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Come, put it off, and let thy heart be cheerful! And be a tame, fond wretch.
Perhaps, thy cruel hand may spurn me off, Secure against ill-fortune, and the world. But I will throw my body in thy way,
Hor. I am not apt to take a light offence, And thou shalt trample over my faithful bosom, But patient of the failings of my friends, Tread on nie, wound me, kill me, ere thou pass. And willing to forgive; but when an injury Alt. Urge not in vain thy pious suit, Lavinia, Stabs to the heart, and rouses my resentment, I have enough to rid me of my pain. (Perhaps it is the fault of my rude nature) Calista, thou hadst reached my heart before; I own I cannot easily forgive it.
To make all sure, my friend repeats the blow : Alt. Thou hast forgot me!
But in the grave our cares shall be forgotten, Hor. No.
There love and friendship cease. [Falls. AU. Why are thy eyes
(Lavinia runs to him, and endeavours to raise Impatient of me then, scornful, and fierce ?
him. Hor. Because they speak the meaning of my Lav. Speak to me, Altamont ! heart;
He faints! He dies ! Now, turn and see thy triBecause they are honest, and disdain a villain !
umph! Au. I've wronged thee much, Horatio. My brother! But our cares shall end together; Hor. True, thou hast.
Here will I lay me down by thy dear side, When I forget it, may I be a wretch,
Bemoan thy too hard fate, then share it with Vile as thyself, a false perfidious fellow,
thee, An infamous, believing, British husband. And never see my cruel lord again, Alt. I've wronged thee much, and Heaven has [Horatio runs to Altamont, and raises him in well avenged it.
his arins. I have not, since we parted, been at peace,
Hor. It is too much to bear! Look up, my Nor known one joy sincere; our broken friend- Altamont! ship
My stubborn, unrelenting heart has killed him. Pursued me to the last retreat of love,
Look up and bless me! tell me that thou livest! Stoed glaring like a ghost, and made me cold with Oh! I have urged thy gentleness too far; horror.
[He revives. Misfortunes on misfortunes press upon me,
Do thou and my Lavinia both forgive me; Swell o'er my head like waves, and dash me down; A flood of tenderness comes o'er my soul; Sorrow, remorse, and shame, have torn my soul; I cannot speak- I love, forgive, and pity thee They hang, like winter, on my youthful hopes, Alt. I thought that nothing could have stayed And blast the spring and promise of my year.
Lav. So flowers are gathered to adorn a grave, That long cre this her fight had reached the To lose their freshness amongst bones and rot
But thy known voice has lured her back again. And have their odours stifled in the dust. Methinks, I fain would set all right with thec, Canst thou hear this, thou cruel, hard Horatio? Make
up this most unlucky breach, and then, Canst thou behold thy Altamont undone? With thine and Heaven's forgiveness on my soul, That gentle, that dear youth! canst thou behold Shrink to my grave, and be at ease for ever. him,
Hor. By Heaven, my heart bleeds for thee; His poor heart broken, death in his pale visage, even this moment, And groaning out his woes, yet stand unmoved? I feel thy pangs of disappointed love.
Hor. The brave and wise I pity in misfortune; Is it not pity that this youth should fall, But when ingratitude and folly suffers,
That all his wondrous goodness should be lost, Tis weakness to be touched.
And the world never know it? Oh, my Altamont! Alt. I will not ask thee
Give me thy sorrows, let me bear them for thee, To pity or forgive me; but confess,
And shelter thee from ruin! This scorn, this insolence of hate, is just;
Lav. Oh, my brother, 'Tis constancy of mind, and manly in thee. Think not but we will share in all thy woes; But, Oh! had I been wronged by thee, Horatio, We'll sit all day, and tell sad tales of love: There is a yielding softness in my heart
And when we light upon some faithless woman, Could ne'er have stood it out; but I had ran, Some beauty, like Calista, false and fair, With streaming eyes, and open arms, upon thee, We'll fix our grief, and onr complaining there; And pressed thee close, close !
