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Pauline. Don't weep, mother!
meet for your reception. Wealth, luxury, station, Widow. Ah, he has behaved very ill, I know; all shall yet be yours. I forget your past disdain, but love is so headstrong in the young. Don't I remember only your beauty and my unconquerweep, madame.
able love! Pauline. So, as you was saying-go on.
Pauline. Sir, leave this house—it is humble: Widow. Oh, I cannot excuse him, ma'am; he but a husband's roof, however lowly, is, in the was not in his right senses.
eyes of God and man, the temple of a wife's honPauline. But he always--always, (sobbing] or! Know that I would rather starve-yes! with loved-loved me, then?
him who has betrayed me, than accept your lawWidow. He thought of nothing else; see here ful hand, even were you the Prince whose name -he learnt to paint, that he might take your like- he bore! Go! ness. [Uncovers the picture.) But that's all over Beauseant. What, is not your pride humbled now; I trust you have cured him of his folly. But, yet? dear heart, you have had no breakfast !
Pauline. Sir, what was pride in prosperity, in Pauline. I can't take anything-don't trouble affliction becomes virtue. yourself.
Beauseant. Look round: these rugged floorsWidow. Nay, madame, be persuaded; a little these homely walls—this wretched struggle of coffee will refresh you. Our milk and eggs are poverty for comfort—think of this! and contrast excellent. I will get out Claude's coffee-cup-it with such a picture the refinement, the luxury, is of real Sevre; he saved up all his money to buy the pomp that the wealthiest gentleman of Lyons it three years ago, because the name of Pauline offers to the loveliest lady. Ah! hear me! was inscribed on it.
Pauline. Oh, my father! why did I leave you! Pauline. Three years ago! Poor Claude! why am I thus friendless ? Sir, you see before you Thank you, I think I will have some coffee. Oh, a betrayed, injured, miserable woman! respect if he were but a poor gentleman, even a merchant; her anguish! but a gardener's son! and what a home! Oh, no, it is too dreadful! [They seat themselves at the MELNOTTE opens the D. in F., and silently pauses table. BEAUSEANT opens the lattice and looks in F.
at the threshold. Beauseant. So-30—the coast is clear! I saw Beauseant. No! let me rather thus console it; Claude in the lane; I shall have an excellent op- let me snatclı •from those lips one breath of that portunity.
fragrance which never should be wasted on the (Shuts the lattice and knocks at the D. in F. low churl, thy husband. Pauline (starting.] Can it be my father? He Pauline. Help! Claude! Claude! Have I no has not sent for him yet? No, he cannot be in protector? such a hurry to get rid of me.
Beauseant. Be silent! (showing a pistol.] See, Widow. It is not time for your father to arrive I do not come unprepared, even for violence. Í yet; it must be some neighbor.
will brave all things--thy husband and all his race Pauline. Don't admit any one.
—for thy sake. Thus, then, I clasp thee! [WIDOW opens the D. in F. Melnotte [dashing him to the other end of the
stage.] Pauline--look up, Pauline ! thou art BEAUSEANT pushes her aside and enters.
safe. Ah! Heavens! that hateful Beauseant! This Beauseant [leveling his pistol.) Dare you thus is indeed bitter.
insult a man of my birth, ruffian? Beauseant. Good morning, madame! Oh, Wid- Pauline. Oh, spare him—spare my husband ! ow, your son begs you will have the goodness to Beauseant-Claude—no-no! [Faints. go to him in the village—he wants to speak to you Melnotte. Miserable trickster! shame upon you ! on particular business; you'll find him at the inn, brave devices to terrify a woman! coward-you or the grocer's shop, or the baker's, or at some tremble—you have outraged the laws-you know other friend's of your family-make haste ! that your weapon is harmless—you have the cour
Pauline. Don't leave me, mother! don't leave age of the mountebank, not the bravo! Pauline, me!
there is no danger. Beauseant (with great respect.] Be not alarmed, Beauseant. I wish thou wert a gentleman-as madame. Believe me your friend, your servant. it is, thou art beneath me. Good day, and a hap
Pauline. Sir, I have no fear of you, even in py honey-moon. [Aside.) I will not die till I am this house! Go, madame, if your son wishes it; I avenged.
