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How thy account may stand, and what to an- Sci. Would it were otherwise...but thou must swer?
die. Cal. I have turned my eyes inward upon my
Cal. That I must die, it is my only comfort; self,
Death is the privilege of human nature, Where foul offence and shame have laid all And life without it were not worth our taking : waste;
Thither the poor, the prisoner, and the mourner, Therefore my soul abhors the wretched dwelling, Fly for relief, and lay their burthens down. And longs to find some happy place of rest. Come then, and take me into thy cold arms, Sci. 'Tis justly thought, and worthy of that Thou meagre shade; here let me breathe my spirit,
last, That dwelt in antient Latian breasts, when Rome Charmed with my father's pity and forgiveness, Was mistress of the world. I would go on More than if angels tuned their golden viols, And tell thee all my purpose; but it sticks And sung a requiem to my parting soul. Here at my heart, aad cannot find a way.
Sci. I am summoned hence; ere this my Cal. Then spare the telling, if it be a pain,
friends expect me. And write the meaning with your poignard here. There is I know not what of sad presage, Sci. Oh! truly guessed-see'st thou, this trem- That tells me, I shall never see thee more;
bling hand [Holding up a dugger. If it be so, this is our last farewell, Thrice justice urged—and thrice the slacken- And these the parting pangs, which nature feels, ing sinews
When anguish rends the heart-strings-Oh, my Forgot their office, and confessed the father.
[Erit Sciolto. At length the stubborn virtuc has prevailed, Cal. Now think, thou cursed Calista ! now beIt must, it must be so-Oh! take it then,
hold [Giving the dagger. The desolation, horror, blood, and ruin, And know the rest untaught!
Thy crimes and fatal folly spread around, Cal. I understand you.
That loudly cry for vengeance on thy head. It is but thus, and both are satisfied.
Yet Heaven, who knows our weak, imperfect na[She offers to kill herself : Sciolto catches tures, hold of her arm.
Flow blind with passions, and how prone to evil, Sci. A moment, give me yet a moment's space. Makes not too strict inquiry for our offences, The stern, the rigid judge has been obeyed;
But is atoned by penitence and prayer : Now nature, and the father, claim their turns. Cheap recompence! here 'twould not be receiI've held the balance with an iron hand,
ved, And put off every tender human thought, Nothing but blood can make the expiation, To doom my child to death; but spare my eyes
And cleanse the soul from inbred, deep polluThe most unnatural sight, lest their strings
And see, another injured wretch is come,
Alt. Hail to you, horrors ! hail, thou house of Sci. Oh! when I think what pleasure I took death! in thee,
And thou, the lovely mistress of the shades, What joys thou gavest me in thy prattling in- Whose beauty gilds the more than midnight darkfancy,
ness, Thy sprightly wit, and early blooming beauty ! And makes it grateful as the dawn of day, Ilow have I stood, and fed my eyes upon thee, Oh, take me in, a fellow-mourner, with thee, Then, lifting up iny hands, and wondering, blest I'll number groan for groan, and tear for tear; thce
And when the fountain of thy eyes is dry, By my strong grief, my heart even melts within Mine shall supply the stream, and weep for both. me;
Cal. I know thee well; thou art the injured AlI could curse Nature, and that tyrant, honour,
tamont; For making me thy father, and thy judge; Thou comest to urge me with the wrongs I've Thou art iny daughter still !
done thee; Cal. For that kind word,
But know, I stand upon the brink of life, Thus let me full, thus humbly to the earth, And in a moment mean to set me free Wecp on your feet, and bless you for this good- From shame and thy upbraiding.
Alt. Falsely, falsely Oh! 'tis too much for this offending wretch, Dost thou accuse me! When did I complain, This parricide, that murders with her crimes, Or murmur at my fate? For thee I have Shortens her father's age, and cuts him off, Forgot the temper of Italian husbands, Ere little more than half his years be numbered. And fondness has prevailed upon revenge. Vol. I.
I bore my load of infamy with patience, The death he seemed to wish for from their As holy men do punishment from Heaven;
swords. Nor thought it hard, because it came from thee. Cal. And dost thou bear me yet, thou patient Oh, then, forbid me not to mourn thy loss,
earth? To wish some better fate had ruled our loves, Dost thou not labour with thy murderous weight? And that Calista had been mine, and true. And you, ye glittering, heavenly host of stars, Cal. Oh, Altamont! 'tis hard for souls like Hide your fair heads in clouds, or I shall blast mine,
you; Haughty and fierce, to yield they've done amiss. For I am all contagion, death, and ruin, But, oh, behold ! my proud disdainful heart And nature sickens at me. Rest, thou world, Bends to thy gentler virtue. Yes, I own, This parricide shall be thy plague no more; Such is thy truth, thy tenderness, and love, Thus, thus I set thee free. (Stabs herself. Such are the graces that adorn thy youth,
Hor. Oh, fatal rashness ! That, were I not abandoned to destruction, Alt. Thou dost instruct me well. To lengthen With thee I might have lived for ages blessed,
life, And died in peace within thy faithful arms. Is but to trifle now.
