Imágenes de páginas



More sinners for the Devil to prey upon ? Ho there! to th' hospital for the lunatics

There's one a boy — soine strumpet will enlace him Fetch succour for this poor distrest

And make him wear her loathsome livery.

| The other a girl: if she be ill, she'll sink

What said I? Spotted to death — she 'll be an Aldabella : Oh pardon me, I came not to upbraid thee.

If she be chaste, she 'll be a wretch like me, Think, think - I'll whisper it, I 'll not betray thee; A jealous wretch, a frantic guilty wretch. The air 's a tell-tale, and the walls are listeners :- No, no: they must not live, they must not live! Think what a change! Last night within thy cham

(Exit into a chamber

After a pause, she returns. (I 'll not say in thy arms; for that displeases thee, It will not be, it will not be — they woke And sickens me to utter,) and 10-night

As though c'en in their sleep they felt my presence; Upon a prison pallet, straw, hard straw;

And then they smiled upon me fondly, playfully, For eastern perfumes, the rank noisome air;

And stretch'd their rosy fingers to sport with me : For gentle harpings, shrilly clanking chains: The boy did arch his eyebrows so like Fazio, Nay, turn not off: the worst is yet to come.

Though my soul wish'd that God would take them to Tomorrow at his waking, for thy face

him, Languidly, lovingly down drooping o'er him, That they were 'scaped this miserable world, The scarr'd and haggard executioner.

I could but kiss them; and, when I had kiss'd them, ALDABELLA (turning away).

I could as soon have leap'd up to the moon There is a dizzy trembling in mine eye;

As speck'd or soild their alabaster skins.-But I must dry the foolish dew for shame.

Wild that I am! - Take them t’another world! Well, what is it to me? I slew bim not ;

As thongh I, I my husband's murderess,
Nay, nor denounced him to the judgment-seat. In the dread separation of the dead,
I but debase myself to lend free hearing

Should meet again those spotless innocents!
To such coarse fancies -- I must hence: to-night Oh, happy they!- they will but know to-morrow
I feast the lords of Florence.

[Exit. By the renewal of the soft warm daylight, (Erit BIANCA.

They 're all lies :
Things done within some far and distant planet,
Or offscum of some dreamy poet's brain,
All tales of human goodness. Or they 're legends

Left us of some good old forgotten time,

A Street Morning Twilight.
Ere harlotry became a queenly sin,
And housed in palaces. Oh, earth 's so crowded

With Vice, that if strange Virtue stray abroad,

Where have I been? - I have not been at rest They hoot it from them like a thing accurst.

There's yet the stir of motion in my limbs. Fazio, my Fazio! — but we'll laugh at them:

Oh, I remember—'t was a hideous strife We will not stay upon their wicked soil,

Within my brain : I felt that all was hopeless,
E'en though they sue us not to die and leave them.

Yet would not credit it; and I set forth
To tell my Fazio so, and dared not front him

With such cold comfort. Then a mist came o'er me,

And something drove me on, and on, and on,

Street after street, each blacker than the other, Fazio's House.

And a blue axe did shimmer through the gloom

Its fiery edge did waver to and fro Ah, what a fierce and frantic coil is here,

And there were infants' voices, faint and failing, Because the sun must shine on one man less! That panted after me. I knew I fled them; I'm sick and weary - my feet drag along.

Yet could not choose but fly. And then, oh then, Why must I trail, like a scotch'd serpent, hither? I gazed and gazed upon the starless darkness, Here, to this house, where all things breathe of Fazio ? And blest it in my soul, for it was deeply The air tastes of him — the walls whisper of him. And beautifully black — no speck of light; Oh, I'll to bed! to bed! What find I there? And I had feverish and fantastic hopes, Fazio, my fond, my gentle, fervent Fazio ? —

That it would last for ever, nor give place No! - - Cold stones are his couch, harsh iron bars To th' horrible to-morrow. - Ha, 't is there! Curtain his slumbers. -Oh, no, no - I have it - 'Tis the grey morning light aches in mine eyes — He is in Aldabella's arms. --Out on 't!

It is that morrow!-Ho!- Look out, look out! Fie, fie !-that's rank, that is noisome !-I remember, With what a hateful and unwonted swiftness Our children - ay, my children — Fazio's children. It scares my comfortable darkness from me! "T was my thoughts' burthen as I came along, Fool that I am! I've lost the few brief hours Were it not wise to bear them off with us

Yet left me of my Fazio! - Oh, away, Away from this cold world !-Why should we breed up Away to him! — away!













Who's that, Bianca, The Prison-tolally dark, except a lamp.

That's loved so deeply ?

-Fazio, Fazio, Fazıc.Fazio and PHILARIO.

