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CHARLES THE FIRST

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ

KING CHARLES I.

Juxon. QUEEN HENRIETTA.

St. John. LAUD, Archbishop of Canter- ARCHY, the Court Fool. bury.

HAMPDEN. WENTWORTH, Earl of Straf. Pym. ford.

CROMWELL. LORD COTTINGTON.

CROMWELL'S DAUGHTER. LORD WESTON.

SIR HARRY VANE the younger. LORD COVENTRY.

LEIGHTON. WILLIAMS, Bishop of Lincoln.

BASTWICK. Secretary LYTTELTON.

PRYNNE. Gentlemen of the Inns of Court, Citizens, Pursuivants, Mar

shalsmen, Law Students, Judges, Clerk.

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What thinkest thou of this quaint masque

which turns, Like morning from the shadow of the night, The night to day, and London to a place Of peace and joy?

SECOND CITIZEN

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 that vanity reigns. 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.

Charles the First. Published, in part, by Mrs. Shelley, 1824, and entire, by Rossetti, 1870.

Scene I. || Act I. Scene I. The Pageant to [celebrate] the Arrival of the Queen. Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

10 now reigns vanity, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

A YOUTH

Yet, father, 'tis a happy sight to see,
Beautiful, innocent, and unforbidden
By God or man. 'Tis like the bright procession
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
And open-eyed Conspiracy, lie sleeping
As on Hell's threshold; and all gentle thoughts
Waken to worship Him who giveth joys
With his own gift.

SECOND CITIZEN

How young art thou in this old age of time!
How green in this gray world! Canst thou discern
The signs of seasons, yet perceive no hint
Of change in that stage-scene in which thou art
Not a spectator but an actor? or
Art thou a puppet moved by [enginery ?]
The day that dawns in fire will die in storms,

33–38:

Canst thou not think
Of change in that low scene, in which thou art
Not a spectator but an actor? ...
The day

Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

Even though the noon be calm. My travel's

done, Before the whirlwind wakes I shall have found My inn of lasting rest; but thou must still Be journeying on in this inclement air. Wrap thy old cloak about thy back ; Nor leave the broad and plain and beaten road, Although no flowers smile on the trodden dust, For the violet paths of pleasure. This Charles the

First Rose like the equinoctial sun, By vapors, through whose threatening ominous veil Darting his altered influence he has gained This height of noon from which he must decline Amid the darkness of conflicting storms, To dank extinction and to latest night .

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The apostate Strafford; he whose titles

whispered aphorisms From Machiavel and Bacon; and, if Judas Had been as brazen and as bold as he ...

FIRST CITIZEN

That

Is the Archbishop.

SECOND CITIZEN

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.

THIRD 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.
The Canaanitish Jezebel! I would be
A dog if I might tear her with my teeth!
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 honors
With papists, atheists, tyrants, and apostates.
When lawyers masque 'tis time for honest men
To strip the vizor from their purposes.
A seasonable time for masquers this !
When Englishmen and Protestants should sit

dust on their dishonored heads,
To avert the wrath of Him whose scourge is felt
For the great sins which have drawn down from
Heaven

and foreign overthrow.
The remnant of the martyred saints in Rochefort
Have been abandoned by their faithless allies
To that idolatrous and adulterous torturer
Lewis of France, the Palatinate is lost.

Enter LEIGHTON (who has been branded in the face) and

BASTWICK.

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