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To make this honourable fool her husband;
For which, if I forget him, may the shame
I mean to brand his name with, stick on mine.
Ros. She, gentle soul, was kinder than her
Loth. She was, and oft in private gave me hearing;
Till, by long list'ning to the soothing tale,
At length her easy heart was wholly mine.
Ros. I've heard you oft describe her haughty,
And fierce with high disdain: it moves my wonder,
Never to load it with the marriage chain:
That I would still retain her in my heart,
My ever gentle mistress and my friend;
But for those other names of wife and husband,
They only meant ill nature, cares, and quarrels.
Ros. How bore she this reply?
Loth. At first her rage was dumb, and wanted words;
But when the storm found way, 'twas wild and loud:
That virtue thus defended, should be yielded Proud, and disdainful of the love I proffer'd, A prey to loose desires.
Loth. Hear then I'll tell thee:
Once in a lone and secret hour of night,
When ev'ry eye was clos'd, and the pale moon
And stars alone shone conscious of the theft,
Hot with the Tuscan grape, and high in blood,
Hap'ly I stole unheeded to her chamber.
Ros. That minute sure was lucky.
Loth. Oh, 'twas great!
I found the fond, believing, love-sick maid,
Loose, unattir'd, warm, tender, full of wishes;
Fierceness and pride, the guardians of her
Were charm'd to rest, and love alone was waking.
Within her rising bosom all was calm,
As peaceful seas that know no storms, and only
Are gently lifted up and down by tides.
I snatch'd the glorious, golden opportunity,
And with prevailing, youthful ardour press'd her;
Till, with short sighs, and murmuring reluctance,
The yielding fair one gave me perfect happiness.
Ev'n all the live-long night we pass'd in bliss,
In ecstasies too fierce to last for ever;
At length the morn and cold indiff'rence came;
When, fully sated with the luscious banquet,
I hastily took leave, and left the nymph
To think on what was past, and sigh alone.
Ros. You saw her soon again?
Loth. Too soon I saw her:
For, oh! that meeting was not like the former:
I found my heart no more beat high with trans-
No more I sigh'd and languish'd for enjoyment;
'Twas past, and reason took her turn to reign,
While ev'ry weakness fell before her throne.
Ros. What of the lady?.
Loth. With uneasy fondness
She hung upon me, wept, and, sigh'd and swore
She was undone; talk'd of a priest and marriage;
Of flying with me from her father's pow'r;
Call'd ev'ry saint and blessed angel down,
To witness for her that she was my wife.
I started at that name.
Ros. What answer made you?
Loth. None; but pretending sudden pain
Escap'd the persecution. Two nights since,
By message urg'd and frequent importunity,
Again I saw her. Straight with tears and sighs,
With swelling breasts, with swooning and
With all the subtleties and pow'rful arts
Of wilful woman lab'ring for her purpose,
Again she told the same dull, nauseous tale.
Unmov'd, I begg'd her spare th' ungrateful
Since I resolv'd, that love and peace of mind
Might flourish long inviolate betwixt us,
Mad as the priestess of the Delphic god,
Enthusiastic passion swell'd her breast,
Enlarg'd her voice, and ruffled all her form.
She call'd me villain! monster! base betrayer!
At last, in very bitterness of soul,
With deadly imprecations on herself,
She vow'd severely ne'er to see me more;
Then bid me fly that minute: I obey'd,
And, bowing, left her to grow cool at leisure.
Ros. She has relented since, else why this
To meet the keeper of her secrets here
Loth. See the person whom you nam'd.
Well, my ambassadress, what must we treat of?
Come you to menace war and proud defiance,
Or does the peaceful olive grace your message?
Is your fair mistress calmer? Does she soften?
And must we love again? Perhaps she means
To treat in juncture with her new ally,
And make her husband party to th' agreement.
Luc. Is this well done, my lord? Have you
All sense of human nature? Keep a little,
A little pity, to distinguish manhood.
Lest other men,though cruel,should disclaim you,
And judge you to be number'd with the brutes.
Loth. I see thou'st learn'd to rail.
Luc. I've learn'd to weep:
That lesson my sad mistress often gives me:
By day she seeks some melancholy shade,
To hide her sorrows from the prying world;
At night she watches all the long, long hours,
And listens to the winds and beating rain,
With sighs as loud, and tears that fall as fast.
Then ever and anon she wrings her hands,
And cries, false, false Lothario!
swear thou'lt spoil thy pretty face with crying, And thou hast beauty that may make thy fortune: Some keeping cardinal shall dote upon thee, And barter his church treasure for thy freshness. Luc. What! shall I sell my innocence and youth,
For wealth or titles, to perfidious man?
To man, who makes his mirth of our undoing!
The base, profess'd betrayer of our sex!
Let me grow old in all misfortunes else,
Rather than know the sorrows of Calista!