It is that morrow

FAZIO. I thank thee: 't was a melancholy hymn;

Nay, look cheeringly : But soft and soothing as the gale of eve,

It may be God doth punish in this world The gale, whose flower-sweet breath no more shall To spare hereafier.

pass o'er me. Oh, what a gentle ministrant is music

Fazio, set me loose!
To piety-10 mild, to penitent piety!

Thou clasp'st thy murderess.
Oh, it gives plumage to the tardy prayer,
That lingers in our lazy earthly air,

No, it is my love,
And melts with it to heaven-To die, 't is dreary;
To die a villain's death, that's yet a pang.

My wife, my children's mother !—Pardon me, But it must down: I have so steep'd my soul

Bianca ; but thy children—I'll not see them : In the bitler ashes of true penitence,

For on the wax of a soft infant's memory That they have put on a delicious savour,

Things horrible sink deep and sternly settle.

I would not have them, in their after-days,
And all is halcyon quiet, all within.
Bianca !--Where is she !-why comes she not ?-

Cherish the image of their wretched father
Yet I do almost wish her not to come,

In the cold darkness of a prison-house. Lest she again enamour me of life.

Oh, if they ask thee of their father, tell them

That he is dead, but say not how.
Hast thou no charge to her, no fond bequest ? --
It shall lose little by my bearing it.

No, no

Not tell them, that their mother murder'd him.
Oh yes, oh yes ! - I have her picture here:
That I had seen it in one hour of my life,

But are they well, my love?
In Aldabella's arms had it look'd on me,
I should have had one sin less to repent of.

What, had I freed them I'm loth the coarse and vulgar executioner

From this drear villains' earth, sent them before us, Should handle it with his foul gripe, or pass

Lest we should miss them in another world, His ribald jests upon it.—Give it her.

And so be fetter'd by a cold regret
[With the picture he draws out some gold, on which of this sad sunshine ?
he looks with great apparent melancholy.


Oh, thou hast not been
And this too, sir ?

So wild a rebel to the will of God!

If that thou hast, 't will make my passionate arms, Oh, touch it not, Philario!

That ring thee round so fondly, drop off from thee, Oh, touch it not !-'t is venomous, 't is viperous ! Like sere and wither'd ivy; make my farewell If there be bottomless sea, unfathom'd pit

Spoken in such suffocate and distemper'd tone, In earth's black womb-oh, plunge it, plunge it deep, ’T will sound more likeDeep, dark! or if a devil be abroad, Give it to him, to bear it whence it came,

They live! thank God, they live To its own native Hell.-Oh no, no, no

I should not rack thee with such fantasies : He must not have it: for with it he'll betray But there have been such hideous things around me More men, more noble spirits than Lucifer

Some whispering me, some dragging me; I've felt Drew down from heaven. This yellow pestilence Not half a moment's calm since last we parted, Laid waste my Eden; made a gaudy bird of me,

So exquisite, so gentle, as this now-
For soft Temptation's silken nets to snare.

I could sleep on thy bosom, Fazio.
It crept in to us—Sin came with it-Misery
Dogg'd its foul footsteps--ever-deepening Sin,

And ever-darkening Misery.-Philario,

Away with it!-away!
—Takes the picture.) Here's

fairer gazing.

Thine hour is come.
Thou wouldst not think these smooth and smiling lips
Could speak away a life-a husband's life.

It is not morning yel-
Yet ah! I led the way to sin-1 wrong'd her: Where is the twilight that should usher it?
Yet, Heaven be witness, though I wrong'd her, loved Where is the sun, that should come golden on!

Ill-favour'd liar, to come prate of morning, E'en in my heart of heart.

With torchlight in thy hand to scare the darkness






Thou dost forget; day's light ne'er pierceth here:
The sun hath kindled up the open air.


I say 't is but an hour since it was evening,
A dreary, measureless, and mournful hour,
Yet but an hour.

So, lady, fare thee well: our gentlest thanks
For thy fair entertaining -Ha! what's here?
Enter BIANCA, followed by PHILARIO.

Ha! ye've been dancing, dancing-

-So have I:
But mine was heavy music, slow and solemn-
A bell, a bell: my thick blood rollid to it,
My heart swung to and fro, a dull deep motion.

'Tis thou, 't is thou !- I came to tell thee something.

ALDABELLA (alarmed and shrinking.)
Ah me! ah me!


I will obey thee, officer! Yet but a word-Bianca, 't is a strange oneCanst thou endure it, dearest!-Aldabella


Curse her!







Peace, peace!—'t is dangerous : sinner's curses

Nay, shrink not-I'll not kill thee: Pluck them down tenfold from the angry heavens For if I do, I know, in the other world, Upon the curser's head-Beseech thee, peace!

