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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 ?
Bas. I will perform it.
Gaur. But does the princess know your secret Vict. Farewell, my lord.
aim ? [Exit, with her ladies. Duke. No, that had marr'd the whole; she is a Bas. (alone.) “Farewell, my lord.” 0! what
woman ; delightful sweetness!
Her mind, as suits the sex, too weak and narrow The music of that voice dwells on the ear! To relish deep-laid schemes of policy. “Farewell, my lord!"-Ay, and then look'd she Besides, so far unlike a child of mine,
She holds its subtle arts in high derision, The slightest glance of her bewitching eye, And will not serve us but with bandaged eyes. Those dark blue eyes, commands the inmost soul. Gauriecio, could I trusty servants find, Well, there is yet one day of life before me, Experienced, crafty, close, and unrestrain'd And, whatsoe'er betide, I will enjoy it.
By silly, superstitious, child-learnt fears, Though buť a partial sunshine in my lot,
What might I not effect? I will converse with her, gaze on her still,
O any thing! If all behind were pain and misery.
The deep and piercing genius of your highness, Pain! Were it not the easing of all pain, So ably served, might e'en achieve the empire. E’en in the dismal gloom of after-years,
Duke. No, no, my friend, thou dost o'erprize my Such dear remembrance on the mind to wear
parts ; Like silvery moonbeams on the 'nighted deep, Yet mighty things might be-deep subtle wits I When heaven's blest sun is gone?
In truth, are master spirits in the world. Kind mercy! how my heart within me beat The brave man's courage, and the student's lore, When she so sweetly plead the cause of love ! Are but as tools his secret ends to work, Can she have loved ? why shrink I at the thought ? Who hath the skill to use them. Why should she not! no, no, it cannot be
This brave Count Basil, dost thou know him well? No man on earth is worthy of her love.
Much have we gain’d, but for a single day, Ah! if she could, how blest a man were he ! At such a time, to hold his troops detain's ;
Where rove my giddy thoughts ? it must not be. When, by that secret message of our spy, * Yet might she well some gentle kindness bear; The rival powers are on the brink of action : Think of him oft, his absent fate inquire,
But might we more effect? Knowest thou this And, should he fall in battle, mourn his fall.
That were most dangerous.
And all so hot and fiery is his nature,
The slightest hint, as though you did suppose Ros. Where is the princess ?
Baseness and treachery in him, so he'll deem it, I'm sorry I return'd not ere she went.
Would be to rouse a flame that might destroy. Bas. You'll see her still.
Duke. But interest, interest ; man's all-ruling Ros. What, comes she forth again?
power, Bas. She does to-morrow,
Will tame the hottest spirit to your service,
And skilfully applied, mean service too ;
E'en as there is an element in nature It was impossible I should not yield.
Which, when subdued, will on your hearth fulfil Ros. O Basil ! thou art weaker than a child.
The lowest uses of domestic wants. Bas. Yes, yes, my friend, but 'tis a noble weak
Gaur. Earth-kindled fire, which from a little
spark, A weakness which hath greater things achieved
On hidden fuel feeds his growing strength, Than all the firm determined strength of reason.
Till o'er the lofty fabric it inspires By heaven! I feel a new-born power within me,
And rages out its power, may be subdued, Shall make me twenty-fold the man I've been
And in your base domestic service bound; Before this fated day.
But who would madly in its wild career Ros. Fated, indeed! but an ill-fated day,
The fire of heaven arrest to boil his pot? That makes thee other than thy former self.
No, Basil will not serve your secret schemes, Yet let it work its will; it cannot change thee
Though you had all to give ambition strives for To aught I shall not love.
We must beware of him. Bas. Thanks, Rosinberg ! thou art a noble heart !
Duke. His father was my friend, I wish'd to I would not be the man thou couldst not love
gain him : For an imperial crown.
But since fantastic fancies bind him thus,
The sin be on his head; I stand acquitted, SCENE III.-A SMALL APARTMENT IN THE PALACE. And must receive him, even to his ruin.
Gaur. I have prepared Bernardo for your service; Enter DUKE and GAURIECIO.
To-night he will depart for th’ Austrian camp, Duke. The point is gain’d; my daughter is And should he find them on the eve of battle, successful ;
I've bid bím wait the issue of the field. And Basil is detain’d another day.
