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applauses of the public. A man is more sure of his conduct when the verdict which he passes upon his own behaviour is thus warranted and confirmed by the opinion of all that know him.
“My worthy friend Sir Roger is one of those who is not only at peace within himself, but beloved and esteemed by all about him. He receives a suitable tribute for his universal benevolence to mankind, in the returns of affection and good-will which are paid him by every one that lives within his neighbourhood. I lately met with two or three odd instances of that general respect which is shown to the good old knight. He would needs carry Will Wimble and myself with him to the county assizes. As we were upon the road, Will Wimble joined a couple of plain men who rid before us, and conversed with them for some time, during which my friend Sir Roger acquainted me with their characters.
The first of them,' says he, ‘that has a spaniel by his side, is a yeoman of about a hundred pounds a year, an honest man.
He is just within the Game Act, and qualified to kill a hare or a pheasant. He knocks down a dinner with his gun twice or thrice a week; and by that means lives much cheaper than those who have not so good an estate as himself. He would be a good neighbour if he did not destroy so many partridges. In short, he is a very sensible man; shoots flying; and has been several times foreman of the petty jury.
". The other that rides along with him is Tom Touchy, a fellow famous for taking “the law” of every body. There is not one in the town where he lives that he has not sued at a quarter-sessions. The rogue had once the impudence to go to law with the Widow. His head is full of costs, damages, and ejectments. He plagued a couple of honest gentlemen so long for a trespass in breaking one of his hedges, till he was forced to sell the ground it enclosed to defray the charges of the prosecution ; his father left him fourscore pounds a year; but he has cast and been cast so often, that he is now not worth thirty. I suppose he is going upon the old business of the willow-tree.'
“As Sir Roger was giving me this account of Tom Touchy, Will Wimble and his two companions stopped short till we came up to them. After having paid their respects to Sir Roger, Will told him that Mr. Touchy and he must appeal to him upon a dispute that arose between them. Will, it seems, had been giving his fellow traveller an account of his angling one day in such a hole; when Tom Touchv,
instead of hearing out his story, told him that Mr. Such a-one, if he pleased, might take the law of him for fishing in that part of the river. My friend Sir Roger heard them both upon a round trot; and, after having paused some time, told them, with the air of a man who would not give his judgment rashly, that much might be said on both sides.' They were neither of them dissatisfied with the knight's determination, because neither of them found himself in the wrong by it. Upon which we made the best of our way to the assizes.
“The Court was sat before Sir Roger came; but, notwithstanding all the justices had taken their places upon the bench, they made room for the old knight at the head of them; who, for his reputation in the country, took occasion to whisper in the judge's ear that he was glad his lordship had met with so much good weather in his circuit. I was listening to the proceedings of the court with much attention, and infinitely pleased with that great appearance of solemnity which so properly accompanies such a public administration of our laws; when, after about an hour's sitting, I observed, to my great surprise, in the midst of a trial, that my friend Sir Roger was getting up to speak. I was in some pain for him, until I found he had acquitted himself of two or three sentences with a look of much business and great intrepidity.
Upon his first rising the court was hushed, and a general whisper ran among the country-people that Sir Roger "was up.' The speech he made was so little to the purpose, that I shall not trouble my readers with an account of it; and I believe was not so much designed by the knight himself to inform the court, as to give him a figure in my eye, and keep up his credit in the country.
“I was highly delighted, when the court rose, to see the gentlemen of the county gathering about my old friend, and striving who should compliment him most; at the same time that the ordinary people gazed upon him at a distance, not a little admiring his courage that he was not afraid to speak to the judge.
“In our return home we met with a very odd accident; which I cannot forbear relating, because it shows how desirous all who know Sir Roger are of giving him marks of their esteem. When we were arrived upon
the verge of his estate, we stopped at a little inn to rest ourselves and our horses. The man of the house had, it seems, been formerly a servant in the knight's family, and to do honour to his old
master, had, some time since, unknown to Sir Roger, put him up
in sign.post before the door; so that the knight's head hung out upon the road about a week before he himself knew anything of the matter. As soon as Sir Roger was acquainted with it, finding that his servant's indiscretion proceeded wholly from affection and good-will, he only told him that he had made him too high a compliment; and, when the fellow seemed to think that could hardly be, added, with a more decisive look, that it was too great an honour for any man under a duke; but told him, at the same time, that it might be altered with a very few touches, and that he himself would be at the charge of it. Accordingly they got a painter by the knight's directions to add a pair of whiskers to the face, and by a little aggravation to the features to change it into the Saracen's Head. I should not have known this story, had not the innkeeper, upon Sir Roger's alighting, told him in my hearing that his honour's head was brought last night with the alterations that he had ordered to be made in it. Upon this, my friend, with his usual cheerfulness, related the particulars above mentioned, and ordered the head to be brought into the room. I could not forbear discovering greater expressions of mirth than ordinary
appearance of this monstrous face, under which, notwithstanding it was made to frown and stare in a most extraordinary manner, I could still discover a distant resemblance of my old friend. Sir Roger, upon seeing me laugh, desired me to tell him truly if I thought it possible for people to know him in that disguise. I at first kept my usual silence; but, upon the knight's conjuring me to tell him
whether it was not still more like himself than a Saracen, I composed | my countenance in the best manner I could, and replied, “that much might be said on both sides.'
“These several adventures, with the knight's behaviour in them, gave me as pleasant a day as ever I met with in any of my travels."
40.-SCENES FROM THE DUCHESS OF MALFI.
WEBSTER. [The dramas of John Webster have been collected by the Rev. A. Dyce; and it was a worthy task to rescue such remarkable works from their obscure hiding-places in the cabinets of rare book collectors.
Little is known of the life of Webster. He was a writer for the stage in the early part of the seventeenth century; and one of his great plays, The White Devil, or Vittoria Corom bona,' was published in 1612. The Duchess of Malfi' was published in 1623, but is held to have been acted in 1619. In his Preface to · The White Devil,' Webster thus modestly speaks of himself and his contemporaries:
Detraction is the sworn friend to ignorance: for mine own part, I have ever truly cherished my good opinion of other men's worthy labours; especially of that full and heightened style of Master Chapman; the laboured and understanding works of Master Jonson ; the no less worthy composures of the both worthily excellent Master Beaumont and Master Fletcher; and lastly, without wrong last to be named, the right happy and copious industry of Master Shakespeare, Master Dekker, and Master Heywood, wishing what I write may be read by their light.” Webster belonged to the school of the romantic dramatists. In the terrible energy of passion, and the profoundness of pathos, he is only excelled by the greatest one amongst those who preceded him.]
SCENE I. The Duchess of Malfi, a young and beautiful widow, has two brothers—one, Ferdinand Duke of Calabria; the other, a Cardinal. They are unwilling that the Duchess should marry again ; and they place Bosola, an unscrupulous ruffian, as a spy over her. The Duchess knows their feelings; but she has determined to marry Antonio, her steward, a worthy and true gentleman. Their marriage is a civil contract, before å witness. The Duchess is thus introduced, disclosing her purpose to Cariola, her maid:
Duchess. If all my royal kindred
Cariola. Both shall be safe:
As warily as those that trade in poison
Duchess. Thy protestation
Cari. He attends you.
Duchess. Good dear soul,
[Cariola goes behind the arras.
Duchess. O, I remember.
Ant. So please your beauteous excellence.
Duchess. Beauteous !
your You have ta'en my cares upon you.
Ant. I'll fetch your grace
Duchess. O, you are
Duchess. In heaven.