Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

Moscon. I cannot bring my mind, Great as my haste to see the festival Certainly is, to leave you, Sir, without Just saying some three or four thousand words.

How is it possible that on a day
Of such festivity, you can be content
To come forth to a solitary country
With three or four old books, and turn
your back

On all this mirth?
Clarin. My master's in the right;
There is not anything more tiresome
Than a procession day, with troops, and
priests,

And dances, and all that.
Moscon.
From first to last,
Clarin, you are a temporising flatterer;
You praise not what you feel but what
he does;-
Toadeater!
Clarin.

mistakeFor this is the most civil sort of lie That can be given to a man's face.

now

Say what I think.
Cyprian.

I

Enough, you foolish

fellows! Puffed up with your own doting ignor

ance,

You always take the two sides of one question.

Now go; and as I said, return for me When night falls, veiling in its shadows wide

This glorious fabric of the universe.
Moscon. How happens it, although
you can maintain

The folly of enjoying festivals,
That yet you go there?

Clarin.

Dæmon. wilt, You lie under a But thou shalt never find what I can

hide. Cyprian. What noise is that among the boughs? Who moves? What art thou?Damon.

'Tis a foreign gentle

man.

Even from this morning I have lost my

Livia is she who has surprised my heart;
But he is more than half-way there.
Soho!

Livia, I come; good sport, Livia, soho! [Exit. Now, since I am alone, let me examine

Cyprian.

The question which has long disturbed
my mind

With doubt, since first I read in Plinius
The words of mystic import and deep

sense

In which he defines God. My intellect
Can find no God with whom these marks
and signs

Fitly agree. It is a hidden truth
Which I must fathom.

[CYPRIAN reads; the DEMON, dressed
in a Court dress, enters.
Search even as thou

way

In this wild place; and my poor horse at

last,

Quite overcome, has stretched himself upon

The enamelled tapestry of this mossy
mountain,

And feeds and rests at the same time.
I was

Upon my way to Antioch upon business
Of some importance, but wrapt up in

cares

(Who is exempt from this inheritance?)
I parted from my company, and lost
My way, and lost my servants and my
comrades.

Nay, the conse

quence

Is clear-who ever did what he advises
Others to do?—
Moscon.
were wings,
So would I fly to Livia.

Would that my feet

Cyprian. 'Tis singular that even within the sight [Exit. Of the high towers of Antioch you could To speak truth, lose

Clarin.

Your way. Of all the avenues and green The chair of the most high Professorpaths

ship,

Of this wild wood there is not one but And obtained many votes, and though leads,

As to its centre, to the walls of Antioch; The
Take which you will you cannot miss
your road.

Dæmon. And such is ignorance!
Even in the sight

Of knowledge, it can draw no profit
from it.

[blocks in formation]

I lost,

attempt was still more glorious, than the failure

Cyprian.

I were of that bright country! for in this

The more we study, we the more dis

cover

Our ignorance.
Dæmon.
It is so true, that I
Had so much arrogance as to oppose

Could be dishonourable. If you believe
not,

Let us refer it to dispute respecting
That which you know the best, and
although I

Know not the opinion you maintain, and
though

It be the true one, I will take the contrary.

[blocks in formation]

manner

Oh would Can supreme goodness be consistent
with

The passions of humanity?
Damon.
The wisdom
Of the old world masked with the names
of Gods

The attributes of Nature and of Man;
A sort of popular philosophy.

Cyprian. This reply will not satisfy Be well distinguished into persons, yet me, for Even in the minutest circumstance Such awe is due to the high name of His essence must be one. God

Dæmon. To attain the end That i should never be imputed. The affections of the actors in the scene Then, Must have been thus influenced by his Examining the question with more care, voice. It follows, that the Gods would always

Cyprian.

But for a purpose thus subordinate

will

That which is best, were they supremely He might have employed Genii, good

good.

or evil,

How then does one will one thing, one A sort of spirits called so by the learned, another?

Who roam about inspiring good or evil,
And from whose influence and existence

we

And that you may not say that I allege
Poetical or philosophic learning :-
Consider the ambiguous responses
Of their oracular statues; from two
shrines

May well infer our immortality.
Thus God might easily, without descent
To a gross falsehood in his proper

Two armies shall obtain the assurance of
One victory. Is it not indisputable
That two contending wills can never
lead

To the same end? And being opposite,
If one be good is not the other evil?
Evil in God is inconceivable;

person,

Have moved the affections by this mediation

Unfathomed by our intellectual beam.
They are the work of providence, and

To the just point.
Dæmon.

These trifling con

tradictions

Do not suffice to impugn the unity

But supreme goodness fails among the Of the high Gods; in things of great

Gods

Without their union.
Dæmon.
I deny your major.
These responses are means towards some
end

importance

They still appear unanimous; consider That glorious fabric man,- his workmanship

Is stamped with one conception.
Cyprian.
Who made man
Must have, methinks, the advantage of
the others.

more

The battle's loss may profit those who If they are equal, might they not have lose,

risen

Than victory advantage those who win.
Cyprian. That I admit; and yet
that God should not
(Falsehood is incompatible with deity)
Assure the victory; it would be enough
To have permitted the defeat. If God
Be all sight,-God, who had beheld the

In opposition to the work, and being
All hands, according to our author here,
Have still destroyed even as the other
made?