[Exit BEAUSEANT, D. in F. will not contradict his commands whilst at least Melnotte. I hold her in these arms—the last he has still the right to be obeyed.
embrace! Willow. I don't understand this; however, I Never, ah, never more shall this dear head shau't be long gone.
[Exit, D. in F. Be pillowed on the heart that should have shelPauline. Sir, I divine the object of your visit- ter'd you wish to exult in the humiliation of one who' And has betray'd! Soft--soft!-one kiss poor humbled you. Be it so; I am prepared to endure wretch ! all-even your presence!
No scorn on that pale lip forbids me now! Beauseant. You mistake me, Madame Pauline, One kiss—so ends all record of my crime! you mistake me! I come to lay my fortune at It is the seal upon the tomb of Hope, your feet. You must already be disenchanted By which, like some lost, sorrowing angel, sits with this impostor; these walls are not worthy to Sad Memory evermore. She breathes-she moves; be hallowed by your beauty! Shall that form be She wakes to scorn, to hate, but not to shudder clasped in the arms of a base-born peasant? Be- Beneath the touch of my abhorred love. loved, beautiful Pauline! fly with me—my carriage
[Places her on a seat. waits without. I will bear you to a home more There we are strangers now!
Pauline. All gone—all calm
girl! I have no patience with you-to disgrace Is every thing a dream ? thou art safe, unhurt, your family thus! Nobly! Oh, you abominable, I do not love thee; but-but I am a woman, hardened, pitiful, mean, ugly villain ! And-and-no blood is spilt ?
Damas. Ugly! Why, he was beautiful, yesterMelnotte. No, lady, no;
day. My guilt has not deserved so rich a blessing Pauline. Madame, this is his roof, and he is As even danger in thy cause.
my husband. Respect your daughter, and let
blame fall alone on her. Enter WIDOW, from D. in F.
Madame Deschap. You-you-oh, I'm choking. Widow. My son, I have been everywhere in Mons. Deschap. Sir, it were idle to waste research of you; why did you send for me? proach upon a conscience like yours—you reMelnotte. I did not send for you.
nounce all pretensions to the person of this lady? Widow. No! but I must tell you your express Melnotte. I do. [Gives a paper.) Here is my has returned.
consent to a divorce--my full confession of the Melnotte. So soon! impossible!
fraud, which annuls marriage. Your daughter Widow. Yes, he met the lady's mother and has been foully wronged—I grant it, sir; but her father on the road; they were going into the coun- own lips will tell you, that from the hour in which try on a visit. Your messenger says that Monsieur she crossed this threshold, I returned to my own Deschappelles turned almost white with anger station, and respected hers. Pure and inviolate when he read your letter. They will be here al- as when yestermorn you laid your hand upon her most immediately. Oh, Claude, Claude ! what head and blessed her, I yield her back to you. will they do to you? How I tremble! Ah, mad- For myself—I deliver you forever from my presame! do not let them injure him—if you knew ence. An outcast and a criminal, I seek some how he doated on you!
distant land, where I may mourn my sin, and Pauline. Injure him! no, ma'am, be not pray for your daughter's peace. Farewell—fareafraid ;-my father! how shall I meet him ? how well to you all, forever! go back to Lyons ? the scotf of the whole city! Widow. Claude, Claude, you will not leave Cruel, cruel Claude! [In great agitation.] Sir, your poor mother! She does not disown you in you have acted most treacherously.
your sorrow—no, not even in your guilt. No diMelnotte. I know it, madame.
vorce can separate a mother from her son. Pauline. (aside.] If he would but ask me to for- Pauline. This poor widow teaches me my duty. give him! never can forgive you, sir !
No, mother, no—for you are now my mother also! Melnotte. I never dared to hope it.
-nor should any law, human or divine, separate Pauline. But you are my husband now, and I the wife from her husband's sorrows. Claude, have sworn to-to love you, sir.
Claude—all is forgotten-forgiven-I am thine Melnotte. That was under a false belief, mad- forever! ame; Heaven and the laws will release you from Madame Deschap. What do I hear ?--Come your vow.
away, or never see my face again. Pauline. He will drive me mad! If he were i Mons. Deschap. Pauline, we never betrayed but less proud--if he would but ask me to remain you—will you forsake us for him? -hark, hark! I hear the wheels of the carriage Pauline (going back to her father.] Oh, no! but -Sir-Claude, they are coming; have you no you will forgive him, too; we will live togetherword to say ere it is too late-quick-speak! he shall be your son.
