THE WONDER-WORKING MAGICIAN
By Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Now First Translated Fully From The Spanish In The Metre Of The Original. By Denis Florence Mac-Carthy.
London: Henry S. King & Co., 65 Cornhill, And 12, Paternoster Row. 1873.
Two of the dramas contained in this volume are the most celebrated of all Calderon's writings. The first, "La Vida es Sueno", has been translated into many languages and performed with success on almost every stage in Europe but that of England. So late as the winter of 1866-7, in a Russian version, it drew crowded houses to the great theatre of Moscow; while a few years earlier, as if to give a signal proof of the reality of its title, and that Life was indeed a Dream, the Queen of Sweden expired in the theatre of Stockholm during the performance of "La Vida es Sueno". In England the play has been much studied for its literary value and the exceeding beauty and lyrical sweetness of some passages; but with the exception of a version by John Oxenford published in "The Monthly Magazine" for 1842, which being in blank verse does not represent the form of the original, no complete translation into English has been attempted. Some scenes translated with considerable elegance in the metre of the original were published by Archbishop Trench in 1856; but these comprised only a portion of the graver division of the drama. The present version of the entire play has been made with the advantages which the author's long experience in the study and interpretation of Calderon has enabled him to apply to this master-piece of the great Spanish poet. All the forms of verse have been preserved; while the closeness of the translation may be inferred from the fact, that not only the whole play but every speech and fragment of a speech are represented in English in the exact number of lines of the original, without the sacrifice, it is to be hoped, of one important idea.
A note by Hartzenbusch in the last edition of the drama published at Madrid (1872), tells that "La Vida es Sueno", is founded on a story which turns out to be substantially the same as that with which English students are familiar as the foundation of the famous Induction to the "Taming of the Shrew". Calderon found it however in a different work from that in which Shakespeare met with it, or rather his predecessor, the anonymous author of "The Taming of a Shrew", whose work supplied to Shakespeare the materials of his own comedy.
On this subject Malone thus writes. "The circumstance on which the Induction to the anonymous play, as well as to the present Comedy [Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew"], is founded, is related (as Langbaine has observed) by Heuterus, "Rerum Burgund." lib. iv. The earliest English original of this story in prose that I have met with is the following, which is found in Goulart's "Admirable and Memorable Histories", translated by E. Grimstone, quarto, 1607; but this tale (which Goulart translated from Heuterus) had undoubtedly appeared in English, in some other shape, before 1594:
"Philip called the good Duke of Burgundy, in the memory of our ancestors, being at Bruxelles with his Court, and walking one night after supper through the streets, accompanied by some of his favourites, he found lying upon the stones a certaine artisan that was very dronke, and that slept soundly. It pleased the prince in this artisan to make trial of the vanity of our life, whereof he had before discoursed with his familiar friends. He therefore caused this sleeper to be taken up, and carried into his palace; he commands him to be layed in one of the richest beds; a riche night cap to be given him; his foule shirt to be taken off, and to have another put on him of fine holland. When as this dronkard had digested his wine, and began to awake, behold there comes about his bed Pages and Groomes of the Duke's Chamber, who drawe the curteines, make many courtesies, and being bare-headed, aske him if it please him to rise, and what apparell it would please him to put on that day. They bring him rich apparell. This new Monsieur amazed at such courtesie, and doubting whether he dreamt or waked, suffered himselfe to be drest, and led out of the chamber. There came noblemen which saluted him with all honour, and conduct him to the Masse, where with great ceremonie they give him the booke of the Gospell, and the Pixe to kisse, as they did usually to the Duke. From the Masse they bring him back unto the pallace; he washes his hands, and sittes down at the table well furnished. After dinner, the Great Chamberlain commands cards to be brought with a great summe of money. This Duke in imagination playes with the chief of the Court. Then they carry him to walke in the gardein, and to hunt the hare, and to hawke. They bring him back into the pallace, where he sups in state. Candles being light the musitions begin to play; and the tables taken away, the gentlemen and gentlewomen fell to dancing. Then they played a pleasant comedie, after which followed a Banket, whereat they had presently store of Ipocras and pretious wine, with all sorts of confitures, to this prince of the new impression; so as he was dronke, and fell soundlie asleepe. Hereupon the Duke commanded that he should be disrobed of all his riche attire. He was put into his old ragges, and carried into the same place, where he had been found the night before; where he spent that night. Being awake in the morning, he began to remember what had happened before; he knewe not whether it were true indeede, or a dream that had troubled his braine. But in the end, after many discourses, he concludes that ALL WAS BUT A DREAME that had happened unto him; and so entertained his wife, his children, and his neighbours, without any other apprehension."
It is curious to find that the same anecdote which formed the Induction to the original "Taming of a Shrew", and which, from a comic point of view, Shakespeare so wonderfully developed in his own comedy, Calderon invested with such solemn and sublime dignity in "La Vida es Sueno". He found it, as Senor Hartzenbusch points out in the edition of 1872 already quoted, in the very amusing "Viage Entretenido" of Augustin de Rojas, which was first published in 1603. Hartzenbusch refers to the modern edition of Rojas, Madrid, 1793, tomo I, pp. 261, 262, 263, but in a copy of the Lerida edition of 1615, in my own possession, I find the anecdote at folios 118, 119, 120. There are some slight differences between the version of Rojas and that of Goulart, but the incidents and the persons are the same. The conclusion to which the artizan arrived at, in the version of Goulart, that all had been a dream, is expressed more strongly by the Duke himself in the story as told by Rojas.
"Y dijo entonces el Duque: 'veis aqui, amigos, "Lo que es el Mundo: Todo es un Sueno", pues esto verdaderamente ha pasado por este, como habeis visto, y le parece que lo ha sonado.'"—
The story in all probability came originally from the East. Mr. Lane in his translation of the Thousand and One Nights gives a very interesting narrative which he believes to be founded on an historical fact in which Haroun Al Raschid plays the part of the good Duke of Burgundy, and Abu-l-Hasan the original of Christopher Sly. The gravity of the treatment and certain incidents in this Oriental story recall more strongly Calderon's drama than the Induction to the "Taming of the Shrew". "La Vida es Sueno" was first published either at the end of 1635 or beginning of 1636.
The "Aprobacion" for its publication along with eleven other dramas (not nine as Archbishop Trench has stated), was signed on the 6th of November in the former year by the official licenser, Juan Bautista de Sossa. The volume was edited by the poet's brother, Don Joseph Calderon. So scarce has this first authorised collection of any of Calderon's dramas become, that a Spanish writer Don Vicente Garcia de la Huerta, in his "Teatro Espanol" (Parte Segunda, tomo 30), denies the existence of this volume of 1635, and states that it did not appear until 1640. As if to corroborate this view, Barrera in his "Catalogo del Teatro antiguo Espanol" gives the date 1640 to the "Primera parte de comedias de Calderon" edited by his brother Joseph.
There can be no doubt, however, that the volume appeared in 1635 or 1636 as stated. In 1637 Don Joseph Calderon published the "Second Part" of his brother's dramas containing like the former volume twelve plays.* In his dedication of this volume to D. Rodrigo de Mendoza, Joseph Calderon expressly alludes to the First Part of his brother's comedies which he had "printed." "En la primera Parte, Excellentissimo Senor, de las comedias que imprimi de Don Pedro Calderon de La Barca, mi hermano," etc. This of course settles the fact of the prior publication of the first Part. It is singular, however, to find that the most famous of all Calderon's dramas should have been frequently ascribed to Lope de Vega. So late as 1857 it is given in an Italian version by Giovanni La Cecilia, under the title of "La Vita e un Sogno", as a drama of Lope de Vega, with the date 1628. This of course is a mistake, but Senor Hartzenbusch, who makes no allusion to this circumstance, admits that two dramas of Lope de Vega, which it is presumed preceded the composition of Calderon's play turn on very nearly the same incidents as those of "La Vida es Sueno". These are "Lo que ha de ser", and "Barlan y Josafa". He gives a passage from each of these dramas which seem to be the germ of the fine lament of Sigismund, which the reader will find translated in the present volume.
[footnote] *In the library of the British Museum there is a fine copy of this "Segunda Parte de Comedias de Don Pedro Calderon de la Barca" Madrid, 1637. Mr. Ticknor mentions (1863) that he too had a copy of this interesting volume.
Senor Hartzenbusch, in the edition of Calderon's "La Vida es Sueno", already referred to (Madrid, 1872), prints the passages from Lope de Vega's two dramas, but in neither of them, he justly remarks, can we find anything that at all corresponds to this "grandioso caracter de Segismundo."
The second drama in this volume, "The Wonderful Magician", is perhaps better known to poetical students in England than even the first, from the spirited fragment Shelley has left us in his "Scenes from Calderon." The preoccupation of a subject by a great master throws immense difficulties in the way of any one who ventures to follow in the same path: but as Shelley allowed himself great licence in his versification, and either from carelessness or an imperfect knowledge of Spanish is occasionally unfaithful to the meaning of his author, it may be hoped in my own version that strict fidelity both as to the form as well as substance of the original may be some compensation for the absence of those higher poetical harmonies to which many of my readers will have been accustomed.
"El Magico Prodigioso" appeared for the first time in the same volume as "La Vida es Sueno", prepared for publication in 1635 by Don Joseph Calderon. The translation is comprised in the same number of lines as the original, and all the preceding remarks on "Life is a Dream", whether in reference to the period of the first publication of the drama in Spain, or the principles I kept in view while attempting this version may be applied to it. As in the Case of "Life is a Dream", "The Wonderful Magician" has previously been translated entire by an English writer, ("Justina", by J.H. 1848); but as Archbishop Trench truly observes, "the writer did not possess that command of the resources of the English language, which none more than Calderon requires."
The Legend on which Calderon founded "El Magico Prodigioso" will be found in Surius, "De probatis Sanctorum historiis", t. V. (Col. Agr. 1574), p. 351: "Vita et Martyrium SS. Cypriani et Justinae, autore Simeone Metaphraste", and in Chapter cxlii, of the "Legenda Aurea" of Jacobus de Voragine "De Sancta Justina virgine".
The martyrdom of the Saints took place in the year 290, and their festival is celebrated by the Church on the 26th of September.
