« AnteriorContinuar »
3d Sol. How pleasantlv he shared our hardest Vict. (recovering.) Unloose thy hold, and let me toil!
look upon him. Our coarsest food the daintiest fare he made. 0! horrid, horrid sight! my ruin'd Basil! 4th Sol. Ay, many a time, i' the cold damp plain Is this the sad reward of all thy love! has he
0! I have murder'd thee! With cheerful countenance cried, “ Good rest, my (Kneels down by the body and bends over it.) hearts !"
These wasted streams of life! this bloody wound ! Then wrapp'd him in his cloak, and laid him down
(Laying her hand upon his heart.) Een like the meanest soldier in the fie
Is there no breathing here? all still ! all cold. (Rosinberg all this time continues hanging over Open thine eyes, speak, be thyself again,
the body, and gazing upon it. Valtomer now And I will love thee, serve thee, follow thee, endeavours to draw him away.)
In spite of all reproach. Alas! alas ! Valt. This is too sad, my lord.
A lifeless corse art thou for ever laid, Ros. There, seest thou how he lies ? so fix'd, so l And dost not hear my call.pale ?
Ros. No, madam; now your pity comes too late. Ah! what an end is this! thus lost! thus fall’n! Vict. Dost thou upbraid me? 0! I have deserved To be thus taken in his middle course,
it! Where he so nobly strove; till cursed passion Ros. No, madam, no, I will not now upbraid: Came like a sun-stroke on his midday toil,
But woman's grief is like a summer storm,
And play the airy goddess of the day,
Valt. Indeed, my lord, it is too sad a sight. Shall mark the indignant face of Basil's friend, Time calls us, let the body be removed.
And then it will upbraid. Ros. He was-O! he was like no other man! Vict. No, never, never! thus it shall not be.
Valt. (still endeavouring to draw him away.) To the dark, shaded cloister wilt thou go, Nay now forbear.
Where sad and lonely, through the dismal grate Ros.
I loved him from his birth! Thou'lt spy my wasted form, and then upbraid me. Valt. Time presses, let the body be removed. Ros. Forgive me, heed me not; I'm grieved at Ros. What say'st thou ?
Shall we not remove him hence? I'm fretted, gall’d, all things are hateful to me. Ros. He has forbid it, and has charged me well If thou didst love my friend, I will forgive thee; To leave his grave unknown; for that the church I must forgive thee: with his dying breath All sacred rites to the self-slain denies.
He bade me tell thee, that his latest thoughts He would not give offence.
Were love to thee; in death he loved and bless'd Ist Sol. What shall our general, like a very
(Victoria goes to throw herself upon the body but Be laid unhonour'd in the common ground ?
is prevented by Valtomer and Isabella, who No last salute to bid his soul farewell ?
support her in their arms and endeavour to draw No warlike lionours paid ? it shall not be.
her away from it.) 20 Sol. Laid thus ? no, by the blessed light of Vict. 0! force me not away! by his cold corse, heaven!
Let me lie down and weep. 0! Basil, Basil! In the most holy spot in Mantua's walls
The gallant and the brave! how hast thou loved He shall be laid: in face of day be laid;
me! And though black priests should curse us in the If there is any holy kindness in you, teeth,
(to Isab. and Valt.) We will fire o'er him whilst our hands have power Tear me not hence. To grasp a musket.
For he loved me in thoughtless folly lost, Several Soldiers. Let those who dare forbid it! With all my faults, most worthless of his love ; Ros. My brave companions, be it as you will. And him I'll love in the low bed of death, (Spreading out his arms as if he would embrace the In horror and decay.-
Soldiers. They prepare to remove the body.) Near his lone tomb I'll spend my wretched days Valt. Nay, stop a while, we will not move it In humble prayer for his departed spirit: dow,
Cold as his grave shall be my earthy bed, For see a mournful visiter appears,
As dark my cheerless cell. Force me not hence. And must not be denied.
I will not go, for grief hath made me strong.
(Struggling to get loose.) Enter VICTORIA and ISABELLA.