Melnotte. I can only congratulate you on your Mons. Deschap. Never! Cling to him and release. Behold your parents !
forsake your parents! His home shall be yours
his fortune yours—his fate yours; the wealth I Enter MONSIEUR and MADAME DESCHAPPELLES have acquired by honest industry shall never enand COLONEL DAMAS, D. in F.
rich the dishonest man. Mons. Deschap. My child-my child !
Pauline. And you would have a wife enjoy Madame Deschap. Oh, my poor Pauline !—what luxury while a husband toils ! Claude, take me; a villainous hovel this is! old woman, get me a thou canst not give me wealth, titles, station-but chair-I shall faint-I certainly shall. What will thou canst give me a true heart. I will work for the world say ? Child, you have been a fool! A thee, tend thee, bear with thee, and never, never mother's heart is easily broken.
shall these lips reproach thee for the past. Damas. Ha, ha!-most noble Prince-I am Damas. I'll be hanged if I'm not going to sorry to see a man of your quality in such a condi- blubber! tion; I am afraid your highness will go to the Melnotte. This is the heaviest blow of all ! House of Correction.
What a heart I have wronged! Do not fear me, Melnotte. Taunt on, sir-I spared you when you sir; I am not at all hardened—I will not rob her were unarmed—I am unarmed now. A man who of a holier love than mine. Pauline! angel of has no excuse for crime is indeed defenseless. love and mercy! your memory shall lead me back
Damas. There's something fine in the rascal, to virtue! The husband of a being so beautiful in after all!
her noble and sublime tenderness may be poorMons. Deschap. Where is the impostor! Are may be low-born-(there is no guilt in the decrees you thus shameless, traitor ? Can you brave the of Providence !)—but he should be one who can presence of that girl's father!
Icok thee in the face without a blush,—to whom Melnotte. Strike me, if it please you—you are thy love does not bring remorse,–who can fold her father!
thee to his heart and say,—“Here there is no dePauline. Sir_sir, for my sake;—whatever his ceit!"-I am not that man! guilt, he has acted nobly in atonement.
Damas (aside to MELNOTTE.] Thou art a noble Madame Deschap. Nobly! Are you mad, fellow, notwithstanding, and wouldst make an excellent soldier. Serve in my regiment. I have upon this point; you will only chafe him. Any had a letter from the Directory-our young Gen- commands, General ? eral takes the command of the army in Italy; I am Damas. None. Good day to you. to join him at Marseilles- I will depart this day + [Exeunt Second and Third OFFICERS, R. if thou wilt go with me.
Damas. Our comrades are very inquisitive. Melnotte. It is the favor I would have asked Poor Morier is the subject of a vast deal of curithee, if I had dared. Place me wherever a foe is osity. most dreaded,,wherever France most needs a -First Officer. Say interest, rather, General. life!
His constant melancholy,—the loneliness of his Damas. There shall not be a forlorn hope habits,—his daring valor,—his brilliant rise in the without thee!
profession,-your friendship and the favors of the Melnotte. There is my hand! Mother! your Commander-in-Chief,-all tend to make him as blessing. I shall see you again,-a better man much the matter of gossip as of admiration. But than a Prince,-a man who has bought the right where is he, General? I have missed him all the to high thoughts by brave deeds. And thou! morning. thou! so wildly worshiped, so guiltily betrayed, Damas. Why, Captain, I'll let you into a all is not yet lost!—for thy memory, at least, secret. My young friend has come with me to must be mine till death! If I live, the ime of Lyons, in hopes of finding a miracle. him thou hast once loved shall not rest dis- -First Officer. A miracle ! honored; if I fall, amidst the carnage and the Damas. Yes, a miracle! In other words,-a roar of battle, my soul will fly back to thee, and constant woman. Love shall share with death my last sigh! More - First Officer. Oh!-an affair of love! --more would I speak to thee !—to pray !-to Damas. Exactly so. No sooner did he enter bless! But, no !-when I am less unworthy I will Lyons than he waved his hand to me, threw himutter it to Heaven !—I cannot trust myself to— self from his horse, and is now, I warrant, asking [Turning to DESCHAPPELLES.) Your pardon, every one, who can know anything about the sir ;—they are my last words-Farewell !
matter, whether a certain lady is still true to a
[Exit, D. in F. certain gentleman! Damas. I will go after him,--France will - First Officer. Success to him !—and of that thank me for this.
