페이지 이미지

3d Pri. I was a contractor. Cor. Conviction, in a word. Maj. These are poor devils. Have you nothing better; nothing more showy, nothing highercrested, Signior Jeronimo?

Tor. I knew it; ardent spirits; every soul of them-seizers1).

Maj. Caesars! Well done. This is our man-[To the Hussars]—I like the fellowhe's the freshest rascal!

Jail. Better! I hope you don't mean to Tor. Jailor, I will not be disturbed for any burt my feelings, Major. Nothing better! man. Why am I brought out before these, never had a finer family since-fellows in livery? This gaol is my house;

Cor. Billiards and the brogue1) came into my freehold; my goods and chattels. My fashion, Major O'Shannon.

Maj. Hazard and high life will do just as well, Cornet Count Carmine. [Imitating. Jail. [Pondering]-Yet, what was I thinking of? there's one, a famous fellow, a first rate-brought in last night-an old acquaintance-the most dashing dog about town-a tip-top-gallant; a supernaculum.

Col. Out with him at once, were he the Grand Turk.

very straw's my own; untouchable, but by myself-and the rats.

Maj. Here's a freeholder!

Col. With a vote for the galleys. Tor. [Turning to the Prisoners, harangues burlesquely]-Gentlemen of the jail[Prisoners cheer.

Col. A decided speech!

Cor. Out of the orator's way! Muffs and meerschaums! [The Prisoners lift Torrento

Maj. Show your lion. Turn him out of on a Bench, laughing and clamouring. his cage. Tor. [Haranguing]-Are we to suffer ourCor. Yes, if he be not-indelicately ragged. selves to be molested in our retirement, in [Lazaro goes,-a Noise is heard within. our domestic circle; in the loveliness of our Jail. Now, he's coming; but take care, private lives; in our otium cum dignitate? stand back, gentlemen. He's a desperate dog; Gentlemen of the jail! [Cheering]-Is not fierce as a tiger. Last night he broke the our residence here for our country's good? heads of the whole patrol. Here he comes, [Cheering]-Would it not be well for the in full roar. country if ten times as many, that hold their [Torrento, with his dress torn from the heads high, outside these walls, were now inlast night's riot, is dragged in by the side them?— [Cheering]—I scorn to appeal Turnkeys-he resists, clamouring outside to your passions, but shall we suffer our as he comes.] honourable straw, our venerable bread and Tor. Why, you scoundrels, you renega- water, our virtuous slumbers, and our useful does, you dogs in office-what's this for? To days, to be invaded, crushed, and calcitrated, be dragged out of my first sleep in my dun- by the iron boot-heel of arrogance and auda. geon, to look in the faces of such a confound- city? [Cheering]-No! freedom is like the edly ugly set of cannibals. air we breathe, without it we die!-No! every

Jail. Bring him along. [He is forced in. man's cell is his castle. By the law, we live Tor. [Continuing to Struggle] - Cannot here; and should not all that live by the law, I sleep, or starve as I like? I'll blow up the die by the law?-Now, gentlemen, a geneprison. I'll massacre the jailor. I'll do worse ral cheer! here's Liberty, Property, and Pu-I'll let the law loose on you-Villains. rity of principle! Gentlemen of the jail![They carry him round the Hall. Loud Cheering.

Jail. Poh! Master Torrento, you need not be in such a passion. You used to have no objection to good company-ba, ha, ha! He Jail. Out with ye, ye dogs! No rioting! has been moulting his feathers a little last Turnkeys [Calls]-The black hole, and double night. [To the Hussars. irons. [He drives them off, and follows them. Tor. Company-Banditti! Who are those Cor. A dungeon-Demosthenes! Muffs and fellows? Are they all hangmen? meerschaums. [Looking at the Hussars. Maj. A mighty handsome idea, by the glory of the Twentieth. [Laughing.

Col. Sirrah! you must see that we are of ficers. Take care.

Maj. A regular 2) field preacher, on my conscience.

Coi. [To Tor.]-So then, we must not fix our head-quarters here.

