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Loth. Does she send thee to chide in her behalf?
I 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 Heaven it is well! such ever be the gifts, With which I greet the man whom my soul hates. [Aside.
But to go on!
Weakness-to-morrow-last trouble-lost Ca-
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 willow,
For she has given her hand to Altamont:
Yet, tell the fair inconstant-
Loth. Nay, no more angry words: say to Calista,
The humblest of her slaves shall wait her plea
Hor. Sure it is the very error of my eyes; Waking I dream, or I beheld Lothario; He seemed conferring with Calista's woman: At my approach they started, and retired. What business could he have here, and with her? I know he bears the noble Altamont Profest and deadly hate-What paper's this? [Taking up the letter. Ha! To Lothario!-'s death! Calista's name! [Opening it. Confusion and misfortunes! Reads it. Your cruelty has at length determined me, ' and I have resolved this morning to yield a per
'fect obedience to my father, and to give my
'hand to Altamont, in spite of my weakness for
the false Lothario. I could almost wish I had
'that heart, and that honour to bestow with it,
'which you have robbed me of:
Damnation! to the rest-
'But, Oh! I fear, could I retrieve them, I should
again be undone by the too faithless, yet too
lovely Lothario. This is the last weakness of
my pen, and to-morrow shall be the last in
which I will indulge my eyes. Lucilla shall
conduct you, if you are kind enough to let me
see you; it shall be the last trouble you shall
meet with from
'The lost CALISTA.
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 even 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 scorned by insolent authority,
And never grace the public with his virtues.
Perhaps even now he gazes fondly on her,
And, thinking soul and body both alike,
Blesses the perfect workmanship of Heaven!
Then sighing, to his every care speaks peace,
And bids his heart be satisfied with happiness.
Oh, wretched husband! while she hangs about
With idle blandishments, and plays the fond one,
Even then her hot imagination wanders,
Contriving riot, and loose 'scapes of love;
And whilst she clasps thee close, makes thee a
What if I give this paper to her father?
It follows, that his justice dooms her dead,
And breaks his heart with sorrow! hard return
For all the good his hand has heaped on us!"
Hold, let me take a moment's thought-
Lav. My lord! Trust me, it joys my heart that I have found Enquiring wherefore you had left the company, Before my brother's nuptial rites were ended, They told me you had felt some sudden illness. Where are you sick? Is it your head? your heart? Tell me, my love, and ease my anxious thoughts, That I may take you gently in my arms, Soothe you to rest, and soften all your pains.
Hor. It were unjust-No, let me spare my friend,
Lock up the fatal secret in my breast,
Nor tell him that which will undo his quiet.
Lav. What means iny lord?
Hor. Ha! saidst thou, my Lavinia?
Lav. Alas! you know not what you make me suffer.
Why are you pale? Why did you start and tremble?
Whence is that sigh? and wherefore are your eyes | He thinks the priest has but half blessed his mar-
Severely raised to Heaven! The sick man thus,
Acknowledging the summons of his fate,
his feeble hands and eyes for mercy,
And, with confusion, thinks upon his exit.
Hor. Oh, no! thou hast mistook my sickness
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 from me?
Why did you falsely call me your Lavinia,
And swear I wss Horatio's better half,
Since now you mourn unkindly by yourself,
And rob me of my partnership of sadness?
Witness, ye holy powers, who know my truth,
There cannot be a chance in life so miserable,
Nothing so very hard, but I could bear it,
Much rather than my love should treat me coldly,
And use me like a stranger to his heart.
Hor. Seek not to know what I would hide from
But most from thee. I never knew a pleasure,
Ought that was joyful, fortunate, or good,
But straight I ran to bless thee with the tidings,
And laid up all my happiness with thee:
But wherefore, wherefore should I give thee pain?
Then spare me, I conjure thee; ask no further;
Allow my melancholy thoughts this privilege,
And let them brood in secret o'er their sorrows.
Lav. It is enough; chide not, and all is well!
Forgive me if I saw you sad, Horatio,
And ask to weep out part of your misfortunes:
I would not press to know what forbid me.
Yet, my loved lord, yet you must grant me this,
Forget your cares for this one happy day;
Devote this day to mirth, and to your Altamont;
For his dear sake, let peace be in your looks.
Even now the jocund bridegroom waits your
Till his friend hails him with the sound of joy. Hor. Oh, never, never, never! Thou art inno
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 The graces, little loves, and young desires, inhabit;
But all that gaze upon them are undone;
For they are false, luxurious in their appetites,
And all the Heaven they hope for, is variety:
One lover to another still succeeds,
Another, and another after that,
And the last fool is welcome as the former;
Till, having loved his hour out, he gives place,
And mingles with the herd that went before him.
Lav. Can there be such, and have they peace
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 soothe me, tell me some dismal tale Of pining discontent, and black despair; For, oh! I've gone around through all my thoughts, But all are indignation, love, or shame, And my dear peace of mind is lost for ever! Luc. Why do you follow still that wandering fire,
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,
Kind as the softest virgin of our sex,
And faithful as the simple village swain,
That never knew the courtly vice of changing,
Sighs at your feet, and wooes you to be happy.
Cal. Away! I think not of him. My sad soul
Has formed 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-omened, 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 Far to be borne, far from the happy Altamont;
For 'tis the solemn counsel of my
Never to live with public loss of honour :
'Tis fixed 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! Scorned by the women,
And pitied by the men! Oh, insupportable!
