Part 9 out of 12
_Er_. What is't you would know?
_Alcip_. The truth, _Erminia_, 'twould become you best.
Do you think I take these things to be your Father's?
No, treacherous Woman, I have seen this Sword,
[_Draws the Sword_.
Worn by a Man more vigorous than thy Father,
It had not else been here.
--Where have you hid this mighty Man of valour?
Have you exhausted so his stock of Courage,
He has not any left t'appear withal?
_Phi_. Yes, base _Alcippus_, I have still that Courage,
Th'effects of which thou hast beheld with wonder;
And now being fortified by Innocence,
Thou't find sufficient to chastise thy boldness:
Restore my Sword, and prove the truth of this.
_Alcip_. I've hardly so much Calmness left to answer thee,
And tell thee, Prince, thou art deceiv'd in me.
--I know 'tis just I should restore thy Sword,
But thou hast show'd the basest of thy play,
And I'll return th'uncivil Treachery;
You merit Death for this base Injury.
But you're my Prince, and that I own you so,
Is all remains in me of Sense or Justice;
The rest is Rage, which if thou gett'st not hence
Will eat up that small morsel too of Reason,
And leave me nothing to preserve thy life with.
_Phi_. Gods, am I tame, and hear the Traytor brave me?
[_Offers to run into him_.
I have resentment left, though nothing else.
_Alcip_. Stand off, by all that's good, I'll kill thee else.
[Er. _puts her self between_.
_Er_. Ah, hold, Sir, hold, the Prince has no defence,
And you are more than arm'd; [_To_ Alcip.
What honour is't to let him murder you? [_To the_ Prince.
--Nor would your Fame be lessen'd by retreat.
_Phi_. Alas, I dare not leave thee here with him.
_Er_. Trust me, Sir, I can make him calm again.
_Alcip_. She counsels well, and I advise you take it.
_Phi_. I will, but not for fear of thee or Death,
But from th'assurance that her Power's sufficient
To allay this unbecoming Fury in thee,
And bring thee to repentance.
[_He gives him his Sword_; Philander _goes out_,
Alcippus _locks the door after him_.
_Er. Alcippus_, what do you mean?
_Alcip_. To know where 'twas you learn'd this Impudence?
Which you're too cunning in,
Not to have been a stale practitioner.
_Er_. Alas, what will you do?
_Alcip_. Preserve thy Soul, if thou hast any sense
Of future Joys, after this vile damn'd Action.
_Er_. Ah, what have I done?
_Alcip_. That which if I should let thee live, _Erminia_,
Would never suffer thee to look abroad again.
--Thou'st made thy self and me--
Oh, I dare not name the Monsters.--
But I'll destroy them while the Gods look down,
And smile upon my Justice.
[_He strangles her with a Garter, which he snatches
from his Leg, or smothers her with a pillow_.
_Er_. Hold, hold, and hear my Vows of Innocence.
_Alcip_. Let me be damn'd as thou art, if I do;
[_Throws her on a Bed, he sits down in a Chair_.
--So now, my Heart, I have redeem'd thee nobly,
Sit down and pause a while--
But why so still and tame, is one poor Murder
Enough to satisfy thy storm of Passion?
If it were just, it ought not here to end;
--If not--I've done too much--
[_One knocks, he rises after a little pause,
and opens the door; enter_ Page.
_Page_. My Lord, _Pisaro_--
_Alcip. Pisaro_,--Oh, that Name has wakened me,
A Name till now had never Terror in't!
--I will not speak with him.
_Page_. My Lord, he's here.
[Page _goes out_.
_Pis_. Not speak with me! nay then I fear the worst.
_Alcip_. Not for the world, _Pisaro_--
[_Hides his face with his hand_, Pis. _sees_ Erminia.
_Pis_. Thy guilt is here too plain,
I need not read it in thy blushing face,
She's dead and pale: Ah, sweet _Erminia_!
_Alcip_. If she be dead, the fitter she's for me,
She'll now be coy no more, nor cry I cannot love,
And frown and blush, when I but kiss her hand:
Now I shall read no terror in her Eyes,
And what is better yet, shall ne'er be jealous.
_Pis_. Why didst thou make such haste to be undone?
Had I detain'd thee but an hour longer,
Thou'dst been the only happy of thy Sex.
--I knew thou didst dissemble when we parted,
And therefore durst not trust thee with thy Passions:
I only staid to gather from my Sister
What news I might concerning your affairs,
Which I with joy came to impart to you,
But most unfortunately came too late:
Why didst thou yield obedience to that Devil,
Which urg'd thee to destroy this Innocent?
_Alcip. Pisaro_, do not err;
I found the Prince and she alone together,
He all disorder'd like a Ravisher,
Loose and unbutton'd for the amorous play;
O that she had another Life to lose!
_Pis_. You wrong her most inhumanly, you do;
Her Blood, yet sensible of the injury,
Flows to her face to upbraid thy Cruelty.
--Where dost thou mean, bad Man, to hide thy head?
Vengeance and Justice will pursue thee close,
And hardly leave thee time for Penitence.
--What will the Princess say to this return
You've made to all the offers she has sent
This Night by Prince _Philander_?
_Alcip_. Oh, when you name the Princess and _Philander_,
Such different Passions do at once possess me,
As sink my over-laden Soul to Hell.
--Alas, why do I live? 'tis losing time;
For what is Death, a pain that's sooner ended
Than what I felt from every frown of hers?
--It was but now that lovely thing had Life,
Could speak and weep, and had a thousand Charms,
That had oblig'd a Murder, and Madness't self
To've been her tame Adorers.
Yet now should even her best belov'd, the Prince,
With all his Youth, his Beauties and Desires,
Fall at her Feet, and tell his tale of Love,
She hardly would return his amorous Smiles,
Or pay his meeting Kisses back again;
Is not that fine, _Pisaro_?
_Pis_. Sir, 'tis no time to talk in, come with me,
For here's no safety for a Murderer.
_Alcip_. I will not go, alas I seek no Safety.
_Pis_. I will not now dispute that vain reply,
But force you to security.
[Pisaro _draws him out, the Scene closes_.
SCENE VII. _The Palace_.
_Enter_ Philander, Alcander, Galatea, Aminta, _and_ Falatius.
_Fal_. Ah, fly, Sir, fly from what I have to tell you.
_Alcan_. What's the news?
_Fal_. Ah, Sir, the dismal'st heavy news that e'er was told or heard.
_Gal_. No matter, out with it.
_Fal. Erminia_, Madam--
_Phi. Erminia_, what of her?
_Fal_. Is dead, Sir.
_Alcan_. What, hast thou lost thy Wits?
_Fal_. I had them not about me at the sight,
I else had been undone: Alas, _Erminia's_ dead,
Murder'd, and dead.
_Alcan_. It cannot be, thou ly'st.
_Fal_. By _Jove_, I do not, Sir, I saw her dead:
Alas, I ran as I was wont to do,
Without demanding licence, to her Chamber,
But found her not, as I was wont to do, [_The Women weep_.
In a gay humour, but stone-dead and cold.
_Phi. Alcander_, am I awake?--or being so,
Dost not perceive this senseless Flesh of mine
Hardened into a cold benumbed Statue?
--Methinks--it does--support me--or I fall;
And so--shall break to pieces--
[_Falls into his Arms. He leads him out_.
_Gal_. Ah, lovely Maid, was this thy destiny?
Did Heaven create thy Beauties to this end?
--I must distrust their Bounties, who neglected
The best and fairest of their handy-work;
This will incourage Sin, when Innocence
Must perish thus, and meet with no defence.
_Enter the_ King _and_ Orgulius.
_Org_. If murder'd Innocence do cry for Justice,
Can you, great Sir, make a defence against it?
_King_. I think I cannot.
_Org_. Sir, as you are pious, as you are my King,
The Lover and Protector of your People,
Revenge _Erminia's_ Murder on _Alcippus_.
_Gal_. If e'er my Mother, Sir, were dear to you,
As from your Tears I guest whene'er you nam'd her;
If the remembrance of those Charms remain,
Whose weak resemblance you have found in me,
For which you oft have said you lov'd me dearly;
Dispense your mercy, and preserve this Copy,
Which else must perish with th'Original.
_King_. Why all this Conjuration, _Galatea_?
_Gal_. To move you, Sir, to spare _Alcippus'_ Life.
_King_. You are unjust, if you demand a Life
Must fall a Sacrifice to _Erminia's_ Ghost,
That is a debt I have ingag'd to pay.
_Gal_. Sir, if that Promise be already past,
And that your Word be irrevocable,
I vow I will not live a moment after him.
_King_. How, _Galatea_! I'd rather hop'd you'd join'd
Your Prayers with his.
_Gal_. Ah, Sir, the late Petition which I made you
Might have inform'd you why these Knees are bow'd;
'Twas but this night I did confess I lov'd him,
And you would have allow'd that Passion in me,
Had he not been _Erminia's_:
And can you question now what this Address meant?
_Org_. Remember, Sir, _Erminia_ was my Daughter.
_Gal_. And, Sir, remember that I am your Daughter.