Mr. Ticknor in his History of Spanish Literature, 1863, volume ii. p. 369, says that the Wonder-working Magician is founded on "the same legend on which Milman has founded his 'Martyr of Antioch.'" This is a mistake of the learned writer. "The Martyr of Antioch" is founded not on the history of St. Justina but of Saint Margaret, as Milman himself expressly states. Chapter xciii., "De Sancta Margareta", in the "Legenda Aurea" of Jacobus de Voragine contains her story.
The third translation in this volume is that of "The Purgatory of St. Patrick". This, though perhaps not so famous as the two preceding dramas, is intended to be given by Don P. De la Escosura, in a selection of Calderon's finest "comedias", now being edited by him for the Spanish Academy, as the representative piece of its class—namely, the mystical drama founded on the lives of Saints. Mr. Ticknor prefers it to the more celebrated "Devotion of the Cross," and says that it "is commonly ranked among the best religious plays of the Spanish theatre in the seventeenth century."
In all that relates to the famous cave known through the middle ages as the "Purgatory of Saint Patrick", as well as the Story of Luis Enius—the Owain Miles of Ancient English poetry—Calderon was entirely indebted to the little volume published at Madrid, in 1627, by Juan Perez de Montalvan, entitled "Vida y Purgatorio de San Patricio". This singular work met with immense success. It went through innumerable editions, and continues to be reprinted in Spain as a chap-book, down to the present day. I have the fifth impression "improved and enlarged by the author himself," Madrid, 1628, the year after its first appearance: also a later edition, Madrid, 1664. As early as 1637 a French translation appeared at Brussels by "F. A. S. Chartreux, a Bruxelles." In 1642 a second French translation was published at Troyes, by "R. P. Francois Bouillon, de l'Ordre de S. Francois, et Bachelier de Theologie." Mr. Thomas Wright in his "Essay on St. Patrick's Purgatory," London, 1844, makes the singular mistake of supposing that Bouillon's "Histoire de la Vie et Purgatoire de S. Patrice" was founded on the drama of Calderon, it being simply a translation of Montalvan's "Vida y Purgatorio," from which, like itself, Calderon's play was derived. Among other translations of Montalvan's work may be mentioned one in Dutch (Brussels, 1668) and one in Portuguese (Lisbon, 1738). It was also translated into German and Italian, but I find no mention of an English version. For this reason I have thought that a few extracts might be interesting, as showing how closely Calderon adhered even to the language of his predecessor.
In all that relates to the Purgatory, Montalvan's work is itself chiefly compiled from the "Florilegium Insulae Sanctorum, seu vitae et Actae sanctorum Hiberniae," Paris, 1624, fol. This work, which has now become scarce, was written by Thomas Messingham an Irish priest, the Superior of the Irish Seminary in Paris. No complete English version appears to have been made of it, but a small tract in English containing everything in the original work that referred to St. Patrick's Purgatory was published at Paris in 1718. As this tract is perhaps more scarce than even the Florilegium itself, the account of the Purgatory as given by Messingham from the MS. of Henry of Saltrey is reprinted in the notes to this drama in the quaint language of the anonymous translator. Of this tract, "printed at Paris in 1718" without the name of author, publisher or printer, I have not been able to trace another copy. In other points of interest connected with Calderon's drama, particularly to the clearing up of the difficulty hitherto felt as to the confused list of authorities at the end, the reader is also referred to the notes.
The present version of "The Purgatory of Saint Patrick" is, with the exception of a few unimportant lines, an entirely new translation. It is made with the utmost care, imitating all the measures and contained, like the two preceding dramas, in the exact number of lines of the original. One passage of the translation which I published in 1853 is retained in the notes, as a tribute of respect to the memory of the late John Rutter Chorley, it having been mentioned with praise by that eminent Spanish scholar in an elaborate review of my earlier translations from Calderon, which appeared in the "Athenaeum", Nov. 19 and Nov. 26, 1853.
It only remains to add that the text I have followed is that of Hartzenbusch in his edition of Calderon's Comedias, Madrid, 1856 ("Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles"). His arrangement of the scenes has been followed throughout, thus enabling the reader in a moment to verify for himself the exactness of the translation by a reference to the original, a crucial test which I rather invite than decline.
CLAPHAM PARK, Easter, 1873.
* * * * *
THE WONDER-WORKING MAGICIAN.
TO THE MEMORY OF SHELLEY, WHOSE ADMIRATION FOR "THE LIGHT AND ODOUR OF THE FLOWERY AND STARRY AUTOS" IS THE HIGHEST TRIBUTE TO THE BEAUTY OF CALDERON'S POETRY,
THIS DRAMA IS INSCRIBED.
* * * * *
CYPRIAN. THE DEMON. LELIUS, The Governor of Antioch's Son. FLORUS, friend of Lelius. MOSCON, Servant of Cyprian. CLARIN, Servant of Cyprian. THE GOVERNOR OF ANTIOCH. FABIUS, his Servant. LYSANDER, the reputed Father of Justina. JUSTINA. LIVIA, her Maid. A Servant. A Soldier. ATTENDANTS, Soldiers, People.
* * * * *
SCENE—Antioch and its environs.
THE WONDER-WORKING MAGICIAN.
* * * * *
ACT THE FIRST.
A WOOD NEAR ANTIOCH.
Enter CYPPRIAN in a Student's gown, followed by CLARIN and MOSCON, as poor Scholars, carrying books.
CYPRIAN. In the pleasant solitude Of this tranquil spot, this thicket Formed of interlacing boughs, Buds, and flowers, and shrubs commingled, You may leave me, leaving also, As my best companions, with me, (For I need none else) those books Which I bad you to bring hither From the house; for while, to-day, Antioch, the mighty city, Celebrates with such rejoicing The great temple newly finished Unto Jupiter, the bearing Thither, also, of his image Publicly, in grant procession, To its shrine to be uplifted;— I, escaping the confusion Of the streets and squares, have flitted Hitherward, to spend in study What of daylight yet may glimmer. Go, enjoy the festival, Go to Antioch and mingle In its various sports, returning When the sun descending sinketh To be buried in the waves, Which, beneath the dark clouds' fringes, Round the royal corse of gold, Shine like sepulchres of silver. Here you'll find me.
MOSCON. Sir, although Most decidedly my wish is To behold the sports, yet I Cannot go without a whisper Of some few five thousand words, Which I'll give you in a jiffy. Can it be that on a day Of such free, such unrestricted Revelry, and mirth, and fun, You with your old books come hither To this country place, rejecting All the frolic of the city?
CLARIN. Well, I think my master's right; For there's nothing more insipid Than a grand procession day, Half fandangos, priests, and fiddles.
MOSCON. Clarin, from the first to last, All your life you've been a trickster, A smart temporizing toady, A bold flatterer, a trimmer, Since you praise the thoughts of others, And ne'er speak your own.
CLARIN. The civil Way to tell a man he lies Is to say he's wrong:—you twig me, Now I think I speak my mind.
CYPRIAN. Moscon, Clarin, both I bid ye Cease this silly altercation. It is ever thus betwixt ye, Puffed up with your little knowledge Each maintains his own opinion. Go, and (as I've said) here seek me When night falls, and with the thickness Of its shadows veils from view This most fair and wondrous system Of the universe.
MOSCON. How comes it, That although you have admitted 'Tis not right to see the feast, Yet you go to see it?
CLARIN. Simple Is the answer: no one follows The advice which he has given To another.
MOSCON [aside]. To see Livia, Would the gods that I were winged. [Exit.
CLARIN [aside]. If the honest truth were told Livia is the girl that gives me Something worth the living for. Even her very name has in it This assurance: 'Livia', yes, Minus 'a', I live for 'Livi'.* [Exit.
[footnote] *This, of course, is a paraphrase of the original, which, perhaps, may be given as an explanation. "Ilega, 'Livia'. Al 'na', y se, Livia, 'liviana'."
* * * * *
CYPRIAN. Now I am alone, and may, If my mind can be so lifted, Study the great problem which Keeps my soul disturbed, bewilder'd, Since I read in Pliny's page The mysterious words there written. Which define a god; because It doth seem beyond the limits Of my intellect to find One who all these signs exhibits. This mysterious hidden truth Must I seek for. [Reads.
* * * * *
Enter the DEMON, in gala dress. CYPRIAN.
DEMON [aside]. Though thou givest All thy thoughts to the research, Cyprian, thou must ever miss it, Since I'll hide it from thy mind.
CYPRIAN. There's a rustling in this thicket. Who is there? who art thou?
DEMON. Sir, A mere stranger, who has ridden All this morning up and down These dark groves, not knowing whither, Having lost my way, my horse, To the emerald that encircles, With a tapestry of green, These lone hills, I've loosed, it gives him At the same time food and rest. I'm to Antioch bound, on business Of importance, my companions I have parted from; through listless Lapse of thought (a thing that happens To the most of earthly pilgrims), I have lost my way, and lost Comrades, servants, and assistants.
CYPRIAN. I am much surprised to learn That in view of the uplifted Towers of Antioch, you thus Lost your way. There's not a single Path that on this mountain side, More or less by feet imprinted, But doth lead unto its walls, As to its one central limit. By whatever path you take, You'll go right.
DEMON. It is an instance Of that ignorance which in sight Even of truth the true goal misses. And as it appears not wise Thus to enter a strange city Unattended and unknown, Asking even my way, 'tis fitter That 'till night doth conquer day, Here while light doth last, to linger; By your dress and by these books Round you, like a learned circle Of wise friends, I see you are A great student, and the instinct Of my soul doth ever draw me Unto men to books addicted.
CYPRIAN. Have you studied much?
DEMON. Well, no; But I've knowledge quite sufficient Not to be deemed ignorant.
CYPRIAN. Then, what sciences know you?
CYPRIAN. Why, we cannot reach even one After years of studious vigil, And can you (what vanity!) Without study know so many?
DEMON. Yes; for I am of a country Where the most exalted science Needs no study to be known.
CYPRIAN. Would I were a happy inmate Of that country! Here our studies Prove our ignorance more.
DEMON. No figment Is the fact that without study, I had the superb ambition For the first Professor's chair To compete, and thought to win it, Having very numerous votes. And although I failed, sufficient Glory is it to have tried. For not always to the winner Is the fame. If this you doubt, Name the subject of your study, And then let us argue on it; I not knowing your opinion, Even although it be the right, Shall the opposite view insist on.
