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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.
    Should he enjoy the ayres fruition?
    Should he enjoy the benefit of life?
    Should he contemplate the radiant sun,
    1655That makes my life equall to dreadfull death?
    Venus convey this monster fro the earth,
    That disobeyeth thus thy sacred hests.
    Cupid convey this monster to dark hell,
    That disannulls thy mothers sugred lawes.
    1660Mars with thy target all beset with flames,
    With murthering blade bereave him of his life,
    That hindreth Locrine in his sweetest joyes.
    And yet for all his diligent aspect,
    His wrathfull eyes piercing like Linces eyes,
    1665Well have I overmatcht his subtiltie.
    Nigh Deucolitum by the pleasant Lee,
    Where brackish Thamis slides with silver streams,
    Making a breach into the grassie downes,
    A curious arch of costly marble fraught,
    1670Hath Locrine framed underneath the ground,
    The walls whereof, garnisht with diamonds,
    With ophirs, rubies, glistering emeralds,
    And interlac't with sun-bright carbuncles,
    Lightens the room with artificial day,
    1675And from the Lee with water-flowing pipes
    The moisture is deriv'd into this arch,
    Where I have plac'd fair Estrild secretly;
    Thither eftsoons accompanied with my page,
    I covertly visit my hearts desire,
    1680Without suspition of the meanest eye,
    For love aboundeth still with policie:
    And thither still means Locrine to repair,
    Till Atropos cut off mine uncle's life.Exit.

    Scena Quinta.

    1685Enter Humber alone, saying:

    Hum. O vita misero longa, foelici brevis!
    Eheu malorum fames extremum malum.
    Long have I lived in this desart cave,
    With eating hawes and miserable roots,
    1690Devouring leaves and beastly excrements.
    Caves were my beds, and stones my pillow-beres,
    Fear was my sleep, and horrour was my dream;
    For still me thought at every boisterous blast,
    Now Locrine comes, now Humber thou must dye;
    1695So that for fear and hunger, Humber's mind
    Can never rest, but alwayes trembling stands.
    O what Danubius now may quench my thirst?
    What Euphrates, what light-foot Euripus
    May now allay the fury of that heat,
    1700Which raging in my entrails eats me up?
    You ghastly devils of the ninefold Styx,
    You damned ghosts of joyless Acheron,
    You mournfull soules, vext in Abyssus vaults,
    You coal-black devils of Avernus pond,
    1705Come with your flesh-hooks, rend my famisht armes,
    These armes that have sustain'd their masters life;
    Come with your razours rip my bowels up,
    With your sharp fire-forks crack my starved bones.
    Use me as you will, so Humber may not live.
    1710 Accursed gods that rule the starrie poles,
    Accursed Jove king of the accursed gods,
    Cast down your lightning on poor Humber's head,
    That I may leave this deathfull like life of mine:
    What hear you not, and shall not Humber dye?
    1715Nay I will dye though all the gods say nay.
    And gentle Aby take my troubled corps,
    Take it and keep it from all mortal eyes,
    That none may say when I have lost my breath,
    The very flouds conspir'd 'gainst Humber's death.
    1720Flings himself into the river.

    Enter the Ghost of Albanact.

    En caedem sequitur, caedes in caede quiesco.
    Humber is dead, joy heavens, leap earth, dance trees;
    Now may'st thou reach thy apples Tantalus,
    1725And withem feed thy hunger-bitten limmes:
    Now Sysiphus leave the tumbling of thy rock,
    And rest thy restless bones upon the same;
    Unbind Ixion, cruel Rhadamanth,
    And lay proud Humber on the whirling wheel.
    1730Back will I post to hell mouth Taenarus,
    And pass Cocytus, to the Elysian fields,
    And tell my father Brutus of these newes.Exeunt.

    Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.

    Enter Ate as before. Jason leading Creon's daughter.
    1735Medea following, hath a garland in her hand, and
    putting it on Creon's daughters head, setteth it on fire,
    and then killing Jason and her, departeth.
    Ate.Non tam Trinacriis exaestuat AEtna cavernis,
    Laesae furtivo quam cor mulieris amore.
    1740Medea seeing Jason leave her love,
    And choose the daughter of the Theban King,
    Went to her devillish charms to work revenge;
    And raising up the triple Hecate,
    With all the rout of the condemned fiends,
    1745Framed a garland by her magick skill,
    With which she wrought Jason and Creon's ill.
    So Guendoline seeing her self misus'd,
    And Humber's paramour possesse her place,
    Flies to the Dukedome of Cornubia,
    1750And with her brother stout Thrasimachus,
    Gathering a power of Cornish souldiers,
    Gives battel to her husband and his host,
    Nigh to the river of great Mertia:
    The chances of this dismal massacre,
    1755That which ensueth shortly will unfold.Exit.

    Scena Secunda.

    Enter Locrine, Camber, Assaracus, Thrasimachas.

    Assa. But tell me, Cousin, dyed my Brother so?
    Now who is left to hapless Albion,
    1760That as a pillar might uphold our state,
    That might strike terrour to our daring foes?
    Now who is left to hapless Britanie,