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The repetition cannot make it less ;
For more it is than I can well express :
And that deep torture may be call'd a hell,
When more is felt than one hath power to tell.
• Go, get me hither paper, ink, and pen :—
Yet save that labor, for I have them here.
What should I say ?—One of my husband's men
Bid thou be ready, by and by, to bear
A letter to my lord, my love, my dear:
Bid him with speed prepare to carry it:
The cause craves haste, and it will soon be writ.'
Her maid is gone, and she prepares to write,
First hovering o'er the paper with her quill:
Conceit and grief an eager combat fight;
What wit sets down, is blotted straight with will;
This is too curious-good, this blunt and ill:
Much like a press of people at a door,
Throng her inventions, which shall go before.
At last she thus begins :- Thou worthy lord
Of that unworthy wife that greeteth thee,
Health to thy person! next vouchsafe to afford
(If ever, love, thy Lucrece thou wilt see)
Some present speed to come and visit me :
So I commend me from our house in grief:
My woes are tedious, though my words are
Here folds she up the tenor of her woe,
Her certain sorrow writ uncertainly.
By this short schedule Collatine may know
Her grief, but not her grief's true quality:
She dares not thereof make discovery;
Lest he should hold it her own gross abuse,
Ere she with blood had stain'd her stain'd ex-
Besides, the life and feeling of her passion
She hoards, to spend when he is by to hear her;
When sighs, and groans, and tears may grace the
Of her disgrace, the better so to clear her
From that suspicion which the world might bear
To shun this blot, she would not blot the letter With words, till action might become them better.
To see sad sights moves more than hear them told;
For then the eye interprets to the ear
The heavy motion that it doth behold.
When every part a part of woe doth bear, 'Tis but a part of sorrow that we hear:
Deep sounds make lesser noise than shallow ícrds:
And sorrow ebbs, being blown with wind of words.
Her letter now is seal'd, and on it writ.—
At Ardea, to my lord, with more than haste: The post attends, and she delivers it. Charging the sour-faced groom to hie as fast As lagging fowls before the northern blast. Speed more than speed but dull and slow she deems:
Extremity still urgeth such extremes.
The homely villein 1 courtesies to her low;
And blushing on her, with a steadfast eye
Receives the scroll, without or yea or no,
And forth with bashful innocence doth hie.
But they, whose guilt within their bosoms lie,
Imagine every eye beholds their blame ;
For Lucrece thought he blush'd to see her shame;
When, silly groom! God wot, it was defect
Of spirit, life, and bold audacity.
Such harmless creatures have a true respect
To talk in deeds, while others saucily
Promise more speed, but do it leisurely :
Even so, this pattern of the worn-out age
Pawn'd honest looks, but laid no words to gage.
His kindled duty kindled her mistrust,
That two red fires in both their faces blazed;
She thought he blush'd, as knowing Tarquin's lust.
And, blushing with him, wistly on him gazed;
Her earnest eye did make him more amazed:
The more she saw the blood his cheeks replenish, The more she thought he spied in her some Elemish.
But long she thinks till he return again,
And yet the duteous vassal scarce is gone.
The weary time she cannot entertain,
For now 'tis stale to sigh, to weep, and groan.
So woe hath wearied woe, moan tired moan,
That she her plaints a little while doth stay,
Pausing for means to mourn some newer way.
At last, she calls to mind where hangs a piece
Of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy;
Before the which is drawn the power of Greece,
For Helen's rape the city to destroy,
Threatening cloud-kissing Ilion with annoy;
Which the conceited painter drew so proud,
As heaven, it seem'd, to kiss the turrets bow'd.
A thousand lamentable objects there,
In scorn of Nature, Art gave lifeless life :
Many a dry drop seem'd a weeping tear,
Shed for the slaughter'd husband by the wife:
The red blood reek'd to show the painter's strife;
And dying eyes gleam'd forth their ashy lights, Like dying coals burnt out in tedious nights.
There might you see the laboring pioneer
Begrimed with sweat, and smeared all with dust.
And from the towers of Troy there would appear
The very eyes of men through loopholes thrust,
Gazing upon the Greeks with little lust.
Such sweet observance in this work was had,
That one might see those far-off eyes look sad.
In great commanders grace and majesty
You might behold, triumphing in their faces;
In youth, quick bearing and dexterity;
And here and there the painter interlaces
Pale cowards, marching on with trembling paces;
Which heartless peasants did so well resemble,
That one would swear he saw them quake and
In Ajax and Ulysses, O, what art
Of physiognomy might one behold!
The face of either 'cipher'd either's heart;
Their face their manners most expressly told:
In Ajax' eyes blunt rage and rigor roll'd;
But the mild glance that sly Ulysses lent,
Show'd deep regard and smiling governice.
There pleading might you see grave Nestor stand,
As 'twere encouraging the Greeks to fight;
Making such sober action with his hand.