[Exit, D. in F. success there can be no doubt. The gallant ColoPauline (starting from her father's arms.] nel Morier, the hero of Lodi, might make his Claude, Claude !—my husband !
choice out of the proudest families in France. Mons. Deschap. You have a father still! Damas. Oh, if pride be a recommendation, TABLEAU.
the lady and her mother are most handsomely en-dowed. By the way, Captain, if you should
chance to meet with Morier, tell him he will find ACT V.
me at the hotel. SCENE I. The Streets of Lyons.
First Officer. I will, General. [Exit, R.
Damas. Now will I go to tho Deschappelles, [Two years and a half from the date of Act IV.] and make a report to my young Colonel. Ha! by
Enter First, Second and Third OFFICERS, L. Mars, Bacchus, Apollo-hero comes Monsieur First Officer. Well, here we are at Lyons, with Beauseant! gallant old Damas: it is bis native place.
Enter BEAUSEANT, R. Second Officer. Yes! he has gained a step in the army since he was here last. The Lyonnese
Good morrow, Monsieur Beauseant! How fares
it with you? ought to be very proud of stout General Damas. Third Officer. Promotion is quick in the French
Beauseant (aside.] Damas! that is unfortuarmy. This mysterious Morier,—the hero of nate ;-if the Italian campaign should have filled Lodi, and the favorite of the Commander-in- his pockets, he may seek to baffle me in the mochief,--has risen to a Colonel's rank in two years General,-for such, I think, is your new distinction.
ment of my victory. [Aloud.] Your servant, and a half.
Just arrived in Lyons ?
Damas. Not an hour ago. Well, how go on Damas. Good morrow, gentlemen; I hope you the Deschappelles ? Have they forgiven you in will amuse yourselves during our short stay in that affair of young Melnotte? You had some Lyons. It is a fine city; improved since I left it. hand in that notable device,-eh ? Ah! it is a pleasure to grow old,—when the years Beauseant. Why, less than you think for! that bring decay to ourselves do but ripen the The fellow imposed upon me. I have set it all prosperity of our country. You have not met right now. What has become of him Ho could with Morier ?
not have joined the army, after all. There is no First Officer. No: we were just speaking of such name in the books. him.
Damas. I know nothing about Melnotte. As Second Officer. Pray, General, can't you tell us you say, I never heard the name in the Grand who this Morier really is ?
Army. Damas. Is ?—why, a Colonel in the French army. Beauseant. Hem!—you are not married, GenThird Officer. True. But what was he at first ! eral ?
Damas." At first ?—Why, a baby in long clothes, Damas. Do I look like a married man, sir? I suppose.
No, thank heaven! My profession is to make First Officer. Ha!--ha!-Ever facetious, Gen- widows, not wives. eral.
Beauseant. You must have gained much booty Second Oficer [to Third.] The General is sore in Italy! Pauline will be your heiress-eh?
Damas. Booty! Not I! Heiress to what? Damas. The man who sets his heart upon a Two trunks and a portmanteau,-four horses,– three swords,-two suits of regimentals and six Is a chameleon, and doth feed on air : pair of white leather inexpressibles ! A pretty From air he takes his colors, holds his life, fortune for a young lady !
Changes with every wind,-grows lean or fat; Beauseant (aside.] Then all is safe! [Aloud.] Rosy with hope, or green with jealousy, Ha! ha! Is that really all your capital, General Or pallid with despair-just as the gale Damas ? Why, I thought Italy had been a second Varies from north to south—from heat to cold ! Mexico to you soldiers.
Oh, woman! woman! thou shouldst have few sins Damas. All a toss-up, sir. I was not one of Or thine own to answer for! Thou art the author the lucky ones! My friend Morier, indeed, saved Of such a book of follies in a man, something handsome. But our Commander-in- That it would need the tears of all the angels Chief took care of him, and Morier is a thrifty, To blot the record out! economical dog,—not like the rest of us soldiers, Enter MELNOTTE, pale and agitated, R. who spend our money carelessly, as if it were our I need not tell thee! Thou bast heardblood.
