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'Twas a heart-kindling smile, smile of praise- (Music is heard again, and nearer. Geoffry walks Well, musing thus on all my fortunes past,
up and down with a military triumphant step.) A neighbour drew the latchet of my door,
Cit. What moves thee thus ? And full of news from town, in many words Geof. I've march'd to this same tune in glorious Big with rich names, told of this grand procession;
days. E'en as he spoke a faney seized my soul My very limbs catch motion from the sound, To see the princess pass, if in her looks
As they were young again. 1 yet might trace some semblance of her mother. Sec. Cit
But here they come. This is the simple truth; laugh as thou wilt. Enter Count Basil, officers and soldiers in procession, I came not for the show.
with colours flying, and martial music. When they Enter an OFFICER.
have marched halfway over the stage, an officer of the
duke's enters from the opposite side, and speaks to BASIL, Officer to Geof. Make way that the procession upon which he gives a sign with his hand, and the may have room:
martial music ceases; soft music is heard at a little Stand you aside, and let this man have place. distance, and VICTORIA, with a long procession of ladies,
enters from the opposite side. General, &c. pay obei (Pushing Geof. and endeavouring to put another
in his place.)
sance to her, as she passes; she stops to return it, and
then goes off with her train. After which, the military Geof. But that thou art the prince's officer, procession moves on, and exeunt. I'd give thee back thy push with better blows.
Cit. to Geof. What think'st thou of the princess ? Officer. What, wilt thou not give place ? the
She is fair, prince is near:
But not so fair as her good mother was. (EXEUNT. I will complain to him, and have thee caged. Geof. Yes, do complain, I pray; and when thou SCENE II.— A PUBLIC WALK ON THE RAMPARTS OF
dost, Say that the private of the tenth brigade, Who saved his army on the Danube's bank,
Enter Count ROSINBERG, VALTOMER, and FREDERICK.
VALTOMER enters by the opposite side of the stage, and And since that time a private hath remain'd,
meets them. Dares, as a citizen, his right maintain
Valt. O what a jolly town for way-worn soldiers ! Against thy insolence. Go tell him this,
Rich steaming pots, and smell of dainty fare, And ask him then what dungeon of his tower
From every house salutes you as you pass : He'll have me thrust into.
Light feats and juggler's tricks attract the eye; Cit. to Officer. This is old Geoffry of the tenth Music and merriment in every street; brigade.
Whilst pretty damsels, in their best attire, Ofi. I knew him not: you should have told me Trip on in wanton groups, then look behind,
[Exit, looking much ashamed. To spy the fools a gazing after them. Martial music heard at a distance.
Fred. But short will be the season of our ease, Cit. Hark, this is music of a warlike kind.
For Basil is of flinty matter made,
And cannot be alluredTo Sec. Cit. What sounds are these, good friend, 'Faith, Rosinberg, I would thou didst command us. which this way bear?
Thou art his kinsman, of a rank as noble, Sec. Cit. The brave Count Basil is upon his march, Some years his elder too-How has it been To join the emperor with some chosen troops, That he should be preferr'd? I see not why. And as an ally doth through Mantua pass.
Ros. Ah! but I see it, and allow it well; Geof. I've heard a good report of this young soldier. He is too much my pride to wake my envy.
Sec. Cit. 'Tis said he disciplines his men severely, Fred. Nay, count, it is thy foolish admiration And over-much the old commander is,
Which raises him to such superior height; Which seems ungracious in so young a man. And truly thou hast so infected us,
Geof. I know he loves not ease and revelry; That I at times have felt me awed before him, He makes them soldiers at no dearer rate
I knew not why. 'Tis cursed folly this. Than he himself hath paid. What, dost thou think, Thou art as brave, of as good parts as he. That e'en the very meanest simple craft
Ros. Our talents of a different nature are; Cannot without due diligence be learn'd,
Mine for the daily intercourse of life, And yet the noble art of soldiership
And his for higher things. May be attain'd by loitering in the sun ?
Fred. Well, praise him as thou wilt; I see it not; Some men are born to feast, and not to fight; I'm sure I am as brave a man as he. Whose sluggish minds, e'en in fair honour's field, Ros. Yes, brave thou art, but 'tis subaltern Still on their dinner turn
bravery, Let such pot-boiling varlets stay at home, And doth respect thyself. Thou'lt bleed as well, And wield a flesh-hook rather than a sword. Give and receive as deep a wound as he. In times of easy service, true it is,
When Basil fights he wields a thousand swords ;. An easy, careless chief all soldiers love ;
For 'tis their trust in his unshaken mind, But 0! how gladly in the day of battle
O’erwatching all the changes of the field, Would they their jolly bottle-chief desert, Calm and inventive midst the battle's storm, And follow such a leader as Count Basil!
