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Long has the fate of kings and empires been As hardly as ambition does the great;
But 'twere too hard for one to act all well; Careless for who should fall or who succeed. Whom justly life would through each scene Therefore an humble theme our author chose;
commend, A melancholy tale of private woes:
The maid, the wife, the mistress, and the friend: No princes here lost royalty bemoan,
This age, 'tis true, has one great instance seen, But you shall meet with sorrows like your own: And Heav’n in justice made that one a queen. Here see imperious love his vassals treat
ROSSANO, his friend.
SCENE,—Sciolto's palace and garden, with some part of the street near it, in Genoa.
(Foe to thy house, and rival of their greatness) SCENE I.-A Garden.
By sentence of the cruel law forbid
His venerable corpse to rest in earth,
Thou gav'st thyself a ranson for his bones;
mercy, Let happy lovers ever make it holy,
Sour, unrelenting, money-loving villains, Choose it to bless their hopes, and crown their who laugh at human nature and forgiveness, wishes,
And are, like fiends, the factors of destruction. This happy day, that gives me my Calista! Heaven, who beheld the pious act, approved it, Hor. Yes, Altamont; to-day thy better stars
And bade Sciolto's bounty be its proxy, Are join'd to shed their kindest influence on To bless thy filial virtue with abundance. thee;
Alt. But see, he comes, the author of my hapSciolto's noble hand, that raised thee first,
piness, Half dead and drooping o'er thy father's grave,
The man who saved my life from deadly sorrow, Completes its bounty, and restores thy name Who bids my days be blest with peace and To that high rank and lustre which it boasted,
plenty, Before ungrateful Genoa had forgot
And satisfies my soul with love and beauty!
Enter Sciolto; he runs to ALTAMONT, and
Joy to this happy morn that makes thee mine;
Alt. My father! Oh, let me unlade my breast,
Pour out the fulness of my soul before you;
sible, Forget the use and privilege of reason,
And utterance all is vile; since I can only
Sci. It is enough; I know thee, thou art ho-
Are in thy mind; thy noble father's virtues
Sci: 0, noble youth! I swear, since first I
knew thee, That happy tie made me Sciolto's son;
Even from that day of sorrows when I saw thee,
Horatio and Lavinia too are mine;
[Embraces HORATIO, My father's bounty, and the state's ingratitude, All are my children, and shall share my heart, Had stripp'd him bare, nor left him even a grave. But wherefore waste we thus this happy day? Undone myself, and sinking with his ruin, The laughing minutes summon thee to joy, I had no wealth to bring, nothing to succour And with new pleasures court thee as they pass; him,
Thy waiting bride even chides thee for delaying, But fruitless tears.
And swears thou com’st not with a bridegroom's Hor. Yet what thou couldst, thou didst,
haste. And didst it like a son; when his hard credi- Alt. Oh! could I hope there was one thought tors,
of Altamont, Urged and assisted by Lothario's father, One kind remembrance in Calista's breast,
The winds, with all their wings, would be too And stars alone shone conscious of the theft, slow
Hot with the Tuscan grape, and high in blood, To bear me to her feet. For oh, my father! Haply I stole unheeded to her chamber. Amidst the stream of joy that bears me on, Rös. That minute sure was lucky. Blest as I am, and honoured in your friendship, Loth. Oh, 'twas great! There is one pain that hangs upon my heart. I found the fond, believing, love-sick maid, Sci. What means my son ?
Loose, unattired, warm, tender, full of wishes; Alt. When, at your intercession,
Fierceness and pride, the guardians of her boLast night Calista yielded to my happiness,
nour, Just ere we parted, as I sealed my vows Were charmed to rest, and love alone was waWith rapture on her lips, I found her cold,
king. As a dead lover's statue on his tomb;
Within her rising bosom all was calm, A rising storm of passion shook her breast, As peaceful seas that know no storms, and only Her eyes a piteous shower of tears let fall, Are gently lifted up and down by tides. And then she sighed, as if her heart were break- I snatched the glorious golden opportunity, ing.
