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Enter ALTAMONT.

Alt. Where is my life, my love, my charming bride, Joy of my heart, and pleasure of my eyes. “ The wish, and care, and business of my youth? « Oh, let me find her, snatch her to my breast, “ And tell her she delays my bliss too long, “ Till my soft soul ev'n sickens with desire.” Disorder'd! and in tears!-Horatio too! My friend is in amaze-What can it mean? Tell me, Calista, who has done thee wrong, That my swift sword may find out the offender, And do thee ample justice.

Cal. Turn to him. Alt. Horatio! Cal. To that insolent. Alt. My friend ! Could he do this? He, who was half myself? “ One faith has ever bound us, and one reason “Guided our wills. Have I not found him just, “ Honest as truth itself? And” could he break The sanctity of friendship ? Could he wound The heart of Altamont in his Calista?

Cal. I thought what justice I should find from theel Go fawn upon him, listen to his tale, Applaud his malice, that would blast my fame, And treat me like a common prostitute. Thou art perhaps confederate in his mischief, And wilt believe the legend, if he tells it.

220

Ant. On, impious ! what presumptuous wretch shall

dare
To offer at an injury like that?
Priesthood, nor age, nor cowardice itself,
Shall save him from the fury of my vengeance.

Cal. The man who dar'd to do it was Horatio ;
Thy darling friend ; 'twas Altamont's Horatio.
But mark me well; while thy divided heart,
Doats on a villain that has wrong'd me thus,
No force shall drag me to thy hated bed.
Nor can my cruel father's pow'r do more
Than shut me in a cloister : there, well pleas'd,
Religious hardships will I learn to bear,
To fast and freeze at midnight hours of pray’r:
Nor think it hard, within a lonely cell,
With melancholy, speechless saints to dwell ;
But bless the day I to that refuge ran,
Free from the marriage chain, and from that tyrant,

[Exit Calista. Alt. She's gone; and, as she went, ten thousand fires Shot from her angry eyes; as if she meant Too well to keep the cruel vow she made. Now, as thou art a man, Horatio, tell me, What means this wild confusion in thy looks; As if thou wert at variance with thyself, Madness and reason combating within thee, And thou wert doubtful which should get the better?

Hor. I would be dumb for ever ; but thy fate 240 Has otherwise decreed it. Thou hast seen That idol of thy soul, that fair Calista

man.

Thou hast beheld her tears.

Alt. I have seen her weep; I have seen that lovely one, that dear Calista, Complaining, in the bitterness of sorrow, That thou, my friend, Horatio, thou hast wrong'd her, Hor. That I have wrongd her! had her eyes been

fed From that rich stream which warms her heart, and

number'd
For ev'ry falling tear a drop of blood,
It had not been too much; for she has ruin'd thee,
Ev'n thee, my. Altamont. She has undone thee.

Alt. Dost thou join ruin with Calista’s name?
What is so fair, so exquisitely good ?
Is she not more than painting can express,
Or youthful poets fancy when they love?
“ Does she not come,

like wisdom, or good fortune, Replete with blessings, giving wealth and honour ? “ The dowry which she brings is peace and pleasure, And everlasting joys are in her arms.

260 Hor. It had been better thou had'st liv'd a beggar, And fed on scraps at great men's surly doors, Than to have match'd with one so false, so fatal.

Alt. It is too much for friendship to allow thee. Because I tamely bore the wrong thou didst her, Thou dost avow the barb'rous, brutal part, And urge the injury ev'n to my face.

Hor. I see she has got possession of thy heart; She has charm’d thee, like a syren, to her bed, With looks of love, and with enchanting sounds :

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Too late the rocks and quicksands will appear,
When thou art wreck'd upon the faithless shore,
Then vainly wish thou had'st not left thy friend,
To follow her delusion.

Alt. If thy friendship
Do churlishly deny my love a room,
It is not worth my keeping; I disclaim it.
Hor. Canst thou so soon forget what I've been to

thee? I shar'd the task of nature with thy father, And form’d with care thy unexperienc'd youth 280 To virtue and to arms. Thy noble father, Oh, thou light young man! Wou'd he have us'd me thus ? One fortune fed us; For his was ever mine, mine his, and both Together flourish’d, and together fell. He call'd me friend, like thee: wou'd he have left

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Thus, for a woman,

and a vile one, too? Alt. Thoucanst not, dar’st not mean it! Speak again, Say, who is vile; but dare not name Calista.

Hor. I had not spoke at first, unless compellid, And forc'd to clear myself; but since thus urg'd, I must avow, I do not know a viler. Alt. Thou wert my father's friend; he lov’d thee

well; " A kind of venerable mark of him “ Hangs round thee, and protects thee from my ven

geance.” I cannot, dare not lift my sword against thee,

But henceforth never let me see thee more. [Going out.

Hor. I love thee still, ungrateful as thou art, And must and will preserve thee from dishonour, Ev’n in despite of thee.

[Holds him. Alt. Let go my arm.

301
Hor. If honour be thy care, if thou would'st live
Without the name of credulous, wittol husband,
Avoid thy bride, shun her detested bed,
The joys it yields are dash'd with poison-

Alt. Off!
To urge me but a minute more is fatal.

Hor. She is polluted, stain'd

Alt. Madness and raging! But hence

Hor. Dishonour'd by the man you hate

Alt. I pr’ythee loose me yet, for thy own sake,
If life be worth the keeping

Hor. By Lothario.
Alt. Perdition take thee, villain, for the falsehood!

[Strikes him. Now, nothing but thy life can make atonement.

Hor. A blow ! thou hast us'd me well. [Draws, Alt. This to thy heart

Hor. Yet hold-By Heav'n his father's in his face ! Spite of my wrongs, my heart runs o'er with tender.

321 And I could rather die myself than hurt him. Alt. Defend thyself; for by my much wrong'd

love, I swear, the poor evasion shall not save thee.

F

ness

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