صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ment of the traitor Edrick in king Ethelred's days. Holinshed, 1. vii. c. 5. together with the massacre of the Danes at Oxford. Speed.

23. Brightrick of West-Saxons poisoned by his wife Ethelburge, Offa's daughter, who dies miserably also in beggary after adultery in a nunnery. Speed in Bithrick.

24. Alfred in disguise of a minstrel discovers the Danes' negligence, sets on with a mighty slaughter; about the same time the Devonshire men rout Hubba, and slay him.

A Heroical poem may be founded somewhere in Alfred's reign, especially at his issuing out of Edelingsey on the Danes, whose actions are well like those of Ulysses.

25. Althestan exposing his brother Edwin to the sea, and repenting.

26. Edgar slaying Ethelwold for false play in wooing, wherein may be set out his pride, lust, which he thought to close by favouring Monks and building Monasteries: also the disposition of woman in Elfrida toward her husband.

27. Swane besieging London, and Ethelred repulsed by the Londoners.

28. Harold slain in battle by William the Norman. The first scene may begin with the ghost of Alfred, the second son of Ethelred, slain in cruel manner by Godwin, Harold's father, his mother and brother dissuading him.

29. Edmund Ironside defeating the Danes at Brentford, with his combat with Canute.

30. Edmund Ironside murdered by Edrick the traitor, and revenged by Canute.

31. Gunilda, daughter to king Canute and Emma, wife to Henry the third Emperor, accused of inchastity, is defended by her English page in combat against a giant-like adversary; who by him at two blows is slain, &c. Speed in the Life of Canute.

32. Hardiknute dying in his cups, an example to riot.

33. Edward Confessor's divorcing and imprisoning his noble wife Editha, Godwin's daughter; wherein is shewed his over-affection to strangers, the cause of Godwin's insurrection, wherein Godwin's forbearance of battle praised, and the English moderation on both sides magnified. His slackness to redress the corrupt clergy, and superstitious pretence of chastity.

ABRAM FROM MOREA, OR ISAAC

REDEEMED.

The œconomy may be thus. The fifth or sixth day after Abraham's departure, Eleazer, Abram's steward, first alone, and then with the Chorus, discourse of Abraham's strange voyage, their mistress' sorrow and perplexity accompanied with frightful dreams; and tell the manner of his rising by night, taking his servants and his son with him. Next may come forth Sarah herself; after the Chorus, or Ismael, or Agar; next some shepherd or company of merchants passing through the mount in the time that Abram was in the mid-work, relate to Sarah what they saw. Hence lamentation, fears, wonders: the matter in the mean

while divulged. Aner, or Eschcol, or Mamre, Abram's confederates, come to the house of Abram to be more certain, or to bring news; in the mean while discoursing as the world would of such an action divers ways, bewailing the fate of so noble a man fallen from his reputation, either through divine justice, or superstition, or coveting to do some notable act through zeal. At length a servant sent from Abram relates the truth; and last he himself comes with a great train of Melchizedeck, whose shepherds being secret eye-witnesses of all passages had related to their master, and he conducted his friend Abraham home with joy.

BAPTISTES.

The Scene, the Court. Beginning from the morning of

Herod's birth-day. Herod by some counsellor persuaded on his birth-day to release John Baptist, purposes it, causes him to be sent for to the court from prison. The Queen hears of it, takes occasion to pass where he is, on purpose, that under pretence of reconciling to him, or seeking to draw a kind retraction from him of his censure on the marriage; to which end she sends a courtier before to sound whether he might be persuaded to mitigate his sentence, which not finding, she herself craftily assays, and on his constancy founds an accusation to Herod of a contumacious affront on such a day before

[ocr errors]

many peers, prepares the king to some passion, and at last by her daughter's dancing effects it. There may prologize the Spirit of Philip, Herod's brother. It may also be thought, that Herod had well bedewed himself with wine, which made him grant the easier to his wife's daughter. Some of his disciples also, as to congratulate his liberty, may be brought in, with whom after certain command of his death many compassioning words of his disciples, bewailing his youth cut off in his glorious course, he telling them his work is done, and wishing them to follow Christ his master.