We'll curse the nymph that drew the ruin on, Hor. I must hear no more;
And mourn the youth that was, like thee, unThy weakness is contagious; Í shall catch it,
SCENE I.-A Room hung with black; on one
Enter SCIOLTO. side Lothario's body on a bier ; on the other a table, with a skull and other bones, a book and Sci. This dead of night, this silent hour of a lamp on it.
Nature for rest ordained, and soft repose; Calista is discovered on a couch, in black ; her And yet distraction, and tumultuous jars,
hair hanging loose and disordered. After soft Keep all our frighted citizens awake:
The senate, weak, divided, and irresolute,
Want power to succour the afflicted state.
Vainly in words and long debates they are wise, Hear, you midnight phantoms, hear,
While the fierce factions scorn their peaceful orYou who pale and wan appear,
ders, And fill the wretch who wakes with fear; And drown the voice of law in noise and anarYou, who wander, scream and groan
chy. Round the mansions once your own ;
Amidst the general wreck, see where she stands, You, who still your crimes upbraid;
[Pointing to Calista, You, who rest not with the dead;
Like IIelen, in the night when Troy was sacked, From the coverts where you stray,
Spectatress of the mischief which she made, Where you lurk and shun the day,
Cal. It is Sciolto! Be thyself, my soul; From the charnel and the tomb,
Be strong to bear his fatal indignation, Hither haste ye, hither come.
That he may see thou art not lost so far,
But somewhat still of his great spirit lives Chide Calista for delay,
In the forlorn Calista. Tell her, 'tis for her you stay ;
Sci. Thou wert once Bid her die and come away.
My daughter. See the serton with his spade,
Cal. Happy were it had I died, See the grave already made ;
And never lost that name. Listen, fair one, to thy knell,
Sci. That's something yet; This music is thy passing bell.
Thou wert the very darling of my age :
I thought the day too short to gaze upon thee, Cal. 'Tis well! these solemn sounds, this pomp That all the blessings I could gather for thee, of horror,
By cares on earth, and by my prayers to HeaAre fit to feed the frenzy in my soul.
ven, Jlere's room for meditation even to madness; Were little for my fondness to bestow; Till the mind burst with thinking. This dull Why didst thou turn to folly, then, and curse flame
me? Sleeps in the socket. Sure the book was left Cal. Because my soul was rudely drawn from To tell me something; for instruction then
yours; He teaches holy sorrow and contrition,
poor imperfect copy of my father, And penitence. Is it become an art, then? Where goodness, and the strength of manly virA trick, that lazy, dull, luxurious gownmen
tue, Can teach us to do over? I'll no inore on't; Was thinly planted, and the idle void
[Throwing away the book. Filled up with light belief, and easy fondness; I have more real anguish in my heart,
It was, because I loved, and was a woman.
Hast thou e'er dared to meditate on death?
Cal. I have, as on the end of shame and sor-
Sci. Ha! answer me ! Say, hast thou coolly
thought ? That dear perfidious—Ah! how pale he looks ! 'Tis not the stoick's lessons got by rote, How grim with clotted blood, and those dead | The pomp of words, and pedant dissertations, eyes !
That can sustain thee in that bour of terror; Ascend, ye ghosts, fantastic forms of night, Books have taught cowards to talk nobly of it, In all your different dreadful shapes ascend, But when the trial comes, they stand aghast; And match the present horror, if ye can! Hast thou considered what may happen after it?
How thy account may stand, and what to an- Sci. Would it were otherwise.but thou must swer?
die. Cal. I have turned my eyes inward upon my
Cal. That I must die, it is my only comfort; self,
Death is the privilege of human nature, Where foul offence and shame have laid all And life without it were not worth our taking : waste;
Thither the poor, the prisoner, and the mourner, Therefore my soul abhors the wretched dwelling, Fly for relief, and lay their burthens down. And longs to find some happy place of rest. Come then, and take me into thy cold arins, Sci. 'Tis justly thought, and worthy of that Thou meagre shade; here let me breathe my spirit,
last, That dwelt in antient Latian breasts, when Rome Charmed with my father's pity and forgiveness, Was mistress of the world. I would go on More than if angels tuned their golden viols, And tell thee all my purpose; but it sticks And sung a requiem to my parting soul. Here at my heart, aad cannot find a way.
