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But like the birds, great Nature's happy commoners,
That haunt in woods, in meads, and flow'ry gardens,
Rifle the sweets and taste the choicest fruits,
Yet scorn to ask the lordly owner's leave.
Hor. What liberty has vain presumptuous youth,
That thou should'st dare provoke me unchastis'd :
But henceforth, boy, I warn thee, shun my walks.
If in the bounds of yon forbidden place
Again thou’rt found, expect a punishment,
Such as great souls, impatient of an injury,
Exačt from those who wrong 'em much, ev’n death;
Or something worse: an injur'd husband's vengeance
Shall print a thousand wounds, tear thy fair form,
And scatter thee to all the winds of Heav'n. 32 o
Loth. Is then my way in Genoa prescrib'd
By a dependent on the wretched Altamont,
A talking Sir, that brawls for him in taverns,
And vouches for his valour’s reputation ?
Hor. Away thy speech is fouler than thy manners.
Loth. Or, if there be a name more vile, his parasite;
A beggar's parasitel
Hor. Now learn humanity,
[Offers to strike him, Rossano interposes.
Since brutes and boys are only taught with blows.
Loth. Damnation 1 [They draw.
Ros. Hold, this goes no further here.
Horatio, 'tis too much; already see
The crowd are gath’ring to us.
Loth. Oh, Rossanol
Or give me way, or thou’rt no more my friend.
You’ll be oppress'd by numbers. Be advis’d,
Or I must force you hence. Tak’t on my word,
You shall have justice done you on Horatio.
Put up, my lord. 34o
Loth. This wo'not brook delay; -
West of the town a mile, among the rocks,
Two hours ere noon, to-morrow, I expect thee,
Thy single hand to mine.
Hor. I’ll meet thee there.
Loth. To-morrow, Oh, my better stars 1 to-morrow
Exert your influence; shine strongly for me;
'Tis not a common conquest I would gain,
Since love as well as arms, must grace my triumph.
[Exeunt Lot HARIo and Ross ANo.
Hor. Two hoursere noon to-morrow ! hal ere that
He sees Calistal Oh, unthinking fool
What if I urg’d her with the crime and danger ?
If any spark from Heav'n remain unquench'd
Within her breast, my breath perhaps may wake it.
Could I but prosper there, I would not doubt
My combat with that loud vain-glorious boaster.
Were you, ye fair, but cautious whom ye trust,
Did you but think how seldom fools are just,
So many of your sex would not in vain
Of broken vows, and faithless men, complain: 360
Of all the various wretches love has made,
How few have been by men of sense betray'd
Convinc'd by reason, they your pow'r confess
And conscious of your worth can never love you less, [Exit.
An Apartment in Scio Lto's Palace. Enter Scio Lto and CALISTA.
Now, by my life, my honour, 'tis too much
Have I not mark'd thee, wayward as thou art,
Perverse and sullen all this day of joy
When ev'ry heart was cheer'd and mirth went round,
Sorrow, displeasure, and repining anguish,
Sat on thy brow; “like some malignant planet,
“ Foe to the harvest and the healthy year,
“Who scowls adverse, and lours upon the world;
“When all the other stars, with gentle aspect,
“Propitious shine, and meaning good to man.”
Cal. Is then the task of duty half perform'd :
Has not your daughter giv'n herself to Altamont,
Yielded the native freedom of her will
To an imperious husband's lordly rule,
To gratify a father’s stern command
Sci. Dost thou complain
Cal. For pity do not frown then,
If in despite of all my vow'd obedience,
A sigh breaks out, or a tear falls by chance:
For, Oh! that sorrow which has drawn your anger,
Is the sad native of Calista's breast:
“And once possess'd, will never quit its dwelling,
“Till life, the prop of all, shall leave the building,
“To tumble down, and moulder into ruin.”
Sci. Now by the sacred dust of that dear saint
That was thy mother; “by her wond’rous goodness,
“Her soft, her tender, most complying sweetness,”
I swear, some sullen thought that shuns the light,
Lurks underneath that sadness in thy visage.
But mark me well, tho’ by yon Heav'n I love thee
As much, I think, as a fond parent can ;
Yet should'st thou, (which the pow’rs above forbid)
E’er stain the honour of thy name with infamy,
I'll cast thee off, as one whose impious hands
Had rent asunder nature’s nearest ties,
Which, once divided, never join again.
To-day I’ve made a noble youth thy husband 1
Consider well his worth; reward his love;
Be willing to be happy, and thou art so.
[Exit Scio Lto.
Cal. How hard is the condition of our sex, 40
Thro’ ev’ry state of life the slaves of man
In all the dear delightful days of youth
A rigid father dićtates to our wills,
And deals out pleasure with a scanty hand.
To his, the tyrant husband's reign succeeds;
Proud with opinion of superior reason,
He holds domestic bus’ness and devotion
All we are capable to know, and shuts us,
Like cloister'd ideots, from the world's acquaintance,
And all the joys of freedom. Wherefore are we
Born with high souls, but to assert ourselves,
Shake off this vile obedience they exact,
And claim an equal empire o'er the world
Hor. She's here ! yet, Oh! my tongue is at a loss. Teach me, some pow'r, that happy art of speech, To dress my purpose up in gracious words; Such as may softly steal upon her soul, And never waken the tempestuous passions. By Heav'n she weeps Forgive me, fair Calista, If I presume on privilege of friendship, 6o To join my grief to yours, and mourn the evils That hurt your peace, and quench those eyes in tears.
Cal. To steal, unlook'd for, on my private sorrow,
Speaks not the man of honour, nor the friend,
But rather means the spy.
Hor. Unkindly said :
For, Oh! as sure as you accuse me falsely,
I come to prove myself Calista's friend.
Cal. You are my husband's friend, the friend of "
Hor. Are you not one Are you not join’d by
Each interwoven with the other's fate
Are you not mixt like streams of meeting rivers,
Whose blended waters are no more distinguish'd,