
Here can I sit alone, unseen of
And to the nightingale's complaining notes,
Tune my distresses, and record my woes.
O thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless;
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall,
And leave no memory of what it was.
Repair me with thy presence, SILVIA;
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain !
PHILOSOPHIC MELANCHOLY, OR PENSIVENESS. The nature of philosophic melancholy is well described by, and exemplified in, the character of Jaques, in Shakespeare's “ As you like it,” who in the following speech, after describing various kinds of melancholy, explains the nature of his own; which it is to be observed however, has a mixture of cynical