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ties, and don't doubt that you will find some lady low I am, to be still a bachelor! They may talk more suitable to your pretensions. We shall be of the devotion of the sex-but the most faithful always happy to see you as an acquaintance, M. attachment in life is that of a woman in loveBeauseant. My dear child, the carriage will be with herself! [Exit, L. C. here presently.
Beauscant. Say no more, Madame!-say no more!-[Aside.] Refused! and by a merchant's daughter!-refused! It will be all over Lyons before sunset!-I will go and bury myself in my chateau, study philosophy, and turn womanhater. Refused! they ought to be sent to a madhouse!-Ladies, I have the honor to wish you a very good morning. [Exit BEAUSEANT, L. C.
Madame Deschap. How forward these men are!--I think, child, we kept up our dignity. Any girl, however inexperienced, knows how to accept an offer, but it requires a vast deal of address to refuse one with proper condescension and disdain. I used to practice it at school with the dancing-master!
Enter DAMAS, L. C.
SCENE II.-The exterior of a small Village Inn, sign, the Golden Lion, a few leagues from Lyons, which is seen at a distance.
Beauseant [without, R.] Yes, you may bait the horses; we shall rest here an hour.
Enter BEAUSEANT and GLAVIS, R.
Glavis. Really, my dear Beauseant, consider that I have promised to spend a day or two with you at your chateau-that I am quite at your mercy for my entertainment-and yet you are as silent and gloomy as a mute at a funeral, or an Englishman at a party of pleasure. Beauseant. Bear with me. The fact is, that I
Glavis. You-the richest and gayest bachelor
It is because I am a bachelor that
Damas. Good morning, cousin Deschappelles. in Lyons! -Well, Pauline, are you recovered from last Beauseant. night's ball? So many triumphs must be very I am miserable. Thou knowest Pauline--the only fatiguing. Even M. Glavis sighed most piteously daughter of the rich merchant, Mons. Deschapwhen you departed; but that might be the effect of the supper.
Pauline. M. Glavis, indeed! Madame Deschap. M. Glavis!-as if my daughter would think of M. Glavis!
Damas. Hey-dey!—why not?-His father left him a very pretty fortune, and his birth is higher than yours, cousin Deschappelles. But perhaps you are looking to M. Beauseant-his father was a Marquis before the Revolution.
Pauline. M. Beauseant! Cousin, you delight in tormenting me!
Madame Deschap. Don't mind him, Pauline! Cousin Damas, you have no susceptibility of feeling, there is a certain indelicacy in all your ideas. M. Beauseant knows already that he is no match for my daughter!
Damas. Pooh! pooh! one would think you intended your daughter to marry a prince!
Madame Deschap. Well, and if I did?—what then? Many a foreign prince
Damas [interrupting her.] Foreign princeforeign fiddlestick-you ought to be ashamed of such nonsense at your time of life.
Madame Deschap. My time of life! That is an expression never applied to any lady till she is sixty-nine and three-quarters; and then only by the clergyman of the parish.
Enter SERVANT, L. C. Servant. Madame, the carriage is at the door. [Exit SERVANT, L. C.
Madame Deschap. Come, child, put on your bonnet you really have a very thorough-bred air-not at all like your poor father. [Fondly.] Ah, you little coquette! when a young lady is always making mischief, it is a sure sign that she takes after her mother!
Pauline. Good day, cousin Damas-and a better humor to you. [Going back to the table and taking the flowers.] Who could have sent me these flowers? [Exeunt PAULINE and MADAME DESCHAPPELLES.
Damas. That would be an excellent girl if her head had not been turned. I fear she has now become incorrigible! Zounds, what a lucky fel
Glavis. Know her!-Who does not ?-as pretty as Venus and as proud as Juno.
Beauseant. Her taste is worse than her pride[drawing himself up.] Know, Glavis, she has actually refused me!
Glavis [aside.] So she has me!-very consoling! in all cases of heart-ache, the application of another man's disappointment draws out the pain, and allays the irritation. [Aloud.] Refused you! and wherefore?