Tor. Confound me if I care, if your beadHo-quarters and all your other quarters were

Tor. Officers!-aye, sheriff's Officers. nest housekeepers, with very rascally coun- fixed here.


Cor. Muffs and meerschaums!-Very inpudently conjectured.

Tor. Well then, parish Officers! Hunters of brats, beggars, and light bread. Maj.[Laughing]-Another guess for your life. Col. Insolence! Sirrah, we are in Ilis Majesty's service.

Col. No insolence, Sir. What are you? Tor. A gentleman. [Haughtily. Cor. Psha! every body's a gentleman now. Col. Aye, that accounts for the vices of the age.

Tor. A gentleman, Sir, by the old title of liking pleasure more than trouble; play more than money; love more than marriage; fightTor. Oh! I understand-Custom-house Of-ing more than either; and any thing more ficers. Tubs, tabacco, and thermometers. than the unparalleled impudence of your ques[They murmur. tions. Cor. Cut off the scoundrel's head! [Half drawing his Sabre. I'll—

1) The Irish have a peculiar accent in speaking English: they pronounce some of the letters very strangely, and this is called the brogue,

Maj. Sirrah! do you mean this to me?

Tor. Aye, Sirrah! and to every honourable 1) Excise Officers.

2) The word regular is sometimes slang for complete.


person present. I never drink a health with- say? [To the Major]-I will reconnoitre the out sending the toast round. In matiers of lady. contempt, I make it a point of honour to be Lor. You shall have five hundred crowns! impartial. Maj. The Governor will take my word for Col. [To Tor.]-Be quiet, fellow. [To the your re-appearance, and I shall rely upon Major]-Are you hit, Major? ha, ha, ha! We yours-with proper attendance. have a service for you. [To Torrento. Tor. Undoubtedly. I shall be tired of the Cor. On the staff,1) 'pon honour. world; that is, of fools and fresh air, in half Tor. A constable. [Contemptuously. the time. But if you catch me here again— Col. A constable of France, if you like. You [Aside. shall be major, colonel, or general, just as you Lor. [To the Hussars]-Can we trust this please. You shall have a week's liberty, and fellow?-Who are you? [To Torrents. five hundred crowns for your campaign. Tor. By St. Agatha, I don't know. I may

Tor. A general! What high-road am I to be the son of a king or a cobbler, for any invade? Look ye, Sirs, I am a soldier: un- thing I can tell. I am at this hour without lucky a little, I own.-1 am here for running purse, profession, or prospect. A sort of halfa puppy through the lungs, who insulted me. pay animal on the muster-roll of human nature. [Looking at the Cornet] But whatever comes Cor. How did the dog escape suspension of that affair, I will do nothing further to dis- so long? grace my cloth.

Cor. Considering, present appearances, it would be superlatively difficult. Maj. To retrieve your character, you must turn your coat, my dear.

Tor. To your business, whose throat am I

to your business;

Maj. You must marry a prodigiously fine woman; young, and so forth.

Cor. Lead to "The Hymeneal Altar." "Happy man, blushing bride," 2) and so forth. Col. Rich besides-worth a plum. Cor. The Grocer!-Worth a great many, I dare say. Tor. Is that the affair? Good night to you, gentlemen. [Going] I have reasons against it. am better engaged. Marry! - when I can be hanged any time I like. If it were in England, indeed, I could put a rope round her neck-3)

Lor. No equivocation, Sir. You have served? Was it in the Sicilian?

Tor. Yes, in every service in its turn. I smoked my first campaign in Algiers; fiddled my second in Italy; quadrilled my third in France; and diced, drank, boxed and billiarded my fourth in England; and to this hour I cannot tell in which of them all-Impudence is the best talent-a Lie the most current coin -or Canting the most in fashion.

Cor. Surprising-you did'nt make your fortune.

Lor. I cannot think of this insult, with com[Aside. mon calmness. Victoria, Victoria! [He takes out a Miniature]-Was this a face for treachery? [The Major takes it. Maj. A fine creature. She might make me treacherous any day in the week.

