Imágenes de páginas


" Your cruelty has at length determined me, and I have resolv'd this morning to yield a perfect obe• dience to my father, and to give my hand to Alta, ' mont, in spite of my weakness for the false Lothao rio. I could almost wish I had that heart, and that • honour to bestow with it, which you have robb’d

of: Damnation to the rest

[Reads again. . But, Oh! I fear, could I retrieve 'em, I should again « be undone by the too faithless, yet too lovely Lo

thario. 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

upon thee)
Shall droop, and hang his discontented head,
Like merit scorn’d 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 Heavin;



« Then sighing, to his ev'ry care speaks peace,
“ And bids his heart be satisfied with happiness.
« Oh, wretched husband! while she hangs about thee
“ With idle blandishments, and plays the fond one,
Ev’n then her hot imagination wanders,
“ Contriving riot, and loose 'scapes of love;
“ And while she clasps thee close, makes thee a mon-

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 heap'd on us!
Hold, let me take a moment's thought-


Lav. My lord ! Trust me, it joys my heart that I have found you. Enquiring wherefore


had left the company, 341 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, Sooth 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 my lord ?
Hor. Hal saidst thou, my Lavinia ?

[ocr errors]

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 Severely rais'd to Heav'n? The sick man thus, Acknowledging the summons of his fate, Lifts


his feeble hands and eyes for mercy, And with confusion thinks upon his exit.

Hor. Oh, no! thou hast mistook my sickness quite; These paigs are of the soul. Wou'd I had met 361 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 was Horatio's better half, “ Since now you mourn unkindly by yourself, “ And rob me of my partnership of sadness? “ Witness, ye holy pow'rs, 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 nie like a stranger to his heart."

Hor. Seek not to know what I would hide from all, 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; 381
Allow my melancholy thoughts this privilege,
And let 'em 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'd to weep out part of your

I wo' not press to know what you forbid me.
Yet, my lov'd 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.
Evin now the jocund bridegroom waits your wishes,
He thinks the priest has but half bless'd his marriage,
'Till his friend hails him with the sound of joy.

Hor. Oh, never, never, never! Thou art innocent: 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.

400 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 'em are undone; For they are false, luxurious in their appetites, And all the Heav'n 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 lov'd his hour out, he gives place,

And mingles with the herd that went before him.
Lav. Can there be such, and have they peace of

Have they, in all the series of their changing,
One happy hour? If women are such things,
How was I form'd so different from my sex!
My little heart is satisfied with you ;
You take up all her room, as in a cottage
Which harbours some benighted princely stranger,
Where the good man, proud of his hospitality,
Yields all his homely dwelling to his guest,
And hardly keeps a corner for himself.
Hor. Oh, were they all like thee, inen would adore

'em, And all the business of their lives be loving ; The nuptial band should be the pledge of

peace, And all domestic cares and quarrels cease; The world should learn to love by virtuous rules, And marriage be no more the jest of fools. [Exeunt.




A Hall.


Be dumb for ever, silent as the grave,
Nor let thy fond officious love disturb
My solemn sadness with the sound of joy.

« AnteriorContinuar »