Beauseant. I know not, unless it be because the Revolution swept away my father's title of Marquis and she will not marry a commoner. Now, as we have no noblemen left in France, as we are all citizens and equals, she can only hope that, in spite of the war, some English Milord or German count will risk his life by coming to Lyons and making her my lady. Refused me, and with scorn! By heaven, I'll not submit to it tamely— I'm in a perfect fever of mortification and rage. Refused me, indeed!
Glavis. Be comforted, my dear fellow-I will tell you a secret. For the same reason, she refused ME!
Beauseant. You!-that's a very different matter; but give me your hand, Glavis-we'll think of some plan to humble her. By Jove, I should like to see her married to a strolling player! Enter LANDLORD and his DAUGHTER, from the Inn, L. D. in F.
Landlord. Your servant, citizen Beauseantservant, sir. Perhaps you will take dinner before you proceed to your chateau; our larder is most plentifully supplied.
Beauseant. I have no appetite.
Glavis. Nor I. Still, it is bad traveling on an empty stomach. Come, landlord, let's see your bill. What have you got? [Takes and looks over bill of fare. Shout without] "Long live the Prince! -Long live the Prince!"
Beauseant. The Prince!-what Prince is that? I thought we had no Princes left in France. Landlord. Ha! ha! the lads always call him Prince. He has just won the prize in a shooting
Exactly so a wonderful young
Beauseant. How wonderful?—are his cabbages better than other people's?
Landlord. Nay, he doesn't garden any more; his father left him well off. He's only a genus. Glavis. A what?
Landlord. A genus!—a man who can do everything in life, except anything that's useful;— that's a genus.
Beauseant. Blockhead!-it's as clear as a map. What if we could make this elegant clown pass himself off as a foreign prince? lend him money, clothes, equipage for the purpose? make him propose to Pauline?-marry Pauline? Would it not be delicious!
Glavis. Ha! ha!-Excellent! But how shall we support the necessary expenses of his highness?
Beauseant. Pshaw! Revenge is worth a much larger sacrifice than a few hundred louis; as for details, my valet is the truest fellow in the world, and he shall have the appointment of his highness's establishment. Let's go to him at once, and see if he be really this Admirable Crichton.
Glavis. With all my heart,-but the dinner? Beauseant. Always thinking of dinner! Hark ye, landlord, how far is it to young Melnotte's cottage? I should like to see such a prodigy.
Landlord. Turn down the lane, then strike across the common, and you will see his mother's cottage.
Beauseant. You raise my curiosity-proceed. Landlord. Well, then, about four years ago Beauseant. True, he lives with his mother. old Melnotte died, and left his son well to do in [Aside.] We will not trust to an old woman's disthe world. We then all observed that a great cretion; better send for him hither. I'll just step change came over young Claude. He took to read-in and write him a note. Come, Glavis. ing and Latin, and hired a professor from Lyons, Glavis. Yes,-Beauseant, Glavis & Co., manwho had so much in his head that he was forced ufacturers of Princes, wholesale and retail,-an to wear a great full-bottom wig to cover it. Then uncommonly genteel line of business. But why so
Beauseant. You think only of the sport--I of
he took a fencing-master, and a dancing master, grave?
Beauseant. A promising youth, certainly! And why do they call him Prince?
Landlord. Partly because he is at the head of them all, and partly because he has such a proud way with him, and wears such fine clothes and in short-looks like a Prince.
Beauseant. And what could have turned the foolish fellow's brain? The Revolution, I suppose?
Landlord. Yes,-the Revolution that turns us all topsy-turvy-the Revolution of Love. Beauseant. Romantic young Corydon. with whom is he in love?
Landlord. Why-but it is a secret, gentlemen.
Landlord. Why, then, I hear from his mother, good soul! that it is no less a person than the beauty of Lyons, Pauline Deschappelles.
Beauseant and Glavis. Ha! ha! capital! Landlord. You may laugh, but it is as true as I stand here.
Beauseant. And what does the beauty of Lyons say to his suit?
Landlord. Lord, sir, she never even condescended to look at him, though when he was a boy he worked in her father's garden.
Beauseant. Are you sure of that? Landlord. His mother says that Mademoiselle does not know him by sight.
Beauseant [taking GLAVIS aside.] I have hit it-I have hit it; here is our revenge! Here is a Prince for our haughty damsel. Do you take me? Glavis. Deuce take me if I do!
