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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)

    Sound the alarum. Enter Locrine, Assaracus, and a
    souldier at one door, Guendoline, Thrasimacus,
    at an other, Locrine and his follow-
    ers driven back.
    2025Then let Locrine and Estrild enter again in a maze.
    Locr. O fair Estrilda, we have lost the field,
    Thrasimachus hath won the victory,
    And we are left to be a laughing stock,
    Scoft at by those that are our enemies,
    2030Ten thousand souldiers arm'd with sword and shield,
    Prevail against an hundred thousand men,
    Thrasimachus incest with fuming ire,
    Rageth among'st the faint-heart souldiers
    Like to grim Mars, when covered with his targe
    2035He fought with Diomedes in the field,
    Close by the banks of silver Simois,Sound the alarum.
    O lovely Estrild now the chase begins,
    Ne're shall we see the stately Troynovant
    Mounted with coursers garnisht all with pearles
    2040Ne're shall we view the fair Concordia,
    Unlesse as captives we be thither brought.
    Shall Locrine then be taken prisoner,
    By such a youngling as Thrasimachus?
    Shall Guendoline captivate my love?
    2045Ne're shall mine eyes behold that dismal hour,
    Ne're will I view that ruthfull spectacle,
    For with my sword, this sharp curtle axe,
    I'le cut in sunder my accursed heart.
    But O you judges of the ninefold Stix,
    2050Which with incessant torments rack the ghosts
    Within the bottomlesse Abyssus pits,
    You gods, commanders of the heavenly spheers,
    Whose will and laws irrevocable stands,
    Forgive, forgive, this foul accursed sin,
    2055Forget O gods, this foul condemned fault:
    And now my sword that in so many fightskiss his sword.
    Hast sav'd the life of Brutus and his son,
    End now his life that wisheth still for death,
    Work now his death that wisheth still for death,
    2060Work now his death that hateth still his life.
    Farewell fair Estrild, beauties paragon,
    Fram'd in the front of forlorn miseries,
    Ne're shall mine eyes behold thy sun-shine eyes,
    But when we meet in the Elysian fields,
    2065Thither I go before with hastened pace.
    Farewell vain world, and thy inticing snares.
    Farewell foul sin, and thy inticing pleasures.
    And welcome death, the end of mortal smart,
    Welcome to Locrine's over-burthened heart.
    2070Thrusts himself through with his sword.
    Estr. Break heart with sobs and grievous suspirs,
    Stream forth you tears from forth my watry eyes,
    Help me to mourn for warlike Locrine's death,
    Pour down your tears you watry regions,
    2075For mighty Locrine is bereft of life.
    O fickle fortune, O unstable world,
    What else are all things, that this globe contains,
    But a confused chaos of mishaps?
    Wherein as in a glasse we plainly see,
    2080That all our life is but a Tragedie.
    Since mighty Kings are subject to mishap,
    I, mighty Kings are subject to mishap,
    Since martial Locrine is bereft of life,
    Shall Estrild live then after Locrine's death?
    2085 Shall love of life bar her from Locrine's sword?
    O no, this sword that hath bereft his life,
    Shall now deprive me of my fleeting soul:
    Strengthen these hands O mighty Jupiter,
    That I may end my wofull miserie,
    2090Locrine I come, Locrine I follow thee.Kills her self.
    Sound the alarme. Enter Sabren.
    Sab. What dolefull sight, what ruthfull spectacle
    Hath fortune offred to my haplesse heart?
    My father slain with such a fatal sword,
    2095My mother murthred by a mortal wound?
    What Thracian dog, what barbarous Mirmidon,
    Would not relent at such a ruthfull case?
    What fierce Achilles, what hard stony flint,
    Would not bemone this mournfull Tragedie?
    2100Locrine, the map of magnanimitie,
    Lies slaughtered in his foul accursed cave,
    Estrild, the perfect pattern of renown,
    Natures sole wonder, in whose beauteous brests,
    All heavenly grace and vertue was inshrind,
    2105Both massacred are dead within this cave,
    And with them dies fair Pallas and sweet love.
    Here lies a sword, and Sabren hath a heart,
    This blessed sword shall cut my cursed heart,
    And bring my soul unto my parents ghosts,
    2110That they that live and view our Tragedy,
    May mourn our case with mournfull plaudities.
    Let her offer to kill her self.
    Ay me, my virgins hands are too too weak,
    To penetrate the bullwarke of my brest,
    2115My fingers us'd to tune the amorous Lute,
    Are not of force to hold this steely glain,
    So I am left to waile my parents death,
    Not able for to work my proper death.
    Ah Locrine, honour'd for thy noblenesse.
    2120Ah Estrild, famous for thy constancie.
    Ill may they fare that wrought your mortal ends.
    Enter Guendoline, Thrasimachus, Madan,
    and the Souldiers.
    Guen. Search souldiers search, find Locrine & his Love,
    2125Find the proud strumpet, Humber's concubine,
    That I may change those her so pleasing looks,
    To pale and ignominious aspect.