Thou ’lt shoot between me and my richest joys.Forgive her—for thy Fazio's sake, forgive her. Thou shalt stay here-I'll have him there--all-all

of him. Any thing not to think on her-Not yet

They shall not kill thee—by my faith they shall not! What means the wild-hair'd maniac ?
I'll clasp mine arms so closely round thy neck,

BIANCA (moving him aside.)
That the red axe shall hew them off, ere shred

By and by

A hair of thee: I will so mingle with thee,
That they shall strike at random, and perchance

I tell thee, that warm cheek thy lips did stray on Set me free first

But yesternight, 't is cold and colourless :
[The bell sounds, her grasp relaxes, and she That was such incense to thee—it is fied:

The breath, that stirr'd among thy jetty locks,
stands torpid.

The voice, that callid thee then, his soul of soulFAZIO (kissing her, which she does not seem to be

I know it-'t was his favourite phrase of loveconscious of:)

I've heard it many a time myself,'t was rapturous, Farewell, farewell, farewell! That mild, that musical voice is dumb and frozen : She does not feel, she does not feel!—Thank heaven, The neck whereon thine arms did hang so tenderly, She does not feel her Fazio's last, last kiss! There's blood upon it, blood—I tell thee, blood. One other!-Cold as stone_sweet, sweet as roses. Dost thou hear that? is thy brain fire to bear it?

[Erit. Mine is, mine is, mine is. BIANCA (slowly recovering.) Gone, gone!-he is not air yet, not thin spirit!

"Tis Fazio's wife. He should not glide away-he is not guiltyYe murder and not execute-Not guilty.

It is not Fazio's wife.--Have the dead wives?
[Exit, followed by Philario. Ay, ay, my liege, and I know thee, and well-

Thou art the rich-robed minister of the law's.
Fine laws! rare laws! most equitable laws!

Who robs his neighbour of his yellow dust,

Or his bright sparkling stones, or such gay trashA magnificent Apartment in the Palace of ALDABELLA And if one steal a husband from his wife,

Oh, he must die, die for the public good. - Every appearance of a ball prolonged till morning. Do dive into her heart for its best treasure, - DUKE, Lords, Falsetto, DANDOLO, and ALDA- Do rend asunder whom Heaven link'd in one

Oh, they are meek, and merciful, and milky-

'Tis a trick of human frailty-Oh, fine laws! 'Tis late, 'tis lato; the yellow morning light Rare laws! most equitable laws! Streams in upon our sick and waning lamps. It was a jocund night: but good my friends,

Poor wretch, The sun reproves our lingering revelry;

Who it thus hath wrong'd thee? And, angry at our scorning of his state,

BIANCA (to the DUKE.) Will shine the slumber from our heavy eyes.

Come thou here.

The others crowd around hershe says to FALSETTO, GONSALVO. There's one, my liege, will sleep more calm than we: Get back. get back: the god that thou adoredst, But now I heard the bell with iron tongue

Thy god is dead, thou pitiful idolater. Speak out unto the still and solemn air

TO DANDOLO (showing her Dress.) The death-stroke of the murderer Fazio.

| I know they're coarse and tatter'd-Get thee back. 22 2H






To the DUKE.

If that I did; but all my pain 's within (with her hand I tell thee, that rich woman - she My liege,

to her bosom).
I'll speak anon - my lips do cling together - It will not break, it will not break 't is iron.
There's dust about my tongue - I cannot move it

If this be true
Ho, there! - some wine!


My liege, it is the tale
Thank thee, 'l is moist — I thank thee; That Fazio told me ere he died.
(As she raises the goblet to her lips, she sees ALDABELLA,
and dashes it away.)

Ay, sir,
Her lips have been upon it - I'll have none on't.

The dying lie not—he, a dying man,

Lied not — and I, a dying woman, lie not:
My liege, thou wilt not hearken to the tale

For I shall die, spite of this iron here. Of a mad woman, venting her sick fancies

Upon a lady of my state and honour !

There is confession in thy guilty cheeks.

Thou high-bord baseness! beautiful deformity! Lady, there is one state alone, that holds

Dishonour'd honour!-How hast thou discredited Above the range of plumed and restless Justice All that doth fetter admiration's eye, Her throned majesty - the state of Virtue.

And made us out of love with loveliness !
Poor sad distraught, speak on.

I do condemn thee, woman, by the warrant

of this my ducal diadem, to put on thee

I am not mad, The rigid convent vows: there bleach anew Thou smooth-lipp'd slanderer! - I have been mad, Thy sullied breast; there temper thy rank blood; And then my words came vague, and loose, and Lay ashes to thy soul; swathe thy hot skin broken;

In sackcloth; and God give thee length of days, But now, there's mode and measure in my speech. T'atone, by this world's misery, this world's sin. I'll hold my brain ; and then I'll tell my tale

[Exit ALDABELLA Simply and clearly. - Fazio, my poor Fazio He murder'd not — he found Bartolo dead.

