« НазадПродовжити »
Loth. Does she send thee to chide in her be- • fect obedience to my father, and to give my half?
hand to Altamont, in spite of my weakness for I swear thou dost it with so good a grace, • the false Lothario. I could alınost wish I had That I could almost love thee for thy frowning. that heart, and that honour to bestow with it, Luc. Read there, my lord, there, in her own ' which
have robbed me of : sad lines,
[Giving a letter. Damnation ! to the rest (Reads again. Which best can tell the story of her woes, But, Oh! I fear, could I retrieve them, I should That grief of heart which your unkindness gives again be undone by the too faithless, yet too her.
* lovely Lothario. This is the last weakness of [Loth. reads. Your cruelty-Obedience to my, pen, and to-morrow shall be the last in
my father-Give my hand to Altamont.' which I will indulge my eyes. Lucilla shall By Heaven it is well! such ever be the gifts, conduct you, if you are kind enough to let me With which I greet the man whom my soul hates. see you, it shall be the last trouble you shall
[Aside. meet with from But to go on!
• The lost CALIŠTA. • Wish-heart-honour—too faithless
The lost, indeed! for thou art gone as far Weakness—to-morrow—last trouble-lost Ca- As there can be perdition. Fire and sulphur! lista.
Hell is the sole avenger of such crimes. Women, I see, can change as well as men. Oh, that the ruin were but all thy own! She writes me here, forsaken as I am,
Thou wilt even make thy father curse his age ; That I should bind my brows with mournful wil. At sight of this black scroll, the gentle Altamont low,
(For, Oh ! I know his heart is set upon thee) For she has given her hand to Altamont: Shall droop, and hang his discontented head, Yet, tell the fair inconstant
Like merit scorned by insolent authority, Luc. How, my lord!
And never grace the public with his virtues. Loth. Nay, no more angry words: say to Ca- Perhaps even now he gazes fondly on her, lista,
And, thinking soul and body both alike, The humblest of her slaves shall wait her plea- Blesses the perfect workmanship of Heaven! sure;
Then sighing, to his every care speaks peace, If she can leave her happy husband's arms,
And bids his heart be satisfied with happiness. To think upon so lost a thing as I am.
Oh, wretched husband! while she hangs about Luc. Alas! for pity, come with gentler looks;
thee Wound not her heart with this unmanly triumph: With idle blandishments, and plays the fond one, And, though you love her not, yet 'swear you Even then her hot imagination wanders, do,
Contriving riot, and loose 'scapes of love;
And breaks his heart with sorrow! hard return Loth. Bear to my love
For all the good his hand has heaped on us ! My kindest thoughts, and swear I will not fail Hold, let me take a moment's thoughther.
Lav. My lord ! [Ereunt Lothario and Rossuno one way, and Trust me, it joys my heart that I have found you. Lucilla another.
Enquiring wherefore you had left the company,
Before my brother's nuptial rites were ended, Enter Horatio.
They told me you had felt some sudden illness. Ilor. Sure it is the very error of my cyes ; Where are you sick? Is it your head ? your heart? Waking I dream, or I beheld Lothario;
Tell me, my love, and ease my anxious thoughts, He seemed couferring with Calista's woman: That I may take you gently in my arms, At my approach they started, and retired. Soothe you to rest, and soften all your pains. What business could he have here, and with her? Hor. It were unjust--No, let me spare my I know he bears the noble Altamont
friend, Protest and deadly hate-What paper's this? Lock up the fatal secret in my breast,
[Taking up the letter. Nor tell him that which will undo his quiet. Ha! To Lothario !-'s death! Calista's naine! Lav. What means iny lord ?
[Opening it. Hor. Ha! saidst thou, my Lavinia ? Confusion and misfortunes ! Reads it. Lav. Alas! you know not what you make me
'Your cruelty has at length determined me, suffer. and I have resolved this morning to yield a per- Why are you pale? Why did you start and tremble?
Whence is that sigh? and wherefore are your eyes | He thinks the priest has but half blessed his mar-
mercy, Hor. Oh, never, never, never! Thou art inno And, with confusion, thinks upon his exit. Hor. Oh, no! thou hast mistook my sickness Simplicity from ill, pure native truth, quite;
And candour of the mind, adorn thee ever; These pangs are of the soul. Would I had met But there are such, such false ones, in the world, Sharpest convulsions, spotted pestilence, 'Twould fill thy gentle soul with wild amazement, Or any other deadly foe to life,
To hear their story told. Rather than heave beneath this load of thought! Lav. False ones, my lord ! Lav. Alas! what is it? Wherefore turn you Hor. Fatally fair they are, and in their smiles from me?