If equal in their power, unequal only
In opportunity, which of the two
Will remain conqueror ?
Damon.

truth,

On impossible Would not have given assurance of an And false hypothesis there can be built end No argument. Say, what do you infer Never to be accomplished: thus, although From this? The Deity may according to his attri- Cyprian. butes

1

That there must be

a mighty God

Of supreme goodness and of highest Speaks thus,—

grace,

All sight, all hands, all truth, infallible,
Without an equal and without a rival,
The cause of all things and the effect of
nothing,

One power, one will, one substance, and

one essence.

And in whatever persons, one or two,
His attributes may be distinguished, one
Sovereign power, one solitary essence,
One cause of all cause.
[They rise.
How can I impugn

Damon.

So clear a consequence?

Cyprian.

My victory?

Cyprian.
Lelio, Floro,

Be it enough that Cyprian stands between
you,

[ocr errors]

[They fight. Ha! what is this?

Although unarmed.

Lelio.

Whence comest thou, to

stand

Between me and my vengeance?
Floro.
From what rocks

And desert cells?

Enter MoscON and CLARIN.
Moscon.
Run! run! for

where we left

Do you regret My master, I now hear the clash of

swords.

Clarin. I never run to approach things of this sort,

But only to avoid them.

Sir! Cyprian!

sir !

Cyprian. Be silent, fellows! What! two friends who are

Dæmon. Who but regrets a check
In rivalry of wit? I could reply
And urge new difficulties, but will now
Depart, for I hear steps of men ap-
proaching,

And it is time that I should now pursue
My journey to the city.

Cyprian.
Go in peace!
Dæmon. Remain in peace !-Since
thus it profits him

To study, I will wrap his senses up
In sweet oblivion of all thought, but of
A piece of excellent beauty; and as I
Have power given me to wage enmity
Against Justina's soul, I will extract
From one effect two vengeances.
[Aside and exit.
Cyprian.
I never
Met a more learned person. Let me now
Revolve this doubt again with careful
mind.
[He reads.
FLORO and LELIO enter.
Lelio. Here stop. These toppling
rocks and tangled boughs,
Impenetrable by the noonday beam,
Shall be sole witnesses of what we-
Draw!
If there were words, here is the place
for deeds.

Restore it to the slumber of the scabbard :
Thou knowest more of science than the
duel;

For when two men of honour take the field,
No counsel nor respect can make them
friends

But one must die in the dispute.
Floro.

I pray That you depart hence with your people, and

Floro.

Leave us to finish what we have begun

Lelio. Thou needest not instruct Without advantage.me; well I know That in the field, the silent tongue of

Though you may

Cyprian.
imagine

steel

That I know little of the laws of duel,

In blood and fame the eyes and hope of
Antioch,

One of the noble race of the Colalti,
The other son o' the Governor, adventure
And cast away, on some slight cause no
doubt,

Two lives, the honour of their country?
Lelio.
Cyprian!
Although my high respect towards your

person

Holds now my sword suspended, thou

canst not

[blocks in formation]

Cyprian. Permit one question further: is the lady

Impossible to hope or not?

Lelio. She is So excellent, that if the light of day Should excite Floro's jealousy, it were Without just cause, for even the light of day

Would you for your

her?

Trembles to gaze on her.
Cyprian.
Part, marry
Floro.
Such is my confidence.
Cyprian. And you?
Lelio.

To slur her honour? What would the world say

If one should slay the other, and if she Should afterwards espouse the murderer? [The rivals agree to refer their quarrel to CYPRIAN; who in consequence visits JUSTINA, and becomes enamoured of her: she disdains him, and he retires to a solitary sea-shore.

SCENE II

Cyprian. O memory! permit it not

That the tyrant of my thought Be another soul that still

poor,

Her virtue is her dowry.

Cyprian. And if you both Would marry her, is it not weak and vain, Culpable and unworthy, thus beforehand

Holds dominion o'er the will,
That would refuse, but can no more,
To bend, to tremble, and adore.
Vain idolatry!-I saw,

And gazing, became blind with error; Weak ambition, which the awe

Of her presence bound to terror!
So beautiful she was--and I,
Between my love and jealousy,
Am so convulsed with hope and fear,
Unworthy as it may appear;-
So bitter is the life I live,

That, hear me, Hell! I now would give
To thy most detested spirit
My soul, for ever to inherit,
To suffer punishment and pine,
So this woman may be mine.
Hear'st thou, Hell! dost thou reject it?
My soul is offered!

Damon (unseen). I accept it. [Tempest, with thunder and lightning.

Cyprian.

What is this? ye heavens for ever pure, Oh! would that I At once intensely radiant and obscure! Athwart the ethereal halls

could lift my hope So high, for though she is extremely The lightning's arrow and the thunder

balls

[blocks in formation]
« PredošláPokračovať »