Loth. Does she send thee to chide in her behalf? swear thou dost it with so good a grace, That I could almost love thee for thy frowning; Luc. Read there, my lord, there, in her own sad lines, [Giving a Letter. Which best can tell the story of her woes, That grief of heart which your unkindness gives her.
Loth. [Reads] Your cruelty- Obedience to my father-give my hand to Altamont.
By heav'n, 'tis well! such ever be the gifts And never grace the public with his virtues.-
With which I greet the man whom my soul What if I give this paper to her father?
[Aside. It follows that his justice dooms her dead,
And breaks his heart with sorrow; hard return
For all the good his hand has heap'd on us!
Hold, let me take a moment's thought-
too faithlessweakness-to-morrow — -last trouble-lost
Women, I see, can change as well as men.
She writes me here, forsaken as I am,
That I should bind my brows with mournful
For she has giv'n her hand to Altamont:
Yet tell the fair inconstant-
Loth. Nay, no more angry words: say to
The humblest of her slaves shall wait her pleasure;
If she can leave her happy husband's arms,
To think upon so lost a thing as I am.
Luc. Alas! for pity, come with gentler looks:
Wound not her heart with this unmanly triumph;
And though you love her not, yet swear you do;
So shall dissembling once be virtuous in you.
Loth. Ha! who comes here?
Luc. The bridegroom's friend, Horatio.
He must not see us here. To morrow early
Be at the garden gate.
Loth. Bear to my love
My kindest thoughts, and swear I will not fail her. [Lothario putting up the Letter hastily, drops it as he goes out. Exeunt Lothario and Rossano one Way, Lucilla
Hor. Sure 'tis the very error of my eyes;
Waking I dream, or I beheld Lothario;
He seem'd conferring with Calista's woman:
At my approach they started and retir'd.
What business could he have here, and with her?
I know he bears the noble Altamont
Profess'd and deadly hate - What paper's this?
[Taking up the Letter.
Ha! To Lothario!-'Sdeath! Calista's name!
[Opens it and reads.
Trust me it joys my heart that I have found you.
Inquiring wherefore you had left the company,
Before my brother's nuptial rites were ended,
They told me you had felt some sudden illness.
Hor. It were unjust-No, let me spare my
Lock up the fatal secret in my breast,
Nor tell him that which will undo his quiet.
Lac. What means my lord?
Hor. Ha! said'st thou, my Lavinia?
Lav. Alas! you know not what you make
Whence is that sigh? And wherefore are your
Severely rais'd to heav'n? The sick man thus,
Acknowledging the summons of his fate,
Lifts up his feeble hands and eyes for mercy,
And with confusion thinks upon his exit.
Hor. Oh, no! thou hast mistook my sick-
These pangs are of the soul. Would I had met
Sharpest convulsions, spotted pestilence,
Or any other deadly foe to life,
Rather than heave beneath this load of thought!
Lav. Alas! what is it? Wherefore turn you
Why did you falsely call me your Lavinia,
And swear I was Horatio's better half,-
Since now you mourn unkindly by yourself,
And rob me of my partnership of sadness?
Hor. Seek not to know what I would hide
But most from thee. I never knew a pleasure, Aught that was joyful, fortunate, or good, But straight I ran to bless thee with the tidings, And laid up all my happiness with thee: Your cruelty has at length determined me; But wherefore, wherefore should I give thee and I have resolo'd this morning to yield
a perfect obedience to my father, and to Then spare me, I conjure thee; ask no further; give my hand to Altamont, in spite of my Allow my melancholy thoughts this privilege, weakness for the false Lothario. I could And let 'em brood in secret o'er their sorrows. almost wish I had that heart and that honour Lao. It is enough; chide not, and all is well! to bestow with it, which you have robbed me of:
priest has but half bless'd his marriage,
Forgive me if I saw you sad, Horatio, And ask'd to weep out part of your misfortunes: Damnation! to the restI wo'not press to know what you forbid me. But, oh! I fear, could I retrieve 'em, I Yet, my lov'd lord, yet you must grant me this, should again be undone by the too faithless, Forget your cares for this one happy day, yet too lovely Lothario. This is the last Devote this day to mirth, and to your Altamont; weakness of my pen, and to-morrow shall For his dear sake, let peace be in your looks. be the last in which I will indulge my eyes. Ev'n now the jocund bridegroom waits your Lucilla shall conduct you, if you are kind enough to let me see you; it shall be the He thinks the last trouble you shall meet with from the CALISTA. Till his friend The lost, indeed! for thou art gone as far As there can be perdition. Fire and sulphur! Hell is the sole avenger of such crimes. Oh, that the ruin were but all thy own! Thou wilt ev'n make thy father curse his age: At sight of this black scroll, the gentle Altamont (For, oh! I know his heart is set upon thee) Shall droop and hang his discontented head, Like merit scorn'd by insolent authority,
hails him with the sound of joy. Hor. Oh, never, never, never! Thou art innocent:
Simplicity from ill, pure native truth,
And candour of the mind, adorn thee ever;
But there are such, such false ones, in the world,
Twould fill thy gentle soul with wild amazement
To hear their story told.