Ros. Do not withhold her, leave her sorrow free. Vict, I thought to find him here, where has he (They let her go, and she throws herself upon the fled ?
body in an agony of grief.)
Victoria shrieks out and falls into the arms of To see her mourn him thus.-Yet I must curse.
Heaven's curses light upon her damned father, Isab. Alas! my gentle mistress, this will kill Whose crooked policy has wrought this wreck! thee,
Isab. If he has done it, you are well revenged,
For all his hidden plots detected are.
And they who travel o'cold winter nights Gauriceio, for some interest of his own,
Think homeliest quarters good. His master's secret dealings with the foe
Jer. He is not far behind ? Has to Lanoy betray’d; who straight hath sent Man.
A little way. On the behalf of his imperial lord,
(To the Servants.) Go you and wait below till he A message full of dreadful threats to Mantua.
arrives. His discontented subjects aid him not:
Jer (shaking Manuel by the hand.) Indeed, my He must submit to the degrading terms
friend, I'm glad to see you here, A haughty conquering power will now impose. Yet marvel wherefore. Ros. Art thou sure of this?
Man. I marvel wherefore too, my honest Jerome: Isab.
I am, my lord. But here we are; prithee be kind to us. Ros. Give me thy hand, I'm glad on't, 0! I'm Jer. Most heartily I will. I love your master: glad on't!
He is a quiet and a liberal man: It should be so ! How like a hateful ape
A better inmate never cross'd my door. Detected grinning, 'midst his pilfer'd hoard,
Man. Ah! but he is not now the man he was. A cunning man appears, whose secret frauds Liberal he'll be. God grant he may be quiet. Are opend to the day! scorn'd, hooted, mock'd! Jer. What has befall’n him? Scorn'd by the very fools who most admired
I cannot tell thee; His worthless art. But when a great mind falls, But faith, there is no living with him now. The noble nature of man's generous heart
Jer. And yet methinks, if I remember well, Doth bear him up against the shame of ruin ; You were about to quit his service, Manuel, With gentle censure using but its faults
When last he left this house. You grumbled then. As modest means to introduce his praise ;
Man. I've been upon the eve of leaving him For pity like a dewy twilight comes
These ten long years; for many times is he
[EXEUNT. Jer. Some, who offend from a suspicious nature,
Will afterward such fair confession make
Man. Yes, some indeed do so: so will not he:
He'd rather die than such confession make.
Jer. Ay, thou art right; for now I call to mind
That once he wrong'd me with unjust suspicion, PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.
When first he came to lodge beneath my roof
And when it so fell out that I was proved DE MONFORT.
Most guiltless of the fault, I truly thought REZENVELT.
He would have made profession of regret. Count Freberg, Friend to De Monfort and Rezenvelt.
But silent, haughty, and ungraciously
He bore himself as one offended still.
Yet shortly after, when unwittingly
I did him some slight service, o’the sudden
He overpower'd me with his grateful thanks,
A noble recompense. I understood
His o’erstrain'd gratitude and bounty well, Countess FREBERG, Wife to Freberg.
And took it as he meant. THERESA, Servant to the Countess.
'Tis often thus. Abbess, Nuns, and a Lay Sister, Ladies, fc.
I would have left him many years ago,
But that with all his faults there sometimes come
As might engage a harder churl than me
To serve him still.–And then his sister too;
A noble dame, who should have been a queen: A LARGE OLD
The meanest of her hinds, at her command,
Had fought like lions for her, and the poor, Jer. (speaking without.) This way,good masters.
E’en o'er their bread of poverty, had bless'd her Enter JEROME, bearing a light, and followed by MANUEL, She would have grieved if I had left my lord. and Servants carrying luggage.
Jer. Comes she along with him ?
But well I knew it would aMict her much,
Which after our departure, as I guess, Man.
Be not disturb'd, good Jerome ; Would fall into her hands, and tell her all. Thy house is in most admirable order ;
What could I do? O 'tis a noble lady!
Jer. All this is strange-something disturbs his
mindBelike he is in love. Man.
No, Jerome, no.
Jer. Here is a little of the favourite wine
(Fills a glass.) De Mon. (after drinking.) I thank you, Jerome,
Alas, my lord! she's dead.
