« EelmineJätka »
If still to love thee with unweary'd constancy,
Through ev'ry season, ev'ry change of life,
Be worth the least return of grateful love,
Ob, then let my Calista bless this day,
And set it down for happy.
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-
But fill up ev'ry minute of this day.
Tis yours, my children, sacred to your loves;
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 barmony 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; To the earth's utmost verge I would pursue,
It wakes a glad remembrance of our youth, No place, though e'er so holy, should protect him;
Calls back past joys, and warms us into transport. No shape that artful fear e'er form'd should
Re-enter LOTHARIO and ROSSANO.
Ha! he's here!
Seeing him. Loth. Damnation! He again!-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.
Hor. 'Tis well you are. The man who wrongs
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 Allamont 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 the light;
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
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.
1 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 A pilferer, descry'd in some dark corner,
Who there had lodg'd, with mischievous intent,
And do a midnight murder on the sleepers.
To rob and ravage at the hour of rest,
SCENE II.—The Garden of SCIOLTO's Palace.
Enter LOTHARIO and ROSSANO.
Lath. To tell thee then the purport of my
Loth. Ha! fled from thee?
Hor. Thou fled'st, and guilt was on thee like a thief,
[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
Otbeing seen; to-day their friends are round 'em; Which the sea wafts to our Ligurian shore,
And any eye that fights by chance 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
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
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
Hate 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.
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 Lothario and Rossano.
Hor. Two hours ere noon to-morrow ha!
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; Could I but prosper there, I would not doubt
'Tis held you are too lavish. When you are met My combat with that loud vain-glorious boaster.
Among your set of fools, talk of your dress,Were you, ye fair, but cautious whom ye trust,
Of dice, of whores, of horses, and yourselves; Did you but think how seldom fools are just.
'Tis safer, and becomes your understandings. So many of your sex would not in vain
Loth, What if we pass beyond this solemn
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
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
Which my soul yet has uncontrol'd pursu'd,
I would not turn aside from my least pleasure,
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!
Though all thy force were arm'd to bar my way; SCENEI.—An Apartment in SCIOLTO's Palace
But like the birds, great nature's happy com
Enter SCIOLTO and CALISTA.
Sci. Now, by my life, my honour, 'tis to much!
Rifle the sweets and taste the choicest fruits, Have I not mark'd thee, wayward as thou
Perverse and sullen all this day of joy?
When every heart was cheer'd and mirth
Sorrow, displeasure, and repining anguish
Sat on thy brow.
Cal. Is then the task of duty half perform'd?
Hlas not your daughter given herself to Altamont,
Yielded the native freedom of her will
To an imperious husband's lordly rule,
To gratify a father's stern command?
Sei. 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, ob! that sorrow which has drawn your
Is the sad native of Calista's breast.
May bind two bodies in one wretched chain;
But minds will still look back to their own choice.
Hor. When souls that should agree to will
To have one common object for their wishes,
Look different ways, regardless of each other,
Think what a train of wretchedness ensues:
Love shall be banish'd from the genial bed,
The night shall all be lonely and unquiet,
And ev'ry day shall be a day of cares.
Cal. Then all the boasted office of thy
Sci Now by the sacred dust of that dear saint
That was thy mother; by her wondrous goodness,
Her soft, ber tender, most complying sweetness, Was but to tell Calista what a wretch she is.
I swear, some sullen thought that shuns the light, Alas! what needeth that?
Lurks underneath that sadness in thy visage.
Hor. Oh! rather say,
But mark me well, though by yon heaven II came to tell her how she might be happy;
To sooth the secret anguish of her soul;
To comfort that fair mourner, that forlorn one,
And teach her steps to know the paths of peace.
Cal. Say, thou, to whom this paradise is
As much, I think, as a fond parent can;
Yet shouldst thou (which the pow'rs above forbid)
Eer stain the honour of thy name with infamy,
Fil 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;
Consider well his worth; reward his love;
Be willing to be happy, and thou art so.