Sci. I am summoned hence; ere this my Cal. Then spare the telling, if it be a pain,
friends expect me. And write the meaning with your poignard here. There is I know not what of sad presage, Sci. Oh! truly guessed-see'st thou, this trem- That tells me, I shall never sce thee more;
bling hand [Holding up a dagger. If it be so, this is our last farewell, Thrice justice urged-and thrice the slacken- And these the parting pangs, which nature feels, ing sinews
When anguish rends the heart-strings Oh, my Forgot their office, and confessed the father.
[Erit Scioltó. At length the stubborn virtue has prevailed, Cal. Now think, thou cursed Calista! now beIt must, it must be so- -Oh! take it then,
hold [Giving the dagger. The desolation, horror, blood, and ruin, And know the rest untaught !
Thy crimes and fatal folly spread around, Cal. I understand you.
That loudly cry for vengeance on thy head. It is but thus, and both are satisfied.
Yet Heaven, who knows our weak, imperfect na[She offers to kill herself : Sciolto catches
tures, hold of her arm.
flow blind with passions, and how prone to evil, Sci. A moment, give me yet a moment's space. Makes not too strict inquiry for our offences, The stern, the rigid judge has been obeyed; But is atoned by penitence and prayer: Now nature, and the father, claim their turns. Cheap recompence! here 'twould not be receiI've beld the balance with an iron hand,
ved, And put off every tender human thought, Nothing but blood can make the expiation, To doom my child to death; but spare my eyes
And cleanse the soul from inbred, deep polluThe most unnatural sight, lest their strings tion. crack,
And see, another injured wretch is come,
Alt. Hail to you, horrors ! hail, thou house of Sci. Oh! when I think what pleasure I took death! in thee,
And thou, the lovely mistress of the shades, What joys thou gavest me in thy prattling in- Whose beauty gilds the more than midnight darkfancy,
ness, Thy sprightly wit, and early blooming beauty! And makes it grateful as the dawn of day, How have I stood, and fed my eyes upon thee, Oh, take me in, a fellow-mourner, with thee, Then, lifting up niy hands, and wondering, blest I'll number groan for groan, and tear for tear; thee
And when the fountain of thy eyes is dry, By my strong grief, my heart even inelts within Mine shall supply the stream, and weep for both. me;
Cal. I know thee well; thou art the injured. AlI could curse Nature, and that tyrant, honour,
tamont; For making me thy father, and thy judge ;- Thou comest to urge me with the wrongs
I've Thou art my daughter still!
done thee; Cal. For that kind word,
But know, I stand upon the brink of life, Thus let me full, thus humbly to the earth, And in a moment mean to set me free Weep on your feet, and bless you for this good-From shame and thy upbraiding.
Alt. Falsely, falsely Oh! 'tis too much for this offending wretch, Dost thou accuse me! When did I complain, This parricide, that murders with her crimes, Or murmur at my fate? For thee I have Shortens her father's age, and cuts him off, Forgot the temper of Italian husbands, Ere little more than half bis years be numbered. And fondness has prevailed upon revenge. VOL. I.
I bore my load of infamy with patience, The death he seemed to wish for from thei As holy men do punishment from Heaven;
swords. Nor thought it hard, because it came from thee. Cal. And dost thou bear me yet, thou patient Oh, then, forbid me not to mourn thy loss,
earth? To wish some better fate had ruled our loves, Dost thou not labour with thy murderous weight? And that Calista had been mine, and true. And you, ye glittering, heavenly host of stars, Cal. Oh, Altamont! 'tis hard for souls like Hide your fair heads in clouds, or I shall blast mine,
you; Haughty and fierce, to yield they've done amiss. For I am all contagion, death, and ruin, But, oh, behold ! my proud disdainful heart And nature sickens at me, Rest, thou world, Bends to thy gentler virtue. Yes, I own, This parricide shall be thy plague no more; Such is thy truth, thy tenderness, and love, Thus, thus I set thee free. [Stabs herself. Such are the graces that adorn thy youth,
Hor. Oh, fatal rashness ! That, were I not abandoned to destruction, Alt. Thou dost instruct me well. To lengthen With thee I might have lived for ages blessed,
life, And died in peace within thy faithful arms. Is but to trifle now.