How well, my lord ?
Jer. Hear I not horses trampling at the gate ? | Jer. Wo's me! I thought you would have
grieved for her. He is arrived-stay thou-I had forgot
She was a kindly soul! Before she died, A plague upon't! my head is so confused When pining sickness bent her cheerless head, I will return i'th' instant to receive him.
She set my house in order
[Exit hastily. And but the morning ere she breathed her last, (A great bustle without. Exit Manuel with Bade me preserve some flaskets of this wine,
lights, and returns again, lighting in DE | That should the Lord De Monfort come again MONFORT, as if just alighted from his jour- His cup might sparkle still. (De Monfort walks ney.)
across the stage, and wipes his eyes.) Man. Your ancient host, my lord, receives you | Indeed I fear I have distress'd you, sir ; gladly,
I surely thought you would be grieved for her. And your apartment will be soon prepared.
De Mon. (taking Jerome's hand.) I am, my De Mon. 'Tis well.
friend. How long has she been dead? Man. Where shall I place the chest you gave in Jer. Two sad long years. charge?
Would she were living still : So please you, say my lord.
I was too troublesome, too heedless of her. De Mon. (throwing himself into a chair.) Wher- Jer. O no! she loved to serve you. e'er thou wilt.
(Loud knocking without.) Man. I would not move that luggage till you De Mon. What fool comes here, at such untimely came. (Pointing to certain things.)
hours, De Mon. Move what thou wilt, and trouble me To make this cursed noise ? (To Manuel.) Go to no more.
[Exit Manuel. (Manuel, with the assistance of other Servants, | All sober citizens are gone to bed ;
sets about putting the things in order, and De It is some drunkards on their nightly rounds, Monfort remains sitting in a thoughtful pos- Who mean it but in sport. ture.)
Jer. I hear unusual voices-here they come.
Enter JEROME, bearing wine, &c. on a salver. As he Re-enter Manuel, showing in Count Freberg and his approaches DE MONFORT, MANUEL pulls him by the
LADY, with a mask in her hand. sleeve.
Freb. (running to embrace De Mon.) My dearMan. (aside to Jerome.) No, do not now; he
est Monfort! most unlook'd for pleasure ! will not be disturb'd.
Do I indeed embrace thee here again? Jer. What, not to bid him welcome to my house, I saw thy servant standing by the gate, And offer some refreshment?
His face recall’d, and learnt the joyful tidings. Man.
No, good Jerome. Welcome, thrice welcome here ! Softly a little while: I prithee do.
De Mon. I thank thee, Freberg, for this friendly (Jerome walks softly on tiptoes, till he gets behind
visit, De Monfort, then peeping on one side to see his And this fair lady too. (Bowing to the lady.) face,)
I fear, my lord, Jer. (aside to Manuel.) Ah, Manuel, what an We do intrude at an untimely hour : alter'd man is here!
But now, returning from a midnight mask, His eyes are hollow, and his cheeks are pale My husband did insist that we should enter. He left this house a comely gentleman.
Freb. No, say not so; no hour untimely call, De Mon. Who whispers there?
Which doth together bring long absent friends. Man.
'Tis your old landlord, sir. Dear Monfort, why hast thou so slyly play'd, Jer. I joy to see you here, I crave your pardon-To come upon us thus so suddenly? I fear I do intrude.
De Mon. O! many varied thoughts do cross our De Mon. No, my kind host, I am obliged to thee.
brain, Jer. How fares it with your honour ?
Which touch the will, but leave the memory De Mon.
And yet a strange compounded motive make, Music, and dance, and revelry shall reign; Wherefore a man should bend his evening walk I pray you come and grace it with your presence. To th’ east or west, the forest or the field.
De Mon. You honour me too much to be denied. Is it not often so?
Lady. I thank you, sir; and in return for this, Freb. I ask no more, happy to see you here We shall withdraw, and leave you to repose. From any motive. There is one behind,
Freb. Must it be so? Good night—sweet sleep Whose presence would have been a double bliss :
(To De Monfort.) Ah! how is she? Th noble Jane De Monfort. De Mon. (To Freb.) Good night. (To Lady.) De Mon. (confused.) She is-I have—I left my
Good night, fair lady. sister well.
