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May well instruct me rage is in his heart,
Pol. Monimia weeping!
I come, my love, to kiss all sorrow from thee. What mean these sighs, and why thus beats thy heart?
Mon. Let me alone to sorrow; 'tis a cause None e'er shall know; but it shall with me die. Pol. Happy, Monimia, he to whom these sighs, These tears, and all these languishings are paid! I know your heart was never meant for me; That jewel's for an elder brother's price. Mon. My lord!
Pol. Nay, wonder not; last night I heard His oaths, your vows, and to my torment saw Your wild embraces; heard the appointment made;
I did, Monimia, and I curs'd the sound. Wilt thou be sworn, my love? wilt thou be ne'er Unkind again?
Mon. Banish such fruitless hopes! Have you sworn constancy to my undoing? Will you be ne'er my friend again? Pol. What means my love?
Mon. Away! what meant my lord Last night?
Pol. Is that a question now to be demanded?
T" assault my lodging at the dead of night,
Pol. By those eyes,
It was the same: I spent my time much better. Mon. Ha!-have a care!'
Pol. Where is the danger near me? Mon. I fear you're on a rock will wreck your quiet,
And drown your soul in wretchedness for ever. A thousand horrid thoughts crowd on my mem
Let mischiefs multiply! let every hour
And grow a curser of the works of nature!
The friendship e'er you vow'd to good Castalio
Your brother, you've undone yourself and me. Pol. Which way can ruin reach the man that's rich,
As I am, in possession of thy sweetness?
Pol. What says Monimia?
Saw it perform'd!
Pol. My brother's wife?
Mon. As surely as we both
Must taste of misery, that guilt is thine.
Happy, with such a weight upon thy soul?
Pol. It may be yet a secret.-I'll go try To reconcile and bring Castalio to thee! Whilst from the world I take myself away, And waste my life in penance for my sin. Mon. Then thou wouldst more undo me: heap a load
Of added sins upon my wretched head! Wouldst thou again have me betray thy brother, And bring pollution to his arms?
Oh! when shall I be mad indeed! Pol. Then thus I'll go
Full of my guilt, distracted where to roam:
SCENE I-4 Garden. discovered lying on the Ground. Soft Music.
Cas. See where the deer trot after one another: No discontent they know; but in delightful Wildness and freedom, pleasant springs, fresh herbage,
Calm arbours, lusty health and innocence,
Once in a season too they taste of love:
Cas. My father!
'Tis joy to see you, though where sorrow's nourish'd.
Acas. Castalio, you must go along with me, And see Monimia.
Cas. Sure my lord but mocks me: Go see Monimia?
Acas. I say, no more dispute. Complaints are made to me that you have wrong'd her.
Cas. Who has complain'd?
Acas. Her brother to my face proclaim'd her wrong'd,
And in such terms they've warm'd me.
Cas. What terms? Her brother! Heaven!
Where learn'd he that?
With the remembrance of an ancient friendship.
Thy father's honour's not above Monimia's;
Cham. No, nor shall
Monimia, though a helpless orphan, destitute
What, does she send her hero with defiance? Of poor Chamont, whose sword is all his portion,
He durst not sure affront you?
Acas. No, not much:
Cas. Speak, what said he?
Acas. That thou wert a villain:
Methinks I would not have thee thought a villain.
I would not see thee wrong'd, and bear it vilely: Though I have pass'd my word she shall have justice.
Cas. Justice! to give her justice would undo her.
Think you this solitude I now have chosen,
Cham. Where is the hero, famous and renown'd
B' oppress'd by thee, thou proud, imperious
Cas. Ha! set me free.
Cas. Sir, if you'd have me think you did not take
This opportunity to show your vanity,'
Came to disturb thee thus. I'm griev'd I hinder'd
For wronging innocence, and breaking vows; It
Cham. I come to seek the husband of Monimia.
Cham. I thought ere now to have found you
Cas. Then you are Chamont?
Cham. Yes, and I hope no stranger
To great Castalio.
Cas. I've heard of such a man,
Cham. Thus I'll thank you. [Draws. Acas. By this good sword, who first presumes to violence,
Makes me his foe. [Draws and interposes. Cas. Sir, in my younger years with care you taught me
That brave revenge was due to injur'd honour:
Because thou know'st that place is sanctify'd
Acas. For my sake, Castalio, and the quiet of my age. Cas. Why will you urge a thing my na
ture starts at?
Acas. Pr'ythee forgive her.
Cas. Lightnings first shall blast me! I tell you, were she prostrate at my feet, Full of her sex's best dissembled sorrows, And all that wondrous beauty of her own, My heart might break, but it should never soften.
Acas. Did you but know the agonies she feels— She flies with fury over all the house; Through every room of each apartment, crying, "Where's my Castalio? Give me my Castalio!' Except she sees you, sure she'll grow distracted!