If that our secret friends victorious prove,
With th' arrow's speed he will return again ; And to encourage well their infant trade,
grace, For till our friends some sound advantage gain, All this they do most readily allow. Our actions still must wear an Austrian face. Duke. They do allow it then, ungrateful varlets ! Duke. Well hast thou school'd him. Didst thou What would they have? what would they have, add withal,
Gauriecio! That 'tis my will he garnish well his speech, Gaur. Some mitigation of their grievous burdens, With boney'd words of the most dear regard, Which, like an iron weight around their necks, And friendly love I bear bim ? This is needful ; Do bend their care-worn faces to the earth, And lest my slowness in the promised aid
Like creatures form’d upon its soil to creep, Awake suspicion, bid him e'en rehearse
Not stand erect, and view the sun of heaven. The many favours on my house bestow'd
Duke. But they beyond their proper sphere would By his imperial master as a theme On which my gratitude delights to dwell.
Let them their lot fulfil as we do ours. Gaur. I have, an' please your highness.
Society of various parts is formid; Duke.
Then 'tis well. They are its grounds, its mud, its sediment, Gaur. But for the yielding up that little fort And we the mantling top which crowns the whole. There could be no suspicion.
Calm, steady labour is their greatest bliss;
To let them work in peace my care shall be ;
Methinks thou art a pleader for these fools :
Gaur. They were resolved to lay their cause Duke. He's done me service : say not so, Gau
before you, riecio.
And would have found some other advocate Gaur. A traitor's name he will not calmly bear; Less pleasing to your grace had I refused. He'll tell his tale aloud-he must not live.
Duke. Well, let them know, some more conve Duke. Well, if it must-we'll talk of this again.
nient season Gaur. But while with anxious care and crafty I'll think of this, and do for them as much wiles,
As suits the honour of my princely state. You would enlarge the limits of your state, Their prince's honour should be ever dear Your' highness must beware lest inward broils To worthy subjects as their precious lives. Bring danger near at hand : your northern subjects Gaur. I fear, unless you give some special E'en now are discontented and unquiet.
promise, Duke. What, dare the ungrateful miscreants thus They will be violent still return
Duke. Then do it, if the wretches are so bold : The many favours of my princely grace ?
We can retract it when the times allow; "Tis ever thus indulgence spoils the base ;
'Tis of small consequence. Go see Bernardo, Raising up pride, and lawless turbulence,
And come to me again.
[EXIT. Like noxious vapours from the fulsome marsh Gaur. (solus) O happy people! whose indulgent When morning shines upon it.
lord Did I not lately with parental care,
From every care, with which increasing wealth, When dire invaders their destruction threaten'd, With all its hopes and fears, doth ever move Provide them all with means of their defence ? The human breast, most graciously would free Did I not, as a mark of gracious trust,
And kindly leave you naught to do but toil! A body of their vagrant youth select
This creature now, with all his reptile cunning, To guard my sacred person ? till that day
Writhing and turning through a maze of wiles, An honour never yet allowed their race.
Believes his genius form’d to rule mankind; Did I not suffer them, upon their suit,
And calls his sordid wish for territory T'establish manufactures in their towns ?
That noblest passion of the soul, ambition. And after all some chosen soldiers spare
Born had he been to follow some low trade, To guard the blessings of interior peace ?
A petty tradesman still he had remain'd, Gaur. Nay, please your highness, they do well And used the art with which he rules a state allow,
To circumvent his brothers of the craft, That when your enemies in fell revenge
Or cheat the buyers of his paltry ware.
And yet he thinks,-ha, ha, ha, ha She thinks
A sordid being, who expects no faith
But as self-interest binds; who would not trust As best might profit to the country's weal: The strongest ties of nature on the soul,
Deserves no faithful service. Perverse fate! Vict. Am I ungenerous then ?
Yes, most ungenerous : But being as I am, born low in fortune,
Who, for the pleasure of a little power,
Would give most unavailing pain to those,
E'en now, to-day, 0! was it not ungenerous
To fetter Basil with a foolish tie,
[Exit. Vict. What, dost thou think against his will, my
friend? SCENE IV.-AN APARTMENT IN THE PALACE.
