A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 508 pages of information about A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9.

COM.  SEN.  What tune do they play?

AUD.  Why such a tune as never was, nor ever shall be heard. 
Mark now, now mark:  now, now!

PHA.  List, list, list.

AUD.  Hark!  O sweet, sweet, sweet.

PHA.  List! how my heart envies my happy ears. 
Hist, by the gold-strung harp of Apollo,
I hear the celestial music of the spheres,
As plainly as ever Pythagoras did. 
O most excellent diapason! good, good. 
It plays Fortune my foe,[269] as distinctly as may be.

COM.  SEN.  As the fool thinketh, so the bell clinketh.  I protest I hear no more than a post.

PHA.  What, the Lavolta![270] eh? nay, if the heavens fiddle, Fancy must needs dance.

COM.  SEN.  Prythee, sit still, thou must dance nothing but the passing measures[271].  Memory, do you hear this harmony of the spheres?

MEM.  Not now, my lord; but I remember about some four thousand years ago, when the sky was first made, we heard very perfectly.

ANA.  By the same token, the first tune the planets played, I remember Venus the treble ran sweet division upon Saturn the bass.  The first tune they played was Sellenger’s round[272], in memory whereof ever since it hath been called “the beginning of the world.”

COM.  SEN.  How comes it we cannot hear it now?

MEM.  Our ears are so well acquainted with the sound, that we never mark it.  As I remember, the Egyptian Catadupes[273] never heard the roaring of the fall of Nilus, because the noise was so familiar unto them.

COM.  SEN.  Have you no other objects to judge by than these, Auditus?

AUD.  This is the rarest and most exquisite: 
Most spherical, divine, angelical;
But since your duller ears cannot perceive it,
May it please your lordship to withdraw yourself
Unto this neighbouring grove:  there shall you see
How the sweet treble of the chirping birds,
And the soft stirring of the moved leaves,
Running delightful descant to the sound
Of the base murmuring of the bubbling brook[274],
Becomes a concert of good instruments;
While twenty babbling echoes round about,
Out of the stony concave of their mouths,
Restore the vanished music of each close,
And fill your ears full with redoubled pleasure.

COM.  SEN.  I will walk with you very willingly, for I grow weary of sitting.  Come, Master Register and Master Phantastes.

[Exeunt OMNES.

ACTUS QUARTUS, SCAENA PRIMA.

MENDACIO, ANAMNESTES, HEURESIS.

MEN.  Prythee, Nam, be persuaded:  is’t not better to go to a feast, than stay here for a fray?

ANA.  A feast? dost think Auditus will make the judges a feast?

MEN.  Faith, ay.  Why should he carry them to his house else?

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A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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