Lor. [Agitated]-I cannot talk of this. I submit all to your disposal; but let her be Cor. To extinguish-Ehtreated gently. She has made life hateful to Tor. What! in a commercial country.-me!-I am ashamed of this weakness. The No, no.-Sell her, make a quiet house, and pride of her upstart family cannot be too sefive shillings into the bargain. Glorious tri- verely punished. [To Torrento] - Offer her umph of reason! but the slightest insult, and I will hunt you through the world.-Would I were in my grave! [He rushes out. Tor. Gentlemen, there is no time to be lost. My toilette-my toilette!

Cor. A new idea, 'pon honour. A prodigious reconciler to matrimony. England; ah! do I mistake?-the Country, where they make the bank paper and bad port.

Tor. Aye, mermaids and members of par


LORENZO comes in.

Col. Lorenzo at last! Lor. I beg pardon, -I have been detained by-important business.

Maj. Poh! we understand. Examining whether Old Ventoso's premises are as accessible to you as to the rest of the world. Your wife's to be looked for there, my hero. [To Tor. Tor. Old Ventoso's! A capital expedient to see Leonora. [Aside]—How much did you

1) Staff of a regiment; and the staff of a constable.

2) The usual expressions in an account of a marriage inserted in the newspapers.

3) Alluding to the old existing law, intended to put in

to market,

is sold to the highest bidder;

Cor. The fellow shall have my whole warestablishment. My parade moustaches, my velvet boots, my embroidered toothpicks

Tor. But my stud, my, team, gentlemen. A swindler's nothing unless he drives four in hand.

Col. True, true! Major, you can lend him your bays for a day or two. Cor. Bays!) much more easily_lent than one's laurels, Major. [Laughing.

Maj. What, Sir? [The Colonel pacifies him]-I will lend him a sabre as long as the Straits of Gibraltar, and a meerschaum that smokes like Mount Etna;-a devilish deal more smoke than fire-like a young soldier, Cornet,



Col. He shall have my last uniform. the power of the poor man to get rid of a bad wife Tor. No, Colonel; my morals and my wardas well as the rich one. The woman must consent to robe may have sat light enough upon me, have a rope placed round her neck and to be brought but they shall both sit lighter, before I take and the buyer thus renders himself responsible for the up the abandoned habits of the Hussars. debts of the lady whom he has purchased; while the 'seller is happily delivered from them; for otherwise the man is always bound to pay his wife's debts, whether they live together or not.

1) Bay-horses, and a crown of honourable bays.

2) The left-off cloaths; and, bad conduct.

I must have carte-blanche for a hotel, an equipage, a wardrobe,—or here I stay.

Col. Carte-blanche! The fellow will make us bankrupt. He'll break the regiment. Tor. Break1) the regiment? No!—I don't aspire to be a national benefactor.

Maj. Bravo! your scheme?

Tor. The whole affair needs not cost you a sequin. It can be done on credit. Why, if it were not done on credit, nobody would take me for a man of fashion. When the cash is called for, you have only to follow the most approved examples; take the benefit2)of these walls, and,-sponge.

Maj. How the devil did he get his knowledge of first principles ?

Čor. The baut-ton to a hair.-How rapidly the rascal fashionizes!-You can give him the lady's picture, Major. It will be his com

[merged small][ocr errors]

Maj. Undoubtedly when he is ready to start. But what title shall we give our commissioner?

Cor. Let me see,-Duke of Monté-Pulciano, Sauterne, Côte rôtie, or Vin de Graves.

Nor love nor scorn can wring me more.
I lov'd, how deeply lov'd! Oh, Heaven!
To thee, to thee the pang is known;
Yet, traitor! be thy crime forgiven,
Mine be the shame, the grief alone!
The maddening hour when first we met,
The glance, the smile, the vow you gave:
The last wild moment haunt me yet;
I feel they'll haunt me to my grave!—
Down, wayward heart, no longer heave;
Thou idle tear, no longer flow;
And may that Heav'n he dar'd deceive,
Forgive, as I forgive him now.
Too lovely, oh, too lov'd, farewell!
Though parting rends my bosom strings,
This hour we part!-The grave shall tell
The thought that to my spirit clings.
Thou pain, above all other pain!
Thou joy, all other joys above!
Again, again I feel thy chain,

And die thy weeping martyr-LOVE.