CYPRIAN. I am greatly gratified That you make this proposition. Here in Plinius is a passage Which much anxious thought doth give me How to understand, to know Who's the God of whom he has written.
DEMON. 'Tis that passage which declares (Well I know the words) this dictum: "God is one supremest good, One pure essence, one existence, Self-sustained, all sight, all hands."
CYPRIAN. Yes, 'tis true.
DEMON. And what is in it So abstruse?
CYPRIAN. I cannot find Such a god as Plinius figures. If he be the highest good, Then is Jupiter deficient In that attribute; we see him Acting like a mortal sinner Many a time,—this, Danae, This, Europa, too, doth witness. Can then, by the Highest Good, All whose actions, all whose instincts, Should be sacred and divine, Human frailty be committed?
DEMON. These are fables which the learned First made use of, to exhibit Underneath the names of gods What in truth was but a hidden System of philosophy.
CYPRIAN. This reply is not sufficient, Since such awe is due to God, None should dare to Him attribute, None should stain His name with sins, Though these sins should be fictitious. And considering well the case, If the highest good is figured By the gods, of course, they must Will what is the best and fittest; How, then, can some gods wish one thing, Some another? This we witness In the dubious responses Which are by their statues given. Here you cannot say I speak of Learned abstractions of the ideal. To two armies, if two shrines Promise give of being victors, One, of course, must lose the battle: The conclusion is so simple,— Need I say it? that two wills, Mutually antagonistic, Cannot lead unto one end. They being thus in opposition, One we must consider good, One as bad we must consider. But an evil will in God Would imply a contradiction: Then the highest good can dwell not Among gods who know division.
DEMON. I deny your major, since These responses may be given, By the oracles, for ends Which our intellectual vision Cannot reach: 'tis providence. Thus more good may have arisen To the loser in that battle Than its gain could bring the winner.
CYPRIAN. Granted; but that god ought not, For the gods are not malicious, To have promised victory;— It would have been quite sufficient, Without this most false assurance, The defeat to have permitted. Then if God must be all sight, Every god should see distinctly With clear vision to the end; Seeing THAT, he erred in fixing On a false conclusion; then Though the deity may with fitness Be divided into persons, Yet His essence must be single In the smallest circumstance.
DEMON. It was needful for this business, That the oracle should rouse The two hosts alike.
CYPRIAN. If fitting, There were genii that could rouse them (Good and bad, as they're distinguished By the learned), who are, in fact, Spirits who among us mingle, And who good and evil acts, Evil thoughts, suggest and whisper, A convincing argument For the immortal soul's existence: Of these ministers could God Have made use, nor thus exhibit He was capable of a lie To effect his ends?
DEMON. Consider, That these seeming contradictions Cannot our firm faith diminish In the oneness of the gods, If in things of higher import They know naught of dissonance. Take man's wondrous frame, for instance, Surely that majestic structure Once conception doth exhibit.
CYPRIAN. If man's maker then were one He some vantage must have given him O'er the others; and if they All are equal,—'tis admitted That they are so, from the fact Of their mutual opposition To each other,—when the thought Of creating man was hinted By one god, another could Say, "No, no, I do not wish it." Then if God must be all hands, Time might come when they would differ, One creating, one undoing, Ere the other's work was finished, Since the power of each was equal, But unequal were their wishes. Which of these two powers would conquer?
DEMON. On impossible and false issues There can be no argument;— But your premises admitting, Say what then?
CYPRIAN. That there must be One sole God, all hands, all vision, Good Supreme, supreme in grace, One who cannot err, omniscient, One the highest, none can equal, Not beginning, yet the Beginner, One pure essence, one sole substance, One wise worker, ozone sole willer;— And though He in one or two Or more persons be distinguished, Yet the sovereign Deity Must be one, sublime and single, The first cause of every cause, The first germ of all existence.
DEMON. How can I deny so clear, [They rise. So conclusive a position?
CYPRIAN. Do you feel it?
DEMON. Who would not Feel to find another quicker In the rivalry of wit?— And though I am not deficient In an answer, I restrain it, Hearing steps approaching hither Through the wood; besides 'tis time I proceeded to the city.
CYPRIAN. Go in peace.
DEMON. Remain in peace.— [Aside. So involved in study IS he, That I now must wean him from it, Weaving round him the bewitchment Of rare beauty. Since I have leave To attempt my fires to kindle In Justina's breast, one stroke, Thus, two vengeances shall give me. [Exit.
CYPRIAN. Never saw I such a man. But since still my people linger, I, the cause of so much doubt, Will now strive to reconsider.
[He resumes his reading, without perceiving the approach of those who enter.
* * * * *
Enter LELIUS and FLORUS.—CYPRIAN.
LELIUS. Further let us not proceed; For these rocks, these boughs so thickly Interwoven, that the sun Cannot even find admittance, Shall be the sole witnesses Of our duel.
FLORUS. Then, this instant Draw your sword; for here are deeds, If in words elsewhere we've striven.
LELIUS. Yes, I know that in the field, While the tongue is mute, the glitter Of the sword speaks thus. [They fight.
CYPRIAN. What's this? Hold, good Florus! Lelius, listen!— Here until your rage is calmed, Even unarmed I stand betwixt ye.
LELIUS. Thus to interrupt my vengeance, Whence, O Cyprian, have you risen Like a spectre?
FLORUS. A wild wood-god, Have you from these tree-trunks issued?
* * * * *
Enter MOSCON and CLARIN.
MOSCON. Yonder, where we left our master, I hear sword-strokes; run, run quickly.
CLARIN. Well, except to run away, I am anything but nimble;— Truly a retiring person.
MOSCON and CLARIN. Sir....
CYPRIAN. No more: your gabble irks me.— How? What's this? Two noble friends, Who in blood, in birth, in lineage, Are to-day of Antioch all Its expectancy, the city's Eye of fashion, one the son Of the Governor, of the princely House Colalto, one the heir, Thus to peril, as of little Value, two such precious lives To their country and their kindred?
LELIUS. Cyprian, although respect Which on many grounds I give thee, Holds my sword suspended thus In due deference for an instant,— To the scabbard's calm repose It hath got no power to win it. Thou of science knowest more, Than the duel, pretermitting This, that when two nobles meet In the field, no power can link them Friends again, save this, that one Must his life give as a victim.
FLORUS. This I also say, and ask thee, With thy people, that thou quittest, Leaving us to end our quarrel Without any help or hindrance.
CYPRIAN. Though it seems to you my calling Makes me know the laws but little Of the duel—that strict code Valour and vain pride have written, You are wrong, for I was born With the obligations fitting Rank like yours, to know in truth Infamy and honour's limits. The devotion to my studies Has my courage not diminished, For they oftentimes shake hands Arms and letters as though kinsmen. If to meet here in the field Was the quarrel's first condition, Having met and fought, its lies Calumny can never whisper. And the cause you thus can tell me Of the feud that brings you hither; For I promise, if, on hearing What to me is thus committed, I perceive that satisfaction Must on either side be given, Here to leave you both alone, Unobserved by any witness.
LELIUS. Then on this condition solely, That you leave us, when the bitter Truth is told, to end our quarrel, I to tell the cause am willing. I a certain lady love, The same lady as his mistress Florus also loves; now see, How incompatible are our wishes!— Since betwixt two jealous nobles No mediation is admitted.
FLORUS. I this lady love so much, That the sunlight I would hinder From beholding her sweet face. Since then all interposition Is in vain, pray stand aside, And our quarrel let us finish.
CYPRIAN. Stay, for one more thing I'd know. Tell me this of your fair mistress, Is she possible to your hopes, Or impossible to your wishes?—
LELIUS. Oh: she is so good and wise, That if even the sun enkindled Jealousy in the heart of Florus, It was jealousy pure and simple, Without cause, for even the sun Dare not look upon her visage.
CYPRIAN. Would you marry with her, then?
FLORUS. This is all my heart's ambition.
CYPRIAN. And would you?
LELIUS. Ah, would to heaven, I were destined for such blisses!— For although she's very poor, Virtue dowers her with its riches.
CYPRIAN. If you both aspire to wed her, Is it not an act most wicked, Most unworthy, thus beforehand Her unspotted fame to injure? What will say the world, if one Of you two shall marry with her After having killed the other For her sake? The supposition Is not probable in fact, To imagine it is sufficient. I by no means say you should Each your chances try to win her At one time, for I would blush Such a craven proposition Came from me, because the lover Who could keep his jealousy hidden, Would condone even shame thereafter, Were the opportunity given; But I say that you should learn Which of you it is your mistress Gives the preference to, then....
LELIUS. Stay!— For it were an act too timid, Too faint-hearted thus to ask Of a lady such admission As the choosing him or me. For if me she chose, more fixed Is my call for satisfaction; For his fault has this addition, He loves one who loves but me. If to him the choice is given, This intensifies my anger All the more, that she, my mistress, Whom I love, should love another. Her selection could do little In the matter, which at last To our swords should be committed,— The accepted for his honour, The refused for his dismissal.
FLORUS. I confess that I adopt Altogether that opinion, Still the privilege of selection May to ladies be permitted; So to-day I mean to ask her Of her father. 'Tis sufficient To have come here to the field, And my naked sword uplifted, (Specially as one is by Who the further fight resisteth,) For my honour;—so to sheathe, Lelius, my sword I'm willing. [Sheathes his sword.
LELIUS. By your argument and action, Florus, you have half convinced me; I forego the remaining half— True or false, I thus act with you. [Sheathes his sword. I to-day will seek her father.
CYPRIAN. On, of course, the supposition, That this lady you pay court to Suffers naught by the admission, Since you both have spoken proudly Of her virtue and her strictness, Tell me who she is; for I, Who am held throughout the city In esteem, would for you both Speak to her at first a little That she thus may be prepared When her father tells your wishes.
LELIUS. You are right.
CYPRIAN. Her name?
FLORUS. Justina, Daughter of Lysander.
CYPRIAN. Little, Now that I have heard her name, Seem the praises you have given her; She is virtuous as she's noble. Instantly I'll pay my visit.
FLORUS [aside]. May heaven grant that in my favour Her cold heart be moved to pity! [Exit.
LELIUS. Love, my hopes with laurels crown When they are to her submitted! [Exit.