SODOM. The title, Cupid's funeral pile. Sodom burning. The Scene before Lot's gate. The Chorus consists of Lot's shepherds, coming to the city about some affairs, await in the evening their master's return from his evening walk toward the city gates. He brings with him two young men or youths of noble form. After likely discourses prepares for their entertainment. By then supper is ended, the gallantry of the town pass by in procession with music and song to the temple of Venus Urania or Peor, and understanding of two noble strangers arrived, they send two of their choicest youth with the priest to invite them to their city solemnities, it being an honour that their city had decreed to all fair personages, as being sacred to

Or else the Queen may plot under pretence of begging for his liberty, to seek to draw him into a snare by his freedom of speech.

their Goddess. The angels being asked by the priest whence they are, say they are of Salem; the priest inveighs against the strict reign of Melchizedeck. Lot, that knows their drift, answers thwartly at last, of which notice given to the whole assembly, they hasten thither, tax him of presumption, singularity, breach of city customs; in fine, after violence, the Chorus of shepherds prepare resistance in their master's defence, calling the rest of the serviture; but being forced to give back, the angels open the door, rescue Lot, discover themselves, warn him to gather his friends and sons-inlaw out of the city. He goes and returns, as having met with some incredulous. Some other friend or son-in-law out of the way, when Lot came to his house, overtakes him to know his business. Here is disputed of incredulity of divine judgments, and such like matter: at last is described the parting from the city; the Chorus depart with their master; the angels do the deed with all dreadful execution; the king and nobles of the city may come forth, and serve to set out the terror; a Chorus of angels concluding, and the angels relating the event of Lot's journey and of his wife. The first Chorus beginning, may relate the course of the city each evening every one with mistress or Ganymede, gitterning along the streets, or solacing on the banks of Jordan, or down the stream. At the priest's inviting the angels to the solemnity, the angels pitying their beauty may dispute of love, and how it differs from lust,

seeking to win them. In the last scene, to the king and nobles, when the fierce thunders begin aloft, the angel appears all girt with flames, which he saith are the flames of true love, and tells the king, who falls down with terror, his just suffering, as also Athane's, i. e. Gener, Lot's son-in-law, for despising the continual admonitions of Lot: then calling to the thunders, lightnings, and fires, he bids them hear the call and command of God to come and destroy a godless nation: he brings them down with some short warning to other nations to take heed.

Christ born.

Herod massacreing, or Rachel weeping, Matt. ii. Christ bound. Christ crucified. Christ risen. Lazarus. John xi.

ADAM UNPARADISED. The angel Gabriel either descending or entering, shewing, since this globe was created, his frequency as much on earth, as in heaven: describes Paradise. Next the Chorus shewing the reason of his coming to keep his watch in Paradise after Lucifer's rebellion, by command from God, and withal expressing his desire to see and know more concerning this excellent new creature, Man. The angel Gabriel, as by his name signifying a prince of power, tracing Paradise with a more free office, passes by the station of the Chorus, and desired by them relates what he knew of Man, as the creation of Eve, with their love and marriage. After this Lucifer ap

pears after his overthrow, bemoans himself, seeks revenge on Man. The Chorus prepare resistance at his first approach. At last, after discourse of enmity on either side, he departs; whereat the Chorus sings of the battle, and victory in heaven against him and his accomplices; as before, after the first act, was sung a hymn of the creation. Here again may appear Lucifer relating and insulting in what he had done to the destruction of Man. Man next, and Eve having by this time been seduced by the serpent, appears confusedly covered with leaves. Conscience in a shape accuses him, Justice cites him to the place, whither Jehovah called for him. In the mean while the Chorus entertains the stage, and is informed by some angel the manner of his fall. Here the Chorus bewails Adam's fall. Adam then and Eve return, accuse one another, but especially Adam lays the blame to his wife, is stubborn in

his offence. Justice appears; reasons with him, convinces him. The Chorus admonisheth Adam, and bids him beware Lucifer's example of impenitence. The angel is sent to banish them out of Paradise; but before causes

to pass before his eyes in shapes

a Mask of all the evils of this life and world. He is humbled, relents, despairs; at last appears Mercy, comforts him, promises the Messiah; then calls in Faith, Hope, and Charity; instructs him; he repents, gives God the glory, submits to his penalty. The Chorus briefly concludes. Compare this with the former draught.

SCOTCH STORIES, or rather British of the North parts. Athirco slain by Natholochus, whose daughter he had ravished, and this Natholochus usurping thereon the kingdom, seeks to slay the kindred of Athirco, who scape him, and conspire against him. He sends to a witch to know the event. The witch tells the messenger, that he is the man shall slay Natholochus: he detests it, but in his journey home changes his mind, and performs it. Scotch Chron. English, p. 68, 69.

Duffe and Donwald, a strange story of witchcraft, and murder discovered and revenged. Scotch Story, 149, &c.

Haie, the Ploughman, who with his two sons that were at

plough running to the battle that

was between the Scots and Danes

in the next field, stayed the flight of his countrymen, renewed the battle, and caused the victory, &c. Scotch Story, p. 155.

Kenneth, who having privily poisoned Malcolm Duffe, that his own son might succeed, is slain by Fenella. Scotch Hist. p. P. 157, 158, &c.

Macbeth, beginning at the arrival of Malcolm at Mackduffe. The matter of Duncan may be expressed by the appearing of his ghost.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »