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The Spanish Tragedie

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[Prologue] Enter the GHOAST OF ANDREA, and with him REUENGE.GHOAST. When this eternall substance of my souleDid liue imprisond in my wanton flesh,Ech in their function seruing others need,I was a courtier in the Spanish court:My name was Don Andrea; my discent,Though not ignoble, yet inferiour farTo gratious fortunes of my tender youth,For there, in prime and pride of all my yeeres,By duteous seruice and deseruing loue,In secret I possest a worthy dame,Which hight sweet Bel-imperia by name.But in the haruest of my sommer ioyesDeaths winter nipt the blossomes of my blisse,Forcing diuorce betwixt my loue and me;For in the late conflict with PortingaleMy valour drew me into dangers mouthTill life to death made passage through my wounds.When I was slaine, my soule descended straightTo passe the flowing streame of Archeron;But churlish Charon, only boatman there,Said that, my rites of buriall not performde,I might not sit amongst his passengers.Ere Sol had slept three nights in Thetis lap,And slakte his smoaking charriot in her floud,By Don Horatio, our knight-marshals sonne,My funerals and obsequies were done.Then was the fariman of hell contentTo passe me ouer to the slimie strondThat leades to fell Auernus ougly waues.There, pleasing Cerberus with honied speech,I past the perils of the formost porch.Not farre from hence, amidst ten thousand soules,Sate Minos, Eacus and Rhadamant;To whome no sooner gan I make approach,To craue a pasport for my wandring ghost,But Minos in grauen leaues of lotterieDrew forth the manner of my life and death."This knight," quoth he, "both liu'd and died in loue;And for his loue tried fortune of the warres;And by warres fortune lost both loue and life.""Why then," said Eacus, "convey him henceTo walke with lovers in our field of loueAnd the course of euerlasting timeVnder greene mirtle-trees and cipresse shades.""No, no!" said Rhadamant, "it were not wellWith louing soules to place a martialist.He died in warre, and must to martiall fields,Where wounded Hector liues in lasting paine,And Achilles Mermedons do scoure the plaine."Then Minos, mildest censor of the three,Made this deuice, to end the difference:"Send him," quoth he, "to our infernall king,To dome him as best seemes his Maiestie."To this effect my pasport straight was drawne.In keeping on my way to Plutos courtThrough dreadfull shades of euer-glooming night,I saw more sights than thousand tongues can tellOr pennes can write or mortall harts can think.Three waies there were: that on the right hand sideWas ready way vnto the foresaid fieldsWhere louers liue and bloudie martialists,But either sort containd within his bounds;The left hand path, declining fearfuly,Was ready downfall to the deepest hell,Where bloudie Furies shakes their whips of steele,And poore Ixion turnes an endles wheele,Where vsurers are choakt with melting golde,And wantons are imbraste with ougly snakes,And murderers groane with neuer-killing wounds,And periured wights scalded in boiling lead,And all foule sinnes with torments ouerwhelmd;Twixt these two waies I trod the middle path,Which brought me to the faire Elizian greene,In midst whereof there standes a stately towre,The walles of brasse, the gates of adamant....