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where he did reside, by my choice, some time for the King, after mine own recess from Verice.
“I should think that your best line will be through the whole length of France to Marseilles, and thence by sea to Genoa ; whence the passage into Tuscany is as diurnal as a Gravesend barge. I hasten, as you do, to Florence or Siena, the rather to tell you a short story, from the interest you have given me in your safety.
“At Siena I was tabled in the house of one Alberto Scipioni, an old Roman courtier in dangerous times; having been steward to the Duca di Pagliano, who with all his family were strangled, save this only man that escaped by foresight of the tempest. With him I had often much chat of those affairs, into which he took pleasure to look back from his native harbour ; and, at my departure toward Rome (which had been the centre of his experience), I had won his confidence enough to beg his advice how I might carry myself there without offence of others or of mine own conscience. “Signor Arrigo mio,' says he, 'I pensieri stretti ed il viso sciolto will go safely over the whole world.' Of which Delphian oracle (for so I have found it) your judgment doth need no commentary; and therefore, Sir, I will commit you, with it, to the best of all securities, God's dear love, remaining “ Your friend, as much to command as any of longer date,
“ HENRY WOTTON."
“Sir : I have expressly sent this my footboy to prevent your departure without some acknowledgment from me of the receipt of your obliging letter; having myself through some business, I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance. In any part where I shall understand you fixed, I shall be glad and diligent to entertain you with home novelties, even for some fomentation of our friendship, too soon interrupted in the cradle.”
The ATTENDANT SPIRIT, afterwards in the habit of THYRSIS.
The Chief Persons which presented were :
The Lord Brackley ;
[This list of the Persons, etc., appeared in the Edition of 1645, but
was omitted in that of 1673.)
The first Scene discovers a wild wood.
The ATTENDANT Spirit descends or enters. BEFORE the starry threshold of Jove's court My mansion is, where those immortal shapes Of bright aerial spirits live insphered In regions mild of calm and serene air, Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot Which men call Earth, and, with low-thoughted care, Confined and pestered in this pinfold here, Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being Unmindful of the crown that Virtue gives, After this mortal change, to her true servants 10 Amongst the enthroned gods on sainted seats. Yet some there be that by due steps aspire To lay their just hands on that golden key That opes the palace of eternity. To such my errand is; and, but for such, I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds With the rank vapours of this sin-worn mould.
But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway Of every salt flood and each ebbing stream, Took in by lot, 'twixt high and nether Jove, Imperial rule of all the sea-girt isles That, like to rich and various gems, inlay The unadorned bosom of the deep; Which he, to grace his tributary gods, By course commits to several government, And gives them leave to wear their sapphire crowns And wield their little tridents. But this Isle, The greatest and the best of all the main, He quarters to his blue-haired deities ;
And all this tract that fronts the falling sun 30
Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape
To quench the drouth of Phæbus ; which as they taste
Comus enters, with a charming-rod in one hand, his glass in the other:
with him a rout of monsters, headed like sundry sorts of wild beasts, but otherwise like men and women, their apparel glistering. They come in making a riotous and unruly noise, with torches in their hands.
Comus. The star that bids the shepherd fold