Melnotte. The worst ! Beauseant. Well, it is no matter! I do not I have ! want fortune with Pauline. And you must know, Damas. Be cheered; others are as fair as she General Damas, that your fair cousin has at length is ! consented to reward my long and ardent attach- Melnotte. Others !-the world is crumbled at ment.
Damas. You ! the devil! Why, she is already She was my world : filled up the whole of beingmarried. There is no divorce.
Smiled in the sunshine-walk'd the glorious Beauseant. True; but this very day she is earthformally to authorize the necessary proceedings,- Sate in my heart—was the sweet life of life : this very day she is to sign the contract that is to The Past was hers; I dreamt not of a Future make her mine within one week from the day on That did not wear her shape! Memory and Hope which her present illegal marriage is annulled.
Alike are gone.
Pauline is faithless! HenceDamas. You tell me wonders !-Wonders ! forth No; I believe anything of women!
The universal space is desolate ! Beauseant. I must wish you good morning. Damas. Hope yet. [As he is going, L., Melnotte. Hope, yes !--one hope is left me
still Enter DESCHAPPELLES, R.
A soldier's grave! Glory has died with Love!
Pauline, see Death !
Mons. Deschap. Damas, welcome to Lyons. I went but by the rumor of the town.
Whom hast thou seen! Damas. Your wife be- -blessed for her con- Damas. Thy rival and her father. descension ! But [taking him aside] what do I Arm thyself for the truth! He heeds nothear? Is it possible that your daughter has con- Melnotte. She sented to a divorce ?—that she will marry Mon- Will never know how deeply she was loved ! sieur Beauseant?
The charitable night, that wont to bring Mons. Deschap. Certainly! what have you to Comfort to day, in bright and eloquent dreams, say against it? A gentleman of birth, fortune, Is henceforth leagued with misery! Sleep, farecharacter. We are not so proud as we were ; well, even my wife has had enough of nobility and or else become eternal! Oh, the waking Princes!
From false oblivion, and to see the sun, Damas. But Pauline loved that young man so And know she is another's !tenderly.
Damas. Be a man! Mons. Deschap. (taking snuff.] . That was two Melnotte. I am a man! It is the sting of woe years and a half ago!
Like mine that tells us we are men ! Damas. Very true. Poor Melnotte!
Damas. The false one Mons. Deschap. But do not talk of that impos- Did not deserve thee. tor. I hope he is dead, or has left the country. Melnotte. Hush! No word against her! Nay, even were he in Lyons at this moment, he Why should she keep, thro' years and silent abought to rejoice that, in an honorable and suitable
sence, alliance, my daughter may forget her suffering The holy tablets of her virgin faith and his crime.
True to a traitor's name? Oh, blame her not; Damas. Nay, if it be all settled. I have no more It were a sharper grief to think her worthless to say. Monsieur Beauseant informs me that the Than to be what I am! To-day,--to-day! contract is to be signed this very day.
They said “to-day !” This day, so wildly welMons. Deschap. It is; at one o'clock precisely. comedWill you be one of the witnesses ?
This day my soul had singled out of time Damas. I ?-No; that is to say-yes, cer- And mark'd for bliss! This day! oh, could I see tainly !-at one o'clock I will wait on you.
herMons. Deschap. Till then, adieu--come, Beau- See her once more unknown; but hear her voice, seant.
So that one echo of its music might [Ereunt BEAUSEANT and DESCHAPPELLES, L. Make ruin less appalling in its silence !
Damas. Easily done! Come with me to her and hundreds, mingled in that ruin, curse house.
The bankrupt merchant! and the insolent herd Your dress—your cloak-moustache—the bronzed We feasted and made merry, cry in scorn, hues
"How pride has fallen !-Lo, the bankrupt merOf time and toil—the name you bear–belief
chant!" In your absence, all will ward away suspicion. My daughter, thou hast saved us ! Keep in the shade. Aye, I would have you come. Pauline. And am lost ! There may be hope! Pauline is yet so young, Mons. Deschap. Come, let me hope that BeauThey may have forced her to these second bridals seant's love Out of mistaken love.
