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Her eye with heaven's, so, and more brightly shined
Her lamping sight; for she the same could wind
Into the solid heart, and with her ears
The silence of the thought loud speaking hears,
And in one hand a pair of even scales she wears.

No riot of affection reVel kept

Within her breast, but a still apathy

Possessed all her soul, which softly slept,

Securely, without tempest; no sad cry

Awakes her pity, but wronged Poverty

Sending her eyes to heaven swimming in tears
And hideous clamours ever struck her ears,

Wetting the blazing sword that in her hand she bears.

The winged lightning is her Mercury,
And round about her mighty thunders sound;
Impatient of himself lies pining by
Pale sickness, with his kerchered head up wound,
And thousand noisome plagues attend her round:
But if her cloudy brow but once grow foul,
The flints do melt, the rocks to water roll,
And airy mountains shake, and frightened shadows howl.

Famine, and bloodless Care, and bloody War,
Want, and the want of knowledge how to use
Abundance, Age, and Fear that runs afar
Before his fellow Grief, that aye pursues
His winged steps; for who would not refuse

Grief's company, a dull and raw-boned spright,
That lanks the cheeks and pales the freshest sight,
Unbosoming the cheerful breast of all delight.

Before this cursed throng goes Ignorance,
That needs will lead the way it cannot see;
And, after all, Death doth his flag advance,
And, in the midst, Strife still would roguing be,
Whose ragged flesh and clothes did well agree;
And round about amazed Horror flies,
And over all, Shame veils his guilty eyes,
And underneath Hell's hungry throat still yawning lies.

Justice is portrayed leaning her bosom upon "two stone tables spread before her;" and the poet, in order to impress more deeply the fearful horror of that " scroll" on the mind, makes the terror and darkness of the Appearance upon Mount Sinai to rush upon our memory, when the affrighted children of Israel, like

A wood of shaking leaves became.

The grandeur and dignity of Justice are expressed by the solemn silence of the universe, waiting in awe for the opening of her lips*. In the stillness of heaven and earth, Justice proceeds to accuse and convict man of wickedness and ingratitude. But in this part of the poem Fletcher forgot the sublimity of the occasion; he amuses himself with a display of metaphysical ingenuity, as when speaking of Adam's covering of leaves, he asks,

for who ever saw

A man of leaves a reasonable tree?

And in some of the verses he seems to have studied that epigrammatic brevity and rapidity of interrogation, which so delighted his brother's eccentric friend, Quarles; but though the author of the Enchiridion might hang a garland at "the door of those fantastic chambers," every true lover of Fletcher's poetry will regret to see him lingering within their threshold. Some of the lines, however, are beautiful and musical:—

What, should I tell how barren Earth is grown
All for to starve her children, didst not thou
Water with heavenly showers her womb unsown,
And drop down clouds of flowers; did'st not thou bow
Thine easy ear unto the plowman's vow,

Long might he look, and look, and long in vain
Might load his harvest in an empty wain,
And beat the woods, to find the poor oak's hungry grain.

The effect of the address of Justice is given with great sublimity:—

* Milton saw the force of this conception; at the conclusion of the speech of the " Eternal Father" to the Angel Gabriel,

. ..... all heaven

Admiring stood a space, then into hymns

Burst forth. Par. Reg., b. 1, v. 170.

She ended, and the heavenly Hierarchies

Burning in zeal, thickly imbranded were:

Like to an army that alarum cries,

And every one shakes his ydreaded spear,

And the Almighty's self, as he would tear

The earth, and her firm basis quite in sunder,
Flam'd all in just revenge, and mighty thunder,

Heaven stole itself from earth by clouds that moisten'd under.

The awful grandeur of celestial indignation seems to lift itself up in the majesty of these lines. The sudden preparation of the heavenly warriors, the clangor of arms, and the uprising of the Deity himself, are splendid images, which are known to the reader of Paradise Lost not to have escaped the notice of Milton. The pause at the beginning of the stanza is a note of solemn preparation.