[Exeunt within the inn, D. in F.
SCENE III.—The interior of MELNOTTE'S cottage; flowers placed here and there; a guitar on an oaken table, with a portfolio, &c.; a picture on an easel, covered by a curtain; fencing foils crossed over the mantel-piece; an attempt at refinement in spite of the homeliness of the furniture, &c.; a staircase to the right conducts to the upper story.
[Shouts without, R. U E.] "Long live Claude Melnotte! Long live the Prince!"
Widow Melnotte. Hark! there's my dear son; carried off the prize, I'm sure; and now he'll want to treat them all.
Claude Melnotte [opening the door.] What, you won't come in, my friends! Well, well, there's a trifle to make merry elsewhere. Good day to you all-good day! [Shout.] "Hurrah! Long live Prince Claude !"
Enter CLAUDE MELNOTTE, L. D. in F., with a rifle
in his hand.
Melnotte. Give me joy, dear mother! won the prize! never missed one shot! Is it not handsome, this gun?
Widow. Humph! Well, what is it worth, Claude?
Melnotte. Worth! What is a ribbon worth to a soldier? Worth?-everything! Glory is priceless!
Widow. Leave glory to great folks. Ah! Claude, Claude! castles in the air cost a vast deal to keep up! How is all this to end? What good does it do thee to learn Latin, and sing songs, and play on the guitar, and fence, and dance, and paint pictures all very fine; but what does it bring in?
Melnotte. Wealth! wealth, my mother!wealth to the mind-wealth to the heart-high
thoughts-bright dreams-the hope of fame-the ambition to be worthier to love Pauline.
Widow. My poor son!-the young lady will never think of thee.
Gaspar. It reached her, and was returned to me with blows. Dost hear, Melnotte? with blows! Death! are we slaves still, that we are to be thus dealt with, we peasants?
Melnotte. Do the stars think of us? Yet Melnotte. With blows? No, Gaspar, no; not if the prisoner see them shine in his dungeon, wouldst thou bid him turn away from their lus- Gaspar. I could show thee the marks, if it tre? Even from this low cell, poverty, I lift my were not so deep a shame to bear them. The eyes to Pauline and forget my chains. [Goes to lackey who tossed thy letter into the mire, swore the picture and draws aside the curtain.] See, that his lady and her mother never were so inthis is her image-painted from memory-Oh, sulted. What could thy letter contain, Claude? how the canvas wrongs her! [Takes up the brush Melnotte [looking over the letter.] Not a line and throws it aside.] I shall never be a painter. that a serf might not have written to an empress. I can paint no likeness but one, and that is above No, not one! all art. I would turn soldier-France needs soldiers! But to leave the air that Pauline breathes! What is the hour-so late! I will tell thee a secret, mother. Thou knowest not that for the last six weeks I have sent every day the rarest flowers to Pauline; she wears them-I have seen them on her breast! Ah! and then the whole universe seemed filled with odors! I have now grown more bold—I have poured my worship into poetry -I have sent my verses to Pauline-I have signed them with my own name. My messenger ought to be back by this time: I bade him wait for an
Widow. And what answer do you expect, Claude?
Melnotte. That which the Queen of Navarre sent to the poor troubadour-"Let me see the Oracle that can tell nations I am beautiful!" She will admit me-I shall hear her speak-I shall meet her eyes-I shall read upon her cheek the sweet thoughts that translate themselves into blushes. Then, then, oh then-she may forget that I am the peasant's son!
Widow. Nay, if she will but hear thee talk, Claude!
Melnotte. I foresee it all. She will tell me that desert is the true rank. She will give me a badge-a flower-a glove! Oh, rapture! I shall join the armies of the Republic-I shall rise-I shall win a name that beauty will not blush to hear. I shall return with the right to say to her -"See how love does not level the proud, but raises the humble!" Oh, how my heart swells within me!-Oh, what glorious Prophets of the Future are Youth and Hope!
Widow. Come in.
[Knock at the D. in F.
Enter GASPAR, D. in F. Melnotte. Welcome, Gaspar, welcome. Where is the letter? Why do you turn away, man? where is the letter? [GASPAR gives him one.] This-this is mine, the one I entrusted to thee. Didst thou not leave it?
