Abbildungen der Seite

And justice lingers in my lazy hand;
Thus let me wipe dishonour from my name,
And cut thee from the earth, thou stain to gcodness-

[Offers to kill Calista, Altamont holds him.
Alt. Stay thee, Sciolto, thou 'rash father, stay,
Or turn the point on me, and through my breast
Cut out the bloody passage to Calista :

160 So shall my love be perfect, while for her I die, for whom alone I wish'd to live.

Cal. No, Altamont; my heart that scorn'd thy love, Shall never be indebted to thy pity. Thus torn, defac'd, and wretched as I seem, Still I have something of Sciolto's virtue. Yes, yes, my father, I applaud thy justice; Strike home, and I will bless thee for the blow : Be merciful, and free me from my pain; 'Tis sharp, 'tis terrible, and I could curse The cheerful day, men, earth, and heav'n, and thee, Ev'n thee, thou venerable good old man, For being author of a wretch like me.

Alt. Listen not to the wildness of her raving; Remember nature! Should thy daughter's murder Defile that hand, so just, so great in arms, Her blood would rest upon thee to posterity, Pollute thy name, and sully all thy wars.

Cal. Have I not wrong'd his gentle nature much ? And yet behold him pleading for my life! 180 Lost as thou art to virtue, Oh, Calista! I think thou can'st not bear to be outdone; Then haste to die, and be oblig'd no more.

Sci. Thy pious care has giv'n me time to think, And sav'd me from a crime; then rest, my sword; To honour have I kept thee ever sacred, Nor will I stain thee with a rash revenge. But mark me well, I will have justice done ; Hope not to bear away thy crimes unpunished: I will see justice executed on thee, Ev’n to a Roman strictness; and thou, nature, Or whatsoe'er thou art that plead'st within me, Be still ; thy tender strugglings are in vain. Cal. Then am I doom'd to live, and bear your

triumph ? To groan beneath your scorn and fierce upbraiding, Daily to be reproach'd, and have my misery At morn, at noon, at night told over to me, “ Lest my remembrance might grow pitiful, “ And grant a moment's interval of peace;'! Is this, is this the mercy of a father? I only beg to die, and he denies me.

Sci. Hence, from my sight! thy father cannot bear


thee ;

Fly with thy infamy to some dark cell,
Where, on the confines of eternal night,
Mourning, misfortune, cares, and anguish dwell;
Where ugly shame hides her opprobrious head,
And death and hell detested rule maintain;
There howl the remainder of thy life,
And wish thy name may be no more remember'd.

Cal. Yes, I will fly to some such dismal place,
And be more curs'd than you can wish I were ;


This fatal form that drew on my undoing,
Fasting, and tears, and hardship shall destroy;
Nor light, nor food, nor comfort will I know,
Nor ought that may continue hated life.
Then, when you see me meagre, wan, and chang'd,
Stretch'd at my length, and dying in my cave,
On that cold earth I mean shall be my grave,
Perhaps you may relent, and sighing say,
At length her tears have wash'd her stains away;
At length 'tis time her punishment should cease;
Dię, thou poor suff'ring wretch, and be at peace.

[Exit Calista. Sci. Who of my servants wait there?

Enter two or three Servants,
Raise that body, and bear it in. On your lives
Take care my doors be guarded well, that none
Pass out, or enter, but by my appointment.

[Exeunt Servants, with Lothario's body, Alt. There is a fatal fury in your visage, It blazes fierce, and menaces destruction, " My father, I am sick of many sorrows, “ Ev'n now my easy heart is breaking with 'em; " Yet, above all, one fear distracts me most;" I tremble at the vengeance



meditate On the poor, faithless, lovely, dear Calista.

Sci. Hast thou not read what brave Virginius did? With his own hand he slew his only daughter, To save her from the fierce Decemvir's lust, He slew her, yet unspotted, to prevent

The shame which she might know. Then what should

I do? But thou hast ty'd my hand. I wo' not kill her; Yet, by the ruin she has brought upon us, 24® The common infamy that brands us both, She shall not 'scape.

Alt. You mean that she shall die then?

Sci. Ask me not what, nor how I have resolv'd, For all within is anarchy and uproar. Oh, Altamont! What a vast scheme of joy Has this one day destroy'd ? Well did I hope This daughter would have blest my latter days ; That I should live to see you the world's wonder, So happy, great, and good that none were like you. While I, from busy life and care set free, Had spent the evening of my age at home, Among a little prattling race of yours: There, like an old man, talk'd a-while, and then Laid down and slept in peace. Instead of this, Sorrow and shame must bring me to my grave

Oh, damn her! damn her!"

Enter a Servant. Serv. Arm yourself, my lord: . Rossano, who but now escap'd the garden, Has gather'd in the street a band of rioters, 266 Who threaten you and all your friends with ruin, Unless Lothario be return'd in safety. Exit.

Sci. By Heav'n, their fury rises to my wish, Nor shall misfortune know my house alone,

But thou, Lothario, and thy race shall pay me
For all the sorrows which my age is curs’d with.
I think my name as great, my friends as potent,
in the state ;

all shall be summon’d;
I know that all will join their hands to ours,
And vindicate thy vengeance. When our force
Is full, and arm’d, we shall expect thy sword
To join with us, and sacrifice to justice.

[Exit Sciolto. “ Alt. There is a stupid weight upon my senses ; A dismal sullen stillness, that succeeds “ The storm of rage and grief, like silent death, " After the tumult and the noise of life. “ Would it were death, as sure 'tis wond'rous like it, “ For I am sick of living; my soul's pallid, " She kindles not with anger or revenge: Love was th' informing, active fire within: 280 “ Now that is quench’d, the mass forgets to move, “ And longs to mingle with its kindred earth.”

[A tumultuous noise, with clashing of swords,

as at a little distance.

Enter LAVINIA, with two Servants, their swords drawn.

Lav. Fly, swiftly fly; to my Horatio's aid, Nor lose your vain officious cares on me; Bring me my lord, my husband, to my arms;

is Lavinia's life; bring him me safe, And I shall be at ease, be well and happy.

Exeunt Servants. Alt. Art thou Lavinia ? Oh! what barb’rous hand

« ZurückWeiter »