The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 519 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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