Gaspar. Yes, I left it.
Gaspar. They promise thee the same greeting they gave me, if thou wilt pass that way. Shall we endure this, Claude?
Melnotte [wringing GASPAR's hand.] Forgive me, the fault was mine, I have brought this on thee: I will not forget it; thou shalt be avenged! The heartless insolence!
Gaspar. Thou art moved, Melnotte; think not of me; I would go through fire and water to serve thee; but a blow! It is not the bruise that galls,-it is the blush, Melnotte.
Melnotte. Say, what message? How insulted?
Gaspar. Did you not write to Pauline Deschappelles, the daughter of the rich merchant? Melnotte. Well?
Gaspar. Are you not a peasant-a gardener's son ?--that was the offense. Sleep on it, Melnotte. Blows to a French citizen-blows! [Exit D. in F.
Widow. Now you are cured, Claude ! Melnotte [tearing the letter.] So do I scatter her image to the winds-I will stop her in the open streets-I will insult her-I will beat her menial ruffians-I will-[turns suddenly to WIDOW.] Mother, am I humpbacked--deformed hideous?
Melnotte. My own verses returned to me! sent thee? Nothing else?
Gaspar. Thou wilt be proud to hear how thy messenger was honored. For thy sake, Melnotte, I have borne that which no Frenchman can bear without disgrace.
Melnotte. Disgrace, Gaspar! Disgrace! Gaspar. I gave thy letter to the porter, who passed it from lackey to lackey till it reached the lady it was meant for.
Melnotte. It reached her, then ;—are you sure of that? It reached her,-well, well?
Servant. [R.] Who? Monsieur-I mean Citizen Beauseant, who stops to dine at the Golden Lion, on his way to his chateau.
Melnotte. Beauseant! [Reads.] "Young man, I know thy secret-thou lovest above thy station. If thou hast wit, courage and discretion, I can secure to thee the realization of thy most sanguine hopes; and the sole condition I ask in return is, that thou shalt be steadfast to thine own ends. Î shall demand from thee a solemn oath to marry her whom thou lovest; to bear her to thine home
loved, now hated, yet still not relinquished, thou shalt drain the cup to the dregs-thou shalt know what it is to be humbled!
on thy wedding night. I am serious if thou that she has refused the son of a Marquis, to wouldst learn more, lose not a moment, but follow marry the son of a gardener. Oh, Pauline! once the bearer of this letter to thy friend and patron, CHARLES BEAUSEANT." Melnotte. Can I believe my eyes? Are our own passions the sorcerers that raise up for us spirits of good or evil? I will go instantly. [Exit SERVANT, D. in F. Widow. What is this, Claude ?
Enter, from the House, L. S. E., MELNOTTE as the Prince of Como, leading in PAULINE; MADAME DESCHAPPELLES, fanning herself; and COLONEL DAMAS. BEAUSEANT and GLAVIS bow respectfully. PAULINE and MELNOTTE walk apart.
Melnotte. "Marry her whom thou lovest ". "bear her to thine own home!" Oh, revenge and love! which of you is the stronger?-[Gazing on the picture.] Sweet face, thou smilest on me from Madame Deschap. Good morning, gentlemen; the canvas; weak fool that I am, do I then love her really, I am so fatigued with laughter, the dear still? No, it is the vision of my own romance Prince is so entertaining. What wit he has! any that I have worshiped; it is the reality to which one might see that he has spent his whole life in I bring scorn for scorn. Adieu, mother, I will return anon. My brain reels-the earth swims before me. [Looking again at the letter.] No, it is not mockery; I do not dream!
ACT I I.
[Exit, D. in F.
Beauseant. Well, what think you of my plot? Has it not succeeded to a miracle? The instant that I introduced his highness, the Prince of Como, to the pompous mother and the scornful daughter, it was all over with them; he came he saw he conquered; and, though it is not many days since he arrived, they have already promised him the hand of Pauline.
Glavis. It is lucky, though, that you told them his highness traveled incognito, for fear the directory (who are not very fond of Princes) | should lay him by the heels; for he has a wonderful wish to keep up his rank, and scatters our gold about with as much coolness as if he were watering his own flower-pots.
