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lar passage in Beaumont and Fletcher. John did as he was bid, but did not succeed in discovering the lines
Hang it, Johnnie ! cried Scott, “I believe I can make a motto sooner than you will find one.' He did so accordingly; and from that hour, whenever memory failed to suggest an appropriate epigraph, he had recourse to the inexhaustible mines of " old play” or old ballad,” to which we owe some of the most exquisite verse that ever flowed from his pen.' — Lockhart's Life of Scott, Chapter xxvii.
Fall from you, like a shivered wreath of laurel By thunder struck from a desertlesse foreheade
A Faire Quarrel. THE Lord Abbot had a soul Subtile and quick, and searching as the fire: By magic stairs he went as deep as hell, And if in devils' possession gold be kept, He brought some sure from thence – 't is hid in
caves, Known, save to me, to none —
The Wonder of a Kingdome.
Many great ones Would part with half their states, to have the
plan And credit to beg in the first style.
From The Antiquary I KNEW Anselmo. He was shrewd and pru
dent, Wisdom and cunning had their shares of him ; But he was shrewish as a wayward child, And pleased again by toys which childhood
please; As book fables graced with print of wood, Or else the jingling of a rusty medal, Or the rare melody of some old ditty That first was sung to please King Pepin's
Who is he? One that for the lack of land
Old Play. TELL me not of it, friend
- when the young weep, Their tears are lukewarm brine ;– from our Sorrow falls down like hail-drops of the North, Chilling the furrows of our withered cheeks, Cold as our hopes and hardened as our feeling Theirs, as they fall, sink sightless - ours recoil, Heap the fair plain and bleaken all before us.
BE brave,' she cried, you yet may be our
guest. Our haunted room was ever held the best: If then your valor can the fight sustain Of rustling curtains and the clinking chain, If your courageous tongue have powers to talk When round your bed the horrid ghost shall
walk, f you dare ask it why it leaves its tomb, I'll see your sheets well aired and show the room.'
True Story. SOMETIMES he thinks that Heaven this vision
sent, And ordered all the pageants as they went; Sometimes that only ’t was wild Fancy's play, The loose and scattered relics of the day. BEGGAR! the only freemen of your Common
wealth, Free above Scot-free, that observe no laws, Obey no governor, use no religion But what they draw from their own ancient
customs Or constitute themselves, yet they are no rebels.
HERE has been such a stormy encounter
A Paire Quarrel.
STILL in his dead hand clenched remain the
strings That thrill his father's heart-e'en as the limb, Lopped off and laid in grave, retains, they tell
us, Strange commerce with the mutilated stump, Whose nerves are twinging still in maimed ex. istence.
LIFE, with you, Glows in the brain and dances in the arteries ; 'Tis like the wine some joyous guest hatk
That glads the heart and elevates the fancy: -
And, in the April dew or beam of May,
pleasure, Melts at the tear, joys in the smile of woman.
'Twas time and griefs That framed him thus : Time, with his fairer
hand, Offering the fortunes of his former days, The former man may make him -- Bring us to
him, And chance it as it may.
YES! I love Justice well 1 - as well as you do
Old Play. WELL, well, at worst, 't is neither theft nor
coinage, Granting I knew all that you charge me with. What tho' the tomb hath borne a second birth And given the wealth to one that knew not on't, Yet fair exchange was never robbery, Far less pure bounty
Old Play. LIFE ebbs from such old age, unmarked and
silent, As the slow neap-tide leaves yon stranded galley. Late she rocked merrily at the least impulse That wind or wave could give; but now her
keel Is settling on the sand, her mast has ta'en An angle with the sky from which it shifts not. Each wave receding shakes her less and less, Till, bedded on the strand, she shall remain Useless as motionless.
Old Play. So, while the Goose, of whom the fable told, Incumbent brooded o'er her eggs of gold, With hand outstretched impatient to destroy, Stole on her secret nest the cruel Boy, Whose gripe rapacious changed her splendid
dream For wings vain fluttering and for dying scream.
The Loves of the Sea-Weeds. Let those go see who will - I like it not For, say he was a slave to rank and pomp, And all the nothings he is now divorced from By the hard doom of stern necessity; Yet is it sad to mark his altered brow, Where Vanity adjusts her flimsy veil O'er the deep wrinkles of repentant Anguish.
Old Play. FORTUNE, you say, flies from us - She but
circles, Like the fleet sea-bird round the fowler's skiff, Lost in the mist one moment, and the next Brushing the white sail with her whiter wing, As if to court the aim. — Experience watches, And has her on the wheel.
From Old Mortality AROUSE thee, youth ! -- it is no common call,, God's Church is leaguered — haste to man the
wall; Haste where the Red-cross banners wave on
My hawks may fly frae tree to tree,
From Rob Roy In the wide pile, by others heeded not, Hers was one sacred solitary spot, Whose gloomy aisles and bending shelves con
tain For moral hunger food, and cures for moral pain.