Alt. Then happiness is still within our reach. [Altamont offers to kill himself ; Horatio preHere let remembrance lose our past misfortunes, vents him, and wrests his sword from him. Tear all records that hold the fatal story;
Hor. Ha ! what means Here let our joys begin, from hence go on,
The frantic Altamont? Some foe to man In long successive order.
Has breathed on every breast contagious fury, Cal. What! in death?
And epidemic madness. Alt
. Then, art thou fixed to die ?-But be it so; Enter Sciolto, pale and bloody, supported by We'll go together; my adventurous love Shall follow thee to those uncertain beings.
servants. Whether our lifeless shades are doomed to wan- Cal. Oh, my heart ! der
Well may'st thou fail; for see, the spring that In gloomy groves, with discontented ghosts ;
fed Or whether through the upper air we flit, Thy vital stream is wasted, and runs low. And tread the fields of light; still I'll pursue thee, My father! will you now, at last, forgive me, 'Till fate ordains that we shall part no more. If, after all my crimes, and all your sufferings, Cal. Oh, no! Heaven has some other better I call you once again by that dear name? lot in store
Will you forget my shame, and those wide To crown thee with. Live, and be happy long;
wounds? Live, for some maid that shall deserve thy good- Lift up your hand, and bless me, ere I go
Down to my dark abode? Some kind, unpractised heart, that never yet Sci. Alas, my daughter! Has listened to the false ones of thy sex, Thou hast rashly ventured on a stormy sea, Nor known the arts of ours; she shall reward | Where life, fame, virtue, all were wrecked and thee,
lost. Meet thee with virtues equal to thy own, But sure thou hast borne thy part in all the anCharm thee with sweetness, beauty, and with guish, truth;
And smarted with the pain. Then, rest in peace: Be blest in thee alone, and thou in her.
Let silence and oblivion hide thy name,
And save thee from the malice of posterity; Enter HORATIO.
And may'st thou find with Heaven the same forHor. Now, mourn indeed, ye miserable pair; giveness, For now the measure of your woes is full. As with thy father here.—Die, and be happy. Alt. What dost thou mean, Horatio ?
Cal. Celestial sounds! Peace dawns upon my Hor. Oh, 'tis dreadful !
soul, The great, the good Sciolto dies this moment. And every pain grows less Oh, gentle Altamont! Cal. My father!
Think not too hardly of me when I'm gone; Alt. That's a deadly stroke, indeed.
But pity me--Had ì but early known Hor. Not long ago he privately went forth, Thy wond'rous worth, thou excellent young man, Attended but by few, and those unbidden. We had been happier both--Now, 'tis too late; I heard which way he took, and straight pursued And yet my eyes take pleasure to behold thee;
Thou art their last dear object—Mercy, Heaven! But found him compassed by Lothario's faction, Almost alone, amidst a croud of foes.
Alt. Cold ! dead, and cold ! and yet thou art Too late we brought him aid, and drove them not changed, back;
But lovely still. Hadst thou a thousand faults, Fire that, his frantic valour had provoked What heart so hard, what virtue so severe,
But at that beauty must of force relented,
Alt. Take, take it all :
And find my only portion in the grave.
youth, My fortunes—Lay me by thy noble father, And bends him, like a drooping flower, to
rth. And love my memory, as thou hast his;
By such examples are we taught to prove For thou hast been my son—Oh, gracious Heaven! The sorrows, that attend unlawful love. Thou that hast endless blessings still in store Death, or some worse misfortune, soon divide, for virtue, and for filial piety,
The injured bridegroom from his guilty bride. Let grief, disgrace, and want be far away; If you would have the nuptial union last, But multiply thy mercies on his head.
Let virtue be the bond that ties it fast. Let honour, greatness, goodness, still be with him,
[Exeunt omnes. And peace in all his ways
His horse's hoofs wet with patrician blood !
Oh, Portius! is there not some chosen curse, Enter Portius and MARCUS.
Some hidden thunder in the stores of Heaven, Por. The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers, Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man, And heavily in clouds brings on the day; Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin? The great, the important day, big with the fate Por. Believe
me, Marcus, 'tis an impious great. Of Cato and of Rome. Our father's death
ness, Would fill up all the guilt of civil war,
And mixed with too much horror to be envied; And close the scene of blood. Already Cæsar How does the lustre of our father's actions, Has ravaged more than half the globe, and sees Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him, Mankind grown thin by his destructive sword : Break out, and burn with more triumphant brightShould he go farther, numbers would be wanting To form new battles, and support his crimes. His sufferings shine, and spread a glory round Ye gods, what havock does ambition make Among your works!
Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause Marc. Thy steady temper, Portius,
Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome. Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Cæsar, His sword ne'er fell, but on the guilty head; In the calm lights of mild philosophy;
Oppression, tyranny, and power usurped, I'ın tortured, even to madness, when I think Draw all the vengeance of his arm upon them. On the proud victor : every time he's named, Marc. Who knows not this! But what can Ph:rsalia rises to my view !—I see
Caty do The jusulting tyrant prancing o'er the field, Against a world, a base, degenerate world, Strewed with Rome's citizens, and drenched in That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to Coslaughter,
Whene'er did Juba, or did Portius, shew
A virtue that has cast me at a distance, And, covered with Numidian guards, directs And thrown me out in the pursuits of honour? A feeble army, and an empty senate,
Por. Marcus, I know thy generous temper Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain.
well; By Heaven, such virtue, joined with such suc- Fling but the appearance of dishonour on it, cess,
It straight takes fire, and mounts into a blaze. Distracts my very soul ! our father's fortune Marc. A brother's sufferings claim a brother's Would almost tempt us to renounce his precepts. pity. Por. Remember what our father oft has told Por. Heaven knows I pity thee! Behold my
cyes, The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate, Even whilst I speak-do they not swim in tears? Puzzled in mazes, and perplexed with errors ; Were but my heart as naked to thy view, Our understanding traces them in vain,
Marcus would see it bleed in his behalf. Lost and bewildered in the fruitless search; Marc. Why then dost treat me with rebukes, Nor sees with how much art the windings run,
instead Nor where the regular confusion ends.
Of kind condoling cares, and friendly sorrow? Marc. These are suggestions of a mind at ease: Por. Oh, Marcus ! did I know the way to ease Oh, Portius, didst thou taste but half the griefs Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains, That wring my soul, thou couldst not talk thus Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it. coldly
Marc. Thou best of brothers, and thou best of Passion unpitied, and successless love,
friends! Plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate Pardon a weak distempered soul, that swells My other griefs. Were but my Lucia kind With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms, Por. Thou seest not that thy brother is thy ri- The sport of passions. But Sempronius comes :
He must not find this softness hanging on me. But I must hide it, for I know thy temper.
[Exit Marc. Aside.
Enter SEMPRONIUS. Now, Marcus, now thy virtue's on the proof : Put forth thy utmost strength, work every nerve, Sem. Conspiracies no sooner should be formed And call up all thy father in thy soul:
Than executed. What means Portius here! To quell the tyrant, Love, and guard thy heart I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble, On this weak side, where most our nature fails, And speak a language foreign to my heart. (Aside. Would be a conquest worthy Cato's son. Good-morrow, Portius; let us once embrace, Marc. Portius, the counsel which I cannot Once more embrace, while yet we both are free. take,
To-morrow, should we thus express a friendship, Instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness. Each might receive a slave into his arms. Bid me for honour plunge into a war
This sun, perhaps, this morning's sun's the last, Of thickest foes, and rush on certain death, That e'er shall rise on Roman liberty. Then shalt thou see that Marcus is not slow Por. My father has this morning called togeTo follow glory, and confess his father.
ther Love is not to be reasoned down, or lost
To this poor hall, his little Roman senate, In high ambition or a thirst of greatness ; (The leavings of Pharsalia) to consult 'Tis second life, it grows into the soul,
If he can yet oppose the mighty torrent Waris every vein, and beats in every pulse; That bears down Rome, and all her gods before it, I feel it here : my resolution melts
Or must at length give up the world to Cæsar. Por. Behold young Juba, the Numidian prince, Sem. Not all the pomp and majesty of Rome With how much care he forins himself to glory, Can raise her senate more than Cato's presence. And breaks the fierceness of his native temper, His virtues render our assembly awful; To copy out our father's bright example. They strike with something like religious fear, He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves her; And make even Cæsar tremble at the head His eyes, his looks, his actions, all betray it; Of armies Aushed with conquest. Oh, my PorBut still the smothered fondness burns within
Could I but call that wondrous man my father, When most it swells, and labours for a vent, Would but thy sister Marcia be propitious The sense of honour, and desire of faine, To thy friend's vows, I might be blessed indeed! Drive the big passion back into his heart.
Por. Alas, Sempronius! wouldst thou talk of What! shall an African, shall Juba's heir
love Reproach great Cato's son, and shew the world To Marcia, whilst her father's life's in danger? A virtue, wanting in a Roman soul!
Thou mightst as well court the pale, trembling Marc. Portius, no more! your words leave vestal, stings behind them,
When she beholds the holy flame expiring.