The graces, little loves, and young desires, inWhy did you falsely call me your Lavinia,
habit; And swear I wss Horatio's better half,
But all that gaze upon them are undone; Since now you mourn unkindly by yourself, For they are false, luxurious in their appetites, And rob me of my partnership of sadness? And all the Heaven they hope for, is variety: Witness, ye holy powers, who know my truth, One lover to another still succeeds, There cannot be a chance in life so miserable, Another, and another after that, Nothing so very hard, but I could bear it, And the last fool is welcome as the former; Much rather than my love should treat me coldly, Till, having loved his hour out, he gives place, And use me like a stranger to his heart.
And mingles with the herd that went before him, Hor. Seek not to know what I would hide from Lav. Can there be such, and have they peace all,
of mind ? But most from thee. I never knew a pleasure, Have they, in all the series of their changing, Ought that was joyful, fortunate, or good, One happy hour? If women are such things, But straight I ran to bless thee with the tidings, How was I formed so different from my sex? And laid up all my happiness with thee: My little heart is satisfied with you; But wherefore, wherefore should I give thee pain? You take up all her room, as in a cottage Then spare me, I conjure thee; ask no further; Which harbours some benighted princely stranger, Allow iny melancholy thoughts this privilege, Where the good man, proud of his hospitality, And let them brood in secret o'er their sorrows. Yields all his homely dwelling to his guests,
Lav. It is enough; chide not, and all is well! And hardly keeps a corner for himself. Forgive me if I saw you sad, Iloratio,
Hor. Oh! were they all like thee, men would And ask to weep out part of your misfortunes:
adore them, I would not press to know what you forbid ine. And all the business of their lives be loving; Yet, my loved lord, yet you must grant me this, The nuptial band should be the pledge of peace, Forget your cares for this one happy day; And all domestic cares ard quarrels cease; Devote this day to mirth, and to your Altamont; | The world should learn to love by virtuous rules, For his dear sake, let peace be in your looks. And marriage be no more the jest of fools. Even now the jocund bridegroom waits your
SCENE I-A Hall.
Turn, and behold where gentle Altamont,
Kind as the softest virgin of our sex,
And faithful as the simple village swain,
Sighs at your feet, and woves you to be happy. My solemn sadness with the sound of joy! Cal. Away! I think not of him. My sad soul If thou wilt soothe me, tell me some dismal tale Has formed a dismal melancholy scene, Of pining discontent, and black despair; Such a retreat as I would wish to find; For, oh ! I've gone around through all my thoughts, An unfrequented vale, o'ergrown with trees, But all are indignation, love, or shame,
Mossy and old, within whose lonesome shade And my
dear peace of mind is lost for ever! Ravens, and birds ill-omened, only dwell : Luc. Why do you follow still that wandering No sound to break the silence, but a brook fire,
That, bubbling, winds among the weeds: no mark That has misled your weary steps, and leaves you Of any human shape that had been there, Benighted in a wilderness of woe,
Unless a skeleton of some poor wretch, That false Lothario? Turn from the deceiver ; Who had long since, like me, by love undone,
Sought that sad place out, to despair and die in!
Alt. Begone, my cares, I give you to the winds, From the base world, from malice, and from Far to be borne, far from the happy Altamont; shame!
For from this sacred æra of my love, For 'tis the solemn counsel of my soul
A better order of succeeding days Never to live with public loss of honour : Comes smiling forward, white and lucky all. 'Tis fixed to die, rather than bear the insolence Calista is the mistress of the year; Of each affected she that tells my story,
She crowns the season with auspicious beauty, And blesses her good stars that she is virtuous. And bids even all my hours be good and joyful. To be a tale for fools! Scorned by the women, Cal. If I were ever mistress of such happiness, And pitied by the men ! Oh, insupportable! Oh! wherefore did I play the unthrifty fool, Luc. Can you perceive the manifest destruc- And, wasting all on others, leave myself tion,
Without one thought of joy to give me comfort! The gaping gulf that opens just before you, Alt, Oh, mighty Love! Shall that fair face And yet rush on, though conscious of the danger? profane Oh, hear me, hear your ever faithful creature ! This thy great festival with frowns and sadness! By all the good I wish, by all the ill
I swear it shall not be, for I will woo thee My trembling heart forebodes, let me intreat you, with sighs so moving, with so warm a transport, Never to see this faithless man again;
That thou shalt catch the gentle flame from me, Let me forbid his coming.
And kindle into jov. Cal. On thy life
Cal. I tell thee, Altamont, I charge thee no: my genius drives me on; Such hearts as ours were never paired above: I must, I will bebold him once again :
Ill-suited to each other; joined, not matched; Perhaps it is the crisis of my fate,
Some sullen influence, a foe to both, And this one interview shall end my cares. llas wrought this fatal marriage to undo us. My labouring heart, that swells with indignation, Mark but the frame and temper of our minds, Heaves to discharge the burden ; that once done, How very much we differ. Even this day, The busy thing shall rest within its cell,
That fills thee with such ecstacy and transport, And never beat again.