Anonymous. DIRE was his thought who first in poison steeped The weapon formed for slaughter direr his, And worthier of damnation, who instilled The mortal venom in the social cup, To fill the veins with death instead of life.
Anonymous. Look round thee, young Astolpho : Here's the
place Which men for being poor
- are sent to starve in Rude remedy, I trow, for sore disease. Within these walls, stifled by damp and stench, Doth Hope's fair torch expire; and at the snuff, Ere yet 't is quite extinct, rude, wild, and way
From The Black Dwarf The bleakest rock upou the loneliest heath Feels in its barrenness some touch of spring ;
The desperate revelries of wild despair, Kindling their hell-born cressets, light to deeds That the poor captives would have died ere
practised, Till bondage sunk his soul to his condition.
The Prison, Act l, Scene 3. Far as the eye could reach no tree was seen, Earth, clad in russet, scorned the lively green; No birds, except as birds of passage, flew; No bee was heard to hum, no dove to coo; No streams, as amber smooth, as amber clear, Were seen to glide, or heard to warble here.
Prophecy of Famine. WoE to the vanquished !' was stern Brenno's
word, When sunk proud Rome beneath the Gallic
sword • Woe to the vanquished !' when his massive
blade Bore down the scale against her ransom
weighed, And on the field of foughten battle still, Who knows no limit save the victor's will.
From The Bride of Lammermoor THE hearth in hall was black and dead,
No board was dight in bower within, Nor merry bowl nor welcome bed; Here's sorry cheer,' quoth the Heir of Linne.
Old Ballad (Altered from · The Heir of Linne'). As, to the Autumn breeze's bugle-sound, Various and vague the dry leaves dance their
round; Or from the garner-door, on æther borne, The chaff flies devious from the winnowed
corn; So vague, so devious, at the breath of heaven, From their fixed aim are mortal councils driven,
Anonymous. HERE is a father now, Will truck his daughter for a foreign venture, Make her the stop-gap to some cankered feud, Or fling her o'er, like Jonah, to the fishes, To appease the sea at highest.
AND be he safe restored ere evening set,
Old Play. FAREWELL to the land where the clouds love to
rest, Like the shroud of the dead, on the mountain's
cold breast: To the cataract's roar where the eagles reply, And the lake her lone bosom expands to the
SIR, stay at home and take an old man's counsel: Seek not to bask you by a stranger's hearth; Our own blue smoke is warmer than their fire. Domestic food is wholesome, though 't is
homely, And foreign dainties poisonous, though tasteful.
The French Courtezan.
From The Heart of Midlothian
To man, in this his trial state,
The privilege is given,
Watts' Hymns. LAW, take thy victim ! - May she find the mercy In yon mild heaven which this hard world de
TRUE-LOVE, an thou be true,
Thou hast ane kittle part to play,
Maun strive for many a day.
Far better by this heart of mine,
Hendersoun. Why, now I have Dame Fortune by the fore
'lock, And if she 'scapes my grasp the fault is mine; He that hath buffeted with stern adversity, Best knows to shape his course to favoring breezes.
AND Need and Misery, Vice and Danger, bind In sad alliance each degraded mind.
I BESEECH you These tears beseech you, and these chaste
hands woo you, That never yet were heaved but to things holyThings like yourself -- You are a God above
us; Be as a God then, full of saving mercy!
The Bloody Brother.
From The Legend of Montrose DARK on their journey loured the gloomy day, Wild were the hills and doubtful grew the way;
More dark, more gloomy, and more doubtful
showed The mansion which received them from the road.
The Travellers, a Romance.
Is this thy castle, Baldwin ? Melancholy
This was the entry, then, these stairs - but
whither after ?
Tragedy of Brennovalt.
APPROACH the chamber, look upon his bed.
Old Play. TRust me, each state must have its policies: Kingdoms have edicts, cities have their charters; Even the wild outlaw in his forest-walk Keeps yet some touch of civil discipline. For not since Adam wore his verdant apron Hath man with man in social union dwelt, But laws were made to draw that union closer.
Old Play. AROUSE the tiger of Hyrcanian deserts, Strive with the half-starved lion for his prey; Lesser the risk than rouse the slumbering fire Of wild Fanaticism.
Anonymous. Say not my art is fraud - all live by seeming. The beggar begs with it, and the gay courtier Gains land and title, rank and rule, by seeming: The clergy scorn it not, and the bold soldier Will eke with it his service. — All admit it, All practise it; and he who is content With showing what he is shall have small
credit In church or camp or state. -So wags the world.
Old Play. STERN was the law which bade its votaries leave At human woes with human hearts to grieve ; Stern was the law which at the winning wile Of frank and harmless mirth forbade to smile; But sterner still when high the iron-rod Of tyrant power she shook, and called that power of God.
The Middle Ages.