And with prevailing, youthful ardour pressed her, With all the tenderest eloquence of love, "Till with short sighs, and murmuring reluctance, I begged to be a sharer in her grief;
The yielding fair one gave me perfect happiness. But she, with looks averse, and eyes that froze Even all the live-long night we passed in bliss, me,
In extacies too fierce to last for ever; Sadly replied, her sorrows were her own, At length the morn and cold indifference came; Nor in a father's power to dispose of.
When, fully sated with the luscious banquet, Sci. Away! it is the cozenage of their sex; I hastily took leave, and left the nymph One of the common arts they practise on us: To think on what was past, and sigh alone. To sigh and weep then when their hearts beat Ros. You saw her soon again? high
Loth. Too soon I saw her: With expectation of the coming joy.
For, Oh! that meeting was not like the former: Thou hast in camps and fighting fields been bred, I found my heart no more beat high with transUnknowing in the subtleness of wonien.
porty The virgin bride, who swoons with deadly fear, No more I sighed, and languished for enjoyment; To see the end of all her wishes near,
'Twas past, and reason took her turn to reign, When blushing, from the light and public eyes, While every weakness fell before her throne. To the kind covert of the night she flies,
Ros. What of the lady? With equal fires to meet the bridegroom moves, Loth. With uneasy fondness Melts in his arms, and with a loose she loves. She hung upon me, wept, and sighed, and swore
(Exeunt. She was undone; talked of a priest, and mar
riage; Enter LOTHARIO and Rossano,
Of flying with me from her father's power ; Loth. The father, and the husband!
Called every saint, and blessed angel down, Ros. Let them pass.
To witness for her that she was my wife. They saw us not.
I started at that name. Loth. I care not if they did;
Roe. What answer made you ? Ere long I mean to meet them face to face, Loth. None; but pretending sudden pain and And gall them with my triumph o'er Calista.
illness, Ros. You loved her once.
Escaped the persecution. Two nights since, Loth. I liked her, would have married her, By message urged and frequent importunity, But that it pleased her father to refuse me, Again I saw her. Straight with tears and sighs To make this honourable fool her husband: With swelling breasts, with swooning, with disFor which, if I forget him, may the shame
traction, I mean to brand his name with, stick on mine! With all the subtleties and powerful arts Ros. She, gentle soul, was kinder than her fac Of wilful women, labouring for her purpose, ther?
Again she told the same dull nauseous tale. Loth. She was, and oft in private gave me Unmoved, I begged her spare the ungrateful subhearing;
ject, Till, by long listening to the soothing tale, Since I resolved, that love and peace of mind At length her easy heart was wholly mine. Might flourish long inviolate betwixt us, Ros. I have heard you oft describe her, Never to load it with the marriage chain ; haughty, insolent,
That I would still retain her in my heart, And fierce with high disdain : it moves my won. My ever gentle mistress and my friend! der,
But for those other names of wife and husband, That virtue, thus defended, should be yielded They only meant ill-nature, cares, and quarrels. A prey to loose desires.
Ros. How bore she this reply? Loth. Hear then, I will tell thee:
Loth. Even as the earth, Once in a lone and secret hour of night, When winds pent up, or eating fires beneath, When every eye was closed, and the pale moon Shaking the mass, she labours with destruction.
At first her rage was dumb, and wanted words ; (Loth. reads.}– Your cruelty-Obedience to But when the storm found way, 'twas wild and my father-Give my hand to Altamont.' loud.