_Org_. And shall the Traitor live that murder'd her?
_Gal_. And will you by his Death, Sir, murder me?
In dear _Erminia's_ Death too much is done;
If you revenge that Death, 'tis two for one.
_Org_. Ah, Sir, to let him live's unjust in you.
_Gal_. And killing me, you more injustice do.
_Org. Alcippus_, Madam, merits not your Love,
That could so cruel to _Erminia_ prove.
_Gal_. If Lovers could be rul'd by Reason's Laws,
For this complaint on him we'ad had no cause.
'Twas Love that made him this rash act commit;
Had she been kind, 't had taught him to submit.
--But might it not your present Griefs augment,
I'd say that you deserve this punishment,
By forcing her to marry with the General;
By which you have destroy'd _Philander_ too,
And now you would _Alcippus'_ Life undo.
_Org_. That was a fault of duty to your Majesty.
_King_. Though that were honest, 'twere not wisely done;
For had I known the passion of my Son,
And how essential 'twas to his content
I willingly had granted my consent;
Her Worth and Beauty had sufficient been
T'ave rais'd her to the Title of a Queen.
Did not my glorious Father, great _Gonzal_,
Marry the Daughter of his Admiral?
And I might to my Son have been as kind,
As then my Father did my Grandsire find.
_Org_. You once believ'd that I had guilty been,
And had the Punishment, but not the Sin;
I suffer'd when 'twas thought I did aspire,
And should by this have rais'd my crimes yet higher.
_King_. How did _Philander_ take _Erminia's_ death?
_Gal_. My own surprize and grief was so extream,
I know not what effects it had in him;
But this account of him, I'm forc'd to give,
Since she is dead, I know he cannot live.
_King_. I'll know _Philander's_ fate e'er I proceed;
And if he die, _Alcippus_ too shall bleed.
SCENE VIII. _The Gallery_.
_Enter_ Falatius _and_ Labree.
_Fal_. Wert thou never valiant, _Labree_?
_Lab_. Yes, Sir, before I serv'd you, and since too: I
Am provok'd to give you proofs on't sometimes;
For when I am angry I am a very Hector.
_Fal_. Ay, the Devil when a body's angry, but that's
Not the Valour in mode; Men fight now a-days
Without that, and even embrace whilst they draw
Their Swords on one another.
_Lab_. Ay, Sir, those are Men that despise their lives.
_Fal_. Why, that's it, _Labree_, that I would learn to do,
And which I fear, nothing but Poverty will make me do;
_Jove_ defend me from that experiment.
_Enter_ Erminia _veil'd with a thin Tiffany_.
_Lab_. What's the matter, Sir?
Does the fit take you now?
_Fal_. Save us, save us, from the Fiend.
_Lab_. A Ghost, a Ghost! O, O, O!
[_They fall shaking on the ground_.
_Er_. This was a happy mistake,
Now I may pass with safety.
_Fal_. Look up, _Labree_, if thou hast any of that
Courage thou spakest of but now.
_Lab_. I dare not, Sir, experience yours I pray.
_Fal_. Alas, alas, I fear we are both rank Cowards.
_Lab_. Rise, Sir, 'tis gone.
_Fal_. This was worse than the fright _Alcander_ put
Me into by much.
[_They rise and go out_.
SCENE IX. Philander's _Apartments_.
_Enter_ Philander _and_ Cleontius.
_Phi_. I know he's fled to the Camp,
For there he only can secure himself.
_Cle_. I do not think it, Sir.
He's too brave to justify an Action
Which was the Outrage only of his Passion,
That soon will toil it self into a Calm,
And then will grow considerate again,
And hate the Rashness it provok'd him to.
_Phi_. That shall not serve his turn--go
Tell him I'll get his Pardon of the King,
And set him free from other fears of Justice,
But those which I intend to execute.
If he be brave, he'll not refuse this offer;
If not, I'll do as he has done by me,
And meet his hated Soul by Treachery. [Cle_. goes out_.
--And then I've nothing more to do but die.
--Ah, how agreeable are the thoughts of Death!
How kindly do they entertain my Soul,
And tell it pretty tales of Satisfaction in the other world,
That I shall dwell for ever with _Erminia_?--but stay,
That sacred Spirit yet is unreveng'd,
--I'll send that Traitor's Soul to eternal Night,
Then mine shall take its so desired Flight. [_Going out_.
_Enter _Erminia, _calls him_.
_Er_. Return, Philander, whither wouldst thou fly?
_Phi_. What Voice is that? [_Turns, sees her, and is frighted_.
_Er_. 'Tis I, my Prince, 'tis I.
_Phi_. Thou--Gods--what art thou--in that lovely shape?
_Er_. A Soul that from Elysium made escape,
[_As she comes towards him, he goes back in great amaze_.
To visit thee; why dost thou steal away?
I'll not approach thee nearer than I may.
_Phi_. Why do I shake--it is _Erminia's_ form--
And can that Beauty ought that's ill adorn?
--In every part _Erminia_ does appear,
And sure no Devil can inhabit there.
[_He comes on and kneels, one knocks, she steals back in at a door_.
_Alcan_. [_Within_.] My Lord the Prince!
_Phi_. Ha--Oh Gods, I charge thee not to vanish yet!
I charge thee by those Powers thou dost obey,
Not to deprive me of thy blessed sight.
_Er_. I will revisit thee. [_Ex_.
_Phi_. I'm not content with that.
--Stay, stay, my dear _Erminia_.
_Alcan_. What mean you, Sir?
[_He rises and looks still afrighted_.
_Phi_. _Alcander_, look, look, how she glides away,
Dost thou not see't?
_Alcan_. Nothing, Sir, not I.
_Phi_. No, now she's gone again.
_Alcan_. You are disorder'd, pray sit down a while.
_Phi_. No, not at all, _Alcander_; I'm my self,
I was not in a Dream, nor in a Passion
When she appear'd, her Face a little pale,
But else my own _Erminia_, she her self,
I mean a thing as like, nay, it spoke too,
And I undaunted answer'd it again;
But when you knockt it vanisht.
_Alcan_. 'Twas this _Aminta_ would persuade me to,
And, faith, I laught at her,
And wish I might have leave to do so now.
_Phi_. You do displease me with your Unbelief.
_Alcan_. Why, Sir, do you think there can indeed be Ghosts?
_Phi_. Pray do not urge my Sense to lose its nature.
_Er_. It is _Alcander_, I may trust him too.
[_She peeps in on them, and comes out_.
_Phi_. Look where she comes again, credit thy Eyes,
Which did persuade thee that they saw her dead.
_Alcan_. By Heaven, and so they did.
[_Both seem frighted_.
--Gods--this is wondrous strange! yet I can bear it,
If it were the Devil himself in that fair shape.
_Phi_. And yet thou shakest.
_Alcan_. I do, but know not why.
--Inform us, lovely Spirit, what thou art,
A God--or Devil; if either, thou art welcome.
_Er_. You cannot think, _Alcander_, there be Ghosts.
[_She gives her hands to him and_ Phi. _which
they refuse to touch_.
No, give me your hand, and prove mine flesh and blood.
--Sir, you were wont to credit what I said,
And I would still merit that kind opinion.
_Phi_. _Erminia_, Soul of Sweetness, is it you?
--How do you ravish with excess of Joys?
_Er_. Softly, dear Sir, do not express that Joy,
Lest you destroy it by your doing so.
I fly for sanctuary to your Arms;
As yet none knows I live, but poor _Isillia_,
Who bathing of my cold face with her tears,
Perceiv'd some signs of life, and us'd what means
Her Love and Duty did instruct her in;
And I in half an hour was so reviv'd,
As I had sense of all was past and done;
And to prevent a death I yet might fear,
If mad _Alcippus_ had return'd again,
--Alone I came to you, where I could find
Alone my Safety too.
_Phi_. From Gods and Men, _Erminia_, thou art safe,
My best and blest _Erminia_.
_Er_. Sir, in my coming hither I met _Aminta_,
Who I may fear has alarm'd all the Court;
She took me for a Ghost, and ran away,
E'er I cou'd undeceive her.
--_Falatius_ too, afrighted even to death--
_Alcan_. Faith, that was lucky, Madam.
--Hark, some body knocks, you'd best retire a little.
[_Leads her into the door_.
_Enter_ Galatea _and_ Aminta _lighted_.
_Gal_. Ah, Brother, there's such news abroad--
_Phi_. What, dear Sister, for I am here confin'd,
And cannot go to meet it?
_Gal_. _Erminia's_ Ghost is seen, and I'm so frighted--
_Phi_. You would not fear it though it should appear.
_Gal_. Oh, do not say so;
For though the World had nought I held more dear,
I would not see her Ghost for all the World.
_Alcan_. But, Madam, 'tis so like _Erminia_--
_Am_. Why, have you seen it too?
_Alcan_. Yes, _Aminta_.
_Am_. Then there be Ghosts, _Alcander_.
_Phi_. _Aminta_, we'll convince him.
[Phi. _leads out_ Er. _who comes smiling to the_ Princess.
_Gal_. But how, dear Creature, wert thou thus preserv'd?