Alb. Full sure I am against his reason's will. VICTORIA and ISABELLA are discovered playing at chess; Vict. Ah! but indeed thou must excuse me here ; the Countess ALBINI sitting by them reading to herself. For duller than a shelled crab was she,
Vict. Away with it, I will not play again. Who could suspect her power in such a mind, May men no more be foolish in my presence And calmly leave it doubtful and unproved. If thou art not a cheat, an arrant cheat !
But wherefore dost thou look so gravely on me? Isab. To swear that I am false by such an oath, Ah! well I read those looks ! methinks they say, Should prove me honest, since its forfeiture “ Your mother did not so.” Would bring your highness gain.
Alb. Your highness reads them true, she did not so. Vict. Thou’rt wrong, my Isabella, simple maid ; If foolish vanity e'er soild her thoughts, For in the very forfeit of this oath,
She kept it low, withheld its aliment; There's death to all the dearest pride of women. Not pamper'd it with every motley food, May man no more be foolish in my presence !
From the fond tribute of a noble heart Isab. And does your grace, hail'd by applauding To the lisp'd flattery of a cunning child. crowds,
Vict. Nay, speak not thus,-Albini, speak not In all the graceful eloquence address'd
thus Of most accomplish'a, noble, courtly youths, Of little blue-eyed, sweet, fair-hair'd Mirando. Praised in the songs of heaven-inspired bards,
He is the orphan of a hapless pair ; Those awkward proofs of admiration prize, A loving, beautiful, but hapless pair, Which rustic swains their village fair ones pay!
Whose story is so pleasing, and so sad, Vict. 0, love will master all the power of art!
The swains have turn'd it to a plaintive lay: Ay, all! and she who never has beheld
And sing it as they tend their mountain sheep. The polish'd courtier, or the tuneful sage,
Besides, (to Isab.) I am the guardian of his choice. Before the glances of her conquering eye
When first I saw him-dost thou not remember? A very native simple swain become,
Isab. 'Twas in the public garden. Has only vulgar charms.
Even so; To make the cunning artless, tame the rude,
Perch'd in his nurse's arms, a roughsome quean, Subdue the haughty, shake th’undaunted soul; Ill suited to the lovely charge she bore. Yea, put a bridle in the lion's mouth,
How steadfastly he fixed his looks upon me, And lead him forth as a domestic cur,
His dark eyes shining through forgotten tears, These are the triumphs of all-powerful beauty! Then stretch'd his little arms and call'd me mother! Did naught but flattering words and tuneful praise, What could I do? I took the bantling home Sighs, tender glances, and obsequious service, I could not tell the imp he had no mother. Attend her presence, it were nothing worth :
Alb. Ah! there, my child, thou hast indeed no I'd put a white coif o'er my braided locks,
blame. And be a plain, good, simple, fireside dame.
Vict. Now this is kindly said : thanks, sweet Alb. (raisig her head from her book.) And is,
Albini! indeed, a plain domestic dame,
Still call me child, and chide me as thou wilt. Who fills the duties of a useful state,
0! would that I were such as thou couldst love ! A being of less dignity than she,
Couldst dearly love, as thou didst love my mother! Who vainly on her transient beauty builds
Alb. (pressing her to her breast.) And do I not? A little poor ideal tyranny ?
all perfect as she was, Isab. Ideal too!
I know not that she went so near my heart
As thou with all thy faults.
Vict. And say'st thou so? would I had sooner In others' admiration, begs an alms;
known! Depends on others for her daily food,
I had done any thing to give thee pleasure. And is the very servant of her slaves;
Alb. Then do so now, and put thy faults away. Though oftentimes, in a fantastic hour,
Vict, No, say not faults; the freaks of thoughtO'er men she may a childish power exert,
less youth. Which not ennobles, but degrades her state.
Alb. Nay, very faults they must indeed be call'd. Vict. You are severe, Albini, most severe ! Vict. O! say but foibles ! youthful foibles only! Were human passions placed within the breast Alb. Faults, faults, real faults you must confess But to be curb’d, subdued, pluck'd by the roots !
they are. All heaven's gifts to some good end were given. Vict. In truth I cannot do your sense the wrong Alb. Yes, for a noble, for a generous end. To think so poorly of the one you love.