To me brings nothing that should make me Luc. Trust not to that:
bless it, Rage is the shortest passion of our souls Or think it better than the day before, Like narrow brooks, that rise with sudden showers, Or any other in the course of time, It swells in haste, and falls again as soon; That duly took its turn, and was forgotten. Still, as it ebbs, the softer thoughts flow in, Alt. If to behold thee as my pledge of happiAnd the doceiver Love supplies its place.
ness, Cal. I have been wronged enough to arm my To know none fair, none excellent but thee: temper
If still to love thee with unwearied constancy, Against the smooth dclusion ; but alas !
Througlı every season, every change of life, (Chide not my weakness, gentle maid, but pity Through wrinkled age, through sickness and misme)
Cal. 'Tis the day
Enter Sciolto, Horatio, and LAVINIA. Is watchful for our good, guard me from men, Scio. Let mirth go on, let pleasure know ne From their deceitful tongues, their vows, and pause, flatteries!
But fill up every minute of this day! Still let me pass neglected by their eyes, 'Tis yours, my children, sacred to your loves; Let my bloom wither, and my form decay, The glorious sun himself for you looks gay; That none may think it worth his while to ruin He shines for Altamont and for Calista.
Let there be music; let the master touch And fatal love may never be my bane! [Exit. The sprightly string, and softly-breathing flute,
Cal. Ha, Altamont! Calista, now be wary, 'Till harmony rouse every gentle passion, And guard thy soul's accesses with dissembling : Teach the cold maid to loose her fears in love, Nor let this hostile husband's eves explore And the fieroe youth to languish at her feet. The warring passions, and tumultuous thoughts, Begin: even age itself is cheared with music; That rage within thee, and deform thy reason. It wakes a glad remembrance of our youth,
Calls back past joys, and warms us into trans- A moment of disquiet, were it not port.
[Music. My instrument of vengeance on this Altamont;
Therefore I mean to wait some opportunity
Of speaking with the maid we saw this morning,
Too charming, too relentless maid ? Of being seen; to-day their friends are round
them; You of the fearful are afraid.
And any eye that lights by chance on you, In vain I call ; for she, like fleeting air, Shall put your life and safety to the hazard. When pressed by some tempestuous wind,
[They confer aside. Flies swifter from the voice of my despair,
Enter HORATIO. Nor casts one pitying look behind.
Hor. Still I must doubt some mystery of misSci. Take care my gates be open, bid all wel- chief, come;
Some artifice beneath. Lothario's father! All who rejoice with me to-day are friends : I knew him well; he was sagacious, cunning, Let each indulge his genius, each be glad, Fluent in words, and bold in peaceful counsels, Jocund and free, and swell the feast with mirth; But of a cold, inactive hand in war; The sprightly bowl shall chearfully go round, Yet, with these coward's virtues, he undid None shall be grave, nor too severely wise ; My unsuspecting, valiant, honest friend. Losses and disappointments, cares and poverty, This son, if fame mistakes not, is more hot, The rich man's insolence, and great man's scorn, More open and unartful-Ha ! he is here ! In wine shall be forgotten all. To-morrow
(Seeing him. Will be too soon to think, and to be wretched. Loth. Damnation! He again! This second Oh, grant, ye powers, that I may see these happy, time (Pointing to Alt. and Cal.. To-day he has crossed me, like
evil genius. Completely blest, and I have life enough ; Hor. I sought you, sir. And leave the rest indifferently to fate. ( Ereunt. Loth. 'Tis well, then, I am found. Hor. What if, while all are here intent on re- Hor. 'Tis well you are. The man, who wrongs
velling, I privately went forth, and sought Lothario? To the earth's utmost verge I would pursue. This letter may be forged; perhaps the wanton- No place, though e’er so holy, should protect Of his vain youth, to stain a lady's fame; No shape, that artful fear e'er formed, should Perhaps his malice to disturb my friend.
hide him, Oh, no! my heart forebodes it must be true. Till he fair answer made, and did me justice. Methought, even now, I marked the starts of Loth. Ha! dost thou know me, that I am Loguilt
thario? That shook her soul; though damned dissimula- As great a name as this proud city boasts of? tion
Who is this mighty man, then, this Horatio, Screened her dark thoughts, and set to public That I should basely hide me from his anger, view
Lest he should chide me for his friend's displeaA specious face of innocence and beauty.
sure ? Oh, false appearance! What is all our sove- Hor. The brave, it is true, do never shụn the reignty,
light; Our boasted power? When they oppose their arts, Just are their thoughts, and open are their temStill they prevail, and we are found their fools. pers, With such smooth looks, and many a gentle Freely without disguise they love and hate, word,
Still are they found in the fair face of day, The first fair she beguiled her easy lord; And Heaven and men are judges of their actions. Too blind with love and beauty to beware, Loth. Such let them be of mine; there is not He fell unthinking in the fatal snare;
a purpose, Nor could believe that such a heavenly face Which my soul ever framed, or my hand acted, Had bargained with the devil, to damn her But I could well have bid the world look on, wretched race. [Exit. And what I once durst do, have dared to
tify. SCENE II. The street near Sciolto's Palace. Hor. Where was this open boldness, this free Enter LOTHARIO and Rossano.