_Phi_. Another time for that, but now let's think
[Aminta _embraces her_.
How to preserve her still.
Since all believe her dead, but who are present,
And that they may remain in that blest error,
I will consult with you; but you, my dearest,
Shall as the Spirit of _Erminia_ act,
And reap the glory of so good a part:
It will advance the new design I have;
And, Sister, to your care
I must commit the Treasure of my Life.
_Gal_. It was not kind, she came not first to me.
_Er_. Madam, I fear'd the safety of my Prince,
And every moment that I found I liv'd,
Were more tormenting than those of death,
Till I had undeceiv'd his Apprehensions.
_Phi_. 'Twas like thy self, generous and kind, my Dear,
Thou mightst have come too late else.
_Er_. But, Sir, pray where's my Murderer? for yet
A better name I cannot well afford him.
_Gal_. All that we know of him,
_Pisaro_ now inform'd me,
Who came just as he thought he had murder'd thee,
And begg'd he would provide for his own safety.
But he who gave him sober promises,
No sooner found himself out of his arms,
But frantick and i'th' dark he got away.
But out o'th' Court he knows he cannot pass
At this dead time of night;
But he believes he is i'th' Groves or Gardens,
And thither he is gone to find him out.
_Alcan_. This is no place to make a longer stay in,
The King has many Spies about the Prince,
'Twere good you would retire to your Apartment.
_Gal_. We'll take your Counsel, Sir.
--Good night, Brother.
_Phi_. _Erminia_, may thy Dreams be calm and sweet,
As thou hast made my Soul;
May nothing of the Cruelty that's past,
Approach thee in a rude uneasy thought;
Remember it not so much as in thy Prayers,
Let me alone to thank the Gods for thee,
To whom that Blessing only was ordain'd.
_And when I lose my Gratitude to Heaven,
May they deprive me of the Joys they've given_.
SCENE I. Galatea's _Apartments_.
_Enter_ Galatea, Erminia, Pisaro, Aminta.
_Gal_. And hast thou found him? Ease my misery.
_Pis_. I have, and done as you commanded me.
I found him sitting by a Fountain side,
Whose Tears had power to swell the little tide,
Which from the Marble Statues breasts still flows:
As silent and as numberless were those.
I laid me down behind a Thicket near,
Where undiscover'd I could see and hear;
The Moon the Day supply'd, and all below
Instructed, even as much as Day could do.
I saw his postures, heard him rave and cry,
_'Twas I that kill'd_ Erminia, _yes 'twas I_;
Then from his almost frantick Head he'd tear
Whole handfuls of his well-becoming Hair:
Thus would he, till his Rage was almost spent,
And then in softer terms he would lament:
Then speak as if _Erminia_ still did live,
And that Belief made him forget to grieve.
--The Marble Statue _Venus_ he mistook
For fair _Erminia_, and such things he spoke,
Such unheard passionate things, as e'en wou'd move
The marble Statue's self to fall in love;
He'd kiss its Breast, and say she kind was grown,
And never mind, alas, 'twas senseless Stone;
He took its Hand, and to his Mouth had laid it,
But that it came not, and its stay betray'd it;
Then would he blush, and all asham'd become,
His Head declining, for awhile be dumb:
His Arms upon his Breast across would lay,
Then sensibly and calmly walk away;
And in his walk a thousand things he said,
Which I forgot, yet something with me staid;
He did consult the nature of the Crime,
And still concluded that 'twas just in him;
He run o'er all his life, and found no act
That was ungenerous in him, but this fact,
From which the Justice took off the Disgrace,
And might even for an act of Virtue pass;
He did consult his Glory and his Pride;
And whilst he did so, laid his grief aside;
--Then was as calm as e'er he seem'd to be.
_Gal_. And all this while did he ne'er mention me?
_Pis_. Yes, Madam, and a thousand things he said,
By which much Shame and Passion he betray'd:
And then 'twas, Madam, I stept in and gave
Counsels, I thought him fittest to receive;
I sooth'd him up, and told him that the Crime
I had committed, had the case been mine.
I all things said that might his Griefs beguile,
And brought him to the sweetness of a Smile.
--To all I said he lent a willing ear,
And my reproaches too at last did hear.
With this insensibly I drew him on,
And with my flatteries so upon him won,
Such Gentleness infus'd into his Breast,
As has dispos'd his wearied Soul to rest:
Sleeping upon a Couch I've left him now,
And come to render this account to you. [_Bows_.
_Gal_. _Pisaro_, 'twas the office of a Friend,
And thou'st perform'd it to a generous end:
Go on and prosper in this new design,
And when thou'st done, the glory shall be thine.
SCENE II. _The Bedchamber of_ Alcippus.
_Draws off, discovers_ Alcippus _rising from the Couch_.
_Alcip_. I cannot sleep, my Soul is so unfurnish'd
Of all that Sweetness which allow'd it rest.
--'Tis flown, 'tis flown, for ever from my breast,
And in its room eternal discords dwell,
Such as outdo the black intrigues of Hell--
Oh my fortune--
[_Weeps, pulling out his handkerchief, drops a
Picture with a Glass on the reverse_.
--What's here? Alas, that which I dare not look on,
And yet, why should I shun that Image here,
Which I continually about me bear?
But why, dear Picture, art thou still so gay,
Since she is gone from whom those Charms were borrow'd?
Those Eyes that gave this speaking life to thine,
Those lovely Eyes are clos'd in endless darkness;
There's not a Star in all the face of Heaven,
But now out-shines those Suns:
Suns at Noon-day dispens'd not kindlier influence.
And thou blest Mirror, that hast oft beheld
That Face, which Nature never made a fairer;
Thou that so oft her Beauties back reflected,
And made her know what wondrous power there lay
In every Feature of that lovely Face.
But she will smile no more! no more! no more!
--Why, who shall hinder her? Death, cruel Death.
--'Twas I that murder'd her--
Thou lyest--thou durst as well be damn'd as touch her,
She was all sacred; and that impious Hand
That had profanely touch'd her,
Had wither'd from the Body.
--I lov'd her--I ador'd her, and could I,
Could I approach her with unhallowed thoughts?
--No, no, I durst not--
But as devoutest Pilgrims do the Shrine.
--If I had done't,
The Gods who take the part of Innocence,
Had been reveng'd--
Why did not Thunder strike me in the Action?
Why, if the Gods be just, and I had done't,
Did they not suffer Earth to swallow me,
Quick--quick into her bosom?
--But yet I say again, it was not I,
--Let me behold this face,
That durst appear in such a Villany.
[_He looks in the glass_.
_Enter_ Pisaro, _and_ Erminia _drest like an Angel with Wings_.
_Pis_. Look where he is.
_Er_. Alas, I tremble at the sight of him.
_Pis_. Fear nothing, Madam, I'll be near you still.
_Er_. Pray stay a little longer.
_Alcip_.--My Face has Horror in't pale and disfigur'd,
And lean as Envy's self--
My Eyes all bloody,--and my hanging lids
Like Midnight's mischief, hide the guilty Balls,
--And all about me calls me Murderer:
--Oh horrid Murderer!
That very Sound tears out my hated Soul,
--And to compleat my ruin,
I'll still behold this face where Murder dwells.
[_He looks in the glass_, Erminia _steals behind him, and
looks into it over his shoulder; he is frighted_.
Ha--what does this Glass present me?
What art thou?--speak--What art thou?
[_Turns by degrees towards it_.
--Sure I am fixt, what, shall the Devil fright me?
--Me shall he fright,
Who stood the Execution of a Murder?
--But 'tis that Shape, and not thy Nature frights me,
--That calls the blood out of my panting Heart,
That Traytor Heart that did conspire thy death.
_Er_. Sit down and hear me--
[_In a tone like a Spirit, and points to a Chair; soft
Musick begins to play, which continues all this Scene_.
To disobey, thy punishment shall be;
To live in endless torments, but ne'er die.
_Alcip_. Thou threatnest high, bold Rebel,
[_He sits within the Scene, bows_.
Er. Alcippus, _tell me what you see,
What is't that I appear to be_?
_Alcip_. My blest _Erminia_ deify'd.
Er. Alcippus, _you inform me true;
I am thus deify'd by you;
To you I owe this blest abode,
For I am happy as a God;
I only come to tell thee so,
And by that tale to end thy Woe;
Know, Mighty Sir, your Joy's begun,
From what last night to me was done;
In vain you rave, in vain you weep,
For what the Gods must ever keep;
In vain you mourn, in vain deplore
A loss which tears can ne'er restore.
The Gods their Mercies will dispense,
In a more glorious Recompence;
A World of Blessings they've in store,
A World of Honours, Vict'ries more;
Thou shalt the Kingdom's Darling be,
And Kings shall Homage pay to thee;
Thy Sword no bounds to Conquest set,
And thy Success that Sword shall whet;
Princes thy Chariot-wheel shall grace,
Whilst thou in Triumph bring'st home Peace.
This will the Gods; thy King yet more
Will give thee what those Gods adore;
And what they did create for thee_,
Alcippus, _look, for that is she_.
