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O FAIREST of creation, last and best Of all God's works, creature in whom excelled Whatever can to sight or thought be formed, Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet ! How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost, Defaced, deflowered, and now to death devote : Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress The strict forbiddance, how to violate The sacred fruit forbidden | Some curséd fraud Of enemy hath beguiled thee, yet unknown, And me with thee hath ruined, for with thee Certain my resolution is to die. How can I live without thee, how forego Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly joined, To live again in these wild woods forlorn ? Should God create another Eve, and I Another rib afford, yet loss of thee Would never from my heart; no, no, I feel The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh, Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

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MARRIAGE. | 31

And too impatiently stamped with your foot :
Yet I insisted, yet you answered not ;
But, with an angry wafture of your hand,
Gave sign for me to leave you : So I did ;
Fearing to strengthen that impatience,
Which seemed too much enkindled ; and withal
Hoping it was but an effect of humor,
Which sometime hath his hour with every
IIlall.
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep,
And, could it work so much upon your shape,
As it hath much prevailed on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
BRU. I am not well in health, and that is
all.
Poo. Brutus is wise, and were he not in health,
He would embrace the means to come by it.
BRU. Why, so I do: —good Portia, go to bed.
Post. Is Brutus sick,- and is it physical
To walk unbraced, and suck up the humors
Of the dank morning What, is Brutus sick, -
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed,
To dare the vile contagion of the night,
And tempt the rheumy and unpurgéd air
To add unto his sickness No, my Brutus;
You have some sick offence within your mind,
Which, by the right and virtue of my place,
I ought to know of: And upon my knees
I charm you, by my once commended beauty,
By all your vows of love, and that great vow
Which did incorporate and make us one,’
That you unfold to me, yourself, your half,
Why you are heavy; and what men to-night
Have had resort to you, - for here have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
BRU. Kneel not, gentle Portia.
PoR. I should not need, if you were gentle
Brutus.
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it expected, I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself
But, as it were, in sort or limitation, —
To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
And talk to you sometimes Dwell I but in the
suburbs -
Of your good pleasure ? If it be no more,
Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.
Bot. You are my true and honorable wife;
As dear to me, as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
Poh. If this were true, then should I know
this secret.
I grant I am a woman; but, withal,
A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife :
I grant I am a woman.; but, withal,
A woman well-reputed, Cato's daughter.

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“Love's a virtue for heroes —as white as the snow on high hills,

And immortal as every great soul is that strug. gles, endures, and fulfils.

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“I love my Walter profoundly, -you, Maude, though you faltered a week,

For the sake of ... what was it? an eyebrow or, less still, a mole on a cheek?

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“And since, when all's said, you're too nobleto stoop to the frivolous cant

About crimes irresistible, virtues that swindle, betray, and supplant,

xxiii.

“I determined to prove to yourself that, whate'er you might dream or avow

By illusion, you wanted precisely no more of me than you have now.

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“There ! Look me full in the face — in the face. Understand, if you can,

That the eyes of such women as I am are clean as the palm of a man.

o xxW.

“Drop his hand, you insult him. Avoid us for fear we should cost you a scar, –

You take us for harlots, I tell you, and not for the women we are.

xxvi. “You wronged me: but then I considered... there's Walter And so at the end,

I vowed that he should not be mulcted, by me, in the hand of a friend.

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“Have I hurt you indeed We are quits then. Nay, friend of my Walter, be mine ! Come, Dora, my darling, my angel, and help me

to ask him to dine.” ELIZABETH BARRETT BRow Nixo.

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THE WELL OF ST. KEYNE.

s" In the Parish of St. Neots, Cornwall, is a well, arched over with the robes of four kinds of trees, – withy, oak, elm, and ashand dedicated to St. Keyne. The reported virtue of the water is this, that, whether husband or wife first drink thereof, they get the mastery thereby." – FUM LER.]

A well, there is in the West country,
And a clearer one never was seen ;

There is not a wife in the West country
But has heard of the well of St. Keyne.

| •

—E

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