Where lies the blissful region? Mark my way to it;
For, oh! 'tis sure, I long to be at rest. Hor. Then -to be good is to be happyAngels [Exit. Are happier than mankind, because they're better.
Cal. How hard is the condition of our sex,
Through ev'ry state of life the slaves of man!
lu all the dear delightful days of youth
A rigid father dictates 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 idiots, from the world's ac-
And all the joys of freedom. Wherefore are we
Born with high souls, but to assert ourselves,
Yoke off this vile obedience they exact,
A claim an equal empire o'er the world?
[She sits down.
Guilt is the source of sorrow; 'tis the fiend,
Th' avenging fiend, that follows us behind
With whips and stings. The blest know none
But rest in everlasting peace of mind,
And find the height of all their heav'n is goodness.
Cal. And what bold parasite's officious tongue
Shall dare to tax Calista's name with guilt?
Hor. None should; but 'tis à busy, talking
That with licentious breath blows like the wind,
As freely on the palace as the cottage.
Col. What mystic riddle lurks beneath thy
Which thou wouldst seem unwilling to express,
As if it meant dishonour to my virtue?
Away with this ambiguous shuffling phrase,
And let thy oracle be understood.
Cal. Ha! what wouldst thou mean by him? Hor. Lothario and Calista! -Thus they join Two names, which heav'n decreed should never
Hence have the talkers of this populous city
A shameful tale to tell, for public sport,
Of an unhappy beauty, a false fair one,
Who plighted to a noble youth her faith,
When she had giv'n her honour to a wretch.
Cal. Death and confusion! Have I liv'd to this?
Thus to be treated with unmanly insolence!
To be the sport of a loose ruffian's tongue!
Thus to be us'd! thus! like the vilest creature
That ever was a slave to vice and infamy.
Hor. By honour and fair truth, you wrong me much;
as sure as you accuse me falsely, me to prove myself Calista's friend. You are my husband's friend, the friend For, on my soul, nothing but strong necessity Could urge my tongue to this ungrateful office.
I came with strong reluctance, as if death
Had stood across my way to save your honour,
Yours and Sciolto's, yours and Altamont's;
Like one who ventures through a burning pile,
To save his tender wife, with all her brood
Of little fondlings, from the dreadful ruin.
Cal. Is this the famous friend of Altamont,
For noble worth and deeds of arms renown'd?
Is this the tale-bearing officious fellow,
That watches for intelligence from eyes;
This wretched Argus of a jealous husband,
That fills his easy ears with monstrous tales,
And makes him toss, and rave, and wreak
Bloody revenge on his defenceless wife,
Who guiltless dies, because her fool ran mad?
Hor. Alas! this rage is vain; for if your fame
Or peace be worth your care, you must be calm,
And listen to the means are left to save 'em.
'Tis now the lucky minute of your fate.
By me your genius speaks, by me it warns you,
Never to see that curs'd Lothario more;
Unless you mean to be despis'd, be shunn'd
By all our virtuous maids and noble matrons;
Unless you have devoted this rare beauty
To infamy, diseases, prostitution-
Cal. Dishonour blast thee, base, unmanner'd
That dar'st forget my birth, and sacred sex,
And shock me with the rude, unhallow'd sound!]
Hor. Here kneel, and in the awful face of
Breathe out a solemn vow, never to see,
Nor think, if possible, on him that ruin'd thee;
Or, by my Altamont's dear life, I swear,
This paper; nay, you must not fly-This paper,
This guilty paper shall divulge your shame.
Cal. What mean'st thou by that paper?
Could he do this? Have I not found him just,
Honest as truth itself? and could he break
The sanctity of friendship? Could he wound
The heart of Altamont in his Calista?
Cal. I thought what justice I should find
Go fawn upon him, listen to his tale,
Thou art perhaps confederate in his mischief,
And wilt believe the legend, if he tells it.
Alt. Oh, impious! what presumptuous wretch
To offer at an injury like that?
Priesthood, nor age, nor cowardice itself,
Shall save him from the fury of my vengeance.