By heaven 'tis well! such ever be the gifts, Mad as the priestess of the Delphic god, With which I greet the man whom my soul hates. Enthusiastic passion swelled her breast,
[dside. Enlarged her voice, and ruffled all her form. But to go on ! Proud, and disdainful of the love I proffered, • Wish-heart-honour—too faithless She called me villain ! monster! base betrayer! Weakness-to-morrow-last trouble-lost CaAt last, in very bitterness of soul,
lista, With deadly imprecations on herself,
Women, I see, can change as well as men. She vowed severely ne'er to see me more;
She writes me here, forsaken as I am, Then bid me fly that minute: I obeyed,
That I should bind my brows with mournful wilAnd, bowing, left her to grow cool at leisure.
low, Ros. She has relented since, else why this For she has given her hand to Altamont : message
Yet, tell the fair inconstantTo meet the keeper of her secrets here
Luc. How, my lord ! This morning ?
Loth. Nay, no more angry words: say to CaLoth. See the person whom you named !
The humblest of her slaves shall wait her pleaEnter LucillA.
sure; Well, my ambassadress, what must we treat of? If she can leave her happy husband's arms, Come you to menace war, and proud defiance, To think upon so lost a thing as I am. Or does the peaceful olive grace your message ? Luc. Alas! for pity, come with gentler looks; Is your fair mistress calmer? Does she soften? Wound not her heart with this unmanly triumph: And must we love again ? Perhaps she means And, though you love her not, yet swear you do, To treat in juncture with her new ally,
So shall dissembling once be virtuous in you.
He must not see us here. To.morrow early
Loth. Bear to my love
her. Loth. I see thou'st learned to rail.
(LOTHARIO putting up the letter hastily, Luc. I've learned to weep;
drops it as he goes out. That lesson my sad mistress often gives me : (Ereunt LOTHARIO and RossANO one way, * By day she seeks some melancholy shade,
and LUCILLA another. To hide her sorrows from the prying world;
I!ur. Sure 'tis the very error of my eyes ;
At my approach they started, and retired. Loth. Oh, no more!
What business could he have here, and with I swear thou'lt spoil thy pretty face with crying,
her? And thou hast beauty that may make thy for- I know he bears the noble Altamont tune:
Profest and deadly hate-What paper's this? Some keeping cardinal shall doat upon thee,
[Taking up the letter. And barter his church treasure for thy freshness. Ha! To Lothario !-'s death! Calista's name! Luc. What! shall I sell my innocence and
[Opening it. youth,
Confusion and misfortunes !
(Reads it. For wealth or titles, to perfidious man!
* Your cruelty has at length determined me, To man, who makes his mirth of our undoing ! and I have resolved this warning to yield a perThe base, profest betrayer of our sex!
• fect obedience to my father, and to give my Let me grow old in all misfortunes else, * hand to Altamont, in spite of my weakness for Rather than know the sorrows of Calista! • the false Lothario. I could almost wish I had Loth. Does she send thee to chide in her be that heart, and that honour to bestow with it, half?
• which you have robbed me of;' I swear thou dost it with so good a grace, Damnation! to the rest (Reads again. That I could almost love thee for thy frowning. But, Ob! I fear, could I retrieve them, I should Ļuc. Read there, my lord, there, in her own again be undone by the too faithless, yet too sad lines,
(Giving a letter. lovely Lothario. This is the last weakness of Which best can tell the story of her woes, my pen, and to-morrow shall be the last in That grief of heart which your unkindness gives which I will indulge my eyes. Lucilla shall her.
conduct you, if you are kind enough to let me
sce you; it shall be the last trouble you shall | Why did you falsely call me your Lavinia, * meet with from
And swear I was Horatio's better balf, · The lost Calista.' Since now you mourn unkindly by yourself
, The lost, indeed! for thou art gone as far And rob me of my partnership of sadness? As there can be perdition. Fire and sulphur! Witness, ye holy powers, who know my truth, Hell is the sole avenger of such crimes.