Alt. Then happiness is still within our reach. [Altamont offers to kill himself ; Horatio preHere let remenubrance lose our past misfortunes, vents him, and wrests his sword from him. Tear all records that hold the fatal story;
Hor. Ha ! what means
Has breathed on every breast contagious fury, Cal. What! in death?
And epidemic madness. Al. Then, art thou fixed to die ?– But be it so; Enter Sciolto, pale and bloody, supported by We'll go together; my adventurous love Shall follow thee to those uncertain beings.
servants. Whether our lifeless shades are doomed to wan- Cal. Oh, my heart ! der
Well may'st thou fail; for see, the spring that In gloomy groves, with discontented ghosts ;
fed Or whether through the upper air we flit, Thy vital stream is wasted, and runs low. And tread the fields of light; still I'll pursue thee, My father! will you now, at last, forgive me, 'Till fate ordains that we shall part no more. If, after all my crimes, and all your sufferings, Cal. Oh, no! Heaven has some other better I call you once again by that dear name? lot in store
Will you forget my "shame, and those wide To crown thee with. Live, and be happy long; wounds? Live, for some maid that shall deserve thy good- Lift up your hand, and bless me, ere I go
Down to my dark abode? Some kind, unpractised heart, that never yet Sci. Alas, my daughter ! Has listened to the false ones of thy sex, Thou hast rashly ventured on a stormy sea, Nor known the arts of ours; she shall reward | Where life, fame, virtue, all were wrecked and thee,
lost. Meet thee with virtues equal to thy own, But gure thou hast borne thy part in all the anCharm thee with sweetness, beauty, and with guish, truth;
And smarted with the pain. Then, rest in peace: Be blest in thee alone, and thou in her.
Let silence and oblivion hide thy name,
And save thee from the malice of posterity; Enter Horatio.
And may’st thou find with Ileaven the same forHor. Now, mourn indeed, ye miserable pair;
giveness, For now the measure of your woes is full. As with thy father here.—Die, and be happy. Alt. What dost thou mean, Horatio ?
Cal. Celestial sounds ! Peace dawns upon my Hor. Oh, 'tis dreadful !
soul, The great; the good Sciolto dies this moment: And every pain grows less-Oh, gentle Altamont! Cal. My father!
Think not too hardly of me when I'm gone; Alt. That's a deadly stroke, indeed.
But pity me-Had I but early known Hor. Not long ago he privately went forth, Thy wond'rous worth, thou excellent young man, Attended but by few, and those unbidden. We had been happier both-Now, 'tis too late; I heard which way he took, and straight pursued And yet my eyes take pleasure to behold thee; him;
Thou art their last dear object—Mercy, Heaven! But found him compassed by Lothario's faction,
[She dies. Almost alone, amidst a croud of foes.
Alt. Cold! dead, and cold ! and yet thou art Too late we brought bim aid, and drove them not changed, back;
But lovely still. Hadst thou a thousand faults, Pre that, his frantic valour had provoked: What heart so hard, what virtue so severe,
But at that beauty must of force relented,
Alt. Take, take it all : Melted to pity, love, and to forgiveness ?
To thee, Iloratio, I resign the gift, Sci. Oh, turn thee from that fatal object, Al- Whilst I pursue my father, and my love, tamont!
And find my only portion in the grave. Come near, and let me bless thee, ere I die.
Hor. The storm of grief bears hard upon To thee, and brave Horatio, I bequeath
youth, My fortunes—Lay me by thy noble father, And bends him, like a drooping flower, to earth. And love my memory, as thou hast his;
By such examples are we taught to prove For thou hast been my son—Oh, gracious Heaven! The sorrows, that attend unlawful love. Thou that hast endless blessings still in store Death, or some worse misfortune, soon divide, for virtue, and for filial piety,
The injured bridegroom from his guilty bride. Let grief, disgrace, and want be far away; If you would have the nuptial union last, But multiply thy mercies on his head.
Let virtue be the bond that ties it fast. Let honour, greatness, goodness, still be with him,
[Ereunt omnes. And peace in all his ways. [He dies.