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CHARLES THE FIRST.
SCENE. I.–The Pageant to celebrate the arrival of the Queen.
PLACE for the Marshal of the Masque !
What thinkest thou of this quaint masque, which
And Hell to Heaven. Eight years are gone, And they seem hours, since in this populous street I trod on grass made green by summer's rain, For the red plague kept state within that palace Where now reigns vanity--in nine years more The roots will be refreshed with civil blood ; And thank the mercy of insulted Heaven
That sin and wrongs wound as an orphan's cry, The patience of the great Avenger's ear.
THIRD SPEAKER (а youth.) Yet, father, 'tis a happy sight to see, Beautiful, innocent, and unforbidden By God or man ;—'tis like the bright possession Of skyey visions in a solemn dream From which men wake as from a paradise, And draw new strength to tread the thorns of life. If God be good, wherefore should this be evil ? And if this be not evil, dost thou not draw Unseasonable poison from the flowers Which bloom so rarely in this barren world ? Oh, kill these bitter thoughts which make the
present Dark as the future !
When avarice and tyranny, vigilant fear,
How young art thou in this old age of time!
green in this gray world ! Canst thou not
think Of change in that low scene, in which thou art Not a spectator, but an actor?
The day that dawns in fire will die in storms,
Rather say the Pope. London will be soon his Rome: he walks As if he trod upon the heads of men. He looks elate, drunken with blood and gold ;Beside him moves the Babylonian woman Invisibly, and with her as with his shadow, Mitred adulterer! he is joined in sin, Which turns Heaven's milk of mercy to revenge.
ANOTHER CITIZEN (lifting up his eyes.) Good Lord ! rain it down upon him. Amid her ladies walks the papist queen As if her nice feet scorned our English earth. There's old Sir Henry Vane, the Earl of Pem
broke, Lord Essex, and Lord Keeper Coventry, And others who made base their English breed By vile participation of their honours
With papists, atheists, tyrants, and apostates.
FOURTH SPEAKER (a pursuivant.)
FIFTH SPEAKER (a law student.)
What thinkest thou 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 councils now pervert his will : These once cast off
As adders cast their skins And keep their venom, so kings often change; Councils and councillors hang on one another, Hiding the loathsome [ ] Like the base patchwork of a leper's rag.
Oh, still those dissonant thoughts-List, loud music Grows on the enchanted air! And see, the torches
Restlessly flashing, and the crowd divided
Give place To the Marshal of the Masque!
How glorious! See those thronging chariots
Ay, there they are-