« 上一頁繼續 »
She bows her head the new-sprung flower to smell,
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears
Poor flower! (quoth she) this was thy father's guise,
And so 'tis thine; but know it is as good
To wither in my breast, as in his blood.
There shall not be one minute of an hour,
Thus weary of the world, away she hies,
Holding their course, to Paphos, where their queen
To the Right Honourable
BARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TICHFIELD.
He love I dedicate to your lordship is without end: whereof this pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant I have of your hon. ourable disposition, not the worth of my untutored lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have done is yours, what I have to do is yours, being part in all I have devoted yours. Were my worth greater, my duty should shew greater: meantime, as it is, it is bound to your Lordship: to whom I wish long life, still lengthened with all happiness.
Lucros TARQUINIUS, surnamed Superbus, from his exces. sive pride, after he had caused his father-in-law, Servius Tul. lius, to be cruelly murdered, and contrary to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or staying for the people's suffrages, had possessed himself of the throne and kingdom, went, accompanied with his sons, and other noblemen of Rome, to besiege Ardea; during which siege, the principal men of the army meeting one evening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son, in their discourses after supper, every one commended the virtues of his own wife ; among whom Colatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Lucrece. In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome, intending by their secret and sudden arrival, to make trial of that which every one had before avouched': only Colatinus finds his wife, though it were late in the night, spinning amongst her maids, the other ladies were found all dancing and revelling, or in several disports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded Colatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. At that time Sextus Tarquinius being inflamed with Lucrece's beauty, yet smothering his passion for the present, departed with the rest back to the camp; from whence he shortly after privily withdrew himself, and was, according to his state, royally entertained, and lodged by Lucrece at Colatium. The same night, he, treacherously stealing into her chamber, vio. lently ravished her; and early in the morning speeded away. Lucrece, in this lamentable plight, hastily dispatched messengers, one to Rome for her father, another to the camp for: Colatine. They came, the one accompanied with Junius Bru: tus, the other with Publius Valerius: and finding Lucrece attired in a mourning habit, demanded the cause of her sorrow. She, first taking an oath of them for her revenge, revealed the actor, and the whole matter of his dealing, and withal suddenly stabbed herself. Which done, with one consent, they all vowed to root out the whole hated family of the Tarquins : and bearing the dead body to Rome, Brutus acquainted the people with the doer, and manner of the vile deed; to which he added a bitter invective against the tyranny of the king; where with the people were so moved, that with one consent, and a general acclamation, the Tarquins were all exiled, and the state government changed, from. kings to consuls.