CYPRIAN. Further mischief or misfortune, Grant me, heaven, that I may hinder! [Exit.
* * * * *
MOSCON. Has your worship heard our master Now is gone to pay a visit To Justina?
CLARIN. Yes, my lord. But what matter if he didn't?
MOSCON. Matter quite enough, your worship; He has no business there.
CLARIN. Why, prithee?
MOSCON. Why? because I die for Livia, Who is maid to this Justina, And I wouldn't have even the sun Get a glimpse of her through the window.
CLARIN. Well, that's good; but, for a lady, To contend were worse than silly, Whom I mean to make my wife.
MOSCON. Excellent, faith! the fancy tickles Quite my fancy. Let her say Who it is that annoys or nicks her To a nicety. Let's go see her, And she'll choose.
CLARIN. A good idea!— Though I fear she'll pitch on you.
MOSCON. Have you then that wise suspicion?
CLARIN. Yes; for always these same Livias Choose the worst, th'ungrateful minxes.* [Exeunt.
[footnote] *The 'asonante' versification in 'i-e', which has been kept up through these six scenes, ends here. The seventh scene commences in rhymed five-line stanzas, which change to the asonante in e-e, at the beginning of Lysander's long speech.
* * * * *
A HALL IN THE HOUSE OF LYSANDER.
Enter JUSTINA and LYSANDER.
JUSTINA. Consolation, sir, is vain, After what I've seen to-day: The whole city, madly gay, Error-blinded and insane, Consecrating shrine and fane To an image, which I know, Cannot be a god, although Some demoniac power may pass, Making breathe the silent brass As a proof that it is so.
LYSANDER. Fair Justina, thou indeed, Wert not who thou art, if thou Didst not weep as thou dost now, Didst not in thy pure heart bleed For what Christ's divinest creed Suffers on this sinful day.
JUSTINA. Thus my lineage I display:— For thy child I could not be, Could I without weeping see This idolatrous display.
LYSANDER. Ah, my good, my gentle maid! Thou art not my daughter, no, 'Twere too happy, if 'twere so. But, O God! what's this I've said?— My life's secret is betrayed! 'Twas my soul that spoke aloud.
JUSTINA. What do you say, sir?
LYSANDER. Oh! a crowd Of old thoughts my heart hath stirred.
JUSTINA. Many times methought I heard What but now you have avowed, And yet never wished to hear, At the risk perchance of paining, A more accurate explaining Of your sorrow and my fear; But since now it doth appear Right that I should be possess'd Of the whole truth half confess'd, Let me say, though bold appearing,— Trust your secret to my hearing, Since it hath escaped your breast.
LYSANDER. Ah! Justina, I have long Kept this secret from your ears, Fearing from your tender years That the telling might be wrong; But now seeing you are strong, Firm in thought, in action brave, Seeing too, that with this stave, I go creeping o'er the ground, Rapping with a hollow sound At the portals of the grave, Knowing that my time is brief, I would not here leave you, no, In your ignorance; I owe My own peace, too, this relief: Then attentive to my grief Let your pleasure list.
JUSTINA. A fear Struggles in my breast.
LYSANDER. Severe Is the test my duty pays.
JUSTINA. From this most perplexing maze Oh, sir, rescue me.
LYSANDER. Then hear. I, most beautiful Justina, Am Lysander.... This commencement With my name need not surprise you; For though known to you already, It is right, for all that follows, That it should be well remembered, Since of me you know no more Than what this my name presenteth. Yes, I am Lysander, son Of that city which on Seven Hills a hydra seems of stone, Since it seven proud heads erecteth; Of that city now the seat Of the mighty Roman empire, Cradle of Christ's wider realm,— Boon that Rome alone could merit. There of poor and humble parents I was born, if "poor" expresses Well their rank who left behind them Virtues, not vain earthly treasures. Both of them by birth were Christians, Joyful both to be descended From brave sires who with their blood Happily life's page had reddened, Terminating the dull scroll With death's bright emblazoned letters. In the Christian faith well grounded I grew up, and so well learnt it, That I would, in its defence, Even a thousand lives surrender. I was young still, when to Rome, In disguise and ill attended, Came our good Pope Alexander, Who then prudently directed The high apostolic see, Though its place there was not settled; For, as the despotic power Of the stern and cruel gentiles Satisfies its thirst with blood From the martyrs' veins that shed it, So must still the primitive church Keep concealed its sons and servants; Not that they decline to die, Not that martyrdom is dreaded But that rebel rage should not, At one stroke, one hour of vengeance, Triumph o'er the ruined church, So that no one should be left it Who could preach and teach the word, Who could catechise the gentile. Alexander being in Rome, I was secretly presented To him there, and from his hand Which was graciously extended, With his blessing I received Holy Orders, which the seraphs Well might envy me, since man Only such an honour merits. Alexander, as my mission, Unto Antioch then sent me, Where the law of Christ in secret I should preach. With glad contentment I obeyed, and at their mercy, Through so many nations wending, Came at length to Antioch; And when I, these hills ascending, Saw beneath me in the valley All its golden towers and temples, The sun failed me, and down sinking Drew with him the day, presenting For my solace a companion, And a substitute for his presence In the light of stars, a pledge That he'd soon return to bless me. With the sun I lost my way, And then wandering dejected Through the windings of the forest, Found me in the dim recesses Of a natural bower, wherein Even the numerous rays that trembled Downward from each living torch Could in noways find an entrance, For to black clouds turned the leaves That by day were green with freshness. Here arranging to await The new sun's reviving presence, Giving fancy that full scope, That wide range which it possesses, I in solitude indulged Many and many a deep reflection. Thus absorbed was I in thought When there came to me the echo Of a sigh half heard, for half To its owner retroverted. Then collecting in mine ear All my senses joined together, I again heard more distinctly That weak cry, that faint expression, That mute idiom of the sad, Since by it they're comprehended. From a woman came that groan To whose sigh so low and gentle Followed a man's deeper voice, Who thus speaking low addressed her: "Thou first stain of noblest blood By my hands this moment perish, Ere thou meetest with thy death 'Neath the hands of infamous headsmen."— Then the hapless woman said In a voice that sobbed and trembled, "Ah, lament for thine own blood, But for me do not lament thee!"— I attempted then to reach them, That the stroke might be prevented, But I could not, since the voices At that moment ceased and ended, And a horseman rode away 'Mong the tree-trunks undetected. Loadstone of my deep compassion Was that voice which still exerted All its failing powers to speak Amid groans and tears this sentence,— "Dying innocent and a Christian I a martyr's death may merit."— Following the polar-star Of the voice, I came directly Where the gloom revealed a woman, Though I could not well observe her, Who in life's despairing struggle, Hand to hand with death contended. Scarcely was I heard, when she Summoning up her strength addressed me,— "Blood-stained murderer mine, come back, Nor in this last hour desert me Of my life."—"I am," said I, "Only one whom chance hath sent here, Guided it may be by heaven, To assist you in this dreadful Hour of trial."—"Vain," she said, "Is the favour that your mercy Offers to my life, for see, Drop by drop the life-stream ebbeth, Let this hapless one enjoy it, Who it seems that heaven intendeth, Being born upon my grave, All my miseries should inherit."— So she died, and then I...
* * * * *
LIVIA, JUSTINA, and LYSANDER.
LIVIA. Sir, The same tradesman who so presses To be paid, comes here to seek you, By the magistrate attended. That you were not in, I told him: By that door you have an exit.
JUSTINA. This untimely interruption By their coming, how it frets me! For upon your tragic story Life, soul, reason, all depended!— But retire, sir, lest the justice Should here meet you, if he enters.
LYSANDER. Ah! with what indignities Poverty must be contented! [Exit.
JUSTINA. They are coming here, no doubt, Outside I can hear some persons.
LIVIA. No, they are not they. I see It is Cyprian.
JUSTINA. How? what sendeth Cyprian here?
* * * * *
Enter CYPRIAN, CLARIN, and MOSCON.
CYPRIAN. A wish to serve you Is the sole cause of my presence. For on seeing the officials Issuing from your house, the friendship Which I owe unto Lysander Made me bold herein to enter; But to know ([Aside.] Disturbed, bewildered Am I.) if by chance ([Aside.] What gelid Frost is freezing up my veins!) I in any way could help you. ([Aside.] Ah, how badly have I spoken!— Fire not frost my blood possesses!)
JUSTINA. May heaven guard you many years, Since in his more grave concernments, Thus you honour my dear father With your favours.
CYPRIAN. I shall ever Be most gratified to serve you. ([Aside.] What disturbs me, what unnerves me?)
JUSTINA. He is not just now at home.
CYPRIAN. Thus then, lady, I can better Tell you what is the true cause That doth bring me here at present; For the cause that you have heard Is not that which wholly led me Here to see you.
JUSTINA. Then, what is it?
CYPRIAN. This, which craves your brief attention.— Fair Justina, beauty's shrine,* To whose human loveliness Nature, with a fond excess, Adds such marks of the divine, 'Tis your rest that doth incline Hither my desire to-day: But see what the tyrant sway Of despotic fate can do,— While I bring your rest to you, You from me take mine away. Lelius, of his passion proud, (Never less was love to blame!) Florus, burning with love's flame, (Ne'er could flame be more allowed!) Each of them by vows they vowed Sought to kill his friend for you: I for you disturbed the two, (Woe is me!) but see the end; While from death I saved my friend, You my own death give in lieu. Lest the scandal-monger's hum Should be buzzed about your name, Here to speak with you I came, (Would that I had never come!) That your choice might strike it dumb, Being the umpire in the cause, Being the judge in love's sweet laws;— But behold what I endure, While I their sick hearts may cure, Jealousy mine own heart gnaws. Lady, I proposed to be Their bold spokesman here, that you Might decide betwixt the two Which you would select (ah, me!) That I might (oh, misery!) Ask you of your father: vain This pretence. No more I'll feign:— For you see while I am speaking About them, my heart is seeking But a vent for its own pain.
[footnote] * The five-lined rhymed stanza here recommences, and continues to the end of the scene.
JUSTINA. Half in wonder and dismay At the vile address you make me, Reason, speech, alike forsake me, And I know not what to say. Never in the slightest way Have your clients had from me Encouragement for this embassy— Florus never—Lelius no:— Of the scorn that I can show Let then this a warning be.