Beauseant. True, he is damnably extravagant; I think the sly dog does it out of malice. However, it must be owned that he reflects credit on his loyal subjects, and makes a very pretty figure in his fine clothes with my diamond snuffbox.
Glavis. And my diamond ring! But do you think that he will be firm to the last? I fancy I see symptoms of relenting: he will never keep up his rank, if he once let out his conscience.
Damas. And what the deuce do you know about courts, cousin Deschappelles? You women regard men just as you buy books-you never cale what is in them, but how they are bound and lettered. 'Sdeath, I don't think you would even look at your bible, if it had not a title to it.
Madame Deschap. How coarse you are, cousin Damas !-quite the manners of a barrack—you don't deserve to be one of our family; really, we must drop your acquaintance when Pauline marries. I cannot patronize any relations that would Como. discredit my future son-in-law, the Prince of
Melnotte [advancing.] These are beautiful gardens, madame. [BEAUSEANT and GLAVIS retire.] Who planned them?
Madame Deschap. A gardener named Melnotte, your highness--an honest man who knew his station. I can't say as much for his son-a presuming fellow, who-ha! ha!--actually wrote verses-such doggerel!--to my daughter.
Pauline. Yes, how you would have laughed at them, Prince-you, who write such beautiful verses!
Melnotte. This Melnotte must be a monstrous impudent person!
Damas. Is he good-looking?
Madame Deschap. I never notice such canaille -an ugly, mean-looking clown, if I remember right.
Damas. Yet I heard your porter say he was wonderfully like his highness.
Melnotte [taking snuff.] You are complimentary.
Madame Deschap. For shame, cousin Damas! like the Prince, indeed!
Pauline. Like you! Ah, mother, like our beautiful Prince! I'll never speak to you again, cousin Damas.
Beauseant. His oath binds him; he cannot re- Melnotte [aside.] Humph! rank is a great treat without being foresworn, and those low fel- beautifier! I never passed for an Apollo while I lows are always superstitious! But, as it is, I was a peasant; if I am so handsome as a Prince, tremble lest he be discovered; that bluff Colonel what should I be as an Emperor? [Aloud.] Mon Damas (Madame Deschappelles' cousin) evidently sieur Beauseant, will you honor me? suspects him; we must make haste and conclude the farce; I have thought of a plan to end it this very day.
Glwis. This very day! Poor Pauline! her dream will be soon over.
Beauseant. Yes, this day they shall be married; this evening, according to his oath, he shall carry his bride to the Golden Lion, and then pomp, equipage, retinue, and title, all shall vanish at once; and her highness the Princess shall find
[Offers snuff. Beauseant. No, your highness, I have no small
Melnotte. Nay, if it were a vice you'd be sure to have it, Monsieur Beauseant.
Madame Deschap. Ha! ha! how very severe ! what wit!
Beauseant [in a rage, and aside.] Curse his impertinence!
Madame Deschap. What a superb snuff-box!
Pauline. And what a beautiful ring! Beauseant [to GLAVIS.] Let us after, and Melnotte. You like the box-a trifle-interest- pacify him; he evidently suspects something. ing, perhaps, from associations a present from Louis XIV to my great-great-grandmother. Honor me by accepting it.
Beauseant [plucking him by the sleeve.] what the devil! My box! are you mad? worth five hundred louis!
How! It is
Melnotte [unheeding him and turning to PAULINE.] And you like this ring! Ah, it has indeed a lustre since your eyes have shone on it. [Placing it on her finger.] Henceforth hold me, sweet enchantress, the Slave of the Ring.
Glavis [pulling him.] Stay, stay-what are you about? My maiden aunt's legacy-a diamond of the first water. You shall be hanged for swindling, sir.
Melnotte [pretending not to hear.] It is curious, this ring it is the one with which my grandfather, the Doge of Venice, married the Adriatic.
[MADAME and PAULINE examine the ring. Melnotte [to BEAUSEANT and GLAVIS.] Fie, gentlemen, Princes must be generous. [Turns to DAMAS, who watches them closely.] These kind friends have my interest so much at heart, that they are as careful of my property as if it were their own.
Beauseant and Glavis [confusedly.] Ha! ha! very good joke that! [Appear to remonstrate with MELNOTTE in dumb show.