_Enter the_ Princess, _who goes over the Stage as a Spirit,
bows a little to_ Alcippus, _and goes off_.
_Alcip_. The Princess! [_He offers to rise_.
Er. _Be still; 'tis she you must possess,
'Tis she must make your happiness;
'Tis she must lead you on to find
Those Blessings Heaven has design'd:
'Tis she'll conduct you, where you'll prove
The perfect Joys of grateful Love_.
Enter _Aminta_ like Glory, _Alcander_ representing _Honour_.
They pass over and bow, and go out.
_Glory and Honour wait on her_.
Enter two more representing _Mars_ and _Pallas_, bow and go out.
_With_ Pallas _and the God of War_,
Enter _Olinda_ like _Fortune_, a _Page_ like _Cupid_, bow and go out.
_Fortune and Love which ne'er agree,
Do now united bow to thee.
--Be wise, and of their Bounties share;
For if_ Erminia _still was here,
Still subject to the toils of Life,
She never could have been thy Wife,
Who by the Laws of Men and Heaven
Was to another's bosom given:
--And what Injustice thou hast done,
Was only to thy Prince alone;
But he has mercy, can redeem
Those Ills which thou hast done to him.
--But see, they all return again_.
[All the Disguis'd enter again and dance, with _Love_ in the midst,
to whom as they dance, they in order make an offer of what they carry,
which must be something to represent them by; which _Love_ refuses
with Nods, still pointing to _Alcippus_: the Dance done, they lay them
at his feet, or seem to do so, and go out.
_What think'st thou of thy Destiny,
Is't not agreeable to thee?
Tell me_, Alcippus, _is't not brave?
Is it not better than a Grave?
Cast off your Tears, abandon Grief,
And give what you have seen belief.
Dress all your Looks, and be as gay
As Virgins in the Month of_ May;
_Deck up that Face where Sorrow grows,
And let your Smiles adorn your brows;
Recal your wonted Sweetness home,
And let your Eyes all Love become:
For what the Gods have willed and said,
Thou hast no power to evade.
What they decree none can withstand,
You must obey what they command_.
[She goes out, he remains immoveable for a while.
_Pis_. How is it, man?--what, speechless?
_Pis_. I left thee on the Bed, how camest thou here?
_Alcip_. I know not.
_Pis_. Have you slept?
_Alcip_. Yes, ever since you left me;
And 'twas a kindness in thee now to wake me;
For Sleep had almost flatter'd me to Peace,
Which is a vile injustice.
Hah, _Pisaro_, I had such a Dream,
Such a fine flattering Dream--
_Pis_. How was it, pray?
_Alcip_. Nay, I will forget it;
I do not merit so much peace of mind,
As the relation of that Dream will give me:
Oh, 'twas so perfect, too,
I hardly can persuade my self I slept!
Dost thou believe there may be Apparitions?
_Pis_. Doubtless, my Lord, there be.
_Alcip_. I never could believe it till this hour,
By Heavens, I think I saw them too, _Pisaro_.
_Pis_. 'Tis very possible you're not deceiv'd.
_Alcip_. _Erminia's_ Spirit, in a glorious form.
_Pis_. I do believe you.
_Alcip_. Why, is't not strange?
_Pis_. It would have been, had I not heard already
She has this night appear'd to several Persons,
In several Shapes; the first was to the Prince;
And said so many pretty things for you,
As has persuaded him to pardon you.
_Alcip_. Oh Gods, what Fortune's mine!
I do believe the Prince is innocent
From all that thou hast said.
--But yet I wish he would dispose his Bounties
On those that would return acknowledgments;
I hate he should oblige me.
_Pis_. You are too obstinate, and must submit.
_Alcip_. It cannot be, and yet methinks I give
A strange and sudden credit to this Spirit,
It beckon'd me into another room;
I'll follow it, and know its business there. [_Aside_.
_Pis_. Come, Sir, I am a kind of Prophet,
And can interpret Dreams too.
We'll walk a while, and you shall tell me all,
And then I would advise you what to do.
SCENE III. _The King's Chamber_.
_Enter_ Philander _with the_ King.
_King_. Thou'st entertain'd me with a pretty Story,
And call'd up so much Nature to thy Cause,
That I am half subjected to its Laws;
I find thy lovely Mother plead within too,
And bids me put no force upon thy Will;
Tells me thy Flame should be as unconfin'd
As that we felt when our two Souls combin'd.
Alas, _Philander_, I am old and feeble,
And cannot long survive:
But thou hast many Ages yet to number
Of Youth and Vigour; and should all be wasted
In the Embraces of an unlov'd Maid?
No, my _Philander_, if that after death
Ought could remain to me of this World's Joys,
I should remember none with more delight,
Than those of having left thee truly happy.
_Phi_. This Goodness, Sir, resembles that of Heaven,
Preserving what it made, and can be paid
Only with grateful Praise as we do that.
_King_. Go, carry on your innocent design,
And when you've done, the last act shall be mine.
SCENE IV. _The Court Gallery_.
_Enter_ Aminta _followed by_ Alcander, Erminia _and_ Galatea;
_they go out: re-enter_ Alcander, _and stays_ Aminta.
_Alcan_. Stay, dear _Aminta_, do not fly so fast.
_Am_. Methinks, _Alcander_, you should shun that Maid,
Of whose too much of kindness you're afraid.
'Twas not long since you parted in such feud,
And swore my treatment of you was too rude;
You vow'd you found no Beauty in my eyes,
And can you now pursue what you despise? [_Offers to go_.
_Alcan_. Nay, do not leave me yet, for still your Scorn
Much better than your Absence may be borne.
_Am_. Well, Sir, your business, for mine requires haste.
_Alcan_. Say, fair _Aminta_, shall I never find
You'll cease this Rigour, and be kind?
Will that dear Breast no Tenderness admit?
And shall the Pain you give no Pity get?
Will you be never touch'd with what I say?
And shall my Youth and Vows be thrown away?
You know my Passion and my Humour too,
And how I die, though do not tell you so.
_Am_. What arguments will you produce to prove
You love? for yet I'll not believe you love.
_Alcan_. Since, fair _Aminta_, I did thee adore,
Alas, I am not what I was before:
My Thoughts disorder'd from my Heart do break;
And Sighs destroy my Language when I speak.
My Liberty and my Repose I gave,
To be admitted but your Slave;
And can you question such a Victory?
Or must I suffer more to make it sure?
It needs not, since these Languishments can be
Nought but the Wounds which you alone can cure.
_Am. Alcander_, you so many Vows have paid,
So many Sighs and Tears to many a Maid,
That should I credit give to what you say,
I merit being undone as well as they.
--No, no, _Alcander_, I'll no more of that.
_Alcan_. Farewel, _Aminta_, mayst thou want a Lover,
When I shall hate both thee and thy whole Sex;
I can endure your sober Cruelty,
But do despise it clad in Jollity.
_Discovers a Room hung with Black, a Hearse standing in it with
Tapers round about it_, Alcippus _weeping at it, with_ Isillia,
_and other Women with long black Veils round about the Hearse_.
_Isil_. I humbly beg, my Lord, you would forbear.
_Alcip_. Oh _Isillia_,
Thou knowest not what vast Treasure this incloses,
This sacred Pile; is there no Sorrow due to it?
Alas, I bad her not farewel at parting.
Nor did receive so much as one poor Kiss.
--Ah wretched, wretched Man!
_Enter the_ Prince.
How, the Prince!
How suddenly my Grief submits to Rage.
_Phi. Alcippus_, why dost thou gaze thus on me?
What Horror have I in my looks that frights thee?
_Alcip_. Why, Sir, what makes you here?
I have no more Wives, no more _Erminias_;
Alas, she is dead--
Will you not give her leave to rest in peace?
_Phi_. Is this the Gratitude you pay my Favours,
That gave ye life, after your wrongs to me?
But 'twas my Sister's Kindness that preserv'd thee
And I prefer'd my Vengeance to the Gods.
_Alcip_. Your Sister is a Saint whom I adore;
But I refuse a Life that comes from you.
_Isil_. What mean you, Sir?
_Alcip_. To speak a truth, as dying Men should do.
_Phi. Alcippus_, for my Sister's sake who loves you,
I can bear more than this--you know my power,
And I can make you fear. [_Offers to go out_.
_Alcip_. No, Prince, not whilst I am in love with dying.
_Phi_. Your love to that I see has made you impudent.
_Isil_. The Storm comes on, your Highness should avoid it.
_Phi_. Let him give place, I'll keep possession here.
_Isil_. It is the Prince's pleasure, Sir, you quit the Presence.
_Alcip_. No, this I call my Home;
And since _Erminia's_ here that does entitle it so,
I will not quit the Presence.
_Phi_. Gave thee a Title to't, _Alcippus_?
_Alcip_. Me, _Philander_!
[_They come to each other's breast, and so draw_.
_Alcip_. Me, what dare you now?
_Phi_. I dare declare that I can hear no more;
Be witness, Heaven, how justly I'm compell'd.
_Alcip_. Now, Sir, you are brave and love _Erminia_ too.