CYPRIAN. If I, knowing that you loved Some one else, would dare to seek Your regard, my love were weak, And could justly be reproved. But here seeing you stand unmoved, Like a rock mid raging seas, No extraneous miseries Make me say I love you now. 'Tis not for my friends I bow, So your warning hear with ease.— To Lelius what shall I say?
JUSTINA. That he Well may trust the boding fears Of his love of many years.
CYPRIAN. To Florus?
JUSTINA. Not my face to see.
CYPRIAN. And to myself?
JUSTINA. Your love should be Not so bold.
CYPRIAN. Though a god should woo?
JUSTINA. Will a god do more for you Than for those I have denied?
JUSTINA. Well then, I have replied To Lelius, Florus, and to you. [Exeunt JUSTINA and CYPRIAN at opposite sides.
* * * * *
CLARIN, MOSCON, and LIVIA.
CLARIN. Livia, heigh!
MOSCON. And Livia, ho!— List good lass.
CLARIN. We're here, we two.
LIVIA. Well, what WANT you, sir? and YOU, What do you want?
CLARIN. We both would show, If perchance you do not know, That we love you to distraction. On a murderous transaction We came here, to kill each other:— So to put an end to the bother, Just choose one for satisfaction.
LIVIA. Why the thing that you're demanding Is so great, it hath bereft me Of my wits. My grief hath left me Without sense or understanding. Choose but one! My heart expanding, Beats so hard a strait to shun! I one only! 'Tis for fun That you ask me so to do. For with heart enough for two, Why require that I choose one?
CLARIN. Two at once would you have to woo? Would not two embarrass you, pray?
LIVIA. No, we women have a way To dispose of them two by two.
MOSCON. What's the way? do tell us, do;— What is it? speak.
LIVIA. You put one out!— I would love them, do not doubt....
CLARIN. Eh, What's ALTERNATIVELY?
LIVIA. 'Tis to say, That I would love them day about. [Exit.
MOSCON. Well, I choose to-day: good-bye.
CLARIN. I, to-morrow, the better part. So I give it with all my heart.
MOSCON. Livia, in fine, for whom I die, To-day love me, and to-day love I. Happy is he who so much can say.
CLARIN. Hearken, my friend: you know my way.
MOSCON. Why this speech? Does a threat lie in it?
CLARIN. Mind, she is not yours a minute After the clock strikes twelve to-day. [Exeunt.
* * * * *
THE STREET BEFORE LYSANDER'S HOUSE: NIGHT
Enter FLORUS and LELIUS at opposite sides, not seeing each other.
LELIUS [aside]. Scarcely has the darksome night O'er the brow of heaven extended* Its black veil, when I come hither To adore this sacred threshold; For although at Cyprian's prayer, I my sharp sword have suspended, I have not my love, for love Cannot be suspended ever.
[footnote] *Asonante in e-e, to the end of the Act.
FLORUS [aside]. Here the dawn will find me waiting:— Here, because 'tis force compels me To go hence, for I, elsewhere, Am away from my true centre. Would to love the day had come, And with it the dear, expected Answer Cyprian may bring me, Risking all upon that venture.
LELIUS [aside]. I have surely in that window Heard a noise.
FLORUS [aside]. Some sound descends here From that balcony.
* * * * *
The Demon appears at a window in the house of LYSANDER.
LELIUS [aside]. A figure Issues from it, whose dim presence I distinguish.
FLORUS [aside]. Through the darkness I can there perceive some person.
DEMON [aside]. For the many persecutions O'er Justina's head impending, Her pure honour to defame Thus I make a bold commencement. [He descends by a ladder.
LELIUS [aside]. But, O woe! what's this I witness!—
FLORUS [aside]. What do I see! Oh, wretched! wretched!—
LELIUS [aside]. From the balcony to the ground The dark figure has descended.
FLORUS [aside]. From her house a man comes forth!— Jealousy kill me not, preserve me, 'Till I discover who he is.
LELIUS [aside]. I will try to intercept him And find out at once who thus Tastes the bliss I've lost for ever.
[They advance with drawn swords to recognise the person who has descended.
DEMON [aside]. Not alone Justina's fame Do I by this act discredit, But dissensions, perhaps murders, Thus provoke. Ope, earth's dark centre, And receive me, leaving here This confusion [He disappears between FLORUS and LELIUS, who meet together.
* * * * *
FLORUS and LELIUS.
LELIUS. Sir, whoever You may be, it doth import me To know who you are directly; So at every risk I come here, On this resolute quest determined. Say who are you.
FLORUS. If the accident Of my having been the observer Of your secret love, compels you To this valorous aggression, More than it can you concern Me to know, it doth concern me To know you; for to be curious Is far less than to be jealous. Yes, by Heaven! for who is master Of the house have I to learn here, Who it is at such an hour, By this balcony ascending, Gaineth that which I lose weeping At these gratings.
LELIUS. This excelleth, Good, in faith, is it thus to dim The clear light of my resentment, By attributing to me That which solely your offence is!— Who you are I have to know, Death to give to him who has left me Dead with jealousy here, by coming From this balcony.
FLORUS. How excessive How superfluous is this caution, Proving what it would dissemble!
LELIUS. Vainly would the tongue untangle That which the keen sword can better Thus cut through.
FLORUS. With it I answer. [They fight.
LELIUS. In this way I'll know for certain Who is the admitted lover Of Justina.
FLORUS. My intention Is the same. I'll die or know you.
* * * * *
Enter CYPRIAN, MOSCON, and CLARIN.
CYPRIAN. Gentlemen, I pray you let me Interpose in this your quarrel, Since by accident I am present.
FLORUS. You cannot oblige me more Than by letting the fight be ended.
FLORUS. Yes, for sword in hand, I my name deny not ever To who asks.
CYPRIAN. I'm at your side, Death to him who would offend you.
LELIUS. You produce in me less fear, Both of you thus joined together, Than did he alone.
CYPRIAN. What! Lelius?
CYPRIAN. I am prevented [To Florus. Now from standing at your side, Since between you I present me. How is this? In one day twice Have I your disputes to settle!—
LELIUS. Then this time will be the last, For we've settled them already; Since in knowing who is he Who Justina's heart possesses, Now no more my hope remaineth, Even the thought of it hath left me. If you have not to Justina Spoken yet, do not address her; This I ask you in the name Of my wrongs and my resentments, Having seen her secret favours Florus' happier fate deserveth. From this balcony I saw him, From my lost delight descending; And my heart is not so base As to meanly love, in presence Of such jealousies so well proved, Of disillusions, ah! so certain. [Exit.
* * * * *
CYPRIAN. You must not follow him, [Aside. (Oh, this news with death o'erwhelms me!) Since if he who is the loser Of what you have gained, expressly Says he would forget it, you Should not try his patient temper.
FLORUS. Both by you and him at once Has mine own been too well tested. Speak not now unto Justina About me; for though full vengeance I propose to take for being Thus supplanted and rejected, Every hope of her being mine Now has ceased, for shameful were it, In the face of such proved facts, To persist in my addresses. [Exit.
* * * * *
CYPRIAN, MOSCON, and CLARIN.
CYPRIAN [aside]. What is this, O heavens! I hear? Can it be the two are jealous Of each other at one time? And I too of both together?— Doubtless from some strange delusion The two suffer, which I welcome With a sort of satisfaction, For to it I am indebted For the fact of their desisting From their suit and their pretension.— Moscon, have for me by morning A rich court-suit; sword and feathers, Clarin, be thy care; for love In a certain airy splendour Takes delight; for now no longer Books or studies give me pleasure;— Love they say doth murder mind, Learning dies when he is present. [Exeunt.
ACT THE SECOND.
THE STREET IN FRONT OF LYSANDER'S HOUSE.
Enter CYPRIAN, MOSCON, and CLARIN, in gala dresses.
CYPRIAN [aside]. Where, presumptuous thoughts, ah! where, Would you lead me, whither go? If for certain now you know That the high attempts you dare Are delusive dreams of bliss, Since you strive to scale heaven's wall, But from that proud height to fall Headlong down a dark abyss? I Justina saw..... So near Would to God I had not seen her, Nor in her divine demeanour All the light of heaven's fourth sphere. Lovers twain for her contend, Both being jealous each should woo, And I, jealous of the two, Know not which doth most offend. All I know is, that suspicion, Her disdain, my own desires, Fill my heart with furious fires— Drive me, ah! to my perdition. This I know, and know no more, This I feel in all my strait; Heavens! Justina is my fate! Heavens! Justina I adore!— Moscon.
CYPRIAN. Inquire, I pray, If Lysander's in.
MOSCON. I fly.
CLARIN. No, sir, no. On me rely,— Moscon can't go there to-day.
CYPRIAN. Ever wrangling in this way, How ye both my patience try! Why can he not go? Say why?
CLARIN. Because to-day is not his day. Mine it is, sir, to his sorrow. So your message I will bear. Moscon can't to-day go there; He will have his turn to-morrow.
CYPRIAN. What new madness can this be Which your usual feud doth show? But now neither of you go, Since in all her brilliancy Comes Justina.
CLARIN. From the street To her house she goes.
* * * * *
Enter JUSTINA and LIVIA, veiled.—CYPRIAN, MOSCON, and CLARIN.
JUSTINA. Ah, me! Cyprian's here. [Aside to her.] See, Livia, see!
CYPRIAN [aside]. I must strive and be discreet, Feigning with a ready wit, Till my jealousy I can prove. I will only speak of love, If my jealousy will permit. Not in vain, senora sweet,— Have I changed my student's dress, The livery of thy loveliness, As a servant at thy feet, Thus I wear. If sighs could move thee I would labour to deserve thee; Give me leave at least to serve thee, Since thou wilt not let me love thee.
JUSTINA. Slight effect, sir, as I see, Have my words produced on you, Since they have not brought....
CYPRIAN. Too true!
JUSTINA. A forgetfulness of me. In what way must I explain Clearer than I have done before, That persistence at my door Is and ever must be vain? If a day, a month, a year, If for ages there you stay, Naught but this that now I say Ever can you hope to hear. As it were my latest breath, Let this sad assurance move thee,— Fate forbids that I should love thee, Cyprian, except in death. [She moves towards the house.