Luc. Can you perceive the manifest destruc-
The gaping gulf that opens just before you,
And yet rush on, though conscious of the danger?
Oh, hear me, hear your ever faithful creature!
By all the good I wish, by all the ill
Alt. Begone, my cares, I give you to the winds, For from this sacred æra of my love, A better order of succeeding days Comes smiling forward, white and lucky all. Calista is the mistress of the year;
She crowns the season with auspicious beauty, And bids even all my hours be good and joyful.
Cal. If I were ever mistress of such happiness, Oh! wherefore did I play the 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 profane
This thy great festival with frowns and sadness! I swear it shall not be, for I will woo thee
My trembling heart forebodes, let me intreat you, With sighs so moving, with so warm a transport, Never to see this faithless man again;
Let me forbid his coming.
Cal. On thy life
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 labouring 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 showers,
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 wronged enough to arm my temper
Against the smooth delusion; but alas!
That thou shalt catch the gentle flame from me, And kindle into joy.
Cal. I tell thee, Altamont,
Such hearts as ours were never paired above:
Ill-suited to each other; joined, not matched;
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. Even 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 happi
To know none fair, none excellent but thee: If still to love thee with unwearied constancy, Through every season, every change of life,
(Chide not my weakness, gentle maid, but pity Through wrinkled age, through sickness and mis
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 forgiven,
But my relenting heart would pardon all,
And quite forget 'twas he that had undone me.
Luc. Ye sacred powers, whose gracious provi-
Is watchful for our good, guard me from men, From their deceitful tongues, their vows, and flatteries!
Still let me pass neglected by their eyes,
Let my bloom wither, and my form decay,
That none may think it worth his while to ruin
Be worth the least return of grateful love, Oh, 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. Scio. Let mirth go on, let pleasure know ne pause,
But fill up every 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 harmony rouse every gentle passion,
Teach the cold maid to loose her fears in love,
And the fierce youth to languish at her feet.
Begin even age itself is cheared with music;
It wakes a glad remembrance of our youth,
Calls back past joys, and warms us into transport. [Music.
Ah, stay! ah, turn! ah, whither would you fly,
Too charming, too relentless maid?
I follow, not to conquer, but to die;
You of the fearful are afraid.
In vain I call; for she, like fleeting air,
When pressed by some tempestuous wind,
Flies swifter from the voice of my despair,
Nor casts one pitying look behind.
Sci. Take care my gates be open, bid all welcome;
All who rejoice with me to-day are friends:
Let each indulge his genius, each be glad,
Jocund and free, and swell the feast with mirth;
The sprightly bowl shall chearfully 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 powers, that I may see these happy,
[Pointing to Alt. and Cul.
Completely blest, and I have life enough;
And leave the rest indifferently to fate. [Exeunt.
Hor. What if, while all are here intent on re-
I privately went forth, and sought Lothario?
This letter may be forged; perhaps the wanton-
A specious face of innocence and beauty. Oh, false appearance! What is all our sovereignty,
Our boasted power? 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 beguiled her easy lord; Too blind with love and beauty to beware, He fell unthinking in the fatal snare; Nor could believe that such a heavenly face Had bargained with the devil, to damn her wretched race. [Exit.
SCENE II.-The street near Sciolto's Palace.
Enter LOTHARIO and ROSSA NO.
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
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
And any eye that lights by chance on you,
Shall put your life and safety to the hazard.
[They confer aside.
Hor. Still I must doubt some mystery of mis-
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, inactive 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 is here!
Loth. Damnation! He again! This second time
To-day he has crossed 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 my friend,
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 formed, should hide him,
Till he fair answer made, and did me justice.
Loth. Ha! dost thou know me, that I am Lo-
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 displea-
Hor. The brave, it is true, do never shun the light;
Just are their thoughts, and open are their tem
And, with a forged contrivance, blast her virtue? You blame the fair with lies, because they scorn
At sight of me thou fled'st.
Loth. Ha! fled from thee?
Hate you like age, like ugliness and impotence:
Hor. Thou fled'st, and guilt was on thee, like Rather than make you blest, they would die vir
A pilferer, descried in some dark corner,
Who there had lodged, with mischievous intent,
To rob and ravish 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 vengeance, know,
I would not, for this city's wealth, for all
Which the sea wafts to our Ligurian shore,
But that the joys I reaped 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 concealed?
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 a 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 villainous 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;
Who, bred at home in idleness and riot,
Ransack for mistresses the unwholesome stews,
And never know the worth of virtuous love.
Loth. Think'st thou I forged 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.
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 lei-
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 expence, I must not have
(Mark me, young sir her very name profaned.
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 or-
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 uncontrouled pursued,
I would not turn aside from my least pleasure,
Though all thy force were armed to bar my way;
But, like the birds, great Nature's happy com-
That haunt in woods, in meads, and flowery 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 shouldst dare provoke me unchastised?
But henceforth, boy, I warn thee, shun my walks!
If, in the bounds of yon forbidden place,
Again thou art found, expect a punishment,
Such as great souls, impatient of an injury,
Exact from those who wrong them much; even
Or something worse: an injured husband's vengeance
Shall print a thousand wounds, tear thy fair form, And scatter thee to all the winds of Heaven!
Loth. Is, then, my way in Genoa prescribed 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