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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)

    Scena Secunda.
    Enter Locrine, Camber, Corineius, Assarachus, Thra-
    simachus, and the Souldiers.
    Loc. Thus from the fury of Bellona's broiles,
    1355With sound of Drumme and Trumpets melody,
    The Britain King returns triumphantly,
    The Scythians slain with great occision,
    Doe equallize the grasse in multitude,
    And with their blood have stain'd the streaming brooks,
    1360Offering their bodies and their dearest blood
    As sacrifice to Albanactus Ghost,
    Now cursed Humber hast thou paid thy due,
    For thy deceits and crafty treacheries,
    For all thy guiles, and damned stratagems,
    1365With losse of life, and everduring shame.
    Where are thy Horses trapt with burnisht gold,
    Thy trampling Coursers rul'd with foaming bits?
    Where are thy soldiers strong and numberlesse,?
    Thy valiant Captains, and thy noble Peers?
    1370Even as the Country Clownes with sharpest Scythes,
    Doe mow the withered grasse from off the earth,
    Or as the Ploughman with his piercing share
    Renteth the bowels of the fertile fields,
    And rippeth up the roots with Razors keen.
    1375So Locrine with his mighty curtle-axe,
    Hath cropped off the heads of all thy Hunnes,
    So Locrine's Peers have daunted all thy Peeres,
    And drove thine hoast unto confusion,
    That thou maist suffer penance for thy fault,
    1380And die for murdring valiant Albanact.
    Cori. And thus, yea thus, shall all the rest be serv'd,
    That seek to enter Albion 'gainst our wills.
    If the brave Nation of the Troglodites,
    If all the Cole-black AEthiopians,
    1385If all the forces of the Amazons,
    If all the hoasts of the Barbarian lands,
    Should dare to enter this our little world,
    Soon should they rue their overbold attempts,
    That after us our progeny may say,
    1390There lie the beasts that sought to usurp our Land.
    Loc. I, they are beasts that seek to usurp our Land,
    And like to bruitish beasts they shall be serv'd.
    For mighty Jove, the supream King of heaven,
    That guides the concourse of the Meteors,
    1395And rules the motion of the azure skie,
    Fights alwayes for the Britains safety.
    But stay, me thinks I hear some shrieking noyse,
    That draweth near to our pavillion.
    Enter the Souldiers leading in Estrild.
    1400Estrild. What Prince soe're adorn'd with golden (Crown,
    Doth sway the Regall Scepter in his hand:
    And thinks no chance can ever throw him down,
    Or that his state shall everlasting stand,
    Let him behold poor Estrild in this plight,
    1405The perfect platform of a troubled wight.
    Once was I guarded with mavortiall bands,
    Compact with Princes of the noble blood,
    Now am I faln into my foemens hands,
    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.
    Legions of spirits vex thy impious ghost:
    Ten thousand torments rack thy cursed bones.
    Let every thing that hath the use of breath,
    Be instruments and workers of thy death.Exeunt.