Lav. False ones, my lord!
Hor. Fatally fair they are, and in their smiles.
Luc. Oh, hear me, hear your ever faithful creature!
By all the good I wish, by all the ill
My trembling heart forebodes, let me entreat you
Never to see this faithless man again;
Let me forbid his coming.
I charge thee no: my genius drives me on;
I must, I will behold him once again:
Perhaps it is the crisis of my fate,
And this one interview shall end my cares.
My lab'ring heart, that swells with indignation,
Heaves to discharge the burden; that once done,
The busy thing shall rest within its cell,
And never beat again.
Luc. Trust not to that:
Rage is the shortest passion of our souls: Like narrow brooks that rise with sudden show'rs. It swells in haste, and falls again as soon; Still as it ebbs the softer thoughts flow in,* And the deceiver, love, supplies its place. Cal. I have been wrong'd enough to arm my temper
And all the business of their lives be loving; Against the smooth delusion; but, alas!
The nuptial band should be the pledge of peace, (Chide not my weakness, gentle maid, but
And all domestic cares and quarrels cease!
The world should learn to love by virtuous rules,
And marriage be no more the jest of fools.
SCENE I.-A Hall.
Enter CALISTA and LUCILLA.
Cal. Be dumb for ever, silent as the grave,
Nor let thy fond, officious love disturb
My solemn sadness with the sound of joy.
If thou wilt sooth me, tell some dismal tale
Of pining discontent, and black despair;
For, oh! I've gone around through all my
But all are indignation, love, or shame,
And my dear peace of mind is lost for ever.
Luc. Why do you follow still that wand'-
That has misled your weary steps, and leaves you
Benighted in a wilderness of woe,
That false Lothario? Turn from the deceiver;
Turn, and behold where gentle Altamont,
Sighs at your feet, and woos you to be happy.
Cal. Away! I think not of him. My sad soul
Has form'd a dismal, melancholy scene,
Such a retreat as I would wish to find;
An unfrequented vale, o'ergrown with trees
Mossy and old, within whose lonesome shade
Ravens and birds ill-omen'd only dwell:
No sound to break the silence, but a brook
That bubbling winds among the weeds: no mark
Of any human shape that had been there,
Unless a skeleton of some poor wretch,
Who had long since, like me, by love undone,
Sought that sad place out to despair and die in.
Luc. Alas, for pity!
Cal. There I fain would hide me From the base world, from malice, and from shame;
For 'tis the solemn counsel of my soul
Never to live with public loss of honour:
'Tis fix'd to die, rather than bear the insolence
Of each affected she that tells my story,
And blesses her good stars that she is virtuous.
To be a tale for fools! Scorn'd by the women,
And pity'd by the men! Oh, insupportable!
A woman's softness hangs about me still;
Then let me blush, and tell thee all my folly.
I swear I could not see the dear betrayer
Kneel at my feet and sigh to be forgiv'n,
But my relenting heart would pardon all,
And quite forget 'twas he that had undone me.
Ha! Altamont! Calista, now be wary,
And guard thy soul's excesses with dissembling:
Nor let this hostile husband's eyes explore
The warring passions and tumultuous thoughts
That rage within thee, and deform thy reason.
All. Be gone, my cares, I give you to the winds,
Far to be borne, far from the happy Altamont;
Calista is the mistress of the year;
She crowns the seasons with suspicious beauty,
And bids ev'n all my hours be good and joyful.
Cal. If I were ever mistress of such happiness, Oh! wherefore did I play th'unthrifty fool, And, wasting all on others, leave myself Without one thought of joy to give me comfort? Alt. Oh, mighty love! Shall that fair face
This thy great festival with frowns and sadness? I swear it sha'not be, for I will woo thee With sighs so moving, with so warm a transport, That thou shalt catch the gentle flame from me, And kindle into joy.
Cal. I tell thee, Altamont,
Such hearts as ours were never pair'd above:
Ill suited to each other: join'd, not match'd;
Some sullen influence, a foe to both,
Has wrought this fatal marriage to undo us.
Mark but the frame and temper of our minds,
How very much we differ. Ev'n this day,
That fills thee with such ecstacy and transport,
To me brings nothing that should make me
Or think it better than the day before,
Or any other in the course of time,
That duly took its turn, and was forgotten.
Alt. If to behold thee as my pledge of
To know none fair, none excellent, but thee;
In which my father gave my hand to Altamont;
As such, I will remember it for ever.
Enter SCIOLTO, HORATIO, and LAVINIA.