AWAY! our journey lies through dell and
dingle, Where the blithe fawn trips by its timid mother, Where the broad oak with intercepting boughs Chequers the sun-beam in the greensward
alley Up and away! for lovely paths are these To tread, when the glad sun is on his throne; Less pleasant and less safe when Cynthia's
lamp With doubtful glimmer lights the dreary forest.
WHEN autumn nights were long and drear,
And forest walks were dark and dim, How sweetly on the pilgrim's ear
Was wont to steal the hermit's hymn!
And Music took Devotion's wing,
The Hermit of Saint Clement's Well.
The dullest will show fire ;
Old Song. THIS wandering race, severed from other men, Boast yet their intercourse with human arts;
From The Monastery O AY! the Monks, the Monks, they did the mis
chief ! Theirs all the grossness, all the superstition Of a most gross and superstitious age. May He be praised that sent the healthful
tempest, And scattered all these pestilential vapors; But that we owed them all to yonder Harlot Throned on the seven hills with her cup of gold, I will as soon believe, with kind Sir Roger, That old Moll White took wing with cat and
broomstick, And raised the last night's thunder.
haunt, Find them acquainted with their secret trea
sures; And unregarded herbs and flowers and blossoms Display undreamed of powers when gathered by them.
In yon lone vale his early youth was bred.
To the wild northern bog, the curlieu's haunt, Where oozes forth its first and feeble streamlet.
A PRIEST, ye cry, a priest ! - lame shepherds
they, How shall they gather in the straggling flock ? Dumb dogs which bark not — how shall they
compel The loitering vagrants to the Master's fold ? Fitter to bask before the blazing fire, And snuff the mess neat-handed Phillis dresses, Than on the snow-wreath battle with the wolf.
The Reformation. Now let us sit in conclave. That these weeds Be rooted from the vineyard of the Church, That these foul tares be severed from the wheat, We are, I trust, agreed. Yet how to do this, Nor hurt the wholesome crop and tender vine
plants, Craves good advisement.
The Reformation. Nay, dally not with time, the wise man's treaThough fools are lavish on 't—the fatal Fisher Hooks souls while we waste moments.
Old Play. You call this education, do you not ? Why, 'tis the forced march of a herd of bullocks Before a shouting drover. The glad van Move on at ease, and pause awhile to snatch A passing morsel from the dewy greensward, While all the blows, the oaths, the indignation, Fall on the croupe
the ill-fated laggard That cripples in the rear.
Which wise men scorn and fools accept in pay. ment.
Old Play. A COURTIER extraordinary, who by diet Of meats and drinks, his temperate exercise, Choice music, frequent bath, his horary shifts Of shirts and waistcoats, means to immortalize Mortality itself, and makes the essence Of his whole happiness the trim of court.
Magnetic Lady. Now choose thee, gallant, betwixt wealth and
honor; There lies the pelf, in sum to bear thee through The dance of youth and the turmoil of manhood, Yet leave enough for age's chimney-corner; But an thou grasp to it, farewell Ambition! Farewell each hope of bettering thy condition, And raising thy low rank above the churls That till the earth for bread!
Old Play. INDIFFERENT, but indifferent-pshaw! he
doth it not Like one who is his craft's master ne'ertheless I have seen a clown confer a bloody coxcomb On one who was a master of defence.
Old Play. Yes, life hath left him - every busy thought, Each fiery passion, every strong affection, The sense of outward ill and inward sorrow, Are fled at once from the pale trunk before
me ; And I have given that which spoke and moved, Thought, acted, suffered, as a living man, To be a ghastly form of bloody clay, Soon the foul food for reptiles.
Old Play. 'T is when the wound is stiffening with the cold, The warrior first feels pain - 't is when the heat And fiery fever of his soul is past, The sinner feels remorse.
Old Play I'll walk on tiptoe; arm my eye with caution, My heart with courage, and my hand with
weapon, Like him who ventures on a lion's den.
Old Play. Now, by Our Lady, Sheriff, 't is hard reckoning That I, with every odds of birth and barony, Should be detained here for the casual death Of a wild forester, whose utmost having Is but the brazen buckle of the belt In which he sticks his hedge-knife.
THERE 's something in that ancient superstition,
Old Play. Nay, let me have the friends who eat my
victuals As various as my dishes. The feast 's naught, Where one huge plate predominates. — John
Plaintext, He shall be mighty beef, our English staple; The worthy Alderman, a buttered dumpling; Yon pair of whiskered Cornets, ruffs and rees; Their friend the Dandy, a green goose in sippets. And so the board is spread at once and filled On the same principle — Variety.
He strikes no coin, 't is true, but coins new
phrases, And vends them forth as knaves vend gilded
You call it an ill angel - it may be so; But sure I am, among the ranks which fell, 'Tis the first fiend e'er counselled man to rise, And win the bliss the sprite himself had for feited.