Bless thee, Heaven bless thee!-- Yet it must not be The wealth did shine in his eyes, and he was dazzled. My Fazio said we must forgive her — Fazio And when that he was gaily gilded up,

Said so; and all he said is best and wisest. She, she, I say (nay, keep away from her,

DUKE. For she hath witchcraft all around her), she

She shall have her desert: aught more to ask of us! Did take him to her chamber —Fie, my liege!

What should my husband in her chamber? - Then, My children-thou 'lt protect them—Oh, my liege,
Ay then, I madden'd. — Hark! hark! hark! — the Make them not rich : let them be poor and honest

The bell that I set knolling - hark ! - Here, here, I will, I will.
Massy and cold it strikes—Here, here. (Clasping her

BIANCA. forehead.)

Why then 't is time, 't is time.

And thou believest he is no murderer! (Duke bous
Sad woman!

assent.) Tear not so piteously thy disorder'd hair!

Thou 'lt lay me near him, and keep her away from us

It breaks, it breaks, it breaks - it is not iron. I do not tear my hair: there should be pain

[Dies 270



Samor, Lord of the Bright City.


et o! modo spiritus adsit, Frangam Saxonicas Britonum sub Marte phalanges.

MILTON, Mansus.

the better fortitude or patience and heroic martyrdom.

MILTON'S Par. Lost, Book IX.


association to recommend them, I have frequently, on

the authority of Camden and others, translated them. The Historians* of the Empire, near the period of Thus the Saxon Gloucester, called by the Britons Caer time at which this Poem commences, make mention Gloew, is the Bright City. The Dobuni, the inhabit. of a Constantine, who assumed the purple of the ants of the Vales, are called by that name. Some western empire, gained possession of Gaul and Spain, few sanctioned by old usages of Poetry and Romance but was defeated and slain at the battle of Arles. He 1 retain, as Kent, Thanet, Cornwall. London is Troyhad a son named Constans, who became a monk, and novant, as the City of the Trinobantes. was put to death at Vienne.

Some passages in the Poem will be easily traced to About the same time a Constantine appears in the their acknowledged sources, the Poets of Greece and relations of the old British Chronicles and Romances. Italy; one, however, in the third book, relating to the He was brother of the king of Armorica, and became Northern mythology, has been remarkably anticipated himself King, or rather an elected sovereign of the in a modern Poem. The honourable Author may be petty Kings of Britain,t who continued their succession assured that the coincidence is unintentional, as that under the Roman dominion. He was called Vendi- part of this Poem was the earliest written, and pregard 1 and Waredur, the Defender and Deliverer. He vious to the appearance of his production. had three sons, Constans, who became a hermit, and was murdered, either (for the traditions vary) by the

Picts, by Vortigern, or by the Saxons ; Emrys, called
by the Latin writers Aurelius Ambrosius; and Uther
Pendragon, the father of Arthur. These two Con.

BOOK I. stantines are here identified, and Vortigern supposed Land of my birth, O Britain ! and my love ; to have been named King of Britain, as the person whose air I breathe, whose earth I tread, whose of greatest authority and conduct in the wreck of the British army, defeated at Arles. Many, however, of My song would speak, its strong and solemn tones

tongue the chiefs in the Island advancing the hereditary Most proud, if I abase not. Beauteous Isle, right, before formally settled on the sons of Constan. And plenteous! what though in thy atmosphere tine, Vortigern, mistrusting the Britons, and prest by Float not the taintless luxury of light, invasions of the Caledonians, introduced the Saxons The dazzling azure of the Southern skies ; to check the barbarians and strengthen his own sove

Around thee the rich orb of thy renown reignty. The Hero of the Poem is an historical character, as

Spreads stainless and unsullied by a cloud. far as such legends can be called History. He appears

Though thy hills blush not with the purple vine, in most of the Chronicles, as Edol, or Eldol, but the And softer climes excel thee in the hue fullest account of his exploits is in Dugdale's Baron- Nor flow thy rivers over golden beds;

And fragrance of thy summer fruits and flowers, age under his title of Earl of Gloucester. William Thou in the soul of man,

thy better wealth, Harrison, however, in the description of Britain pre. Art richest : nature's noblest produce thou, fixed to Holinshed, calls him Eldulph de Samor. But all concur in ascribing to him the acts which make the immortal Mind in perfect height and strength, the chief subject of the filth and last Books of this Bear'st with a prodigal opulence; this thy right,

Thy privilege of climate and of soil, Poem. Most of our present names of places being purely Or Nymph, or Muse, that oft 't was dream'd of old

Would I assert: nor, save thy fame, invoke, Saron, and the old British having little of harmony or By falls of waters under haunted shades,

Her ecstasy of inspiration pour'd *Gibbon, Chap. 31. 1 Whitaker, Hist. of Manchester.

O'er Poet's soul, and flooded all his powers : Lewis, Hist. of Britain.


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