Are lovers' oaths! There's not a light in heaven
Vic. Oh! what decaying, feeble, fickle things
But he has sworn by; not a wandering air,
But be has loaded with his burning vows,


Tor. No, no. Those are "familiar as household names;" they are in every body's mouth. Maj. I have it.-There's the old Prince de To love me, serve me, through all sorrows, Pindemonté, that all Naples was talking about a year or two ago. He has been roving Eu-Aye, though I trampled him: and yet one rope for some stray son of his. You have no objection to be the heir? Spoke, too, in maiden duty, casts him off, [To Torrento. Like a loos'd falcon! No! he never loved.

Tor. The heir? I'll be the Prince himself, or nothing. Prince de Pindemonté! the very title for me. Brilliant-irresistible! My principality is settled. I'll be a model to the blood! [Parading about. Col. I see a difficulty in this: suppose the Prince should hear of this assumption of his name?

Cor. Or the son, by accident, know his own father?

Maj. Poh, poh!—a mighty unlikely sort of thing in this country.

Col. Well, Major, to our quarters, and let us give this diplomatist his final instructions. Maj. [Calls]-A word, Signior Jeronimo.



Leon. Victoria! sister! there's a sight abroad-
What, weeping?

Vic. [Embarrassed]-Girl, 'tis nothing-
Chance-'tis done.

Leon. Nothing, sweet sister! here are heavy

[Laughing. Of a pained spirit; sighs upon your lips,
Blushes, that die away like summer-hues
On the cropt rose; and here's a heaving heart,
The very beat of woe! (She presses her
Hand upon Victoria's side.)
[A distant flourish of Horns is heard.
Vic. What sounds are those?
Leon. I flew to tell you, there's a sight
th' Square,

[The Major converses with him. Jail. You will be responsible, Major?—A week! You may be wanted, you know, [To Torrento] by that time. Good night, your honours. Sure to see them again, some time or other.-la, ba! [Aside. Exit. Maj. [To Tor.] Forwards. Come, Cupid. Cor. Cupid, ha, ha, ha! Follow us.

Vic. Let's rail at love.

Worth all the faithless lovers in the world!
Leon. [Laughing]-Aye, a whole summer's


Vic. Love is the lightest folly of the earth; [To Torrento. An infant's toy, that reason throws away; Tor. [Pushing forwards]-Follow? Do A dream, that quits our eyelids with a touch; you know to whom you speak? Follow me; A music, dying as it leaves the lip; Hussars, follow the Prince de Pindemonté. A morning cloud, dissolv'd before the sun; Cor. The Prince !-Muffs and meerschaums! Love is the very echo of weak hearts; [Exeunt, laughing. The louder for their emptiness; a shade, A colour of the rainbow;-vanity! [world. Leon. [Laughing]-She will forswear the [A flourish of distant Music. Ven. [Outside, Calling] Marcello-PedroVic. My father's voice-'tis angryHere's a shade. We can escape. [They go behind the Screen.


SCENE I.-An Apartment, with a Balcony.

Farewell! I've broke my chain at last!
I stand upon life's fatal shore!
The bitterness of death is past,

1) To break the funds of the regiment; and to break, or
disband the regiment.

9) Alluding to the insolvent debtor's act.


VENTOSO comes in.

Ven. More plagues for me; they'll have my life at last.

[Calls]-Pisanio! Fabian! Pestilence on your tribe;

Would I were rid of you.