Which makes his soldiers bold.So gathering herds, at pressing danger's call, There have been those, in early manhood slain,, Confess the master deer.
Whose great heroic souls have yet inspired
With such a noble zeal their generous troops, Ros. It is a fair one, though you mark'd it not. That to their latest day of bearing arms,
Valt. I wish some painter's eye had view'd the Their gray-hair'd soldiers have all dangers braved
group, Of desperate service, claim'd with boastful pride, As she and all her lovely damsels passid ; As those who fought beneath them in their youth. He would have found wherewith t'enrich his art. Such men have been; of whom it may be said, Ros. I wish so too; for oft their fancied beauties Their spirits conquer'd when their clay was cold. Have so much cold perfection in their parts,
Valt. Yes, I have seen in the eventful field, 'Tis plain they ne'er belong'd to flesh and blood. When new occasion mock'd all rules of art, This is not truth, and doth not please so well E'en old commanders hold experience cheap, As the varieties of liberal nature, And look to Basil ere his chin was dark.
Where every kind of beauty charms the eye ; Ros. One fault he has ; I know but only one; Large and small featured, flat and prominent, His too great love of military fame
Ay, by the mass ! and snub-nosed beauties too. Absorbs his thoughts, and makes him oft appear 'Faith, every woman hath some witching charm, Unsocial and severe.
If that she be not proud, or captious. Fred. Well, feel I not undaunted in the field ? Valt. Demure, or over-wise, or given to freaks. As much enthusiastic love of glory?
Ros. Or given to freaks! hold, hold, good ValtoWhy am I not as good a man as he ?
mer! Ros. He's form’d for great occasions, thou for Thou'lt leave no woman handsome under heaven. small.
Valt. But I must leave you for an hour or so;
And so will I,
[EXEUNT Valt. Fred, and Ros. Should on the whole a better figure make,
Re-enter ROSINBERG. Than men of higher parts. It is not so;
Ros. I have repented me, I will not go; For some show well, and fair applauses gain,
They will be too long absent.-Pauses, and looks Where want of skill in other men is graceful.
at Basil, who remains still musing without Pray do not frown, good Frederick, no offence :
seeing him.) Thou canst not make a great man of thyself;
What mighty thoughts engage my pensive friend? Yet wisely deign to use thy native powers,
Bas. O it is admirable ! And prove an honour'd courtly gentleman.
Ros. How runs thy fancy? what is admirable ? But hush! no more of this ; here Basil comes.
Bas. Her form, her face, her motion, every thing! Enter Bast, who returns their salute without speaking.
Ros. The princess ? yes, have we not praised her
much ? Ros. What think'st thou, Valtomer, of Mantua's Bas. I know you praised her, and her offerings princess ?
too! Valt. Fame praised her much, but hath not She might have given the treasures of the east, praised her more
Ere I had known it. Than on a better proof the eye consents to. 0! didst thou mark her when she first appear'd ? With all that grace and nobleness of mien,
Still distant, slowly moving with her train ; She might do honour to an emperor's throne; Her robe and tresses floating on the wind, She is too noble for a petty court. (assent.) Like some light figure in a morning cloud ? Is it not so, my lord ?-To Basil, who only bows Then, as she onward to the eye became Nay, she demeans herself with so much grace, The more distinct, how lovelier still she grew! Such easy state, such'gay magnificence,
That graceful bearing of her slender form; She should be queen of revelry and show.
Her roundly spreading breast, her towering neck, Fred. She's charming as the goddess of delight. Her face tinged sweetly with the bloom of youth
Valt. But after her, she most attracted me But when approaching near, she towards us turn'd, Who wore the yellow scarf and walk'd the last; Kind mercy! what a countenance was there! For though Victoria is a lovely woman
And when to our salute she gently bow'd, Fred. Nay, it is treason but to call her woman ; Didst mark that smile rise from her parting lips? She's a divinity, and should be worshipp'd. Soft swell’d her glowing cheek, her eyes smiled But on my life, since now we talk of worship,
too : She worshippa Francis with right noble gifts ! O how they smiled! 'twas like the beams of They sparkled so with gold and precious gems
heaven! Their value must be great ; some thousand crowns. I felt my roused soul within me start,
Ros. I would not rate them at a price so mean; Like something waked from sleep. The cup alone, with precious stones beset,
Ros. The beams of heaven do many slumberers Would fetch a sum as great. That olive branch
wake The princess bore herself, of fretted gold,
To care and misery! Was exquisitely wrought. I mark'd it more, Bas. There's something grave and solemn in Because she held it in so white a hand. Bas. (in a quick voice.) Mark'd you her hand ? As you pronounce these words. What dost thou I did not see her hand,
mean? And yet she waved it twice.