Cas. Ha! will she? Does she name Castalio? And with such tenderness? Conduct me quickly To the poor lovely mourner.
Acas. Then wilt thou go? Blessings attend thy purpose!
Cas. I cannot hear Monimia's soul's in sadness, And be a man: my heart will not forget her. Acas. Delay not then; but haste and cheer thy love.
Cas. Oh! I will throw my impatient arms
In her soft bosom sigh my soul to peace;
Till through the panting breast she finds the way (With torment I must tell it thee, Castalio), To mould my heart, and make it what she will. Ever to be a stranger to thy love, Monimia! Oh! [Exeunt. In some far distant country waste my life, And from this day to see thy face no more. Cas. Why turn'st thou from me; I'm alone already.
SCENE II.-A Chamber.
Mon. Stand off, and give me room;
Methinks I stand upon a naked beach,
Where all the treasure of my soul's embark'd;
Cas. Who talks of dying, with a voice so sweet I should know all, for love is pregnant in 'em; That life's in love with it?
Mon. Hark! 'tis he that answers.
Where art thou?
Cas. Here, my love.
Mon. No nearer, lest I vanish.
Cas. Have I been in a dream then all this while? And art thou but the shadow of Monimia? Why dost thou fly me thus?
Mon. Oh! were it possible that we could
In dark oblivion but a few past hours,
Cas. Is't then so hard, Monimia, to forgive A fault, where humble love, like mine, implores thee?
For I must love thee, though it prove my
Mon. If I am dumb, Castalio, and want words
Mon. Still thou wander'st in the dark, Castalio;
Wonderful change, and horror from within me?
Monimia, poor Monimia, tells you this:
Cas. Ne'er meet again?
Mon. No, never.
Cas. Where's the power
On earth, that dares not look like thee, and say so?
Mon. Time will clear all; but now let this content you: Heaven has decreed, and therefore I've resolv'd
They swell, they press their beams upon me still:
Mon. Ah! poor Castalio!
A single wretch? If but your word can shake
Pol. To live, and live a torment to myself, What dog would bear't, that knew but his condition?
We've little knowledge, and that makes us
Because it cannot tell us what's to come.
Pol. Why, what art thou?
Cas. Of my Monimia?
Cas. In haste!
Methinks my Polydore appears in sadness.
Pol. Thou dost.
Cos. Alas, I've wondrous reason!
Cas. I'll tell thee, Polydore; I would repose
Pol. Be not too credulous; consider first,
Like a false friendship, when, with open arms
Pol. I fear, Castalio, I have none to give thee.
I never had a thought of my Castalio,
Hast thou dealt so by me?
Pol. Then tell me why this morning, this
Cas. O Polydore, I know not how to tell thee;
Pol. I grieve, my friend
Cas. Thou art my brother still. Pol. Thou liest!
Knows any thing which he's asham'd to tell me. Plac'd some coarse peasant's cub, and thou art he!
And made a contract I ne'er meant to keep. Pol. How!
Cas. Still new ways I studied to abuse thee, And kept thee as a stranger to my passion, Till yesterday I wedded with Monimia.
Pol. Ah! Castalio, was that well done? Cas. No; to conceal't from thee was much a fault.
Pol. A fault! when thou hast heard The tale I'll tell, what wilt thou call it then? Cas. How my heart throbs!
Pol. First, for thy friendship, traitor, I cancel't thus: after this day I'll ne'er Hold trust or converse with the false Castalio! This witness, heaven.
Cas. What will my fate do with me? I've lost all happiness, and know not why! What means this, brother?
Pol. Perjur'd, treach'rous wretch,
Cas. Nay, then
Yet I am calm.
Pol. A coward's always so.
Cas. Ah!-ah!—that stings home! Coward!
[They fight; Polydore drops his Sword,
Pol. Now my Castalio is again my friend. Cas. What have I done? my sword is in. thy breast.
Pol. So would I have it be, thou best of men, Thou kindest brother, and thou truest friend! Cas. Ye gods! we're taught that all your works are justice:
Ye're painted merciful, and friends to innocence:
I've stain'd thy bed; thy spotless marriage joys
Pol. By me, last night, the horrid deed
Cas. I'll be thy slave, and thou shalt use me Was done, when all things slept but rage Just as thou wilt, do but forgive me.
Cas. Oh! think a little what thy heart is
How, from our infancy, we hand in hand
Pol. Blind wretch! thou husband? there's a question!
Is she not a
Pol. Whore? I think that word needs no
Cas. Now, where's Monimia? Oh!
Mon. I'm here! who calls me? Methought I heard a voice Sweet as the shepherd's pipe upon the mountains, When all his little flock's at feed before him. But what means this? here's blood!
Cas. Ay, brother's blood!
Art thou prepar'd for everlasting pains?
Mon. That task myself have finish'd: I shall die Before we part: I've drunk a healing draught For all my cares, and never more shall wrong thee.
