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  • Title: The Tragedy of Locrine (Third Folio, 1664)

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Anonymous, William Shakespeare
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    The Tragedy of Locrine (Third Folio, 1664)

    The Tragedy of Locrine.
    And with my death must pacifie their mood.
    1410O life the harbour of calamaties,
    O death the haven of all miseries,
    I could compare my sorrows to thy woe,
    Thou wretched queen of wretched Pergamus,
    But that thou viewd'st thy enemies overthrow,
    1415Nigh to the rock of high Caphareus,
    Thou saw'st their death, and then departed'st thence.
    I must abide the victors insolence.
    The gods that pittied thy continual grief,
    Transform'd thy corps, and with thy corps thy care,
    1420Poor Estrild lives dispairing of relief,
    For friends in trouble are but few and rare.
    What said I few? I, few or none at all,
    For cruel death made havock of them all.
    Thrice happy they whose fortune was so good,
    1425To end their lives, and with their lives their woes,
    Thrice haplesse I, whom fortune so withstood,
    That cruelly she gave me to my foes.
    Oh souldiers is there any misery,
    To be compar'd to fortunes treacherie.
    1430Loc. Camber, this same should be the Scythian Queen.
    Cam. So may we judge by her lamenting words.
    Loc. So fair a dame mine eyes did never see,
    With flouds of woes she seems o're-whelm'd to be.
    Cam. O Locrine hath she not a cause for to be sad?
    1435Locrine at one side of the stage.
    Loc. If she have cause to weep for Humber's death,
    And shed salt tears for her overthrow:
    Locrine may well bewaile his proper grief,
    Locrine may move his own peculiar woe,
    1440He being conquer'd died a speedy death,
    And felt not long his lamentable smart,
    I being a conquerour, live a lingring life,
    And feel the force of Cupid's sudden stroke.
    I gave him cause to die a speedy death,
    1445He left me cause to wish a speedy death.
    Oh that sweet face painted with natures dye,
    Those roseal cheeks mixt with a snowy white,
    That decent neck surpassing ivory,
    Those comely breasts which Venus well might spite,
    1450Are like to snares which wylie fowlers wrought,
    Wherein my yielding heart is prisoner caught.
    The golden tresses of her dainty hair
    Which shine like Rubies glittering with the Sun,
    Have so entrapt poor Locrine's lovesick heart,
    1455That from the same no way it can be won.
    How true is that which oft I heard declar'd,
    One dram of joy, must have a pound of care.
    Estr. Hard is their fall, who from a golden Crown
    Are cast into a Sea of wretchednesse.
    1460Loc. Hard is their thrall, who by Cupid's frown
    Are wrapt in waves of endlesse carefulnesse.
    Estr. Oh Kingdome object to all miseries.
    Loc. Oh love, the extream'st of all extremities.
    Let him go into his chair.
    1465Sold. My Lord, in ransacking the Scythian Tents,
    I found this Lady, and to manifest
    That earnest zeal I bear unto your Grace,
    I here present her to your Majesty.
    Another sold. He lies, my Lord, I found the Lady first,
    1470And here present her to your Majesty.
    1. Sold. Presumptuous villain, wilt thou take my prize?
    2. Sol. Nay rather thou depriv'st me of my right.
    1. Sol. Resigne thy title (cative) unto me,
    Or with my sword I'le pierce thy cowards loins.
    14752. Sol. Soft words, good sir, 'tis not enough to speak:
    A barking dog doth seldome strangers bite.
    Loc. Unreverent villains, strive you in our sight?
    Take them hence Jaylor to the dungeon,
    There let them lie and trie their quarrel out.
    1480But thou fair Princesse be no whit dismaid,
    But rather joy that Locrine favours thee.
    Estr. How can he favour me that slew my spouse?
    Loc. The chance of war (my love) took him from thee.
    Estr. But Locrine was the causer of his death.
    1485Loc. He was an enemy to Locrine's state,
    And slew my noble brother Albanact.
    Estr. But he was link'd to me in marriage bond,
    And would you have me love his slaughterer?
    Loc. Better to live, then not to live at all.
    1490Estr. Better to die renowned for chastitie,
    Then live with shame and endlesse infamie.
    What would the common sort report of me,
    If I forget my love, and cleave to thee?
    Loc. Kings need not fear the vulgar sentences.
    1495Estr. But Ladies must regard their honest name.
    Loc. Is it a shame to live in marriage bonds?
    Estr. No, but to be a Strumpet to a King.
    Loc. If thou wilt yield to Locrine's burning love,
    Thou shalt be Queen of fair Albania.
    1500Estr. But Guendoline will undermine my state.
    Loc. Upon mine Honour, thou shalt have no harme.
    Est, Then lo brave Locrine, Estrild yields to thee,
    And by the gods, whom thou do'st invocate,
    By the dread ghost of thy deceased Sire,
    1505By thy right hand, and by thy burning love,
    Take pitty on poor Estrilds wretched thrall.
    Cori. Hath Locrine then forgot his Guendoline,
    That thus he courts the Scythians paramour?
    What, are the words of Brute so soon forgot?
    1510Are my deserts so quickly out of mind?
    Have I bin faithfull to thy Sire now dead,
    Have I protected thee from Humber's hands,
    And do'st thou quit me with ungratitude?
    Is this the guerdon for my grievous wounds,
    1515Is this the honour for my labours past?
    Now by my sword, Locrine, I swear to thee,
    This injury of thine shall be repaid.
    Loc. Uncle, scorn you your royal soveraigne,
    As if we stood for cyphers in the Court?
    1520Upbraid you me with those your benefits?
    Why, it was a subjects duty so to do.
    What you have done for our deceased Sire,
    We know, and all know, you have your reward.
    Cori. Avant proud princox, brav'st thou me withall,
    1525Assure thy self, though thou be Emperour
    Thou ne're shalt carry this unpunished.
    Cam. Pardon my brother, noble Corineus,
    Pardon this once, and it shall be amended.
    Assar. Cousin, remember Brutus latest words,
    1530How he desired you to cherish them:
    Let not this fault so much incense your mind,
    Which is not yet passed all remedy.
    Cori. Then Locrine, loe I reconcile my self,
    But as thou lov'st thy life, so love thy wife:
    1535But if thou violate those promises,
    Bloud and revenge shall light upon thy head.
    Come, let us back to stately Troynovant,
    Where all these matters shall be setled.
    Locrine to himself.
    1540Millions of devils wait upon thy soul.