[_The Women run all away crying; they draw out some
one way, and some another, leaving some their Veils
behind them, some half off, half on_.
_Phi_. We are here not safe, these Women will betray us.
_Alcip_. Sir, 'tis a work that will soon be dispatcht,
And this a place and time most proper for't.
[_A pass or two_. Fal. _peeps in and runs away.
Enter_ Pisaro, _runs between_.
_Pis_. Hold, Sir, are you grown desperate?
What means your Highness? [_To the_ Prince.
_Alcippus_, what is't you design in this?
_Alcip_. To fight, _Pisaro_, and be kill'd.
_Pis_. By Heaven, you shall not fight, unless with me,
And you have so anger'd me with this rash action,
I could almost provoke you to it.
_Alcan_. Gods, Sir, that you should thus expose your self,
The World's great Heir, against a desperate Madman!
_Pis_. Have you forgot your Apparition, Sir?
_Alcip_. Oh, 'twas an idle lying one, _Pisaro_,
And came but to intrap me.
_To them_ Galatea, Aminta, _and_ Olinda.
_Gal_. Ah, Brother, why so cruel to your Sister?
_Phi_. Here, _Galatea_, punish my misfortune,
For yet I want the will to injure thee.
Heaven knows what provocations I receiv'd
E'er I would draw a Sword on him you lov'd.
_Gal_. Unjust _Alcippus_, how dost thou reward me?
_Alcip_. Ah, Madam, I have too much shame to live.
Had Heaven preserv'd my Innocence intire,
That I with confidence might have ador'd you,
Though I had been successless;
Yet I had liv'd and hop'd, and aim'd to merit you:
But since all hopes of that are taken from me,
My Life is but too poor a Sacrifice,
To make atonement for my Sins to you.
_Gal_. I will not answer thee to what thou hast said,
But only beg thou wilt preserve thy life,
Without which mine will be of little use to me.
_Alcip_. Might I without a sin believe this Blessing,
Sure I should be immortal.
Falatio _peeps in again_.
_Fal_. I think I may venture, the fury is past, and the great shot
spent, the mad Captain General's wounded; so, I hope 'twill let out
some of his hot blood--
_Enter the_ King, Cleontius, _and Attendants_.
_King_. My Love, _Alcippus_, is despis'd I see,
And you in lieu of that return you owe me,
Endeavour to destroy me.
--Is this an Object for your Rage to work on?
Behold him well, _Alcippus_, 'tis your Prince.
--Who dares gaze on him with irreverend Eyes?
The good he does you ought to adore him for,
But all his evils 'tis the Gods must punish,
Who made no Laws for Princes.
_Alcip_. Sir, I confess I'm culpable,
And were it not a sin equal to that,
To doubt you could forgive me,
I durst not hope your mercy after it.
_King_. I think with all the Tenderness I'm guilty of,
I hardly shall be brought to pardon thee.
_Phi_. I humbly beg you will forgive him, Sir,
I drew him to it against his will; I forc'd him,
And gave him language not to be indur'd
By any gallant man.
_King_. Whilst you intreat for him, who pleads for you?
For you are much the guiltier of the two,
And need'st a greater interest to persuade me.
_Alcip_. It were not just to contradict my Prince,
A Prince to whom I've been so late a Traitor;
But, Sir, 'tis I alone am criminal,
And 'twas I,
Justly I thought provok'd him to this hazard:
'Tis I was rude, impatient, insolent,
Did like a Madman animate his Anger,
Not like a generous Enemy.
Sir, when you weigh my Sorrows with this Action,
You'll find no base Design, no Villany there;
But being weary of a Life I hated,
I strove to put it off, and missing that way,
I come to make an offer of it here.
_King_. If I should take it, 'twere no more than just;
Yet once again I will allow it thee,
That thou mayst owe me for't a second time:
Manage it better than the last I gave--
_Phi. Alcippus_, may I credit what thou'st said,
Or do you feign repentance to deceive me?
_Alcip_. I never could dissemble at my best,
And now methinks your Highness should believe me,
When my despairs and little love to life
Make me despise all ways that may preserve it.
_Phi_. If thou wouldst have me credit thee, _Alcippus_,
Thou shouldst not disesteem a Life, which ought
To be preserv'd, to give a proof that what thou say'st
Is true, and dispossess me of those fears I have,
That 'tis my Life makes thine displeasing to thee.
_Alcip_. 'Tis a high proof to give you of my Duty,
Yet that's more ease to me than your Unbelief.
_Phi_. Let me embrace and thank thee for this goodness.
[_He offers to embrace him, but he is shy, and keeps a little off_.
Why dost receive me coldly? I'm in earnest;
As I love Honour, and esteem thee generous,
I mean thee nothing but a perfect Friendship;
By all my hopes I've no more quarrels to thee,
All ends in this Embrace, and to confirm it
I give thee here my Sister to thy Wife.
_Alcip_. Your Pardon, Sir,
I must refuse your bounty, till I know
By what strange turn of Fate I came thus blest.
To you, my Prince, I've done unheard-of injuries,
And though your Mercy do afford me life,
With this rich present too;
Till I could know I might deserve them both,
That Life will prove a Plague, and this great Gift
Turn to the torment of it.
_Phi. Alcippus_, 'tis not kind to doubt me still,
Is this a present for a Man I hate?
_Alcip_. 'Tis true, Sir, and your bounty does amaze me;
Can I receive a blessing of this magnitude
With hands, yet have not wash'd away the sin
Of your _Erminia's_ murder? think of that, Sir;
For though to me it did appear most just,
Yet you must hate the Man that has undone you.
_Gal_. I see _Erminia_ still usurps your thoughts.
_Alcip_. I must confess my Soul is scarce diverted
Of that fond Passion which I had for her;
But I protest before the Gods and you,
Did she still live, and I might still possess her,
I would refuse it, though I were ignorant
Of what the Gods and your fair self design me.
_Phi_. To doubt thee were a sin below my nature,
And to declare my faith above my fear,
Behold what I present thee with.
[_Goes out, and enters again with_ Erminia.
_Alcip_. Ha--_Erminia_? [_He looks afrighted_.
--It is the same appear'd to me last night,
--And my deluded Fancy
Would have persuaded me 'twas but a dream.
_Phi_. Approach her, Sir, 'tis no fantasm.
_Alcip_. 'Tis she her self, Oh Gods, _Erminia_!
[_She goes a little back, as afraid, he kneels_.
--Ah, Madam, do not fear me in this posture,
Which I will never quit till you have pardon'd me;
It was a fault the most excusable,
That ever wretched Lover did commit;
And that which hinder'd me from following thee,
Was that I could not well repent the Crime;
But like a surly Sinner fac'd it out,
And said, I thought 'twas just, yes, fair _Erminia_;
Hadst thou been mine, I would i'th' face of Heaven,
Proclaim it just and brave revenge:
But, Madam, you were Wife to my Prince,
And that was all my sin:
Alas, in vain I hop'd for some return,
And grew impatient of th'unkind delay,
And frantickly I then out-run my happiness.
_Er_. Rise, I forgive thee, from my soul I do;
Mayst thou be happier
In thy more glorious Passion for the Princess,
And all the Joys thou e'er couldst hope from me,
Mayst thou find there repeated.
_Enter_ King, Orgulius, _and the rest_.
_Org_. First, I'll keep my word with thee,
Receive the welcome present which I promis'd.
[_Gives him_ Erminia, _she kneels_.
_Er_. Can you forgive the Griefs I've made you suffer?
_Org_. I can forgive, though 'twas not kind
To let me languish in a desperate Error;
Why was this Blessing hid from me alone?
_Er_. Ah, Sir, so well I knew you lov'd _Alcippus_,
That had you known it e'er the Prince had own'd me,
I fear you had restor'd me back again,
A Sin too great to load your Soul withal.
_Org_. My King already has forgiven that Error,
And now I come to make my Peace with thee,
And that I may with greatest speed obtain it,
--To you, Sir, I resign her with as much Joy, [_To the Prince_.
And when they undeceiv'd me
Of my opinion of her being dead--
_Phi_. And I with greater Joy receive your gift.
[_Bows and takes her_.
_King_. My Lord _Alcippus_, are you pleas'd with this?
_Alcip_. Sir, I am so pleas'd, so truly pleas'd with it,
That Heaven, without this Blessing on my Prince,
Had found but little trouble from my thanks,
For all they have shower'd on me;
'Twas all I wisht, next my Pretensions here.
_King_. Then to compleat thy happiness,
Take _Galatea_, since her Passion merits thee,
As do thy Virtues her.
[_Gives him_ Gal. _they both bow_.
_Er_. Sir, I've an humble suit t'your Majesty.
_King_. Conclude it granted then.
_Er. Falatius_, Sir, has long made love t' _Isillia_,
And now he'as gain'd her Heart, he slights the Conquest,
Yet all the fault he finds is that she's poor.
_King. Isillia's_ Beauty can supply that want;
_Falatius_, what d'ye say to't?
_Fal_. By _Jove_, Sir, I'll agree to any thing; for I believe a
handsome young Wife at Court may bring a Man a greater Fortune
than he can in Conscience desire.
