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“Our boasted pow'r? When they oppose their arts,
“Still they prevail, and we are found their fools.”
With such smooth looks, and many a gentle word,
The first fair she beguil'd her easy lord;
Too blind with love and beauty to beware,
He fell unthinking in the fatal snare;
Nor could believe that such a heav'nly face
Had bargain'd with the devil, to damn her wretched
The Street near Scio Lto’s Palace. Enter Loth ARIo
and Ross ANo.
Loth. To tell thee then the purport of my thoughts;
The loss of this fond paper would not give me
A moment of disquiet, were it not 18o
My instrument of vengeance on this Altamont; -
Therefore I mean to wait some opportunity
Of speaking with the maid we saw this morning.
Ros. I wish you, Sir, to think upon the danger
Of being seen; to-day their friends are round 'em;
And any eye that lights by chance on you,
Shall put your life and safety to the hazard.
[They confer aside.
Enter Ho RATIO. Hor. Still I must doubt some mystery of mischief, Some artifice beneath. Lothario's father I knew him well; he was sagacious, cunning,
Fluent in words, and bold in peaceful counsels,
But of a cold, inačtive hand in war; -
Yet, with these coward's virtues, he undid
My unsuspecting, valiant, honest friend.
This son, if fame mistakes not, is more hot,
More open and unartful—Ha! he's here! [Seeing him.
Loth. Damnation He again l—This second time
To-day he has cross'd me, like my evil genius.
Hor. I sought you, Sir.
Loth. 'Tis well then I am found. 2co Hor. 'Tis well you are. The man who wrongs my friend
To the earth's utmost verge I would pursue.
No place, tho' e'er so holy should protećt him;
No shape that artful feare'er form'd should hide him,
*Till he fair answer made, and did me justice.
Loth. Ha! dost thou know me, that I am Lothario 2
As great a name as this proud city boasts of.
Who is this mighty man, then, this Horatio,
That I should basely hide me from his anger,
Lest he should chide me for his friend's displeasure ?
Hor. The brave, ’tis true, do never shun the light;
Just are their thoughts, and open are their tempers,
Freely without disguise they love and hate,
Still are they found in the fair face of day,
And Heav'n and men are judges of their actions.
Loth. Such let 'em be of mine; there's not a purpose
Which my soul e'er fram’d, or my hand ačted,
But I could well have bid the world look on,
And what I once durst do, have dar'd to justify.
Hor. Where was this open boldness, this free spirit, When but this very morning I surpriz'd thee, 221 In base, dishonest privacy, consulting And bribing a poor mercenary wretch, To sell her lady's secrets, stain her honour, And, with a forg’d contrivance, blast her virtue — At sight of me thou fled'st. Loth. Hal fled from thee? Hor. Thou fled'st, and guilt was on thee, like a thief, A pilferer, descry’d in some dark corner, Who there had lodg'd, with mischievous intent, To rob and ravage at the hour of rest. And do a midnight murder on the sleepers. Loth. Slavel villain [Offers to draw, Rossano holds him. Ros. Hold, my lord! think where you are, Think how unsafe and hurtful to your honour It were to urge a quarrel in this place, And shock the peaceful city with a broil. Loth. Then since thou dost provoke my vengeance, know I would not, for this city's wealth, for all Which the sea wafts to our Ligurian shore, 24o But that the joys I reap'd with that fond wanton, The wife of Altamont, should be as public As is the noon-day sun, air, earth, or water, Or any common benefit of nature. Think'st thou I meant the shame should be conceal’d Oh, no 1 by hell and vengeance, all I wanted Was some fit messenger to bear the news
To the dull doating husband : now I have found him,
And thou art he.
Hor. I hold thee base enough
To break through law, and spurn at sacred order,
And do a brutal injury like this.
Yet mark me well, young lord; I think Calista
Too nice, too noble, and too great of soul,
To be the prey of such a thing as thou art.
, Twas base and poor, unworthy of a man,
To forge a scroll so villanous and loose,
And mark it with a noble lady's name:
These are the mean dishonest arts of cowards,
Strangers to manhood, and to glorious dangers; 260
Who, bred at home in idleness and riot,
Ransack for mistresses th’ unwholesome stews,
And never know the worth of virtuous love.
Loth. Think'st thou I forg'd the letter? Think so
*Till the broad shame come staring in thy face,
And boys shall hoot the cuckold as he passes.
Hor. Away no woman could descend so low :
A skipping, dancing, worthless tribe you are ;
Fit only for yourselves: you herd together;
And when the circling glass warms your vain hearts,
You talk of beauties that you never saw,
And fancy raptures that you never knew.
“Legends of saints who never yet had being,
“Or being, ne'er were saints, are not so false
“As the fond tales which you recount of love.”
Loth. But that I do not hold it worth my leisure;
I could produce such damning proof–
Hor. 'Tis false !
You blast the fair with lies, because they scorn you,
Hate you like age, like ugliness and impotence: 280
Rather than make you blest, they would die virgins,
And stop the propagation of mankind.
Loth. It is the curse of fools to be secure,
And that be thine and Altamont's. Dream on ;
Northink upon my vengeance till thou feel'st it.
Hor. Hold, Sir ; another word, and then farewel:
Tho' I think greatly of Calista’s virtue,
And hold it far beyond thy pow'r to hurt;
Yet, as she shares the honour of my Altamont,
That treasure of a soldier, bought with blood,
And kept at life’s expence, I must not have
(Mark me, young Sir) her very name profan'd.
Learn to restrain the licence of your speech;
'Tis held you are too lavish. When you are met
Among your set of fools, talk of your dress,
Of dice, of whores, of horses and yourselves;
'Tis safer, and becomes your understandings.
Loth. What if we pass beyond this solemn order,
And, in defiance of the stern Horatio,
Indulge our gayer thoughts, let laughter loose, 300
And use his sacred friendship for our mirth
Hor. 'Tis well, Sir, you are pleasant
Loth. By the joys
Which my soul yet has uncontrol’d pursu’d,
I would not turn aside from my least pleasure,
Tho' all thy force were arm'd to bar my way;