The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 324 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 4.


When first our Bard his simple will express’d,
That I should in his Heroine’s robes be dress’d,
My fears were with my vanity at strife,
How I could act that untried part—­a “Wife.” 
But Fancy to the Grison hills me drew,
Where Mariana like a wild flower grew,
Nursing her garden-kindred:  so far I
Liked her condition, willing to comply
With that sweet single life:  when, with a cranch,
Down came that thundering, crashing avalanche,
Startling my mountain-project!  “Take this spade,”
Said Fancy then; “dig low, adventurous Maid,
For hidden wealth.”  I did:  and, Ladies, lo! }
Was e’er romantic female’s fortune so, }
To dig a life-warm lover from the—­snow? }

      A Wife and Princess see me next, beset
      With subtle toils, in an Italian net;
      While knavish Courtiers, stung with rage or fear,
      Distill’d lip-poison in a husband’s ear. 
      I ponder’d on the boiling Southern vein;
      Racks, cords, stilettos, rush’d upon my brain! 
      By poor, good, weak Antonio, too disowned—­
      I dream’d each night, I should be Desdemona’d: 
      And, being in Mantua, thought upon the shop,
      Whence fair Verona’s youth his breath did stop: 
      And what if Leonardo, in foul scorn,
      Some lean Apothecary should suborn
      To take my hated life?  A “tortoise” hung
      Before my eyes, and in my ears scaled “alligators” rung. 
      But my Othello, to his vows more zealous—­
      Twenty Iagos could not make him jealous!

      New raised to reputation, and to life—­ }
      At your commands behold me, without strife, }
      Well-pleased, and ready to repeat—­“The Wife.” }

* * * * *



(1798-1802. Text of 1818)

* * * * *



SIMON. } his sons.

      LOVEL. }
      GRAY. } Pretended friends of John.

      SANDFORD. Sir Walter’s old steward.
      MARGARET. Orphan ward of Sir Walter.
      FOUR GENTLEMEN. John’s riotous companions.

SCENE—­for the most part at Sir Walter’s mansion in DEVONSHIRE; at other times in the forest of SHERWOOD.

TIME—­soon after the RESTORATION.

* * * * *


SCENE.—­A Servants’ Apartment in Woodvil Hall.

  Servants drinking—­Time, the morning.

* * * * *

A Song by DANIEL

    "When the King enjoys his own again."

A delicate song.  Where did’st learn it, fellow?

Project Gutenberg
The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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