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And made their court to faction by his ruin.
Alt, Oh, great Sciolto ! Oh, my more than father!
Let me not live, but at thy very name,
My eager heart springs up, and leaps with joy.
When I forget the vast, vast debt I owe thee-
Forget! (but 'tis impossible) then let me
Forget the use and privilege of reason,
Be driven from the commerce of mankind,
To wander in the desert among brutes,
“ To bear the various fury of the seasons,
6. The night's unwholsome dew and noon-day's heat,"
To be the scorit of earth and curse of Heav'n !
Hor. So open, so unbounded was his goodness,
It reach'd ev'n me, because I was thy friend.
When that great man I lov'd, thy noble father,
Bequeath'd thy gentle sister to my arms,
His last dear pledge and legacy of friendship,
That happy tie made me Sciolto's son;
He call'd us his, and, with a parent's fondness,
Indulg'd us in his wealth, bless'd us with plenty,
Heal'd all our cares, and sweeten'd love itself.
Alt. By Heav'n he found my fortunes só abandon'd,
That nothing but a miracle could raise 'em : 40
My father's bounty, and the state's ingratitude,
Had stripp'd him bare, nor left him ev'n a grave.
Undone myself and sinking with his ruin,
I had no wealth to bring, nothing to succour him,
But fruitless tears.
Hor. Yet what thou could'st, thou didst,
And didst it like a son; when his hard creditors,
Urg'd and assisted by Lothario's father,
(Foe to thy house, and rival of their greatness)
By sentence of the cruel law forbid
His venerable corpse to rest in earth,
Thou gav’st thyself a ransom for his bones;
With piety uncommon didst give up
Thy hopeful youth to slaves who ne'er knew mercy,
Sour, unrelenting, money-loving villains,
Who laugh at human nature and forgiveness,
And are like fiends, the factors of destruction.
Heav'n, who beheld the pious act, approv'd it,
And bade Sciolto's bounty be its proxy,
To bless thy filial virtue with abundance.
Alt. But see he comes, the author of my happiness,
The man who sav'd my life from deadly sorrow,
Who bids my days be blest with peace and plenty,
And satisfies my soul with love and beauty.
Enter SCIOLTO; he runs to ALTAMONT, and em-
Sci. Joy to thee, Altamont! Joy to myself!
Joy to this happy morn that makes thee mine ;
That kindly grants what nature had denied me,
And makes me father of a son like thee.
Alt. My father! Oh, let me unlade my breast,
Pour out the fulness of
soul before you ; Shew every tender, every grateful thought, This wond'rous goodness stirs. But 'tis impossible, And utterance all is vile; since I can only Swear you reign here, but never tell how much.
“Sci. It is enough; I know thee, thou art honest ;
“ Goodness innate, and worth hereditary
“ Are in thy mind; thy noble father's virtues
Spring freshly forth, and blossom in thy youth. :
“ Alt. Thus Heav'n from nothing rais’d his faint cre-
ation, " And then, with wondrous joy, beheld its beauty, “ Well pleas’d to see the excellence he gave." 8
Sci. O, noble youth! I swear since first I knew thee,
Ev’n from that day of sorrows when I saw thee,
Adorn’d and lovely in thy filial tears,
The mourner and redeemer of thy father,
I set thee down, and seal'd thee for my own :
Thou art my son, ev'n near me as Calista.
Horatia and Lavinia too are mine; [Embraces Hor.
All are my children, and shall share my heart.
But wherefore waste we thus this happy day?
The laughing minutes summon thee to joy,
And with new pleasures court thee as they pass;
Thy waiting bride ev’n chides thee for delaying,
And swears thou com’st not with a bridegroom's haste.
Alt. Oh! could I hope there was one thought of
One kind remembrance in Calista's breast,
The winds with all their wings would be too slow
To bear me to her feet. For, Oh, my father!
Amidst the stream of joy that bears me on,
Blest as I am, and honour'd in your friendship,
There is one pain that hangs upon my heart.
Sci. What means my son ?
Alt. When at your intercession,
Last night, Calista yielded to my happiness,
Just ere we parted, as I seal'd my vows
With rapture on her lips, I found her cold,
As a dead lover's statue on his tomb;
A rising storm of passion shook her breast,
Her eyes a piteous show'r of tears let fall,
And then she sigh’d, as if her heart were breaking,
With all the tend'rest eloquence of love
I begg'd to be a sharer in her grief:
But she, with looks averse, and eyes that froze me,
Sadly reply'd, her sorrows were her own,
Nor in a father's power to dispose of.
Sci. Away! it is the cozenage of their sex ;
One of the common arts they practise on us :
To sigh and weep then when their hearts beat high
With expectation of the coming joy.
Thou hast in camps and fighting fields been bred,
Unknowing in the subtleties of women;
The virgin bride, who swoons with deadly fear,
To see the end of all her wishes near,
When blushing, from the light and public eyes,
To the kind covert of the night she flies,
With equal fires to meet the bridegrom moves,
Melts in his arms, and with a loose she loves. [Exeunt.
Enter LOTHARIO and ROSSANO.
Loth. The father, and the husband!
Ros. Let them pass.
They saw us not.
Loth, I care not if they did ;
Ere long I mean to meet 'em face to face,
And gall 'em with my triumphi o'er Calista.
Ros. You loy'd her once.
Loth. I lik'd her, would have marry'd her,
But that it pleas'd her father to refuse me,
To make this honourable fool her husband :
For which, if I forget him, may the shame
I mean to brand his name with, stick on mine.
Ros. She, gentle soul, was kinder than her father.
Loth. She was, and oft in private gave me hearing ; Till, by long list’ning to the soothing tale, At length her easy heart was wholly mine. Ros. I've heard you oft describe her, haughty, in.
And fierce with high disdain : it moves my wonder,
That virtue, thus defended, should be yielded
A prey to loose desires.
Loth. Hear then, I'll tell thee:
Once in a lone and secret hour of night,
When ev'ry eye was clos'd, and the pale moon
And stars alone shone conscious of the theft,
Hot with the Tuscan grape, and high in blood,
Hap’ly I stole unheeded to her chamber.
Ros. That minute sure was lucky.
Loth. Oh, 'twas great! I found the fond, believing, love-sick maid, Loose, unattir'd, warm, tender, full of wishes; Fierceness and pride, the guardians of her honour, Were charm’d to rest, and love alone was waking. Within her rising bosom all was calm, As peaceful seas that know no storms, and only