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Come, put it off, and let thy heart be cheerful!
Secure against ill-fortune, and the world.
Hor. I am not apt to take a light offence,
Alt. Why are thy eyes
Impatient of me then, scornful, and fierce?
Hor. Because they speak the meaning of my
Because they are honest, and disdain a villain !
When I forget it, may I be a wretch,
Alt. I've wronged thee much, and Heaven has
I have not, since we parted, been at peace,
Pursued me to the last retreat of love,
And be a tame, fond wretch.
Lav. Where wouldst thou go?
Wouldst thou part thus? you shalt not, 'tis im-
For I will bar thy passage, kneeling thus:
And thou shalt trample over my faithful bosom,
Alt. Urge not in vain thy pious suit, Lavinia,
[Falls. [Lavinia runs to him, and endeavours to raise
Lav. Speak to me, Altamont!
He faints! He dies! Now, turn and see thy tri
My brother! But our cares shall end together;
And never see my cruel lord again.
[Horatio runs to Altamont, and raises him in
Hor. It is too much to bear! Look up, my
My stubborn, unrelenting heart has killed him.
Stood glaring like a ghost, and made me cold with Oh! I have urged thy gentleness too far;
Misfortunes on misfortunes press upon me,
Lav. So flowers are gathered to adorn a grave, To lose their freshness amongst bones and rottenness,
And have their odours stifled in the dust.
That gentle, that dear youth! canst thou behold
His poor heart broken, death in his pale visage,
Alt. I will not ask thee
To pity or forgive me; but confess,
Hor. I must hear no more;
Thy weakness is contagious; I shall catch it,
Do thou and my Lavinia both forgive me;
I cannot speak-I love, forgive, and pity thee-
That long cre this her flight had reached the
But thy known voice has lured her back again.
Hor. By Heaven, my heart bleeds for thee;
I feel thy pangs of disappointed love.
SCENE I-A Room hung with black; on one side Lothario's body on a bier; on the other a table, with a skull and other bones, a book and a lamp on it.
Calista is discovered on a couch, in black; her hair hanging loose and disordered. After soft music, she rises and comes forward.
Hear, you midnight phantoms, hear,
From the coverts where you stray,
Chide Calista for delay,
Sci. This dead of night, this silent hour of
Nature for rest ordained, and soft repose;
And drown the voice of law in noise and anar
Amidst the general wreck, see where she stands, [Pointing to Calista. Like Helen, in the night when Troy was sacked, Spectatress of the mischief which she made.
Cal. It is Sciolto! Be thyself, my soul; Be strong to bear his fatal indignation, That he may see thou art not lost so far, But somewhat still of his great spirit lives In the forlorn Calista.
Sci. Thou wert once
Cal. Happy were it had I died,
And never lost that name.
Sci. That's something yet;
Thou wert the very darling of my age:
I thought the day too short to gaze upon thee,
Cal. 'Tis well! these solemn sounds, this pomp That all the blessings I could gather for thee,
Are fit to feed the frenzy in my soul.
Here's room for meditation even to madness; Till the mind burst with thinking. This dull flame
Sleeps in the socket. Sure the book was left
Safe from disquiet sit, and smile to see
Is this that haughty, gallant, gay, Lothario?
Ascend, ye ghosts, fantastic forms of night,
By cares on earth, and by my prayers to Hea
How thy account may stand, and what to answer?
Cal. I have turned my eyes inward upon myself,
Where foul offence and shame have laid all waste;
Therefore my soul abhors the wretched dwelling,
That dwelt in antient Latian breasts, when Rome
Sci. Would it were otherwise but thou must die.
Cal. That I must die, it is my only comfort; Death is the privilege of human nature, And life without it were not worth our taking: Thither the poor, the prisoner, and the mourner, Fly for relief, and lay their burthens down. Come then, and take me into thy cold arms, Thou meagre shade; here let me breathe my last,
Charmed with my father's pity and forgiveness, More than if angels tuned their golden viols, And sung a requiem to my parting soul.
Sci. I am summoned hence; ere this my friends expect me.
Cal. Then spare the telling, if it be a pain, And write the meaning with your poignard here. There is I know not what of sad presage, Sci. Oh! truly guessed-see'st thou, this trem-That tells me, I shall never see thee more; bling hand- [Holding up a dagger. If it be so, this is our last farewell, Thrice justice urged-and thrice the slacken- And these the parting pangs, which nature feels, ing sinews When anguish rends the heart-strings-Oh, my daughter! [Exit Sciolto.
Forgot their office, and confessed the father.
And know the rest untaught!
It is but thus, and both are satisfied.
[She offers to kill herself: Sciolto catches hold of her arm.
Sci. A moment, give me yet a moment's space. The stern, the rigid judge has been obeyed; Now nature, and the father, claim their turns. I've held the balance with an iron hand, And put off every tender human thought, To doom my child to death; but spare my eyes The most unnatural sight, lest their strings crack,
My old brain split, and I grow mad with horror! Cal. Ha! Is it possible! and is there yet Some little dear remain of love and tenderness For poor, undone Calista, in your heart!
Sci. Oh! when I think what pleasure I took
Cal. Now think, thou cursed Calista! now behold
The desolation, horror, blood, and ruin,
How blind with passions, and how prone to evil,
Nothing but blood can make the expiation,
And see, another injured wretch is come,
I bore my load of infamy with patience,
Cal. Oh, Altamont! 'tis hard for souls like
Haughty and fierce, to yield they've done amiss.
Alt. Then happiness is still within our reach.
Cal. What! in death?
Alt. Then, art thou fixed to die?-But be it so; We'll go together; my adventurous love Shall follow thee to those uncertain beings. Whether our lifeless shades are doomed to wander
In gloomy groves, with discontented ghosts; Or whether through the upper air we flit, And tread the fields of light; still I'll pursue thee, 'Till fate ordains that we shall part no more. Cal. Oh, no! Heaven has some other better lot in store
To crown thee with. Live, and be happy long; Live, for some maid that shall deserve thy good
Some kind, unpractised heart, that never yet
Nor known the arts of ours; she shall reward thee,
Meet thee with virtues equal to thy own, Charm thee with sweetness, beauty, and with truth;
Be blest in thee alone, and thou in her.
Hor. Now, mourn indeed, ye miserable pair;
The great, the good Sciolto dies this moment.
Alt. That's a deadly stroke, indeed.
Hor. Not long ago he privately went forth, Attended but by few, and those unbidden. I heard which way he took, and straight pursued him;
But found him compassed by Lothario's faction, Almost alone, amidst a croud of foes.
Too late we brought him aid, and drove them
But at that beauty must of force relented,
Come near, and let me bless thee, ere I die.
Let grief, disgrace, and want be far away;
Let honour, greatness, goodness, still be with him,