Damas. What's all that whispering? I am sure there is some juggle here; hang me if I think he is an Italian after all. 'Gad! I'll try him. Servitore umillissimo Excellenza.
Melnotte. Hum-what does he mean, I wonder?
Damas. Godo di vedervi in buona salute.†
Damas. Fa bel tempo-che si dice di nuovo?‡ Melnotte. Well, sir, what's all that gibberish? Damas. Oh, oh!-only Italian, your highness! The Prince of Como does not understand his own language!
Melnotte. Not as you pronounce it: who the deuce could?
Madame Deschap. Ha! ha! cousin Damas, never pretend to what you don't know. Pauline. Ha ha! cousin Damas, you speak Italian, indeed!
[Makes a mocking gesture at him. Beauseant to GLAVIS.] Clever dog!-how ready!
Glavis. Ready, yes; with my diamond ring! Damn his readiness!
Damas. Laugh at me!-laugh at a colonel in the French army!-the fellow's an impostor; I know he is. I'll see if he understands fighting as well as he does Italian. [Goes up to him and aside.] Sir, you are a jackanapes! Can you construe that?
Melnotte. No, sir! I never construe affronts in the presence of ladies; by-and-by I shall be happy to take a lesson-or give one.
Damas. I'll find the occasion, never fear! Madame Deschap. Where are you going, cousin?
Damas. To correct my Italian.
[Exit into house, L. S. E.
* Your Excellency's most humble servant.
Glavis. Yes!-but my diamond ring? Beauseant. And my box! We are over-taxed, fellow-subject!-we must stop the supplies, and dethrone the Prince.
Glavis. Prince!-he ought to be heir-apparent to King Stork! [Exeunt into house, L. S. E. Madame Deschap. Dare I ask your highness to forgive my cousin's insufferable vulgarity? Pauline. Oh, yes!-you will forgive his manner for the sake of his heart.
Melnotte. And for the sake of his cousin. Ah, madame, there is one comfort in rank-we are so sure of our position that we are not easily affronted. Besides, M. Damas has bought the right of indulgence from his friends, by never showing it to his enemies.
Pauline. Ah! he is, indeed, as brave in action as he is rude in speech. He rose from the ranks to his present grade,—and in two years.
Melnotte. In two years! two years, did you say?
Madame Deschap. [aside.] I don't like leaving girls alone with their lovers; but with a Prince, it would be so ill-bred to be prudish!
[Exit into house, L. S. E. Melnotte. You can be proud of your connection with one who owes his position to merit,-not birth.
Heritage of Command.
is like a Representative of the Past. Melnotte. True; but like other representatives, nine times out of ten he is a silent member. Ah, Pauline! not to the Past, but to the Future, looks true nobility, and finds its blazon in posterity.
Pauline. You say this to please me, who have no ancestors; but you, Prince, must be proud of so illustrious a race!
Melnotte. No, no! I would not, were I fifty times a Prince, be a pensioner on the dead! I honor birth and ancestry when they are regarded as the incentives to exertion, not the title-deeds to sloth! I honor the laurels that overshadow the graves of our fathers. It is our fathers I emulate, when I desire that beneath the evergreen I myself have planted, my own ashes may repose! Dearest, couldst thou but see with my eyes!
Pauline. I cannot forego pride when I look on thee, and think that thou lovest me. Sweet Prince, tell me again of thy palace by the Lake of Como; it is so pleasant to hear of thy splendors, since thou didst swear to me that they would be desolate withou' Pauline; and when thou describest them, it is with a mocking lip and a noble scorn, as if custom had made thee disdain great
Melnotte. Nay, dearest, nay, if thou wouldst have me paint
The home to which, could Love fulfill its prayers, This hand would lead thee, listen!* A deep vale
* The reader will observe that Melnotte evades the request of Pauline. He proceeds to describe a home, which he does not say he possesses, but to which he would lead her, could lore fulfill its prayers." This caution is intended as a reply to a sagacious critic, who censures the description because it is not an exact and prosaic inventory of the characteristics of the Lake of Como! When Melnotte, for instance, talks of birds, "that syllable the name of Pauline" (by the way a literal translation from an Italian