_Er. Aminta_, be persuaded. [_Aside to_ Am.
_Am_. He'd use me scurvily then.
_Alcan_. That's according as you behav'd yourself, _Aminta_.
_Am_. I should domineer.
_Alcan_. I then should make love elsewhere.
_Am_. Well, I find we shall not agree then.
_Alcan_. Faith--now we have disputed a point I never thought on
before, I would willingly pursue it for the humour on't, not that
I think I shall much approve on't.
_Pis_. Give him your hand, _Aminta_, and conclude,
'Tis time this haughty humour were subdu'd.
By your submission, whatsoe'er he seem,
In time you'll make the greater Slave of him.
_Am_. Well--not from the hope of that, but from my Love,
His change of humour I'm content to prove.
Here take me, _Alcander_;
Whilst to Inconstancy I bid adieu,
I find variety enough in you.
[_He takes her and bows_.
_King_. Come my brave Youths, we'll toil our selves with Joys,
And when we're weary of the lazy play,
We'll search abroad to find new Conquests out,
And get fresh Appetites to new Delights:
It will redouble your vast stock of Courage,
And make th'uneasy Humour light and gentle;
When you remember even in heat of Battle,
That after all your Victories and Spoil,
You'll meet calm Peace at home in soft Embraces.
Thus may you number out your happy years,
_Till Love and Glory no more proofs can give
Of what they can bestow, or you receive_.
By a Woman.
_We charged you boldly in our first advance,
And gave the Onset_ a la mode de France,
_As each had been a_ Joan of Orleance.
_Like them our Heat as soon abated too;
Alas we could not vanquish with a Show,
Much more than that goes to the conquering you.
The Trial though will recompense the Pain,
It having wisely taught us how to reign;
'Tis Beauty only can our Power maintain.
But yet, as tributary Kings, we own
It is by you that we possess that Throne,
Where had we Victors been, we'ad reign'd alone.
And we have promised what we could not do;
A fault, methinks, might be forgiven too,
Since 'tis but what we learnt of some of you.
But we are upon equal treatment yet,
For neither conquer, since we both submit;
You to our Beauty bow, we to your Wit_.
THE EMPEROR OF THE MOON.
Doctor Baliardo, a Neapolitan philosopher, has so applied himself to the
study of the Moon, and is enraptured to such an extent with the
mysteries of that orb, that he has come steadfastly to believe in a
lunar world, peopled, ruled and regulated like the earth. This wholly
fills and absorbs his every waking thought, and, in consequence, he
denies his daughter Elaria and his niece Bellemante to their respective
lovers, the Viceroy's two nephews, Don Cinthio and Don Charmante, as
being men of men of mere terrestial mould. The girls are, however,
secretly assisted in their amours by Scaramouch, the doctor's man, who
is himself a rival of Harlequin, Cinthio's valet, for the hand of
Mopsophil, duenna to the young ladies. Harlequin, hoping to find his way
to his mistress, gets to Bellemante's chamber but when she appears
conceals himself. The doctor, however, who has been hastily summoned to
the bedside of his brother, reported dying, returns a moment after he
has set out for a key which has been accidently dropped from his bunch
and finds Cinthio and Elaria. The gallant can only escape by pretending
to be a lunatic brought to the house for medical treatment and cure. But
during the doctor's subsequent absence, whilst the two lovers are, as
they suppose, securely entertaining their mistresses, the father is
suddenly heard to return. For the moment they evade him by feigning to
be figures in a rich tapestry (their masquing habits aiding the trick),
which Scaramouch declares he has just purchased. But this sham being
discovered, Scaramouch runs off with the candles and all slip away in
the darkness and confusion, leaving him to return in his shirt as newly
risen from bed. The doctor is bawling for help when the wily servant
totters out yawning and rubbing his eyes to explain the whole affair
away as a delusion or a vision produced by lunar agency, declaring that
there has been a visit from the Moon World of their King and the Prince
of Thunderland, who have descended a-courting Elaria and Bellemante.
This is borne out by the girls themselves, who have previously been well
primed by Mopsophil. After some intriguing between Harlequin and
Scaramouch for the duenna's hand, in the course of which the former
disguises himself in female attire and again as a country lad, the
latter as a learned apothecary, Charmante visits the doctor, and
feigning to be a cabalist profound in occult lore, bids him prepare that
night to receive Irednozor, monarch of the Moon, and the Prince of
Thunderland who will appear to wed his daughter and his niece. Harlequin
shortly after makes his entry as an ambassador from the celestial
spheres to confirm this news, and as Baliardo, overjoyed, is conversing
with him strains of music are heard to herald the arrival of the lunar
potentates. All repair to an ancient gallery, long disused, whence the
sound proceeds, and here, indeed, a pageant has been secretly arranged.
The room is discovered to be richly adorned with costly hangings and
pictures, ablaze with lights, and presently, after various masqueraders
have appeared dressed as the astronomers Keplair and Galileus, as the
different signs of the zodiac, and in other fantastic garbs, Cinthio and
Charmante are seen in a silver chariot like a half-moon, attended by a
train of heroes and amorini. There is no delay, the lovers are united in
matrimony, Baliardo being overwhelmed at the honour done his house. But
when Scaramouch and Harlequin fight a ridiculous duel, in which the
former wins, for the favour of Mopsophil, the doctor discovers the whole
trick, to wit, that the lunar courtiers are in reality his own friends
and neighbours. He soon, however, yields to the persuasions of the
lovers and the common-sense of his physician, who has taken part in the
masque, and, realizing the folly of the fables he has so long implicitly
believed, condemns his books to the fire and joins in the nuptial
rejoicings with a merry heart.
Mrs. Behn's farce is derived from _Arlequin Empereur dans la Lune_,
which was played in Paris by Guiseppe-Domenico Biancolelli, a famous
Harlequin and the leading member of the Italian theatre there from 1660
to 1688. The original Italian scenes from which the French farce is
taken belonged to that impromptu Comedy, 'Commedia dell' Arte all'
Improviso,' which so far from being printed was but rarely even
committed to writing. 'The development of the intrigue by dialogue and
action was left to the native wit of the several players,' writes J.A.
Symonds in his excellent and most scholarly introduction prefacing Carlo
Gozzi's _Memoirs_. In the case of a new play, or rather a new theme, the
choregus or manager would call the company together, read out the plot,
sketch the scenario, explain all business, and leave the dialogue to the
humour and smartness of the individual performer. Their aptitude was
amazing. In Kyd's _Spanish Tragedy_ we find Heironymo, who wishes to
have a subject mounted in a hurry, saying:--
The Italian tragedians were so sharp of wit,
That in one hour's meditation
They would perform anything in action.
And Lorenzo rejoins:--
I have seen the like
In Paris, among the French tragedians.
Of course much was bound to become stereotyped and fixed, but much was
ever fluctuating and new.
When Biancolelli died on 2 August, 1688, of pneumonia, contracted
through neglecting to change damp clothes, the loss to the Italian
theatre seemed irreparable, but in the following year an equally
celebrated Harlequin, finer and wittier if not more popular than he,
appeared in the person of Evariste Gherardi. Gherardi was a man of
culture, and he collected and edited a number of scenes, written in
French, which were on the boards intermingled and played with the
Italian farces in order to raise the tone of, and give something more
solid and durable to, these entertainments. In 1695 three volumes of
these scenes were published at Amsterdam, 'chez Adrian Braakman,' under
the title _Le Theatre Italien, ou le Recueil de toutes les Comedies et
Scenes Francoises qui ont ete jouees sur le Theatre Italien par la
Troupe des Comediens du Roy de l'Hotel de Bourgogne a Paris.
Arlequin Empereur dans la Lune_ had been published in its entirety
eleven years previously (1684), but it was sufficiently popular for
Gherardi to include various scenes therefrom in his collection.
Accordingly he commences his first volume by giving the 'Scene de la
Fille de Chambre', where Harlequin, disguised as a woman, pretends to
be seeking a place as waiting-maid to the Doctor--_Emperor of the Moon_,
Act ii, v. In the French, Pierrot, dressed as the Doctor's wife,
interviews the applicant. Gherardi also gives a scene between Isabella
(Elaria) and Colombine (Mopsophil); a scene where Harlequin arrives
tricked out as an Apothecary to win Colombine (in Mrs. Behn it is
Scaramouch who thus attempts to gain Mopsophil); and the final scene
which differs considerably from the conclusion of the English farce. In
Vol. II there are two further extracts 'obmises dans le premier Tome',
a dialogue between the Doctor and Harlequin, 'recit que fait Arlequin au
Docteur, du Voyage qu'il a fait dans le Monde de la Lune', and a short
passage between Harlequin and Colombine, both of which can be closely
paralleled in the English version. Mrs. Behn of course used the edition
of 1684. Her statement that she only took 'a very barren and thin hint
of the Plot' from the Italian, and again that 'all the Words are wholly
new, without one from the Original' must not be pressed too strictly,
although she has undeniably infused a new life, new wit and humour into
the alien scenes.