Farewell! Lady. (to Freberg.) My Freberg, you are heed
(EXEUNT Freberg and Lady. less of respect:
De Mon. (to Jer.) I thought Count Freberg had You surely mean to say the Lady Jane.
been now in France. Freb. Respect! no, madam ; princess, empress, Jer. He meant to go, as I have been inform’d. queen,
De Mon. Well, well, prepare my bed; I will to Could not denote a creature so exalted
[Exit Jerome As this plain appellation doth,
De Mon. (aside.) I know not how it is, my heart The noble Jane De Monfort.
stands back, Lady. (turning from him displeased to Mon.) You And meets not this man's love.-Friends ! rarest are fatigued, my lord; you want repose ;
friends! Say, should we not retire?
Rather than share his undiscerning praise Freb.
Ha! is it so?
With every table wit, and bookform'd sage,
(EXIT. Freb. (shaking his head.) I fear thou hast not, Monfort-Let it pass.
SCENE II.-A SMALL APARTMENT IN JEROME's
HOUSE ; A TABLE AND BREAKFAST SET OUT. We'll re-establish thee: we'll banish pain. I will collect some rare, some cheerful friends, Enter De MONFORT, followed by MANUEL, and seus And we shall spend together glorious hours,
himself down by the table, with a cheerful face. That gods might envy. Little time so spent De Mon. Manuel, this morning's sun shines Doth far outvalue all our life beside.
pleasantly: This is indeed our life, our waking life,
These old apartments too are light and cheerful. The rest dull breathing sleep.
Our landlord's kindness has revived me much; De Mon. Thus, it is true, from the sad years of He serves as though he loved me. This pure air life
Braces the listless nerves, and warms the blood; We sometimes do short hours, yea, minutes strike, I feel in freedom here. Keen, blissful, bright, never to be forgotten;
(Filling a cup of coffee, and drinking.) Which, through the dreary gloom of time o'erpast, Man.
Ah! sure, my lord, Shine like fair sunny spots on a wild waste. No air is purer than the air at home. But few they are, as few the heaven-fired souls De Mon. Here can I wander with assured steps, Whose magic power creates them. Bless'd art Nor dread, at every winding of the path, thou,
Lest an abhorred serpent cross my way, If, in the ample circle of thy friends,
(Stopping short.) Thou canst but boast a few.
Man. What says your honour ? Freb. Judge for thyself: in truth I do not There are no serpents in our pleasant fields. boast.
De Mon. Think'st thou there are no serpents in There is amongst my friends, my later friends,
the world A most accomplish'd stranger: new to Amberg ; But those who slide along the grassy sod, But just arrived, and will ere long depart. And sting the luckless foot that presses them? I met him in Franconia two years since.
There are who in the path of social life He is so full of pleasant anecdote,
Do bask their spotted skins in fortune's sun, So rich, so gay, so poignant is his wit,
And sting the soul-Ay, till its healthful frame Time vanishes before him as he speaks,
Is changed to secret, festering, sore disease,
Man, Heaven guard your honour from such horrid
scath! Freb. I will surprise thee with a welcome face: They are but rare, I hope? I will not tell the now.
De Mon. (shaking his head.) We mark the hollow Lady. (to Mon.) I have, my lord, a small request
eye, the wasted frame, to make,
The gait disturb'd of wealthy honour'd men, And must not be denied. I too may boast
But do not know the cause. Of some good friends, and beauteous country- Man. 'Tis very true. God keep you well, my
lord ! To-morrow night I open wide my doors
De Mon. I thank thee, Manuel, I am very well. 'e fair and gay: beneath my roof
I shall be gay too, by the setting sun.
I go to revel it with sprightly dames,
The air wherein thou draw'st thy fulsome breath And drive the night away.