CYPRIAN. At these words my hopes revive:— Sad! no, no, to joy they move me, For if thou in death canst love me, Soon for me will death arrive. Be it so; and since so nigh Comes the hour your words to prove— Ah! even now begin to love, Since I now begin to die.
* * * * *
CYPRIAN, MOSCON, CLARIN, and LIVIA.
CLARIN. Livia, while my master yonder, Like a living skeleton, Life and motion being gone, On his luckless love doth ponder, Give me an embrace.
LIVIA. Stay, stay. Patience, man! until I see, For I like my conscience free, If to-day is your right day.— Tuesday, yes, and Wednesday, no.
CLARIN. What are you counting there? Awake! Moscon's mum.
LIVIA. He might mistake, And I wish not to act so. For, desiring to pursue A just course betwixt you both, Turn about, I would be loth Not to give you each his due. But I see that you are right, 'Tis your day.
CLARIN. Embrace me, then.
LIVIA. Yes, again, and yet again.
MOSCON. Hark to me, my lady bright, May I from your ardour borrow A good omen in my case; And as Clarin you embrace, Moscon you'll embrace to-morrow!
LIVIA. Your suspicion is, in fact, Quite absurd; on me rely. Jupiter forbid that I Should commit so bad an act As to be cool in any way To a friend. I will to thee Give an embrace in equity, When it is your worship's day. [Exit.
* * * * *
CYPRIAN, MOSCON, and CLARIN.
CLARIN. Well, I'll not be by to see, That's a comfort.
MOSCON. How? why so? Need I be chagrined to know, If the girl's not mine, that she Thus to you her debt did pay.
MOSCON. This makes my point more strong, Since to me it were no wrong If it chanced not on my day. But our master yonder, see, How absorbed he seems.
CLARIN. More near, If he speaks I'd like to hear.
MOSCON. And I, too, would like.
CYPRIAN. Ah me! [As MOSCON and CLARIN approach CYPRIAN from opposite sides, he gesticulates with his arms, and accidentally strikes both. Love, how great thy agonies!—
CLARIN. Ah! ah, me!
MOSCON. Ah, me! I bawl.
CLARIN. Well, I think that we may call This the land of the 'sigh-ah-mes'!
CYPRIAN. What! and have you both been here?
CLARIN. I, at least, was here, I'll swear.
MOSCON. And I, also.
CYPRIAN. O, despair End at once my sad career! Ah, what human heart to woe Like to mine has given a home?
* * * * *
CYPRIAN, CLARIN, and MOSCON.
CLARIN. Whither Moscon, do we roam?
MOSCON. When we've reached the end, we'll know. Leagues behind us lies the town, Still we go.
CLARIN. A strange proceeding!— Little time have we for reading, Idly pacing up and down.
CYPRIAN. Clarin, get thee home.
MOSCON. And I?
CLARIN. Sly-boots, would you rather stay?
CYPRIAN. Go: here leave me both; away!
CLARIN. Mind, he tells us both to fly.
[Exeunt CLARIN and MOSCON.
* * * * *
CYPRIAN. Memory of a maddened brain, Do not with such strong control Make me think another soul Is what in my heart doth reign. Blind idolator I have been— Lost in love's ambitious flight, Since such beauty met my sight, Since a goddess I have seen. Yet in such a maze of woe Rigorous fate doth make me move, That I know but whom I love, And of whom I am jealous—no. Yet this passion is so strong— Ah, so sweet this fascination, Driving my imagination With resistless force along— That I would (I know too well How this madness doth degrade me) To some devilish power to aid me, Were it even to rise from hell, Where some mightier power hath kept it,— Sharing all its pains in common,— I would, to possess this woman, Give my soul.
* * * * *
The Demon and CYPRIAN.
Demon [within]. And I accept it.
[A great tempest is heard, with thunder and lightning.
CYPRIAN. What's this, ye heavens so pure? Clear but a moment hence and now obscure, Ye fright the gentle day! The thunder-balls, the lightning's forked ray, Leap from its riven breast— Terrific shapes it cannot keep at rest; All the whole heaven a crown of clouds doth wear, And with the curling mist, like streaming hair, This mountain's brow is bound. Outspread below, the whole horizon round Is one volcanic pyre. The sun is dead, the air is smoke, heaven fire. Philosophy, how far from thee I stray, When I cannot explain the marvels of this day! And now the sea, upborne on clouds the while, Seems like some ruined pile, That crumbling down the wind as 'twere a wall, In dust not foam doth fall. And struggling through the gloom, Facing the storm, a mighty ship seeks room On the open sea, whose rage it seems to court, Flying the dangerous pity of the port. The noise, the terror, and that fearful cry, Give fatal augury Of the impending stroke. Death hesitates, For each already dies who death awaits. With portents the whole atmosphere is rife, Nor is it all the effect of elemental strife. The ship is rigged with tempest as it flies.* It rushes on the lee, The war is now no longer of the sea; Upon a hidden rock It strikes: it breaks as with a thunder shock. Blood flakes the foam where helpless it is tost.
[footnote] *Hartzenbusch remarks that there is no corresponding rhyme for this line in the original, and that both the sense and the versification are defective.—'Comedias de Calderon', t. 2, p. 178.
[The sound of the tempest increases, and voices are heard within.
VOICES WITHIN. We sink! we sink! we're lost!
DEMON [within]. For what I have in hand, I'll trust this plank to bear me to the land.
CYPRIAN. As scorning the wild wave One man alone his life attempts to save. While lurching over, mid the billows' swell, The great ship sinks to where the Tritons dwell; There, with its mighty ribs asunder rent, It lies a corse of the sea, its grave and monument.
[Enter The Demon, dripping with wet, as if escaped from the sea.
DEMON [aside]. For the end I wish to gain It was of necessity That upon this sapphire sea I this fearful storm should feign, And in form unlike that one Which in this wild wood I wore, When I found my deepest lore By his keener wit outdone, Come again to assail him here, Trusting better now to prove Both his intellect and his love.— [Aloud. Earth, loved earth, O mother dear, From this monster, this wild sea, Give me shelter in thy arms.
CYPRIAN. Lose, my friend, the dread alarms, And the cruel memory Of thy peril happily past; Since we learn or late or soon, That beneath the inconstant moon Human bliss doth never last.
DEMON. Who are thou, at whose kind feet Has my fortune cast me here?
CYPRIAN. One who with a pitying tear, For a ruin so complete, Would alleviate your woe.
DEMON. Ah, impossible!—for me Never, never, can there be Any solace.
CYPRIAN. How, why so?
DEMON. All my priceless wealth I've lost... But I'm wrong to thus complain, I'll forget, nay, think it gain, Since my life it hath not cost.
CYPRIAN. Now that the wild whirl malign Of this earthquake storm doth cease, And the sky returns to peace, Quiet, calm, and crystalline, And the bright succeeds the dark With such strange rapidity, That the storm would seem to be Only raised to sink thy bark, Tell me who thou art, repay Thus a sympathy so sincere.
DEMON. It has cost me to come here More than you have seen to-day, More than I can well express; Of the miseries I recall This ship's loss is least of all. Would you see that clearly?
DEMON. I am since you wish to know it, An epitome, a wonder* Of all happiness and misfortune, One I have lost, I weep the other. By my gifts was I so glorious, So conspicuous in my order, Of a lineage so illustrious, With a mind so well informed, That my rare endowments feeling, A great king (in truth the noblest King of Kings, for all would tremble If he looked in anger on them,) In his palace roofed with diamonds And with gems as bright as morning, (If I called them stars, 'tis certain The comparison were too modest,) His especial favourite called me. Which high epithet of honour So enflamed my pride, as rival For his royal seat I plotted, Hoping soon my victor footsteps Would his golden thrones have trodden. It was an unheard-of daring, THAT, chastized I must acknowledge, I was mad; but then repentance Were a still insaner folly. Obstinate in my resistance, With my spirit yet unconquered, I preferred to fall with courage Than surrender with dishonour. If the attempt was rash, the rashness Was not solely my misfortune, For among his numerous vassals Not a few my standard followed. From his court, in fine, thus vanquished, Though part victor in the contest, I went forth, my eyes outflashing Flames of anger and abhorrence, And my lips proclaiming vengeance For the public insult offered To my pride, among his people Scattering murder, rapine, horror. Then a bloody pirate, I The wide plains of the sea ran over, Argus of its dangerous shallows, Lynx-eyed where the reefs lay covered; In that vessel which the wind Bit by bit so soon demolished, In that vessel which the sea As a dustless ruin swallowed, I to-day these fields of crystal Eagerly ran o'er, my object Being stone by stone to examine, Tree by tree to search this forest:— For a man in it is living, Whom it is of great importance I should see, this day expecting The fulfilment of a promise Which he gave and I accepted. This infuriate tempest stopped me. And although my powerful genius Could chain up east, south, and north wind, I cared not, as if despairing Of success, with other objects, Other aims in view, to turn them To the west wind's summer softness.— [Aside. (I have said I could, but did not, For I note the dangerous workings Of his mind, and thus to magic Bind him by these hints the stronger.) Let not my wild fury fright thee, Nor be at my power astonished, For I could my own death give me, If I were by rage so prompted, And so great that power, the sunlight, By my science could be blotted. I, in magic am so mighty, That I can describe the orbits Of the stars, for I have travelled Through the farthest and beyond them. And in order that this boasting May not seem to you mere bombast, Look, if at this very instant You desire it, this untrodden Nimrod of rude rocks more savage Than of Babylon is recorded, Shall without a leaf being shaken, Show the most horrific portents. I am, then, the orphan guest here Of these ash-trees, of these poplars, And though what I am, assistance At thy feet here I ask from thee: And I wish the good I purchase To repay thee with the product Of unnumbered years of study, Though it now slight effort costs me, Giving to your wildest wishes [Aside. (Here I touch his love,) the fondest Longings of your heart, whatever Passion can desire or covet. If through courtesy or caution You should not accept my offer, Let my good intentions pay you, If from greater acts you stop me. For the pity that you show me, Which I thankfully acknowledge, I will be a friend so faithful, That henceforth the changeful monster Of events and acts, called Fortune, Which 'twixt flattering words and scornful, Generous now, and now a miser, Shows a friendly face or hostile, Neither it nor that laborious Ever flying, running worker, Time, the loadstone of the ages, Nor even heaven itself, heaven proper, To whose stars the dark world oweth All its most divine adornment, Will have power to separate me From your side a single moment, Since you here have given me welcome. And even this is almost nothing When compared with what my wishes Hope hereafter to accomplish.