Thou wouldst not sound my knell??
Ros. No, not for all beneath the vaulted sky! For me there is but one of all the sex, But to be plain, thus warmly from your lips, Who still shall hold her station in my breast, Her praise displeases me. To men like you, Midst all the changes of inconstant fortune; If love should come, he proves no easy guest. Because I'm passing sure she loves me well,
Bas. What, dost thou think I am beside myself, And for my sake a sleepless pillow finds And cannot view the fairness of perfection When rumour tells bad tidings of the war; With that delight which lovely beauty gives, Because I know her love will never change, Without tormenting me with fruitless wishes, Nor make me prove uneasy jealousy, Like the poor child who sees its brighten'd face, Bas. Happy art thou! who is this wondrous And whimpers for the moon? Thou art not serious.
woman? From early youth, war has my mistress been, Ros. It is mine own good mother, faith and And though a rugged one, I'll constant prove,
truth! And not forsake her now. There may be joys Bas. (smiling.) Give me thy hand; I love ber Which, to the strange o’erwhelming of the soul,
dearly too. Visit the lover's breast beyond all others;
Rivals we are not, though our love is one. E'en now, how dearly do I feel there may !
Ros. And yet I might be jealous of her love, But what of them ? they are not made for me For she bestows too much of it on thee, The hasty flashes of contending steel
Who hast no claim but to a nephew's share. Must serve instead of glances from my love,
Bas. (going.) I'll meet thee some time bence. And for soft breathing sighs the cannon's roar.
I must to court. Ros. (taking his hand.) Now I am satisfied. Ros. A private conference will not stay thee long. Forgive me, Basil.
I'll wait thy coming near the palace gate. Bas. I'm glad thou art; we'll talk of her no Bas. 'Tis to the public court I mean to go. more ;
Ros. I thought you had determined otherwise. Why should I vex my friend?
Bas. Yes, but on farther thought it did appear Ros. Thou hast not issued orders for the march. As though it would be failing in respect
Bas. I'll do it soon ; thou need'st not be afraid, At such a time-That look doth wrong me, Rosin To morrow's sun shall bear us far from hence,
berg! Never perhaps to pass these gates again.
For on my life, I had determined thus, Ros. With last night's close, did you not curse Ere I beheld—before we enter'd Mantua. this town
But wilt thou change that soldier's dusty garb, That would one ngle day your troops retard ? And go with me thyself? And now, methinks, you talk of leaving it,
Yes, I will go. As though it were the place that gave you birth ; (As they are going Ros. s'ops, and looks at Basil.) As though you had around these strangers' walls Bas. Why dost thou stop? Your infant gambols play’d.
'Tis for my wonted caution, Bas. The sight of what may be but little prized, which first thou gavest me, I shall ne'er forget it! Doth cause a solemn sadness in the mind,
'Twas at Vienna, on a public day ; When view'd as that we ne'er shall sec again. Thou but a youth, I then a man full formid;
Ros. No, not a whit to wandering men like us. Thy stripling's brow graced with its first cockade, No, not a whit! What custom hath endear'd Thy mighty bosom swell'd with mighty thoughts. We part with sadly, though we prize it not: “ Thou’rt for the court, dear Rosinberg," quotb But what is new some powerful charm must own,
thou ! Thus to affect the mind.
“Now pray thee be not caught with some gay dame. Bas. (hastily.) We'll let it pass-It hath no To laugh and ogle, and befool thyself: consequence :
It is offensive in the public eye, Thou art impatient.
And suits not with a man of thy endowments." Ros. I'm not impatient. 'Faith, I only wish So said your serious lordship to me then, Some other route our destined march had been, And have on like occasions, often since, That still thou mightst thy glorious course pursue
In other terms repeated. — With an untroubled mind.
But I must go to-day without my caution. Bas. O ! wish it, wish it not! bless'd be that Bas. Nay, Rosinberg, I am impatient now: route !
Did I not say we'd talk of her no more? What we have seen to-day, I must remember- Ros. Well, my good friend, God grant we keep I should be brutish if I could forget it.
our word ! Oft in the watchful post, or weary march,
[EXEUNT. Oft in the nightly silence of my tent,
End of the First Act.