A Noble's life!
What is it, after all, but gall and gout,
Clamour for quiet, etiquette for ease,
Watching for sleep, for comfort drudgery?
To feed a liveried rabble at your cost,
That rob you to your face!-Pisanio, bo!
The slaves are deaf or drunk.
To waste the night,
That Nature made for sleep, in routs and balls!
To stuff your wives and daughters' heads with

That bring lean beggary within the house!
I'll fling it off at once; sell all, burn all,
I'll fly to Abyssinia-to the world's end,
Before the moon is old.

Vic. [Coming from behind the Screen.] 'Tis some new trouble, we must quiet him. What has displeased you, Sir? [To Ventoso. Ven. Look there-look there

The road is full of soldiers, coming straightLeon. Where, my dear father?


[She runs to the Window. Where, but to this house? Where else can any mischief light on earth? I'll welcome them. [Calls] Marcello, load the


[blocks in formation]

Ven. Let me go down! What clamour's in the house?

Coun. You'd have it, that we must be all undone,―

A bye-word!-not a husband would be found In Sicily for one of us! Look here, Here is the letter; the despatch; the prize! (They gather round to look over it; she repels them.)

Keep off your hands, no soul shall read a line; I have perus'd it; 'tis a prodigy! [She reads. "His Highness the Prince de Pindemonte, Duke of Tofaro, Count of Vendittá." (And twenty other names besides.) [Reads] "To the Count Ventoso, these. Having heard of the rare beauty of the Signora your daughter; we are disposed to honour your house with the alliance of our illustrious family. We shall, therefore, in pursuance of this our princely inclination, go to your Palazza this evening; and, having approved of your daughter, shall forthwith marry her." Signed-“PINDEMONTE," et caetera, et caetera, et caetera. Vic. Most sovereign insolence! Send his letter back.

Leon. This is bold wooing, sister!


There's no talk Of dower, of borrowing money,-let me see[He takes the Letter.

'Tis writ like a grandee.


The finest thing

I ever read. Saints! how it smells of musk! 'Tis true court-language, birth in every line; He is my son-in-law. Now, listen all: [To Leon] You to your chamber, till you're sent for, child.

Yes; to get your pearls,

Vic. I shall go with her.
Your silks, your laces.

Leon. [Laughing] Must I have no chance? Coun. Wise mothers all push off the elder first,

Else she may hang upon their hands for life. [To Vic.] Curl those wild locks. Heaven help me, here's a head!

[The Countess enters, holding up a large Letter, wrapped in Silk. She urges [To Ven.] I'll give the answer to the Page

Ventoso back.

come round her.]

Victoria and Leonora

Coun. What rabble? You are wise, And all the world are fools! This letter, Count, Comes from



From Lucifer!


Blushing, forsooth! that colour's out of date,
Unknown among grandees. Look sallow, girl!
The men are all for sentiment this week.
Ven. My mind misgives me; 'tis a world
of rogues;

Aye, rack your brains; I'll sift this Page's brains. [Going, he returns.
Yet, mark me, wife:

I'm but a simple woman, have no head,
No eyes, no cars; the world would run astray No wasteful fooleries; no banquettings;
But for the men, those great philosophers!
Vic. Dear mother, is't good news?

Some noble fête?

Coun. Count, read this name.
Ven. [Reads] "The Prince de Pindemonté."
Leon. [Aside]-Charming title.

I think I've heard the name.
He wants to borrow money, like them all!
Coun. When I shut out that captain, that

That low-blooded strappado, that half-pay, The world must go to wreck. My Lady there [To Victoria. Forswore her meals, and march'd in tears to bed. And you, you wisehead, second Solomon[Ventoso trying to escape, she stands in

his way.

No feedings of this most illustrious-fool,
Who flings his pearl of liberty away.
I will have no carouse.

[He goes toward the Door. Coun. We'll try that point. [Half aside. [She rings. Servants come in.] [up; Where are your brother knaves? Let all come I'll have a fete to night. Take out the bowls; The silver gilt; we sup in the purple room: I'll show his Highness plate. Fabricio, fly And hire the opera singers

[Ventoso, returning in great Agitation. Ven. Have I ears?