    Find me the issue of their cursed love,
    Find me young Sabren, Locrine's only joy,
    2130That I may glut my mind with lukewarme bloud,
    Swiftly distilling from the bastards brest,
    My fathers ghost still hants me for revenge,
    Crying, revenge my over-hastened death,
    My brother's exile, and mine own divorce,
    2135Banish remorse clean from my brazen heart,
    All mercy from mine adamantive brests.
    Thra. Nor doth thy husband, lovely Guendoline,
    That wonted was to guide our stailesse steps,
    Enjoy this light; see where he murdred lies:
    2140By lucklesse lot and froward frowning fate,
    And by him lies his lovely paramour
    Fair Estrild goared with a dismal sword,
    And as it seems, both murdred by themselves,
    Clasping each other in their feebled armes,
    2145With loving zeal, as if for company
    Their uncontented corps were yet content
    To passe foul Stix in Charon's ferry-boat.
    Guen. And hath proud Estrild then prevented me,
    Hath she escaped Guendolina's wrath,
    2150Violently by cutting off her life?
    Would God she had the monstrous Hidra's lives,
    That every hour she might have died a death
    Worse then the swing of old Ixions wheel,
    And every hour revive to die again,
    2155As Titius bound to housles Caucason,
    Doth feed the substance of his own mishap,
    And every day for want of food doth die,
    And every night doth live again to die.
    But stay, me thinks I hear some fainting voice,
    2160Mournfully weeping for their lucklesse death.
    Sa. You mountain nimphs which in these desarts raign,
    Cease off your hasty chase of savage beasts,
    Prepare to see a heart opprest with care,
    Addresse your ears to hear a mournfull stile,
    2165No humane strength, no work can work my weal,
    Care in my heart so tyrant like doth deal.
    You Driades and lightfoot Satiri,
    You gracious Fairies which at evening tide,
    Your closets leave with heavenly beauty stor'd,
    2170And on your shoulders spread your golden locks,
    You savage bears in Caves and darkned Denns,
    Come wail with me the martial Locrine's death.
    Come mourn with me, for beateous Estrilds death.
    Ah loving parents little do you know,
    2175What sorrow Sabren suffers for your thrall.
    Guen. But may this be, and is it possible,
    Lives Sabren yet to expiate my wrath?
    Fortune I thank thee for this curtesie,
    And let me never see one prosperous hour,
    2180If Sabren die not a reproachfull death.
    Sa. Hard hearted death, that when the wretched call.
    Art farthest off, and seldome hear'st at all.
    But in the mid'st of fortunes good successe,
    Uncalled comes, and sheers our life in twain:
    2185When will that hour, that blessed hour draw nigh,
    When poor distressed Sabren may be gone.
    Sweet Atropos cut off my fatal thred.
    What art thou death, shall not poor Sabren die?
    Guendoline taking her by the chin, shall say thus.
    2190Guen. Yes damsel, yes, Sabren shall surely die,
    Though all the world should seek to save her life,
    And not a common death shall Sabren die,
    But after strange and grievous punishments,
    Shortly inflicted upon thy bastards head,
    2195Thou shalt be cast into the cursed streams,
    And feed the fishes with thy tender flesh.
    Sab. And think'st thou then, thou cruel homicid,
    That these thy deeds shall be unpunished?
    No traitor, no, the gods will venge these wrongs,
    2200The fiends of hell will mark these injuries.
    Never shall these bloud-sucking masty currs,
    Bring wretched Sabren to her latest home.
    For I my self in spite of thee and thine,
    Mean to abridge my former destinies,
    2205And that which Locrine's sword could not perform,
    This present streame shall present bring to passe.
    She drowneth her self.
    Guen. One michief follows anothers neck,
    Who would have thought so young a maid as she
    2210With such a courage would have sought her death.
    And for because this River was the place
    Where little Sabren resolutely died,
    Sabren for ever shall this same be call'd.
    And as for Locrine our deceased spouse,
    2215Because he was the son of mighty Brute,
    To whom we owe our country, lives and goods,
    He shall be buried in a stately tombe,
    Close by his aged father Brutus bones,
    With such great pomp and great solemnity,
    2220As well beseems so b ave a Prince as he.
    Let Estrild lie without the shallow vaults,
    Without the honour due unto the dead,
    Because she was the authour of this War.
    Retire brave followers unto Troynovant,
    2225Where we will celebrate these exequies,
    And place young Locrine in his father's Tombe.
    Exeunt omnes.
    Atey. Lo here the end of lawlesse treachery,
    Of Usurpation and ambitious pride,
    2230And they that for their private amours dare
    Turmoile our land, and set their broils abroach,
    Let them be warned by these premisses,
    And as a woman was the onely cause
    That civil discord was then stirred up,
    2235So let us pray for that renowned maid,
    That eight and thirty years the Scepter sway'd
    In quiet peace and sweet felicitie,
    And every wight that seeks her graces smart,
    Would that this sword were pierced in his heart.Exit.