In Maurice Sand's standard work on Italian comedy, _Masques et Bouffons_
(Paris, 1860) there will be found copious citations from this pantomime,
the popularity of which he attributes wholly to Gherardi. It was
Biancolelli, however, who first brought it into favour and in whose
lifetime it was actually printed, a rare honour, although doubtless it
was owing to the great Gherardi that it retained and renewed its
success. Gherardi died 31 August, 1700.
As the author himself states in his preface, _Harlequin roi dans la
Lune_, a three act comedy by Bodard de Tezay, produced at the Varietes
Amusantes, 17 December, 1785, has nothing to do with the old Italian
scenes. An opera by Settle, entitled _The World in the Moon_, put on at
Drury Lane in 1697, is quite different from Mrs. Behn's farce. Settle
has written a comedy which deals with the rehearsal of a new opera, _The
New World in the Moon_. Tom Dawkins, a country lout just arrived in
London, is taken to the theatre to see the rehearsal, and ordinary comic
scenes intermingled with provision for elaborate sets, as the opera
proceeds, form the strangest jumble. The piece takes its name from the
first operatic scene, which represents a huge silver moon that gradually
wanes, whilst a song, 'Within this happy world above', is performed.
_The Emperor of the Moon_, which is certainly as Lowe says 'one of the
best pantomimic farces ever seen' on the English boards at any rate, was
produced with great success at the Duke's Theatre, Dorset Garden, in
1687. The character of Scaramouch was admirably suited to Tony Leigh, a
low comedian 'of the mercurial kind', who 'in humour ... loved to take a
full career', whilst Tom Jevon, young, slim and most graceful of
dancers, proved the King of all Harlequins, past, present and to come.
Lee and Jevon also acted the parts of Scaramouch and Harlequin in
Mountford's three act extravaganza, _Dr. Faustus_ (4to 1697), but
produced a decade earlier, probably November, 1685. Scaramouch is the
necromancer's man, and the comic scenes, although the stage tricks are
old, prove very good pantomime. It will be remembered that Harlequin and
Scaramouch are to be found in _The Rover_, Part II. Mrs. Behn's farce
kept its place in the repertory and long remained a favourite. On 18
September, 1702, at Drury Lane, Will Pinkethman, complying with the wish
of several friends and critics, essayed Harlequin without the
traditional black mask, 'but, alas! in vain: Pinkethman could not take
to himself the shame of the character without being concealed; he was no
more _Harlequin_; his humour was quite disconcerted; his conscience
could not, with the same effrontery, declare against nature, without the
cover of that unchanging face, which he was sure would never blush for
it; no, it was quite another case; without that armour his courage could
not come up to the bold strokes that were necessary to get the better of
Amongst the more notable performances of _The Emperor of the Moon_ were
two at Dorset Garden on the 16 and 21 November, 1706, when Estcourt
acted Scaramouch, and Pinkethman, Harlequin. On 3 September, 1708, at
Drury Lane, Bullock was Scaramouch; Bickerstaffe, Harlequin; Johnson,
the old Doctor; Powell, Don Cinthio. At Lincoln's Inn Fields, 28 June,
1717, Bullock again sustained Scaramouch and had Spiller as his
Harlequin. Four years later, 6 February, 1721, they were acting the same
roles at this theatre, with Mrs. Cross as Bellemante, and Quin, Ryan, in
the cast. The farce was repeated on 25 October of the same year. Bullock
and Spiller kept their favourite parts, Hall was Baliardo; Quin,
Cinthio; Ryan, Charmante; Mrs. Egleton, Mopsophil; Mrs. Bullock,
Bellemante. Doggett's _The Country Wake_ was played the same night. Ten
years later, still at this theatre, on 20 October, 1731, Hall was again
Baliardo and Mrs. Egleton, Mopsophil. On this occasion Pinkethman played
Harlequin; Hippisley, Scaramouch; Milward, Charmante; and Chapman,
Cinthio. The farce was put on as a first piece at Covent Garden, 14
February, 1739. Pinkethman was Harlequin; Rosco, Scaramouch; Arthur, the
Doctor; Hallam, Charmante; Hall, Cinthio; Mrs. James, Mopsophil; Mrs.
Vincent, Elaria; and the fair Bellamy, Bellemante. In 1748 there was a
curious rivalry between the two theatres when both produced _The Emperor
of the Moon_ on the same night, 26 December. At Covent Garden, where it
was billed 'not acted 10 years', and produced as a first piece at
considerable expense with magnificent decorations, Cushing played
Harlequin; Dunstall, Scaramouch; Sparks, Baliardo; Ryan, Charmante;
Delane, Cinthio; Peg Woffington, Bellemante; and the Bellamy, Elaria.
It was, however, a dead failure and only acted twice. Contrary to
expectation Cushing was very bad as Harlequin, whilst at Drury Lane
Woodward was excellent. At the Lane, where it was played with Mrs.
Centlivre's _A Bold Stroke for a Wife_ and billed 'not acted 20 years',
Yates took Scaramouch; Palmer, Charmante; King, Cinthio; Winstone,
Baliardo; Miss Murgatroyd, Bellemante; and the inimitable Mrs. Green,
Mopsophil. A great effect was produced when Harlequin is tossed in a
blanket, Act iii. Two long strips were sewn to the sides of the blanket
by which he held. From the front, however, they were invisible, and as
it seemed that Woodward was being thrown to a dangerous height this
spectacle immensely pleased the galleries.
In 1777 _The Emperor of the Moon_, very unnecessarily altered and by no
means bettered 'with the addition of several airs, duets, and choruses
selected from other compositions' (8vo, 1777), was produced at the
Patagonian Theatre. This theatre was situated in Exeter Change, Strand,
on a portion of the site of Burleigh House, the town house of the great
Lord Treasurer, which was afterwards known as Exeter House. It is very
doubtful if the theatre existed as such later than 1779.
There is an amusing reference to _The Emperor of the Moon_ in _The
Spectator_, No. 22 (Steele), Monday, 26 March, 1711. '_Your most humble
servant_, William Serene' writes to Mr. Spectator bewailing the fact
that nobody on the stage rises according to merit. Although grown old in
the playhouse service, and having often appeared on the boards, he has
never had a line given him to speak. None the less 'I have acted', he
asserts, 'several Parts of Household-stuff with great Applause for many
years: I am one of the Men in the Hangings in the _Emperour of the
Moon_.' [The allusion is of course to Act ii, III.] Ralph Simple,
Serene's friend, in a subsequent letter begs that upon the gentleman's
promotion to speaking parts 'I may succeed him in the Hangings, with my
Hand in the Orange-trees'. These humorous allusions are ample evidence
of the popularity of Mrs. Behn's pantomime and the frequency with which
it was performed.
TO THE LORD MARQUESS OF WORCESTER, &.
It is a common Notion, that gathers as it goes, and is almost become a
vulgar Error, That Dedications in our Age, are only the effects of
Flattery, a form of Complement, and no more; so that the Great, to whom
they are only due, decline those Noble Patronages that were so generally
allow'd the Ancient Poets; since the Awful Custom has been so
scandaliz'd by mistaken Addresses, and many a worthy piece is lost for
want of some Honourable Protection, and sometimes many indifferent ones
traverse the World with that advantagious Pasport only.
This humble Offering, which I presume to lay at your Lordship's Feet, is
of that Critical Nature, that it does not only require the Patronage of
a great Title, but a great Man too, and there is often times a vast
difference between these two great things; and amongst all the most
Elevated, there are but very few in whom an illustrious Birth and equal
Parts compleat the Hero; but among these, your Lordship bears the first
Rank, from a just Claim, both of the glories of your Race and Vertues.
Nor need we look back into long past Ages, to bring down to ours the
Magnanimous deeds of your Ancestors: We need no more than to behold
(what we have so often done with wonder) those of the Great Duke of
_Beauford_, your Illustrious Father, whose every single Action is a
glorious and lasting President to all the future Great; whose unshaken
Loyalty, and all other eminent Vertues, have rendred him to us,
something more than Man, and which alone, deserving a whole Volume,
wou'd be here but to lessen his Fame, to mix his Grandeurs with those of
any other; and while I am addressing to the Son, who is only worthy of
that Noble Blood he boasts, and who gives the World a Prospect of those
coming Gallantries that will Equal those of his Glorious Father;
already, My Lord, all you say and do is admir'd, and every touch of your
Pen reverenc'd; the Excellency and Quickness of your Wit, is the Subject
that fits the World most agreeably. For my own part, I never presume to
contemplate your Lordship, but my Soul bows with a perfect Veneration to
your Mighty Mind; and while I have ador'd the delicate Effects of your
uncommon Wit, I have wish'd for nothing more than an Opportunity of
expressing my infinite Sense of it; and this Ambition, my Lord, was one
Motive of my present Presumption in Dedicating this Farce to your
I am sensible, my Lord, how far the Word Farce might have offended some,
whose Titles of Honour, a Knack in dressing, or his Art in writing a
Billet Doux, had been his chiefest Talent, and who, without considering
the Intent, Character, or Nature of the thing, wou'd have cry'd out upon
the Language, and have damn'd it (because the Persons in it did not all
talk like Heros) as too debas'd and vulgar as to entertain a Man of
Quality; but I am secure from this Censure, when your Lordship shall be
its Judge, whose refin'd Sence, and Delicacy of Judgment, will, thro'
all the humble Actions and trivialness of Business, find Nature there,
and that Diversion which was not meant for the Numbers, who comprehend
nothing beyond the Show and Buffoonry.