Note.-My first idea, when I wrote this play, was to
represent Basil as having seen Victoria for the first time Like some delightful vision of the soul,
in the procession, that I might show more perfecily the To soothe, not trouble it.
passion from its first beginning, and also its sudden power Ros. What! midst the dangers of eventful war, over the mind; but I was induced from the criticism of Still let thy mind be haunted by a woman? one, whose judgment I very much respeci, to alter it, and Who would, perhaps, hear of thy fall in battle,
represent him as having formerly seen and loved her. The As Dutchmen read of earthquakes in Calabria,
first review that took notice of this work objected to
Basil's having seen her before as a defect; and, as we are And never stop to cry "alack-a-day!'
all easily determined to follow our own opinion, I have,
upon after-consideration, given the play in this edition, Your third day's march will to his presence bring [third,] as far as this is concerned, exactly in its original Your valiant troops: said you not so, my lord ? state. Strong internal evidence of this will be discovered by any one, who will take the trouble of reading atten- Enter VICTORIA, the Countess of ALBINI, ISABELLA, and uvely the second scenes of the first and second acts in the
Ladies. present and former editions of this book. Had Basil seen
Bas. (who changes countenance upon seeing and loved Victoria before, his first speech, in which he
them.) describes her to Rosinberg as walking in the procession, would not be natural; and there are, I think, other little Yes, I believe-I think I know not wellthings besides, which will show that the circumstance of Yes, please your grace, we march by break of day. his former meeting with her is an interpolation.
Duke. Nay, that I know. I ask'd you, noble The blame of this, however, I take entirely upon myself:
count, the criticc, whose opinion I have mentioned, judged of the When you expect th' imperial force to join. piece entirely as an unconnected play, and knew nothing of the general plan of this work, which ought to have been
Bas. When it shall please your grace-I crave communicated to him. Had it been, indeed, an uncon
your pardonnected play, and had I put this additional circumstance 10 I somewhat have mistaken of your words. it with proper judgment and skill, I am inclined to think Duke. You are not well: your colour changes, it would have been an improvement.
What is the matter?
Bas. A dizzy mist that swims before my sight
A ringing in my ears—’tis strange enough
'Tis slight—'tis nothing worth— tis gone already. SCENE I.-A ROOM OF STATE.
Duke. I'm glad it is. Look to your friend, Count
Rosinberg, The Duke of MANTUA, Basil, ROSINBERG, and a number It may return again.—(To Rosinberg, who stands at of Courtiers, Attendants, &c. The Duke and Basil
a little distance, looking earnestly at Basil. appear talking together on the front of the
Duke leaves them, and joins Victoria's Duke. But our opinions differ widely there ;
party.) From the position of the rival armies,
Ros. Good heavens, Basil, is it thus with thee ! I cannot think they'll join in battle soon.
Thy hand shakes too: (taking his hand.) Bas. I am indeed beholden to your highness,
Would we were far from hence ! But though unwillingly, we must depart.
Bas. I'm well again, thou need'st not be afraid. The foes are near, the time is critical;
'Tis like enough my frame is indisposed A soldier's reputation is too fine
With some slight weakness from our weary march. To be exposed e'en to the smallest cloud.
Nay, look not on me thus, it is unkindly Duke. An untried soldier's is; but yours, my I cannot bear thine eyes.
lord, Nursed with the bloody showers of many a field, The DUKE, with VICTORIA and her Ladies, advance to the And brightest sunshine of successful fortune,
front of the stage to BASIL. A plant of such a hardy stem hath grown,
Duke. Victoria, welcome here the brave Count E’en envy's sharpest blasts assail it not.
Basil. Yet after all, by the bless'd holy cross !
His kinsman too, the gallant Rosinberg. I feel too warm an interest in the cause
May you, and these fair ladies so prevail, To stay your progress here a single hour,
Such gentle suitors cannot plead in vain, Did I not know your soldiers are fatigued,
To make them grace my court another day. And two days' rest would much recruit their I shall not be offended when I see strength.
Your power surpasses mine. Bas. Your highness will be pleased to pardon me; Vict. Our feeble efforts will presumptuous seem My troops are not o'ermarch'd, and one day's rest Attempting that in which your highness fails. Is all our needs require.
Duke. There's honour in th' attempt; success Duke. Ah! hadst thou come
attend ye.-(Duke retires and mires with Unfetter'd with the duties of command,
the Courtiers at the bottom of the stage.) I then had well retained thee for my guest,
Vict. I fear we incommoded you, my lord, With claims too strong, too sacred for denia). With the slow tedious length of our procession. Thy noble sire my fellow soldier was;
E'en as I pass'd, against my heart it went
Your tired troops.--
Ah! madam, all too short! Bas. Were I indeed free master of myself, Time never bears such moments on his wing, Strong inclination would detain me here;
But when he flies too swiftly to be mark'd. No other tie were wanting.