Pol. Oh, she's innocent.
And thou wilt make a wretch of me indeed.
Pol. Hadst thou, Castalio, us'd me like a friend, This ne'er had happen'd; hadst thou let me know Thy marriage, we had all now met in joy: But, ignorant of that,
Hearing th' appointment made, enrag'd to think
Mon. Now, my Castalio, the most dear of men, Wilt thou receive pollution to thy bosom, And close the eyes of one that has betray'd thee? Cas. O, I'm the unhappy wretch, whose cursed fate
Has weigh'd thee down into destruction with him: Why then thus kind to me!
Mon. When I'm laid low i'th' grave, and quite forgotten, happy in a fairer bride! But none can ever love thee like Monimia.
May'st thou be
When I am dead, as presently I shall be
Enter CHAMONT and ACASTO.
If I forgive your house!
My sister, my Monimia, breathless!-Now,
Cas. Stand off! thou hot-brain'd, boisterous,
And leave me to my sorrows.
I bore her living, I will ne'er forsake her;
Acas. Have patience.
Cas. Patience! preach it to the winds,
[Acasto faints into the Arms of a Servant.
[Dies. Cham. Take care of good Acasto, whilst Igo [Draws a Dagger. To search the means by which the fates have plagu'd us.
Cham. Thou canst not kill me!
That would be kindness, and against thy nature! 'Tis thus that heav'n its empire does maintain: Acas. What means Castalio? Sure thou wilt It may afflict; but man must not complain.
AMBROSE PHILIPS was descended from a very ancient and considerable family of that name in Leicestershire, He was born about the year 1671, and received his education' at St. John's College, Cambridge. During his stay at the uni versity he wrote his Pastorals, which acquired him at this time a high reputation. He also, in 1700 published a life of John Williams, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Bishop of Lincoln, and Archbishop of York in the reigns of King James and Charles I. in which are related some remarkable occurrences in those times, both in church and state; with an appendix, giving an account of his benefactions to St. John's College. When he quitted the university, and came to London, he became a constant attendant at, and one of the wits of, Button's coffee-house, where he obtained the friendship and intimacy of many of the celebrated geniuses of that age, more particularly of Sir Richard Steele, who, in the first volume of his Tatler, has inserted a little poem of Mr. Philips's, which he calls a Winter Piece, dated from Copenhagen, and addressed to the Earl of Dorset, on which he bestows the highest encomiums; and, indeed, so much justice is there in these his commendations that even Pope himself, who had a fixed aversion for the author, while he affected to despise his other works, used always to except this from the number. Sir R. Steele intended to produce Mr. Philips's Pastorals with a critical comparison of them, in favour of Philips, with Pope's; but Pope artfully took the task upon himself, and, in a paper in The Guardian, by drawing the lik comparison, and giving a like preference, but on principles of criticism apparently fallacious tried to point out the absurdity of such a judgment. A quarrel ensued; Pope was too much for Philips in wit; and Philips would have been too much for Pope in fisty-cuffs, if he had made his appearance at Burton's, where a rod had been hung up for him by Philips. Pope wisely avoided the argumentum baculinum. Mr. Philips's circumstances were in general, through his life, not only easy, but rather affluent, in consequence of his being connected, by his political principles with persons of great rank and consequence. He was, soon after the accession of King George 1, put into the commission of the peace; and, in 1717, appointed one of the commissioners of the lottery; and, on his friend Dr. Boulter's being made primate of Ireland, he accompanied that prelate across St. George's Channel, where he had considerable preferments bestowed on him, and was elected a member of the House of Commons there, as representative for the county of Armagh. In Sept 1754, he was appointed register of the Prerogative Court in Dublin. At length, having purchased an annuity for life of four hundred pounds, he came over to England some time in the year 1748, but did not long enjoy his fortune, being struck with a palsy, of which he died June 18, 1749, in his 78th year, at his lodgings near Vauxhall.
THE DISTREST MOTHER.
ACTED at Drury Lane, 1719. This play is little more than a translation from the Andromaque of Racine. It is, however, very well translated, the poetry pleasing, and the incidents of the story so affecting that although it is, like all the French tragedies, rather too heavy and declamatory, yet it never fails bringing tears into the eyes of a sensible audience; and will, perhaps, ever continue to be a stock play on the lists of the theatres. The original author, however, has deviated from history and Philips likewise followed his example in making Hermione kill herself on the body of Pyrrhus, who had been slain by her instigation; whereas, on the contrary, she not only survived, but became wife to Orestes. How far the licentia poetica will authorize such oppositions to well-known facts of history, is, however, a point concerning which we have not time at present to enter into a disquisition. Dr. Johnson observes, that such a work requires no uncommon powers; but that the friends of Philips exerted every art to promote his interest. Before the appearance of the play, a whole Spectator, none indeed of the best, was devoted to its praise; while it yet continued to