[footnote] *Asonante in 1-3, to the end of the speech.
CYPRIAN. Well to the sea, my thanks are due, that bore You struggling to the shore, And led you to this grove, Where you will quickly prove The friendly feelings that inflame my breast, If happily I merit such a guest. Then let us homeward wend, For I esteem you now as an old friend. My guest you are, and so you must not leave me While my house suits you.
DEMON. Do you then receive me Wholly as yours?
CYPRIAN [embracing him]. This act doth prove it true, That seals an eternal bond betwixt us two.— [Aside. Oh! if I could win o'er This man to instruct me in his magic lore! Since by that art my love might gain Some solace for its pain; Or yielding to its mighty laws My love at length might win my love's sweet cause— The cause of all my torment, madness, rage.
DEMON [aside]. The working of his mind and love I gauge.
* * * * *
CLARIN and MOSCON enter running from opposite sides.
CYPRIAN and The Demon.
CLARIN. Oh! are you sir, alive?
MOSCON. My friend, do you Speak civilly for once as something new? That he's alive requires no demonstration.
CLARIN. I struck this lofty note of admiration, Thou noble lackey, to express my wonder, How from this storm of lightning, rain, and thunder, Without a miracle he could survive.
MOSCON. Will you stop wondering, now you see him alive?
CYPRIAN. These are my servants, sir.— What brings you here?
MOSCON. Your spleen once more to stir.
DEMON. They have a pleasant humour.
CYPRIAN. Foolish pair, Their weary wit is oft too hard to bear.
MOSCON. This man, sir, waiting here, Who is he?
CYPRIAN. He's my guest, so do not fear.
CLARIN. Wherefore have guests at such a time as this?
CYPRIAN [to The Demon]. Your worth is lost on ignorance such as his.
MOSCON. My master's right. Are you, forsooth, his heir?
CLARIN. No; but our new friend there, Looks like a guest, unless I deceive me, who Will honour our poor house a year or two.
CLARIN. When a guest soon means to go away, Well, he'll not make much smoke in the house, we say. But this....
MOSCON. Speak out.
CLARIN. Will make, I do not joke..
CLARIN. In the house a deuced deal of smoke.
CYPRIAN. In order to repair The danger done by the rude sea and air, Come thou with me.
DEMON. [Aside.] I'm thine, while thou hast breath.
CYPRIAN. I go to prepare thy rest.
DEMON [aside]. And I thy death:— An entrance having gained Within his breast, and thus my end obtained; My rage insatiate now without control Seeks by another way to win Justina's soul. [Exit.
CLARIN. Guess, if you can, what I am thinking about.
MOSCON. What is it?
CLARIN. That a new volcano has burst out In the late storm, there's such a sulphur smell.
MOSCON. It came from the guest, as my good nose could tell.
CLARIN. He uses bad pastilles, then; but I can Infer the cause.
MOSCON. What is it?
CLARIN. The poor gentleman Has a slight rash on his skin, a ticklish glow, And uses sulphur ointment.
MOSCON. Gad! 'tis so. [Exeunt.
* * * * *
LELIUS and FABIUS.
FABIUS. You return, then, to this street.
LELIUS. Yes; the life that I deplore I return to seek once more Where 'twas lost. Ah! guide my feet, Love, to find it!—
FABIUS. That house there Is Justina's; come away.
LELIUS. Wherefore, when I will to-day Once again my love declare. And as she, I saw it plain, Trusted some one else at night, 'Tis not strange, in open light, That I try to soothe my pain. Leave me, go; for it is best That I enter here alone. My rank in Antioch is known, My father Governor; thus drest In his robe as 'twere, my strong Passion listening to no mentor, I Justina's house will enter To protest against my wrong. [Exeunt.
* * * * *
A HALL IN THE HOUSE OF LYSANDER.
JUSTINA, and afterwards LELIUS.
JUSTINA. Livia.... But a step! who's there?
[LELIUS enters LELIUS. It is I.
JUSTINA. What novelty, What extreme temerity, Thus, my lord, compels you?...
LELIUS. Spare Your reproaches. Jealous-grown, I can bear that you reprove. Pardon me, for with my love My respect has also flown.
JUSTINA. Why, at such a perilous cost Have you dared...
LELIUS. Because I'm mad.
JUSTINA. To intrude....
LELIUS. Heart-broken, sad.
LELIUS. Because, in truth, I'm lost.
JUSTINA. Nor perceive how scandal views Such an act as now you do 'Gainst....
LELIUS. Be not so moved, for you Little honour now can lose.
JUSTINA. Lelius, spare at least my fame.
LELIUS. Ah, Justina, it were best That this language you addressed Unto him who nightly came Down here from this balcony;— 'Tis enough for me to show All your lightness that I know, That less coy and cold to me Your pretended honour prove. If I am disdained, displaced, 'Tis another suits your taste, Not that you your honour love.
JUSTINA. Silence, cease, your words withhold. Who with insult e'er before Dared to pass my threshold's door? Are you then so blind and bold, So audacious, so insane, As my pure light to eclipse, Through the libel of your lips, By chimeras false and vain?— In my house a man?
LELIUS. 'Tis so.
JUSTINA. From my balcony?
LELIUS. With shame I repeat it.
JUSTINA. O, my fame, O'er us twain your Aegis throw.
* * * * *
The Demon appears at the door which is behind JUSTINA.
DEMON [aside]. For the deep design I handle, For my double plot I come Raging to this simple home, Now to work the greatest scandal Ever seen. Here, brooding o'er him, This wild lover mad with ire, I will fan his jealous fire, I will place myself before him, Catch his eye, and then as fleeing, In invisible gloom array me. [He affects to come in, and being seen by LELIUS muffles himself in his cloak, and re-enters the inner apartment.
JUSTINA. Man, do you come here to slay me?
LELIUS. No, to die.
JUSTINA. What object seeing Paralyses thus your senses?
LELIUS. What I see is your untruth. Tell me now, the wish, forsooth, Has invented my offences. From that very chamber there Came a man, I turned my head, When he saw my face he fled Back into the room.
JUSTINA. The air Must this phantasy display— This illusion.
LELIUS. Oh, that sight!
JUSTINA. Is it not enough by night, Lelius, but in open day Thus fictitious forms to see?
LELIUS. Phantom shape or real lover, Now the truth I will discover. [He goes into the room where The Demon had disappeared.
JUSTINA. I no hindrance offer thee, For my innocence, a way, At the cost of this permission, Thus finds out the night's submission To correct by the light of day.
* * * * *
LYSANDER and JUSTINA; LELIUS, within.
LYSANDER. My Justina.
JUSTINA [aside]. Woe is me! Ah, if here before Lysander* Lelius from that room comes forth!
[footnote] *Asonante in a-i to the end of Scene XVII.
LYSANDER. My misfortunes, my disasters Fly to be consoled by thee.
JUSTINA. What can be the grief, the sadness, That your face betrays so plainly?
LYSANDER. And no wonder, when the pallor Springs even from the heart. This sobbing Stops my weak words in their passage.
[LELIUS appears at the door of the apartment. LELIUS [aside]. I begin now to believe, Since he is not in this chamber, Jealousy can cause these spectres. He, the man I saw, has vanished, How I know not.
JUSTINA [aside to Lelius]. Come not forth, Lelius, here before my father.
LELIUS. Convalescent in my sickness I will wait till he is absent. [Retires.
JUSTINA. Why this weeping? why this sighing? What, sir, moves thee, what unmans thee?
LYSANDER. I am moved by a misfortune, I'm unmanned by a disaster, Greater far than tender pity Ever wept,—the dread example Cruelty has sworn to make In the innocent blood of martyrs. To the Governor of this city Decius Caesar a strict mandate Has despatched... I can speak no more.
JUSTINA [aside]. What position e'er was harder? Moved with pity for the Christians Hither comes to me Lysander The sad news to tell, not knowing Lelius to his words may hearken,— Lelius, the Governor's son.
LYSANDER. So Justina...
JUSTINA. Sir, no farther, Since you feel it so acutely, Speak upon this painful matter.
LYSANDER. Let me, for I'll feel some solace When to thee it is imparted. In it he commands...
JUSTINA. Proceed not Further now, when you should rather Cheat your years with more repose.
LYSANDER. How? when I, to make you partner In those lively fears whose bodings Are sufficient to despatch me, Would inform you of the edict, The most cruel that the margin Of the Tiber ever saw Writ in blood to stain its waters, Do you stop me? Ah, Justina, You were wont in another manner Once to listen to me.
JUSTINA. Sir, Different were the circumstances.
LELIUS [at the door, aside]. I can hear but indistinctly Half-formed words and broken accents.
* * * * *
FLORUS enters.—JUSTINA and LYSANDER; LELIUS, peeping at the door of the inner room.
FLORUS [aside]. Licence has a jealous lover, Who but enters to unmask here A pretended purity, To forego politer manners. I come here with that intention... But as she is with her father I will wait a new occasion.
LYSANDER. Who is there? Some footstep passes.
FLORUS [aside]. Ah! 'tis now impossible Without speaking to get back here. Some excuse I'll try to offer:— I am...
LYSANDER. You here, sir?
FLORUS. Your pardon. I ask leave, sir, to speak with you On a most important matter.
JUSTINA [aside]. Oh! take pity on me, fortune, For these trials are too many.
LYSANDER. Well, sir, speak.
FLORUS [aside, at the door]. Florus in Justina's house Leaves and enters like a master!— These are not unfounded jealousies, These are real and substantial.
LYSANDER. You grow pale, you change your colour.
FLORUS. Do not wonder, be not startled, For I came to give a warning, To your life of utmost value, Of an enemy that you have, Who your swift destruction planneth. What I've said is quite sufficient.
LYSANDER [aside]. Florus, doubtless, must have gathered Somehow that I am a Christian, And thus comes in kindliest manner Of my danger to apprise me.— [Aloud. Speak, hide nothing in this matter.
* * * * *
JUSTINA, LYSANDER, and FLORUS; LELIUS at the door of the room.
LIVIA. Sir, the Governor, who is waiting At the door of the house, commanded Me to call you to his presence.
