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FIFTH SPEAKER (a law student).
Of this quaint show of ours, my aged friend?
I will not think but that our country's wounds May yet be healed-The king is just and gracious, Though wicked counsels now prevert his will: These once cast off
As adders cast their skins
And keep their venom, so kings often change;
Like the base patchwork of a leper's rags.
O, still those dissonant thoughts-List! loud music Grows on the enchanted air! And see, the torches Restlessly flashing, and the crowd divided
Like waves before an Admiral's prow.
To the Marshal of the Masque !
How glorious! See those thronging chariots
Like curved shells dyed by the azure depths
The Capitolian-See how gloriously
The mettled horses in the torchlight stir
Their gallant riders, while they check their pride, Like shapes of some diviner element !
Aye, there they are-
Nobles, and sons of nobles, patentees, Monopolists, and stewards of this poor farm, On whose lean sheep sit the prophetic crows. Here is the pomp that strips the houseless orphan, Here is the pride that breaks the desolate heart. These are the lilies glorious as Solomon, Who toil not, neither do they spin,-unless It be the webs they catch poor rogues withal. Here is the surfeit which to them who earn The niggard wages of the earth, scarce leaves The tithe that will support them till they crawl Back to its cold hard bosom. Here is health Followed by grim disease, glory by shame, Waste by lame famine, wealth by squalid want, And England's sin by England's punishment. And, as the effect pursues the cause foregone, Lo, giving substance to my words, behold At once the sign and the thing signified— A troop of cripples, beggars, and lean outcasts, Horsed upon stumbling shapes, carted with dung, Dragged for a day from cellars and low cabins And rotten hiding-holes to point the moral Of this presentiment, and bring up the rear Of painted pomp with misery!
The anti-masque, and serves as discords do
A Chamber in Whitehall.
Enter the KING, QUEEN, LAUD, WENTWORTH, and
Thanks, gentlemen, I heartily accept
This token of your service: your gay masque
Was performed gallantly.
Call your poor Queen your debtor. Your quaint pageant
Treading their still path back to infancy,
] the task,
The careful weight of this great monarchy.
There, gentlemen, between the sovereign's pleasure And that which it regards, no clamour lifts
I crave permission of your Majesty
To order that this insolent fellow be
Chastised, he mocks the sacred character,
What, my Archy!
He lives in his own world; and, like a parrot,
Go sirrah, and repent of your offence
Ten minutes in the rain: be it your penance
To bring news how the world goes there. Poor Archy! He weaves about himself a world of mirth
Out of this wreck of ours.
I take with patience, as my master did,
Pray overlook these papers. Archy's words
Had wings, but these have talons.
And the lion
That wears them must be tamed. My dearest lord, I see the new-born courage in your eye
Armed to strike dead the spirit of the time.
Do thou persist for, faint but in resolve,
The slave of thine own slaves, who tear like curs
And Opportunity, that empty wolf,
Subdue thy actions
Even to the disposition of thy purpose,
And be that tempered as the Ebro's steel;
In a bright dream, and wake as from a dream