Alb. I must be gone: thou hast o'ercome me now: Then she look'd so, and smiled to him again. Another time I will not yield it so. [Exit.
(Throwing down his eyes affectedly.) Isab. The countess is severe; she's too severe: Isab. Thou art a little knave, and must be whipp'd. She once was young, though now advanced in years.
[Exeunt. Mirando leading out Victoria Vict. No, I deserve it all; she is most worthy.
SCENE I.-AN OPEN STREET, OR SQUARE. Ne'er to be old till nature's strength decays.
Enter ROSINEERG and FREDERICK, by opposite sides of Some few years hence, if I should live so long, I'd be Albini rather than myself.
Fred. So Basil, from the pressing calls of war, Isab. Here comes your little favourite.
Another day to rest and pastime gives. Vict. I am not in the humour for him now. How is it now ? methinks thou art not pleased. Enter MIRANDO, running up to VICTORIA, and taking
Ros. It matters little if I am or not. hold of her gown, while she takes no notice of him, as Fred. Now pray thee do confess thou art ashamed: he holds up his mouth to be kissed.
Thou, who art wisely wont to set at naught Isab. (to Mir.) Thou seest the princess can't be The noble fire of individual courage, troubled with thee.
And call calm prudence the superior virtue,
Before th’exertions of approaching battle,
Ros. Who told thee this? it was no friendly tale; Isab. And how tall wouldst thou be ?
And no one else, besides a trusty friend, Mir.
Thou dost not know ? Could know his motives. Then thou wrong'st une Just tall enough to reach Victoria's lips.
too; Vict. (embracing him.) 0! I must bend to this, For I admire, as much as thou dost, Frederick, thou little urchin.
The fire of valour, e'en rash, heedless valour; Who taught thee all this wit, this childish wit? But not like thee do I depreciate Whom does Mirando love? (embraces him again.) That far superior, yea, that godlike talent, Mir.
He loves Victoria. Which doth direct that fire, because indeed Vict. And wherefore loves he her?
It is a talent nature has denied me. Mir.
Because she's pretty.
Fred. Well, well, and greatly he may boast his Isab. Hast thou no little prate to-day, Mirando?
virtue, No tale to earn a sugar-plum withal ?
Who risks perhaps th’imperial army's fate, Mlir. Ay, that I have: I kno who loves her To please a lady's freaksgrace.
Go, go, thou’rt prejudiced: Vict. Who is it, pray? thou shalt have comfits A passion, which I do not choose to name, for it.
Has warp'd thy judgment. Mir. (looking slyly at her.) It is—it is—it is Fred. No, by heaven thou wrong'st me! the Count of Maldo.
I do, with most enthusiastic warmth, l'ict. Away, thou little chit! that tale is old, True valour love: wherever he is found, And was not worth a sugar-plum when new. I love the hero too; but hate to see Mir. Well then, I know who loves her highness | The praises due to him so cheaply earn’d. well.
Ros. Then mayst thou now these generous feelVict. Who is it, then ?
ings prove. Isab.
Who is it, naughty boy? Behold that man, whose short and grizzly hair Mir. It is the handsome Marquis of Carlatzi. In clustering locks his dark brown face o'ershades ;
Vict. No, no, Mirando, thou art naughty still: Where now the scars of former sabre wounds, Twice have I paid thee for that tale already. In honourable companionship are seen Mir. Well then, indeed—I know who loves With the deep lines of age; whose piercing eye Victoria.
Beneath its shading eyebrow keenly darts l'ict. And who is he?
Its yet unquenched beams, as though in age
It is Mirando's self. Its youthful fire had been again renew'd,
(look'd, He onward bears; nay, e'en that vacant sleeve Mir. Nay, but I'll show you how Count Wolvar Which droops so sadly by his better side, When he conducted Isabel from court.
Suits not ungracefully the veteran's mien. Vict. How did he look ??
This is the man, whose glorions acts in battle Mir. Give me your hand: he held his body thus; We heard to-day related o'er our wine. (putting himself in a ridiculous bowing posture.) I go to tell the general he is come: And then he whisper'd softly; then look'd so ; Enjoy the generous feelings of thy breast, (ogling with his eyes affectedly.) | And make an old man happy.