When bát this very morning I surprised thee, Loth. To tell thee then the purport of my In base, dishonest privacy, consulting, thoughts;
And bribing a poor mercenary wretch,
And, with a forged contrivance, blast her virtue? | You blame the fair with lies, because they scorn At sight of me thou fled'st.
you, Loth. Ha! fled from thee?
Hate you like age, like ugliness and impotence: Hor. Thou fled'st, and guilt was on thee, like Rather than make you blest, they would die vira thief,
gins, A pilferer, descried in some dark corner, And stop the propagation of mankind. Who there had lodged, with mischievous intent, Loth. It is the curse of fools to be secure; To rob and ravish at the hour of rest,
And that be thine and Altamont's Dream on; And do a midnight murder on the sleepers ! Nor think upon my vengeance till thou feel'st it. Loth. Slave! villain !
Hor. Hold, sir ! another word, and then fare[Offers to draw, Rossano holds him.
Yet, as she shares the honour of my Altamont, And shock the peaceful city with a broil. That treasure of a soldier, bought with bloud, Loth. Then, since thou dost provoke my ven- And kept at life's expence, I must not have geance, know,
(Mark me, young sir her very name profaned. I would not, for this city's wealth, for all Learn to restrain the licence of your speech; Which the sea wafts to our Ligurian shore, 'Tis held you are too lavish. When you are met But that the joys I reaped with that fond wanton, Among your set of fools, talk of your dress, The wife of Altamont, should be as public Of dice, of whores, of horses, and yourselves; As is the noon-day sun, air, earth, or water, 'Tis safer, and becomes your understandings. Or any common benefit of nature.
Loth. What if we pass beyond this solemn orThink'st thou I meant the shame should be con- der, cealed ?
And, in defiance of the stern Horatio, Oh, no! by hell and vengeance, all I wanted Indulge our gayer thoughts, let laughter loose, Was some fit messenger to bear the news And use his sacred friendship for our mirth? To the dull doating husband : now I have found Hor. 'Tis well, sir, you are pleasanthim,
Loth. By the joys And thou art he.
Which my soul yet has uncontrouled pursued, Hor. I hold thee base enough
I would not turn aside from my least pleasure, To break through law, and spurn at sacred order, Though all thy force were armed to bar my way; And do a brutal injury like this;
But, like the birds, great Nature's happy comYet mark me well, young lord; I think Calista
moners, Too nice, too noble, and too great a soul, That haunt in woods, in meads, and flowery garTo be the prey of such a thing as thou art.
dens, 'Twas base and poor, unworthy of a man,
Rifle the sweets, and taste the choicest fruits, To forge a scroll so villainous and loose,
Yet scorn to ask the lordly owner's leave. And mark it with a noble lady's name:
Hor. What liberty has vain presumptuous youth, These are the mean dishonest arts of cowards, That thou shouldst dare provoke me unchastised! Strangers to manhood, and to glorious dangers; But henceforth, boy, I warn thee, shun my walks! Who, bred at home in idleness and riot,
If, in the bounds of yon forbidden place, Ransack for mistresses the unwholesome stews, Again thou art found, expect a punishment, And never know the worth of virtuous love. Such as great souls, impatient of an injury, Loth. Think'st thou I forged the letter? Think Exact from those who wrong them much; even so still,
death, Till the broad shame come staring in thy face, Or something worse : an injured husband's venAnd boys shall hoot the cuckold as he passes.
geance Hor. Away! no woman could descend so low: Shall print a thousand wounds, tear thy fair form, A skipping, dancing, worthless tribe you are ; And scatter thee to all the winds of Heaven! Fit only for yourselves, you herd together; Loth. Is, then, my way in Genoa prescribed And when the circling glass warms your vain By a dependent on the wretched Altamont, hearts,
A talking sir, that brawls for him in taverns, You talk of beauties that you never saw,
And vouches for his valour's reputation? And fancy raptures that you never knew.
Hor. Away! thy speech is fouler than thy Legends of saints, who never yet had being,
manners. Or, being, ne'er were saints, are not so false Loth. Or, if there be a name more vile, his paAs the fond tales which you recount of love.
rasite; Loth. But that I do not hold it worth my lei- A beggar's parasite! sure,
Hor. Now, learn humanity, I could produce such damning proof
[Offers to strike him, Rossano interposes Hor. 'Tis false!
Since brutes and boys are only taught with blous