Pauline. His love! Melnotte. No, bid me hope not !
Talk not of love-Love has no thought of self! Bid me not hope! I could not bear again Love buys not with the ruthless usurer's gold To fall from such a heaven! One gleam of sunshine, The loathsome prostitution of a hand And the ice breaks, and I am lost! Oh, Damas! Without a heart! Love sacrifices all things, There's no such thing as courage in a man; To bless the thing it loves! He knows not love. The veriest slave that ever crawl'd from danger Father, his love is hate—his hope revenge! Might spurn me now. When first I lost her, My tears, my anguish, my remorse for falsehoodDamas,
These are the joys he wrings from our despair! I bore it, did I not? I still had hope,
Mons. Deschap. If thou deem'st thus, reject And now I-I-(Bursts into an agony of grief. him! Shame and ruin
Damas. What, comrade! all the women Were better than thy misery ;-think no more That ever smiled destruction on brave hearts
on'tWere not worth tears like these !
My sand is well-nigh run—what boots it when Melnotte. 'Tis past-forget it.
The glass is broken? We'll annul the contract, I am prepared ; life has no farther ills !
And if to-morrow in the prisoner's cell The cloud has broken in that stormy rain, These aged limbs are laid, why still, my child, And on the waste I stand, alone with Heaven! I'll think that thou art spared; and wait the Damas. His very face is changed! a breaking liberai hour heart
That lays the beggar by the side of kings! Does its work soon! Come, Melnotte, rouse thy- Pauline. No-no-forgive me!
You, my self:
honor'd father, One effort more. Again thou'lt see her.
You, who so loved, so cherish'd me, whose lips Melnotte. See her!
Never knew one harsh word! I'm not ungrateThere is a passion in that simple sentence
ful: That shivers all the pride and power of reason I am but human hush! Now call the brideInto a chaos!
groomDamas. Time wanes; come, ere yet
You see I am prepared—no tears-all calm ; It be too late.
But, father, talk no more of love !
Mons. Deschap. My child,
'Tis but one struggle; he is young, rich, noble ; Damas. Forget her!
Thy state will rank first 'mid the dames of Lyons, Melnotte. Forget her, yes! For death remem- and when this heart can shelter thee no more, bers not.
[Exeunt, L. Thy youth will not be guardianless.
Pauline. I have set
DESCHAPPELLES; PAULINE seated in great de- The fiery ordeal.—LÀside.] Merciful Heaven, jection.
support me! Pauline. It is so, then. I must be false to And on the absent wanderer shed the light Love,
Of happier stars—lost evermore to me! Or sacrifice a father! Oh, my Claude,
Enter MADAME DESCHAPPELLES, BEAUSEANT, My lover and my husband ! have I lived
GLAVIS and NOTARY, L. C. To pray that thou mayst find some fairer boon
Madame Deschap. Than the deep faith of this devoted heart,
Why, Pauline, you are Nourish'd till now- -now broken!
quite in deshabille--you ought to be more alive to
the importance of this joyful occasion. We had Enter Mons. DESCHAPPELLES, L. once looked higher, it is true; but you see, aster Mons. Deschap. My dear child,
all, Monsieur Beauseant's father was a Marquis, How shall I thank-how bless thee? Thou hast and that's a great comfort! Pedigree and joinsaved
ture !-you have them both in Monsieur BeauI will not say my fortune-I could bear
seant. A young lady decorously brought up Reverse, and shrink not—but that prouder wealth should only have two considerations in her choice Which merchants value most-my name, my of a husband :—first, is his birth honorable ? credit
secondly, will his death be advantageous ? All The hard-won honors of a toilsome life
other trifling details should be left to parental These thou hast saved, my child !
anxiety! Pauline. Is there no hope?
Beauseant (approaching, and waving aside No hope but this?
MADAME.) Ah, Pauline! let me hope that you Mons. Deschap. None. If, without the sum are reconciled to an event which confers such Which Beauseant offers for thy hand, this day's rapture upon me.
| Pauline. I am reconciled to my doom. Sinks to the west-to-morrow brings our ruin! Beauseant. Doom is a harsh word, sweet lady.