Sci. Let mirth go on, let pleasure know
Hor. Still I must doubt some mystery of
Some artifice beneath. Lothario's father!
I know him well; he was sagacious, cunning,
Fluent in words, and bold in peaceful counsels,
But of a cold, unactive 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—
Re-enter LOTHARIO and ROSSANO.
Seeing him. Loth. Damnation! He again!-This second
To-day he has cross'd me like my evil genius.
Hor. I sought you, sir.
But fill up ev'ry minute of this day.
Tis yours, my children, sacred to your loves; Ha! he's here!
The glorious sun himself for you looks gay;
He shines for Altamont and for Calista.
Let there be music, let the master touch
The sprightly string and softly-breathing flute,
Till harmony rouse ev'ry gentle passion;
Teach the cold maid to lose her fears in love,
And the fierce youth to languish at her feet.
Begin: ev'n age itself is cheer'd with music;
It wakes a glad remembrance of our youth,
Calls back past joys, and warms us into transport.
Loth. 'Tis well then I am found.
Hor. 'Tis well you are. The man who wrongs
To the earth's utmost verge I 'would pursue,
No place, though e'er so holy, should protect him;
No shape that artful fear e'er form'd should
Take care my gates be open, bid all welcome; Till he fair answer made, and did me justice.
All who rejoice with me to-day are friends: Loth. Ha! dost thou know me? that I am
Let each indulge his genius, each be glad,
Jocund, and free, and swell the feast with mirth;
The sprightly bowl shall cheerfully go round,
None shall be grave, nor too severely wise;
Losses and disappointments, cares and poverty,
The rich man's insolence, and great man's scorn,
In wine shall be forgotten all. To-morrow
Will be too soon to think and to be wretched,
Oh grant, ye pow'rs, that I may see these happy, Just are their thoughts, and open are their
[Pointing to Altamont and Calista.
Completely blest, and I have life enough!
And leave the rest indifferently to fate. [Exeunt.
Hor. What if, while all are here intent on
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 dis-
Hor. The brave, 'tis true, do never shun
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
Which my soul e'er fram'd, or my hand acted,
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
I privately went forth, and sought Lothario?
This letter may be forg'd! perhaps the wantonness
Of his vain youth, to stain a lady's fame;
Perhaps his malice to disturb my friend.
Oh, no! my heart forebodes it must be true.
Methought, ev'n now, I mark'd the starts of guilt When but this very morning I surpris'd thee,
That shook her soul; though damn'd dissimulation In base, dishonest privacy, consulting
Screen'd her dark thoughts, and set to public view
A specious face of innocence and beauty.
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 race. [Exit.
SCENE II.-The Garden of SCIOLTO's Palace.
Enter LOTHARIO and ROSSANO.
Loth. To tell thee then the purport of my thoughts;
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. Ha! fled from thee?
Hor. Thou fled'st, and guilt was on thee like
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, Slave! 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
The loss of this fond paper would not give me
A moment of disquiet, were it not
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 I would not, for this city's wealth, for all
Of being seen; to-day their friends are round'em; Which the sea wafts to our Ligurian shore,
And any eye that fights by chanee on you, But that the joys I reap'd with that fond wanton,
Shall put your life and safety to the hazard. The wife of Altamont, should be as public
[Exeunt. 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! 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,
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
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
You talk of beauties that you never saw,
And fancy raptures that you never knew.
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,
Ilate you like age, like ugliness and impotence: 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; Nor think upon my vengeance till thou feel'st it. Hor. Hold, sir; another word, and then farewell.
Though I think greatly of Calista's virtue,
And hold it far beyond thy power to hurt;
Yet, as she shares the honour of my Altamont,
That treasure of a soldier, bought with blood,
And kept at life's expense, 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
And, in defiance of the stern Horatio,
Indulge our gayer thoughts, let laughter loose,
And use his sacred friendship for our mirth?
Hor. 'Tis well, sir, you are pleasant-
Loth. By the joys
Exert your influence; shinè strongly for me; 'Tis not a common conquest I would gain, Since love as well as arms must grace my triumph. [Exeunt Lothario and Rossano. Hor. Two hours ere noon to-morrow! ba! ere that
He sees Calista! 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
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:
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,
Pleas'd to be happy, as you're pleas'd to bless,
And, conscious of your worth, can never love
SCENE I.-An Apartment in SCIOLTO's Palace.
Which my soul yet has uncontrol'd pursu'd,
I would not turn aside from my least pleasure,
Though all thy force were arm'd to bar my way;
But like the birds, great nature's happy com-
That haunt in woods, in meads, and flow'ry Sci. Now, by my life, my honour, 'tis ton
Enter SCIOLTO and CALISTA.
Rifle the sweets and taste the choicest fruits, Have I not mark'd thee, wayward as thou art