There cannot be a chance in life so miserable, Oh, that the ruin were but all thy own! Nothing so very hard, but I could bear it, Thou wilt even make thy father curse his age; Much rather than my love should treat me coldly, At sight of this black scroll
, the gentle Altamont And use me like a stranger to his heart. (For, Oh! I know his heart is set upon thee) Hor. Seek not to know what I would hide Shall droop, and hang his discontented head,
from all, Like merit scorned by insolent authority, But most from thee. I never knew a pleasure, And never grace the public with his virtues. Aught that was joyful, fortunate or good, Perhaps even now he gazes fondly on her, But straight I ran to bless thee with the tidings, And, thinking soul and body both alike, And laid up all my happiness with thee : Blesses the perfect workmanship of Heaven ! But wherefore, wherefore should I give thee pain? Then sighing, to his every care speaks peace, Then spare me, I conjure thee ; ask no further; And bids his heart be satisfied with happiness. Allow my melancholy thoughits this privilege, Oh, wretched husband! while she hangs about And let them brood in secret o'er their sorrows. thee
Lav. It is enough; chide not, and all is well! With idle blandishments, and plays the fond one, Forgive me if I saw you sad, Horatio, Even then her hot imagination wanders, And ask to weep out part of your misfortunes: Contriving riot, and loose 'scapes of love; I would not press to know what you forbid me. And whilst she clasps thee close, makes thee a Yet, my loved lord, yet you must grant me this, monster!
Forget your cares for this one happy day; What if I give this paper to her father? Devote this day to mirth, and to your Altaniont; It follows, that his justice dooms her dead, For his dear sake, let peace be in your looks. And breaks his heart with sorrow; hard return Even now the jocund bridegroom waits your For all the good his hand has heaped on us !
wishes; Hold, let me take a moment's thought He thinks the priest has but half blessed his mar
riage, Enter LAVINIA,
Till his friend hails him with the sound of joy. Lav. My lord!
Hor. Oh, never, never, never! Thou art ile Trust me, it joys my heart that I have found you. Enquiring wherefore you had left the company, Simplicity from ill, pure native truth, Before my brother's nuptial rites were ended, And candour of the mind, adorn thee ever ; They told me you had felt some sudden illness. But there are such, such false ones, in the world, Where are you sick? Is it your head? your heart? 'Twould fill thy gentle soul with wild amazenient, Tell me, my love, and ease my anxious thoughts, To hear their story told. That I may take you gently in my arms,
Lav. False ones, my lord ! Soothe you to rest, and soften all ycur pains. Hor. Fatally fair they are, and in their smiles Hor, It were unjust-No, let me spare my The graces, little loves, and young desires, ino friend,
habit; Lock up the fatal secret in my breast,
But all that gaze upon them are undone; Nor tell him that which will undo his quict. For they are false, luxurious in their appetites, Lav. What means my lord ?
And all the Heaven they hope for, is variety: Hor. Ha! saidst thou, my Lavinia ?
One lover to another still succeeds, Lav. Alas! you know not what you make me Another, and another after that, suffer.
And the last fool is welcome as the former; Why are you pale? Why did you start and trem- Till, having loved his hour out, he gives place, ble?
And mingles with the herd that went before him, Whence is that sigh? and wherefore are your eyes Lav, Can there be such, and have they peace Severely raised to Heaven! The sick man thus,
of mind? Acknowledging the summons of his fate, Have they, in all the series of their changing, Lifts up his feeble hands and eyes for mercy, One happy hour? If women are such things, And, with confusion, thinks upon his exit. How was I formed so different from my sex? Hor, Oh, no! thou hast mistook my sickness My little heart is satisfied with you; quite;
You take up all her room, as in a cottage These pangs are of the soul. Would I had met Which harbours some benighted princely stranger, Sharpest convulsions, spotted pestilence, Where the good man, proud of his hospitality, Or any other deadly foe to life,
Yields all his homely dwelling to his guest, Rather than heave beneath this load cf thought! And hardly keeps a corner for himself
. Lav. Alas! what is it? Wherefore turn you Hor. Oh! were they all like thee, men word from me.