The re-appearance of Mercy in the midst of darkness and tumult is very picturesque; her face soon glimmers through, and paints the clouds with beauty—

As when the cheerful sun, elamping wide,
Glads all the world with his uprising ray,
And woos the widow'd earth afresh to pride,
And paint her bosom with the flow'ry May,
His silent sister steals him quite away;

Wrapt in a sable cloud from mortal eyes

The hasty stars at noon begin to rise,
And headlong to his early roost the sparrow flies.

But soon as he again dishadow'd is,
Restoring the blind world his blemish'd sight,
As though another day were newly his,
The cozen'd birds busily take their flight,
And wonder at the shortness of the night:
So Mercy once again herself displays,
Out from her sister's cloud, and open lays
Those sunshine looks, whose beams would dim a thousand days.

The poet then describes the charms of Mercy in verses sparkling as the "discoloured plumes" of the graces that attend upon her:—

If any wander, thou dost call him back;

If any be not forward, thou incit'st him;

Thou dost expect, if any should grow slack;

If any seem but willing, thou invit'st him;

Or if he do offend thee, thou acquitt'st him;

Thou find'st the lost, and follow'st him that flies,
Healing the sick, and quick'ning him that dies,

Thou art the lame man's friendly staff, the blind man's eyes.

So fair thou art, that all would thee behold;
But none can thee behold, thou art so fair;
Pardon, O pardon then, thy vassal bold,
That with poor shadows strives thee to compare,
And match the things which he knows matchless are;
O thou vive mirror of celestial grace,
How can frail colours portraict out thy face,
Or paint in flesh thy beauty, in such semblance base?

Her upper garment was a silken lawn,

With needlework richly embroidered,

Which she herself with her own hand had drawn,

And all the world therein had portrayed,

With threads so fresh and lively coloured

That seem'd the world she new created there,
And the mistaken eye would rashly swear

The silken trees did grow, and the beasts living were.

And here and there few men she scattered,
(That in their thought the world esteem but small,
And themselves great,) but she with one fine thread,
So short, and small, and slender, wove them all,
That like a sort of busy ants, that crawl

About some molehill, so they wandered;

And round about the waving sea was shed;
But, for the silver sands, small pearls were sprinkled.

So curiously the under work did creep,

And curling circlets so well shadow'd lay,

That afar off the waters seem'd to sleep;

But those that near the margin pearl did play,

Hoarsely enwaved were with hasty sway.

As though they meant to rock the gentle ear,
And hush the former that enslumber'd were;

And here a dang'rous rock the flying ships did fear.

High in the airy element there hung
Another cloudy sea, that did disdain
(As though his purer waves from heaven sprung)
To crawl on earth, as doth the sluggish main;
But it the earth would water with his rain,

That ebb'd and flow'd, as wind and season would;

And oft the sun would cleave the limber mould
To alabaster rocks, that in the liquid roll'd.

Beneath those sunny banks a darker cloud,

Dropping with thicker dew, did melt apace,

And bend itself into a hollow shrowd,

On which, if Mercy did but cast her face,

A thousand colours did the bow enchase,

That wonder was to see the silk distained
With the resplendence from her beauty gained,

And Iris paint her locks with beams, so lively feigned.

Over her hung a canopy of state,

Not of rich tissue, nor of spangled gold,

But of a substance, though not animate,

Yet of a heav'nly and spiritual mould,

That only eyes of Spirits might behold;

Such light as from main rocks of diamound.
Shooting their sparks at Phoebus, would rebound,

And little Angels, holding hands, danced all around.

The gentleness of Mercy is contrasted with the haggard wretchedness of Repentance :—

Deeply, alas, impassioned she stood,

To see a flaming brand tossed up from hell,

Boiling her heart in her own lustful blood,

That oft for torment she would loudly yell;

Now she would sighing sit, and now she fell

Crouching upon the ground, in sackloth trust,
Early and late she prayed, and fast she must,

And all her hair hung full of ashes and of dust.

The reader may remember the picture of Remorse in the introduction to the Mirrour for Magistrates :—

And first within the porch and jaws of hell,
Sat deep remorse of conscience, all besprent
With tears; and to herself oft would she tell
Her wretchedness .

Fletcher wanted the energy of Sackville's iron pen. The impersonations of Dread, Revenge, Misery, and

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