Vict. Ah! sürely then you make too good amends These gracious tokens of your princely favour By marking now his after-progress well. I'll treasure with my best remembrances ;
To-day must seem a weary length to him For he who shows them for my father's sake, Who is so eager to be gone to-morrow. Does something sacred in his kindness bear,
Ros. They must not linger who would quit these As though he shed a blessing on my head.
walls; Duke. Well, bear my greetings to the brave Pis. For if they do, a thousand masked foes ; caro,
Some under show of rich luxurious feasts, And say how warmly I embrace the cause. Gay, sprightly pastime, and high-zested game;
Nay, some, my gentle ladies, true it is,
Bas. (aside, looking after them.) O! The very worst and fellest of the crew,
fool am I! where fled my thoughts? In fair alluring shape of beauteous dames,
I might as well as he, now, by her side, Do such a barrier form to oppose their way
Have held her precious hand enclosed in mice; As few men may o'ercome.
As well as he, who cares not for it neither. Isab. From this last wicked foe should we infer o but he does ! that were impossible! Yourself have suffer'd much?
Albin. You stay behind, my lord. Albin. No, Isabella, these are common words, Bas. Your pardon, madam ; honour me so faTo please you with false notions of your power.
[EXEUNT, handing out Abe So all men talk of ladies and of love. Vict. 'Tis even so. If love a tyrant be,
SCENE II.-A GALLERY HUNG WITH PICTT EIS, How dare his humble chained votaries
VICTORIA discovered in conversation with Rose, To tell such rude and wicked tales of him?
BASIL, ALBINI, and ISABELLA,
Vict. (to Ros.) It is indeed a work of wondrea
art. Whilst he who feels is silent. Ros. But there you wrong me; I have felt it oft. (To Isab.) You call'd Francisco here?
He comes even nos Oft has it made me sigh at ladies' fee
Enter ATTENDANT. Soft ditties sing, and dismal sonnets scrawl. Albin. In all its strange effects, most worthy Vict. (to Ros.) He will conduct you to the nors Rosinberg,
ern gallery ; Has it e'er made thee in a corner sit,
Its striking shades will call upon the eye, Sad, lonely, moping sit, and hold thy tongue ? To point its place there needs no other guide. Ros. No, 'faith, it never has.
(Exeunt Ros. and Attendant. Albin. Ha, ha, ha, ha! then thou hast never (To Bas.) Loves not Count Basil too this charloved.
ing art? Ros. Nay, but I have, and felt love's bondage too. It is in ancient painting much admired.
Vict. Fy! it is pedantry to call it bondage ! Bas. Ah! do not banish me these few short mo Love-marring wisdom, reason full of bars,
ments: Deserve, methinks, that appellation more.
Too soon they will be gone! for ever gone! Is it not so, my lord ?-(To Basil.)
Vict. If they are precious to you, say not so, Bas. O surely, madam!
But add to them another precious day. That is not bondage which the soul inthrallid A lady asks it. So gladly bears, and quits not but with anguish. Bas. Ah, madam! ask the life-blood from my Stern honour's laws, the fair report of men,
heart! These are the fetters that enchain the mind, Ask all but what a soldier may not give. But such as must not, cannot be unloosed.
Vict. 'Tis ever thus when favours are denied;
And still some great unlikely substitute,
And may it long your noble heart enrich,
Nay frame no new excuse ; I take th' ungracious office on myself.
I will not hear it. Vict. How ill thy face is suited to thine office !
(She puts out her hand as if she would shut Ros. (smiling.) Would I could suit mine office
his mouth, but at a distance from it; to my face,
Bas. runs eagerly up to her, and presses If that would please your highness.
it to his lips.) Vict. No, you are obstinate and perverse all, Bas. Let this sweet hand indeed its threat perAnd would not grant it if you had the power.
form, Albini, I'll retire ; come, Isabella.
And make it heaven to be for ever dumb! Bas. (aside to Ros.) Ah, Rosinberg ! thou hast (Vict. looks stately and offended.-Basil kneels.) too far presumed ;
() pardon me! I know not what I do. She is offended with us.
Frown not, reduce me not to wretchedness;
But only grant-
What should I grant to him, Vict. (pointing to a door leading to other apart- Who has so oft my earnest suit denied
ments, by which she is ready to go out.) Bas. By heaven I'll grant it! I'll do any thing: These are apartments strangers love to see: Say but thou art no more offended with me. Some famous paintings do their walls adorn: Vict. (raising him.) Well, Basii, this good proThey lead you also to the palace court
mise is thy pardon.
[Exit Vict. led out by Ros. and followed Since we shall meet again.-
You will perform your word ?