Is poison to me-Oceans shall divide us ! (Pauses.) (Filling another
and drinking.) But no; thou think'st I fear thee, cursed reptile; Man. I should be glad to see your honour gay. And hast a pleasure in the damned thought. De Mon. And thou too shalt be gay. There, Though my heart's blood should curdle at thy sight, honest Manuel,
I'll stay and face thee still. Put these broad pieces in thy leathern purse,
(Knocking at the chamber door.) And take at night a cheerful jovial glass.
Ha! who knocks there? Here is one too, for Bremer: he loves wine ; Freb. (without.) It is thy friend, De Monfort. And one for Jaques : be joyful all together.
De Mon. (opening the door.) Enter, then.
Enter FREBERG. Ser. My lord, I met e’en now, a short way off, Freb. (taking his hand kindly.) How art thou Your countryman, the Marquis Rezenvelt.
now? How hast thou past the night? De Mon. (starting from his seat, and letting the Has kindly sleep refresh'd thee?
cup fall from his hand.) Who, say'st De Mon. Yes, I have lost an hour or two in thou?
sleep, Ser. Marquis Rezenvelt, an' please you.
And so should be refresh'd. De Mon. Thou liest—it is not so-it is impos- Freb.
And art thou not? sible!
Thy looks speak not of rest. Thou art disturb'd. Ser. I saw him with these eyes, plain as your- De Mon. No, somewhat ruffled from a foolish self.
cause, De Mon. Fool! 'tis some passing stranger thou Which soon will pass away.
Freb. (shaking his head.) Ah no, De Monfort! And with a hideous likeness been deceived.
something in thy face
upon the table, and overturning every Here am I all devoted to thy love:
De Mon. I have no grief: distress me not, my Ser. I surely thought no harm to look upon him.
friend. De Mon. What, dost thou still insist? Him must Freb. Nay, do not call me so. Wert thou my it be?
friend, Does it so please thee well? (Servant endeavours Wouldst thou not open all thine inmost soul,
to speak.) Hold thy damn’d tongue ! And bid me share its every consciousness ? By heaven I'll kill thee! (Going furiously up to De Mon. Freberg, thou know'st not man; not him.)
nature's man, Man. (in a soothing voice.) Nay, harm him not, But only him who, in smooth studied works my lord; he speaks the truth;
Of polish'd sages, shines deceitfully I've met his groom, who told me certainly
In all the splendid foppery of virtue. His lord is here. I should have told you so, That man was never born whose secret soul, But thought, perhaps, it might displease your With all its motley treasure of dark thoughts, honour.
Foul fantasies, vain musings, and wild dreams, De Mon. (becoming all at once calm, and was ever open'd to another scan.
turning sternly to Manuel.) And how Away, away! it is delusion all.
darest thou think it would displease me? Freb. Well, be reserved then; perhaps I'm What is't to me who leaves or enters Amberg ?
wrong. But it displeases me, yea, even to frenzy,
De Mon. How goes the hour? That every idle fool must hither come,
Freb. 'Tis early still; a long day lies before us ; To break my leisure with the paltry tidings Let us enjoy it. Come along with me ; Of all the cursed things he stares upon.
I'll introduce you to my pleasant friend. (Servant attempts to speak—De Monfort stamps De Mon. Your pleasant friend? with his foot.)
Yes, him of whom I spake. Take thine ill-favour'd visage from my sight,
(Taking his hand.) And speak of it no more.
[Exit Servant. There is no good I would not share with thee; And go thou too; I choose to be alone.
And this man's company, to minds like thine,
[Exit Manuel. Is the best banquet feast I could bestow. (De Monfort goes to the door by which they went But I will speak in mystery no more; out ; opens it and looks.)
It is thy townsman, noble Rezenvelt. But is he gone indeed ? yes, he is gone.
(De Mon. pulls his hand hastily from Freberg, (Goes to the opposite door, opens it, and looks : and shrinks back.)
then gives loose to all the fury of gesture and Ha! what is this? Art thou pain-stricken, walks up and down in great agitation.)
Monfort? It is too much: by heaven it is too much!
Nay, on my life, thou rather seem'st offended: He haunts me-stings me-like a devil haunts- Does it displease thee that I call him friend? He'll make a raving maniac of me-Villain! De Mon. No, all men are thy friends.