FLORUS. Best I wait for his departure:— [Aside. (Meantime my excuse I'll think of.) So 'tis well that you despatch him.
LYSANDER. I appreciate your politeness. Here I will return instanter. [Exeunt LYSANDER and LIVIA.
* * * * *
JUSTINA and FLORUS; LELIUS at the door.
FLORUS. Are you then that virtuous maiden, Who, the very breeze that flatters With its soft and sweet caresses, You would call rude, bold, unmannered? How then is it you surrendered Even the very keys of the casket Of your honour?
JUSTINA. Hold, hold, Florus, Do not dare to throw a shadow On that honour which the sun After the most strict examen Has proved bright and pure.
FLORUS. Too late Comes this idle boast. It happens That I know to whom you have given Free access...
JUSTINA. You dare this scandal?—
FLORUS. By a balcony...
JUSTINA. Do not say it.
FLORUS. To your honour.
JUSTINA. Thus will you blast me?
FLORUS. Yes, for hypocritical virtue Merits something even harsher.
LELIUS [at the door, aside]. Florus was not then the hero Of the balcony; some more happy Lover than us twain she welcomes.
JUSTINA. Oh! defame not noble damsels, Since you noble blood inherit.
FLORUS. Noble damsel, dar'st thou call thee, When thy very arms received him, And from thy balcony he departed? Power subdued thee; from the fact That the Governor is his father, Vanity led thee on to show That in Antioch he commanded...
LELIUS [aside]. Here he speaks of me.
FLORUS. Not seeing Any graver defect of manner, Than what in his birth and breeding Rank may cover with its mantle, But not so....
[LELIUS enters. LELIUS. Be silent, Florus, Nor attack me in my absence; For of a rival to speak ill, Is the act but of a dastard. 'Tis to stop this I come forward, Angry after so many passes Which my sword has had with thine, That I have not yet dispatched thee.
JUSTINA. Who, not guilty, ever saw her In such dangerous straits entangled?
FLORUS. What behind your back was spoken, I before you will establish, Truth is truth where'er 'tis uttered. [They grasp their swords.
JUSTINA. Florus! Lelius! what would you have then.
LELIUS. I would have full satisfaction Where I heard th'insulting language.
FLORUS. I'll maintain what I have said Where I said it.
JUSTINA. From so many Strokes of fortune, free me, Heaven!—
FLORUS. And I'll learn to chastise your rashness.
* * * * *
The Governor enters with LYSANDER and attendants.—JUSTINA, LELIUS, and FLORUS.
[All who enter]. Hold! stand back!
JUSTINA. Unhappy me!
GOVERNOR. What is this? But empty scabbards, Naked swords, are quite sufficient To inform me what has happened.
JUSTINA. What misfortune!
LYSANDER. What affliction!—
LELIUS. Ah, my lord...
GOVERNOR. Enough, no farther. Lelius, thou a son of mine, A disturber? Thou a scandal To all Antioch through my favour?
LELIUS. Think, my lord...
GOVERNOR. Arrest, disarm them, Take them hence. Make no distinction On account of blood or rank here. Let them suffer both alike, Since in guilt alike they acted.
LELIUS [aside]. I came jealous, and go outraged.
FLORUS [aside]. To my pains new pains are added.
GOVERNOR. In distinct and separate prisons, And with watchful eyes to guard them, Place the two.—And you, Lysander, Is it possible you have tarnished Such a noble reputation, Suffering....
LYSANDER. No; let not these dazzling False appearances mislead you, For Justina in what happened Was quite blameless.
GOVERNOR. In her house here, Would you have her live regardless Of the fact that they were young, And that she was fair; My anger I restrain, lest people say, I, an interested party, Sentence passed as partial judge.— But of you who caused this quarrel, Now that maiden shame has left you, Well I know that you will glad me With the occasion I desire, Of exposing, of unmasking, In the light of actual vices, The false virtuous part you've acted.
[Exeunt The Governor and his attendants; LELIUS and FLORUS follow as prisoners.
* * * * *
JUSTINA and LYSANDER.
JUSTINA. I reply but with my tears.
LYSANDER. Tears as vain as they are tardy. What an act was mine, Justina, When to thee my lips imparted Who thou art! Oh, would I never Told thee, that upon the margin Of a rivulet in this forest, A dead mother's womb here cast thee!
LYSANDER. Do not attempt excuses.
JUSTINA. Heaven will make them, then, hereafter
LYSANDER. When too late, perhaps.
JUSTINA. No limit Can be late here while life lasteth.
LYSANDER. For the punishment of crimes.
JUSTINA. Injured truth to re-establish.
LYSANDER. I, from what I have seen, condemn thee.
JUSTINA. I thee, from what thou knowest not, rather.
LYSANDER. Leave me; I go forth to die Where my grief will soon dispatch me.
JUSTINA. At thy feet I would lose my life; But do not reject me, father. [Exeunt.
* * * * *
A HALL IN CYPRIAN'S HOUSE. At the end is an open gallery, through which is seen the country.
CYPRIAN, the Demon, MOSCON, and CLARIN.
DEMON. Since the hour that I have been In your house a guest, you ne'er Show a gay and cheerful air. Sadness in your face is seen. It is wrong your cure to shun, Seeking to mislead mine eyes, Since I would unsphere the skies, Shake the stars, and shroud the sun, For the least desire you feel That more pleasantly you might live.
CYPRIAN. Magic has no power to give The impossible I conceal, Though the misery I betray.
DEMON. Come, confess the longed-for bliss.
CYPRIAN. I love a woman.
DEMON. And is this The impossible that you say?
CYPRIAN. If you knew her, you'd agree.
DEMON. Well, describe her, I'm resigned; Though I can't but smile to find What a coward you must be.
CYPRIAN. The fair cradle of the skies, Where the infant sun reposes, Ere he rises, decked with roses, Robed in snow, to dry heaven's eyes. The green prison-bud that tries To restrain the conscious rose, When the crimson captive knows April treads its gardens near, Turning dawn's half frozen tear To a smile where sunshine glows. The sweet streamlet gliding by, Though it scarcely dares to breathe Softest murmurs through its teeth, From the frosts that on it lie. The bright pink, in its small sky Shining like a coral star. The blithe bird that flies afar, Drest in shifting shades and blooms— Soaring cithern of plumes Harping high o'er heaven's blue bar. The white rock that cheats the sun When it tries to melt it down, What it melts is but the crown Which from winter's snow it won. The green bay that will not shun, Though the heavens are all aglow, For its feet a bath of snow,— Green Narcissus of the brook, Fearless leaning o'er to look, Though the stream runs chill below In a word, the crimson dawn, Sun, mead, streamlet, rosebud, May Bird that sings his amorous lay, April's laugh that gems the lawn, Pink that sips the dews up-drawn, Rock that stands in storm and shine, Bay-tree that delights to twine Round its fadeless leaves the sun, All are parts which met in one Form this woman most divine. For myself, in blind unrest, (Guess my madness if you can) I, to seem another man, In these courtly robes am drest, Studious calm I now detest, Fame no longer fires my mind, Passion reigns where thought refined, I my firmness fling to tears, Courage I resign to fears, And my hopes I give the wind. I have said, and so will do, That to some infernal sprite I would offer with delight (And the pledge I now renew) Even my soul for her I woo. But my offer is in vain, Hell rejects it with disdain, For my soul, it may allege, Is a disproportionate pledge For the interest I would gain.
DEMON. Is this, then your boasted courage, In the footsteps of dejected* Swains to follow, who grow timid When their first assault's rejected? Are examples then so distant Of fair ladies who surrender All their vanities to entreaties, All their pride to fond addresses? Would you make your breast the prison Of your love, your arms her fetters?
[footnote] *Asonante in e-e to the end of the Act.
CYPRIAN. Can you doubt it?
DEMON. Then command them To retire, those two, your servants, So that we remain here only.
CYPRIAN. Go: both leave me for the present.
MOSCON. I obey. [Exit.
CLARIN. And I as well.— [Aside, concealing himself. Such a guest must be the devil.
CYPRIAN. They are gone.
DEMON [aside]. That Clarin's hiding, Is to me of small concernment.
CYPRIAN. What more wish you now?
DEMON. First fasten Well this door.
CYPRIAN. Yes; none can enter.
DEMON. For the possession of this woman, With your lips you have asserted You would give your soul.
CYPRIAN. 'Tis so.
DEMON. Then the contract is accepted.
CYPRIAN. What do you say?
DEMON. That I accept it.
DEMON. So much have I effected By my science, that I will teach you How by it to get possession Of the woman that you worship; For I (though so wise and learned) Have no other means to win her. Let us now in writing settle What we have resolved between us.
CYPRIAN. Do you wish by new pretences To prolong the pains I suffer? In my hand is what I tender, But in yours is not the offer That you make me; no, for never Conjurations or enchantments Can free will control or fetter.
DEMON. Give me, on the terms you spoke of, Your signed bond.
CLARIN. [peeping]. The deuce! This fellow Is no fool, I see. No greenhorn In his business is this devil. I give him my bond! No, truly, Though my lodgings wanted a tenant For the space of twenty ages, I wouldn't do it.
CYPRIAN. Sir, much jesting May with merry friends be pastime, Not with those who are dejected.
DEMON. I, in proof of what I am able To effect, will now present you With an example, though it faintly Shows the power my art possesses. From this gallery what is seen?
CYPRIAN. Much of sky, and much of meadow, Wood, a rivulet, and a mountain.
DEMON. Which to you doth seem most pleasant?
CYPRIAN. The proud mountain, for in it Is my adored one represented.
DEMON. Proud competitor of time, Rival of the years for ever, Who as king of fields and plains Crown'st thee with the cloud and tempest, Move thyself, change earth and air; Look, see who I am that tell thee.— And, look thou, too, since a mountain I can move, thou mayest a maiden.
[The mountain moves from one side to the other in the perspective of the theatre.
CYPRIAN. Never saw I such a wonder! Ne'er a sight of so much terror!
CLARIN [peeping]. With the fright and with the fear, I enjoy a twofold tremble.
CYPRIAN. Mighty mountain bird that fliest, Trees for wings replacing feathers, Boat, whose rocks supply the tackle, As thou furrowest through the zephyr, To thy centre back return thee, And so end this fear, this terror.