A very barren and thin hint of the Plot I had from the Italian, and
which, even as it was, was acted in _France_ eighty odd times without
intermission. 'Tis now much alter'd, and adapted to our English Theatre
and Genius, who cannot find an Entertainment at so cheap a Rate as the
French will, who are content with almost any Incoherences, howsoever
shuffled together under the Name of a Farce; which I have endeavour'd as
much as the thing wou'd bear, to bring within the compass of Possibility
and Nature, that I might as little impose upon the Audience as I cou'd;
all the Words are wholly new, without one from the Original. 'Twas
calculated for His late Majesty of Sacred Memory, that Great Patron of
Noble Poetry, and the Stage, for whom the Muses must for ever mourn,
and whose Loss, only the Blessing of so Illustrious a Successor can ever
repair; and 'tis a great Pity to see that best and most useful Diversion
of Mankind, whose Magnificence of old, was the most certain sign of a
flourishing State, now quite undone by the Misapprehension of the
Ignorant, and Mis-representing of the Envious, which evidently shows the
World is improv'd in nothing but Pride, Ill Nature, and affected Nicety;
and the only Diversion of the Town now, is high Dispute, and publick
Controversies in Taverns, Coffee-houses, &. and those things which ought
to be the greatest Mysteries in Religion, and so rarely the Business of
Discourse, are turn'd into Ridicule, and look but like so many fanatical
Stratagems to ruine the Pulpit as well as the Stage. The Defence of the
first is left to the Reverend Gown, but the departing Stage can be no
otherwise restor'd, but by some leading Spirits, so Generous, so Publick,
and so Indefatigable as that of your Lordship, whose Patronages are
sufficient to support it, whose Wit and Judgment to defend it, and whose
Goodness and Quality to justifie it; such Encouragement wou'd inspire the
Poets with new Arts to please, and the Actors with Industry. 'Twas this
that occasion'd so many Admirable Plays heretofore, as Shakespear's,
Fletcher's_, and _Johnson's_, and 'twas this alone that made the Town
able to keep so many Play-houses alive, who now cannot supply one.
However, My Lord, I, for my part, will no longer complain, if this
Piece find but favour in your Lordship's Eyes, and that it can be so
happy to give your Lordship one hour's Diversion, which is the only
Honour and Fame is wish'd to crown the Endeavours of,
Most Humble, and
THE EMPEROR OF THE MOON.
Spoken by Mr. _Jevern_.
_Long, and at vast Expence, th'industrious Stage
Has strove to please a dull ungrateful Age:
With Heroes and with Gods we first began,
And thunder'd to you in heroick Strain:
Some dying Love-sick Queen each Night you injoy'd,
And with Magnificence at last were cloy'd:
Our Drums and Trumpets frighted all the Women;
Our Fighting scar'd the Beaux and Billet-Doux Men.
So Spark in an Intrigue of Quality,
Grows weary of his splendid Drudgery;
Hates the Fatigue, and cries a Pox upon her,
What a damn'd Bustle's here with Love and Honour?
In humbler Comedy we next appear,
No Fop or Cuckold, but slap-dash we had him here;
We showed you all, but you malicious grown, |
Friends Vices to expose, and hide your own; |
Cry, damn it--This is such, or such a one. |
Yet nettled, Plague, what does the Scribler mean?
With his damn'd Characters, and Plot obscene.
No Woman without Vizard in the Nation
Can see it twice, and keep her reputation--
That's certain, Forgetting--
That he himself, in every gross Lampoon,
Her leuder Secrets spread about the Town;
Whilst their feign'd Niceness is but cautious Fear,
Their own Intrigues should be unravel'd here.
Our next Recourse was dwindling down to Farce,
Then--Zounds, what Stuff's here? 'tis all o'er my--
Well, Gentlemen, since none of these has sped,
Gad, we have bought a Share i'th' speaking Head.
So there you'll save a Sice, |
You love good Husbandry in all but Vice; |
Whoring and drinking only bears a Price. |_
[The Head rises upon a twisted Post, on a Bench from
under the Stage. After _Jevern_ speaks to its Mouth.
[After this it sings _Sawny_, laughs, crys God bless
the King in order.
_Speak louder_, Jevern, _if you'd have me repeat;
Plague of this Rogue, he will betray the Cheat_.
[He speaks louder, it answers indirectly.
_--Hum--There 'tis again,
Pox of your Eccho with a Northern Strain.
Well--This will be but a nine days Wonder too;
There's nothing lasting but the Puppets Show.
What Ladies Heart's so hard, but it would move,
To hear_ Philander _and_ Irene's _Love?
Those Sisters too the scandalous Wits do say,
Two nameless keeping Beaux have made so gay;
But those Amours are perfect Sympathy,
Their Gallants being as mere Machines as they.
Oh! how the City Wife, with her nown Ninny,
Is charm'd with, Come into my Coach,--Miss_ Jenny, _Miss_ Jenny.
_But overturning_--Frible _crys--Adznigs,
The jogling Rogue has murder'd all his Kids.
The Men of War cry, Pox on't, this is dull,
We are for rough Sports,--Dog Hector, and the Bull.
Thus each in his degree, Diversion finds,
Your Sports are suited to your mighty Minds;
Whilst so much Judgment in your Choice you show,
The Puppets have more Sense than some of you_.
_Doctor_ Baliardo, Mr. _Underhill_.
Scaramouch, _his Man_, Mr. _Lee_.
Pedro, _his Boy_.
Don Cinthio, Don Charmante, _both Nephews_ Young Mr. _Powel_.
_to the Vice-Roy, and Lovers of_ Elaria _and_ Mr. _Mumford_.
Harlequin, Cinthio's _Man_, Mr. _Jevern_.
_Officer and Clerk_.
Elaria, _Daughter to the Doctor_, Mrs. _Cooke_.
Bellemante, _Niece to the Doctor_, Mrs. _Mumford_.
Florinda, _Cousin to_ Elaria _and_ Bellemante.
Mopsophil, _Governante to the young Ladies_, Mrs. _Cory_.
_The Persons in the Moon, are_ Don Cinthio, _Emperor_;
Don Charmante, _Prince of_ Thunderland.
_Their Attendants, Persons that represent the Court Cards_.
Keplair _and_ Galileus, _two Philosophers_.
_Twelve Persons, representing the Figures of the twelve Signs of the
_Negroes, and Persons that dance_.
_Musick, Kettle-Drums, and Trumpets_.
The SCENE, _NAPLES_.
SCENE I. _A Chamber_.
_Enter_ Elaria _and_ Mopsophil.
_A Curse upon that faithless Maid,
Who first her Sex's Liberty betray'd;
Born free as Man to Love and Range,
Till nobler Nature did to Custom change,
Custom, that dull excuse for Fools,
Who think all Virtue to consist in Rules_.
_From Love our Fetters never sprung;
That smiling God, all wanton, gay and young,
Shows by his Wings he cannot be
Confined to a restless Slavery;
But here and there at random roves,
Not fix'd to glittering Courts, or shady Groves_.
_Then she that Constancy profess'd
Was but a well Dissembler at the best;
And that imaginary Sway
She feign'd to give, in seeming to obey,
Was but the height of prudent Art,
To deal with greater liberty her Heart_.
[After the Song _Elaria_ gives her Lute to _Mopsophil_.
_Ela_. This does not divert me;
Nor nothing will, till _Scaramouch_ return,
And bring me News of _Cinthio_.
_Mop_. Truly I was so sleepy last Night, I know nothing of the
Adventure, for which you are kept so close a Prisoner to day, and more
strictly guarded than usual.
_Ela. Cinthio_ came with Musick last Night under my Window, which my
Father hearing, sallied out with his _Mirmidons_ upon him; and clashing
of Swords I heard, but what hurt was done, or whether _Cinthio_ were
discovered to him, I know not; but the Billet I sent him now by
_Scaramouch_ will occasion me soon Intelligence.
_Mop_. And see, Madam, where your trusty _Roger_ comes.
_Enter_ Scaramouch, _peeping on all sides before he enters_.
You may advance, and fear none but your Friends.
_Scar_. Away, and keep the door.
_Ela_. Oh, dear _Scaramouch_! hast thou been at the Vice-Roy's?
_Scar_. Yes, yes. [_In heat_.
_Ela_. And hast thou delivered my Letter to his Nephew, Don _Cinthio_?
_Scar_. Yes, yes, what should I deliver else?
_Ela_. Well--and how does he?
_Scar_. Lord, how should he do? Why, what a laborious thing it is to be
a Pimp? [_Fanning himself with his Cap_.
_Ela_. Why, well he shou'd do.
_Scar_. So he is, as well as a Night-adventuring Lover can be,--he has