Cal. The man who dar'd to do it was Horatio;
Thy darling friend; 'twas Altamont's Horatio.
But mark me well; while thy divided heart,
Dotes on a villain that has wrong'd me thus,
No force shall drag me to thy hated bed.
Nor can my cruel father's pow'r do more
Than shut me in a cloister: there, well pleas'd,
Religious hardships will I learn to bear,
To fast and freeze at midnight hours of pray'r:
Nor think it hard, within a lonely cell,
With melancholy, speechless saints to dwell;
But bless the day I to that refuge ran,
Free from the marriage chain, and from that
Alt. She's gone; and as she went, ten thou
Shot from her angry eyes; as if she meant
Too well to keep the cruel vow she made.
Now, as thou art a man, Horatio, tell me,
What means this wild confusion in thy looks:
As if thou wert at variance with thyself,
Madness and reason combating with thee,
And thou wert doubtful which should get the
Hor. I would be dumb for ever; but thy fate Hast thou been forging to deceive my father; Has otherwise decreed it. Thou hast seen To turn his heart against his wretched daughter; That idol of thy soul, that fair Calista; That Altamont and thou may share his wealth? Thou hast beheld her tears. A wrong like this will make me ev'n forget The weakness of my sex,-Oh, for a sword, To urge my vengeance on the villain's hand That forg'd the scroll!
Hor. Behold! Can this be forg'd? See where Calista's name
[Showing the Letter near. Col. To atoms thus, [Tearing it. Thus let me tear the vile, detested falsehood, The wicked, lying evidence of shame.
Cal. Henceforth, thou officious fool,
Meddle no more, nor dare, ev'n on thy life,
To breathe an accent that
may touch my virtue.
I am myself the guardian of my honour,
And will not bear so insolent a monitor.
Alt. I have seen her weep;
I have seen that lovely one, that dear Calista
Complaining, in the bitterness of sorrow,
That thou, my friend Horatio, thou has
Hor. That I have wrong'd her! Had be
eyes been fed
From that rich stream which warms her hear
For ev'ry falling tear a drop of blood,
It had not been too much; for she has ruin
Ev'n thee, my Altamont. She has undone the
Alt Dost thou join ruin with Calista's name
What is so fair, so exquisitely good?
Is she not more than painting can express,
Or youthful poets fancy when they love?
Does she not come, like
Alt. Where is my life, my love, my charm-Replete with blessings, giving wealth a
Joy of my heart, and pleasure of my eyes?
Disorder'd!-and in tears!-Horatio too!
My friend is in amaze -What can it mean?
Tell me, Calista, who has done thee wrong,
That my swift sword may find out the offender,
And do thee ample justice.
Cal. Turn to him.
Cal. To that insolent.
Hor. It had been better thou hadst liv'd
And fed on scraps at great men's surly do
Than to have match'd with one so false, so fa
Alt. It is too much for friendship to allow the
Because I tamely bore the wrong thou didst
Thou dost avow the barb'rous, brutal part,
And urge the injury ev'n to my face.
Hor. I see she has got possession of thy he
She has charm'd thee, like a siren, to her bed, Oh, turn your cruel swords upon Lavinia.
With looks of love, and with enchanting sounds: If you must quench your impious rage in blood,
Too late the rocks and quicksands will appear, Behold, my heart shall give you all her store,
When thou art wreck'd upon the faithless shore, To save those dearer streams that flow from
Then vainly wish thou hadst not left thy friend,
To follow her delusion.
Does churlishly deny my love a room,
It is not worth my keeping; I disclaim it.
Hor. Canst thou so soon forget what I've
been to thee?
1 shar'd the task of nature with thy father,
And form'd with care thy unexperienc'd youth
To virtue and to arms.
Thy noble father, oh, thou light young man!
Would he have us'd me thus? One fortune
For his was ever mine, mine his, and both
Together flourish'd, and together fell.
He call'd me friend, like thee: would he have
Thus for a woman, and a vile one, too?
Alt. Thou canst not, darst not mean it!
Say, who is vile; but dare not name Calista.