Victoria and Leonora approach him
you, Sir?

Vic. Shall we attend

Be pacified.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]



Ven. Stay with that mad woman! The Why, there was not a hill-top round the Bay,
But in our thoughts was made a monument,
world's gone mad!
Inscribed with gentle memories of Love!

Princes and fêtes in old Ventoso's house?

I'll die not worth a ducat. Plague on plague! Upon yon mount our cottage should be built,
The Countess follow-Unmatched since Paradise ;-upon the next,
[He rushes out.
A beacon should be raised, to light me home
ing him.
Coun. Let him rave on. His wife will ma- From the Morocco wars; the third should bear
him. [She goes out. The marble beauty of the patron saint,
That watch'd me in the field-

Vic. Who is this Prince? Be sure the man is young, Leon. Handsome, and rich, who has so wise a taste. Lorenzo too will suffer, 'tis revenge.

Enter SPADO.

Return'd at last?

was't found?
Vic. [Indignantly]-"Twill be a deep re- Have you brought back the picture? Where
venge! It shall be done.

I'll wed this Prince, were he the lowest slave Or give it without words.
That ever bronzed beneath a Moorish sun.


Pisan. My lady waits your presence

Revenge! if there is wit in woman.

Leon. [To Victoria]

For the fête!

[To Victoria. Look!

'Tis a lamp

[She points to the Window]

The bridal star is lighted.
Vic. [Dejectedly]

Lit in a sepulchre.

They sing.--Trio.-(Spanish.)
TELL us, thou glorious Star of eve!
What sees thine eye?

Wherever human hearts can heave,
Man's misery!

Life, but a lengthened chain;
Youth, weary, wild and vain;
Age on a bed of pain,
Longing to die!

Yet there's a rest!

Where earthly agonies.
Awake no sighs

In the cold breast.

Tell us, thou glorious Star of eve!

Sees not thine eye

Some spot, where hearts no longer heave,
In thine own sky?
Where all Life's wrongs are o'er,

Where Anguish weeps no more,
Where injur'd Spirits soar,
Never to die?


SCENE II.—A chamber in LORENZO's Quarters,
the Sea.
with a Viranda opening on
Evening. A Servant waiting. LORENZO
searching among some Papers at a Table.
Lor. Victoria's picture lost!-Yet how 'twas
Baffles all thought; - 'twas lodged upon my

VVhere it lay ever, my companion sweet,
Feeding my melancholy with the looks,


Whereon once lived
Go, boy; take horse,
[To the Attendant]
And hurry back that loiterer.
How lovely thro' those vapours soars the moon!
Like a pale spirit, casting off the shroud
As it ascends to Heaven!

[He rises, and goes to the Casement.
Woman's all false.
Victoria! at this hour what solemn vows,
What deathless contracts, lovely hopes, rich

Vere uttered in the presence of the moon!

[blocks in formation]

Fill all the casements, from which chaplets
And bridal banners;

Then, the companies
Of city music, in their gay chaloupes,
Play on the waters; all the square is thick
With gazing citizens.

Lor. [Musing]-Ventoso's house?
Spa. I wish 'twere burnt; there never came
a night,

This bitter week, but found me at its gate,
Shiv'ring, and singing with my gay Signior.
[In surprise.
Lor. Torrento!

Spa. Nay, I saw the lady come, Ready to make a love march.


Spa. [Bowing]

Lor. She could not [To Spado]

Spa. Twelve hours


The very day I landed.


Truth! sink so deep. [Aside. When was this seen? before you hired me. 'Twas the day,

Woman, woman! This was your fainting; this the secret shame, That chok'd your voice, filled your sunk eyes with tears, Made your cheek burn, then take death's sudden hue; This was the guilty memory, that shook Your frame at sight of me. [To Spado]

What did you hear? Spa. Nothing! but that some luckless, loving dog,

Some beggar suitor, some old hanger-on, Was just kick'd out amid the general laugh. Lor. Insult and infamy!

For what? for whom? [Half aside.

« 이전계속 »