Hor. I had not spoke at first, unless compell'd,
And forc'd to clear myself; but since thus urg'd
I must avow, I do not know a viler.
All Thou wert my father's friend; he lov'd
A kind of venerable mark of him
Hangs round thee, and protects thee from my
I cannot, dare not lift my sword against thee,
But benceforth never let me see thee more.
Hor. I love thee still, ungrateful as thou art,
And must and will preserve thee from dishonour,
Eva in despite of thee. [Holds him.
Hor. Ifhonour be thy care, if thou wouldst live
Without the name of credulous, wittol husband,
A road thy bride, shun her detested bed,-
The joys it yields are dash'd with poison-
To urge me but a minute more is fatal.
Hor. She is polluted, stain'd—
Alt. Madness and raging!
Hor. Dishonour'd by the man you hate-
Alt. I pr'ythee loose me yet, for thy own sake,
fife be worth thy keeping-
Hor. By Lothario.
Alt. 'Tis well thou hast found a safeguard;
none but this,
No pow'r on earth, could save thee from my fury.
Hor. Safety from thee!
Away, vain boy! Hast thou forgot the rev'rence
Due to my arm, thy first, thy great example,
Which pointed out thy way to noble daring,
And show'd thee what it was to be a man?
Lav. What busy, meddling fiend, what foe
Could kindle such a discord?
Hor. Ask'st thou what made us foes? 'Twas
'Twas such a sin to friendship, as heav'n's mercy,
That strives with man's untoward, monstrous
Unwearied with forgiving, scarce could pardon.
He who was all to me, child, brother, friend,
With barb'rous, bloody malice, sought my life.
Alt. Thou art my sister, and I would not
The lonely mourner of a widow'd bed;
Therefore thy husband's life is safe: but warn him,
No more to know this hospitable roof.
He has but ill repaid Sciolto's bounty.
We must not meet; 'tis dangerous. Farewell.
[He is going, Lavinia holds him.
Lav. Stay, Altamont, my brother, stay;
Alt. It cannot, sha'not be- you must not
Lav. Look kindly, then.
Alt. Each minute that I stay,
Is a new injury to fair Calista.
From thy false friendship, to her arms I'll fly;
Then own, the joys which on her charms attend,
Have more than paid me for my faithless friend.
[Breaks from Lavinia, and exit.
Hor. Oh, raise thee, my Lavinia, from the earth.
It is too much; this tide of flowing grief,
This wondrous waste of tears, too much to give
To an ungrateful friend, and cruel brother.
Lav. Is there not cause for weeping? Oh,
A brother and a husband were my treasure,
'Twas all the little wealth that poor Lavinia
Sav'd from the shipwreck of her father's fortunes.
One half is lost already. If thou leav'st me,
If thou shouldst prove unkind to me, as Al-
Alt. Perdition take thee, villain, for the false-Whom shall I find to pity my distress, [Strikes him. To have compassion on a helpless wanderer, Saw, nothing but thy life can make atonement. And give her where to lay her wretched head? Har. A blow! thou hast us'd me well- Hor. Why dost thou wound me with thy
4. This to thy heart-
Hor. Yet hold-By heav'n his father's in his
Site of my wrongs, my heart runs o'er with
And I could rather die myself than hurt him.
4. Defend thyself; for by much-wrong'd love,
war, the poor evasion shall not save thee.
Har. Yet bold-thou know'st I dare.
ender LAVINIA, who runs between their
Though Altamont be false, and use me hardly,
Yet think not I impute his crimes to thee.
Talk not of being forsaken; for I'll keep thee
Next to my heart, my certain pledge of happiness.
Lav. Then you will love me still, cherish
And hide me from misfortune in your bosom? Hor. But for the love I owe the good Sciolto, From Genoa, from falsehood and inconstancy, To some more honest, distant clime I'd go. Nor would I be beholden to my country, For aught but thee, the partner of my flight. Lav. And I would follow thee; forsake, for thee, Lae. My brother, my Horatio! Is it possible? My country, brother, friends, ev'n all I have