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The Two Lovers of Heaven: Chrysanthus and Daria by Pedro Calderon de la Barca

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Yes, in one eternal Person
Are both natures joined together.

Then, for this is what more presses
On my mind, can that same Word
When it was made flesh, be reckoned

Yes, God and Man is Christ
Crucified for our transgressions.

Pray explain this wondrous problem.

He is God, because He never
Was created: He is the Word,
For, besides, He was engendered
By the Father, from both whom
In eternal due procession
Comes the Holy Ghost, three Persons,
But one God, thrice mystic emblem!--
In the Catholic faith we hold
In one Trinity one God dwelleth,
And that in one God is also
One sole Trinity, ever bless`ed,
Which confounds not the three Persons,
Nor the single substance severs.
One is the person of the Father,
One the Son's, beloved for ever,
One, the third, the Holy Ghost's.
But though three, you must remember
That in the Father, and in the Son,
And in the Holy Ghost . . .

Unheard of
Mysteries these!

There 's but one God,
Equal in the power exerted,
Equal in the state and glory;
For . . .

I listen, but I tremble.

The eternal Father is
Limitless, even so unmeasured
And eternal is the Son,
And unmeasured and eternal
Is the Holy Ghost; but then
Three eternities are not meant here,
Three immensities, no, but One,
Who is limitless and eternal.
For though increate the three,
They are but one Uncreated.
First the Father was not made,
Or created, or engendered;
Then engendered was the Son
By the Father, not created;
And the Spirit was not made
Or created, or engendered
By the Father or the Son,
But proceeds from both together.
This is God's divinity
Viewed as God alone, let 's enter
On the human aspect.

For so strange, so unexpected
Are the things you say, that I
Need for their due thought some leisure.
Let me my lost breath regain,
For entranced, aroused, suspended,
Spell-bound your strong reasons hold me.
Is there then but one sole God
In three Persons, one in essence,
One in substance, one in power,
One in will?

My son, 't is certain.

(Enter Aurelius and Soldiers.)

AURELIUS to the Soldiers.
Yonder is the secret cavern
Of Carpophorus, at its entrance
See him seated with another

Why delay? Arrest them.

Recollect Polemius bade us,
When we seized them, to envelope
Each one's face, that so, the Christians,
Their accomplices and fellows,
Should not know or recognize them.

You 're our prisoners.
[A veil is thrown over the head of each.]

What! base wretches . . .

Gag their mouths.

But then I am . . .

Come, no words: now tie together
Both their hands behind their backs.

Why I am . . .

Oh! sacred heaven!
Now my wished-for day has come.

No, not yet, my faithful servant:--
I desire the constancy
Of Chrysanthus may be tested:--
Heed not him, as for thyself,
In this manner I preserve thee. [Carpophorus disappears.

(Enter Polemius.)

What has happened?

Oh! a wonder.--
We Carpophorus arrested,
And with him this other Christian;
Both we held here bound and fettered,
When from out our hands he vanished.

By some sorcery 't was effected,
For those Christians use enchantments,
And then miracles pretend them.

See, a crowd of them there flying
To the mountains.

Intercept them,
And secure the rabble rout;
This one I shall guard myself here:-- [Exeunt Aurelius and soldiers.
Miserable wretch! who art thou?
Thus that I may know thee better,
Judging from thy face thy crimes,
I unveil thee. Gracious heaven!
My own son!

Oh! heavens! my father!

Thou with Christians here detected?
Thou here in their caverns hidden?
Thou a prisoner? Wherefore, wherefore,
O immense and mighty Jove,
Are thy angry bolts suspended?

'T was to solve a certain doubt
Which some books of thine presented,
That I sought Carpophorus,
That I wandered to these deserts,
And . . .

Cease, cease; for now I see
What has led to this adventure:
Thou unhappily art gifted
With a genius ill-directed;
For I count as vain and foolish
All the lore that lettered leisure
Has in human books e'er written;
But this passion has possessed thee,
And to learn their magic rites
Here, a willing slave, has led thee.

No, not magic was the knowledge
I came here to learn--far better--
The high mysteries of a faith
Which I reverence, while I dread them.

Cease, oh! cease once more, nor let
Such vile treason find expression
On thy lips. What! thou to praise them!

AURELIUS (within).
Yonder wait the two together.

Cover up thy face once more,
That the soldiers, when they enter,
May not know thee, may not know
How my honour is affected
By this act, until I try
Means more powerful to preserve it.

God, whom until now I knew not,
Grant Thy favour, deign to help me:
Grant through suffering and through sorrow
I may come to know Thee better.

(Enter Aurelius and Soldiers.)

Though we searched the whole of the mountain,
Not one more have we arrested.

Take this prisoner here to Rome,
And be sure that you remember
All of you my strict commands,
That no hand shall dare divest him
Of his veil:-- [Chrysanthus is led out.
Why, why, O heavens! [aside.
Do I pause, but from my breast here
Tear my bleeding heart? How act
In so dreadful a dilemma?
If I say who he is, I tarnish
With his guilt my name for ever,
And my loyalty if I 'm silent,
Since he being here transgresses
By that fact alone the edict:
Shall I punish him? The offender
Is my son. Shall I free him? He
Is my enemy and a rebel:--
If between these two extremes
Some mean lies, I cannot guess it.
As a father I must love him,
And as a judge I must condemn him. [Exeunt.


A hall in the house of Polemius.

Enter Claudius and Escarpin.

Has he not returned? Can no one
Guess in the remotest manner[8]
Where he is?

Sir, since the day
That you left me with my master
In Diana's grove, and I
Had with that divinest charmer
To leave him, no eye has seen him.
Love alone knows how it mads me.

Of your loyalty I doubt not.

Loyalty 's a different matter,
'T is not wholly that.

What then?

Dark suspicions, dismal fancies,
That perhaps to live with her
He lies hid within those gardens.

If I could imagine that,
I, Escarpin, would be gladdened
Rather than depressed.

I 'm not:--
I am filled, like a full barrel,
With depressions.

And for what?

Certain wild chimeras haunt me,
Jealousy doth tear my heart,
And despairing love distracts me.

You in love and jealous?

Jealous and in love. Why marvel?
Am I such a monster?

With Daria?

'T is no matter
What her name is, or Daria
Or Maria, I would have her
Both subjective and subjunctive,
She verb passive, I verb active.

You to love so rare a beauty?

Yes, her beauty, though uncommon,
Would lack something, if it had not
My devotion.

How? explain:--

Well, I prove it in this manner:--
Mr. Dullard fell in love
(I do n't tell where all this happened,
Or the time, for of the Dullards
Every age and time give samples)
With a very lovely lady:
At her coach-door as he chattered
One fine evening, he such nonsense
Talked, that one who heard his clatter,
Asked the lady in amazement
If this simpleton's advances
Did not make her doubt her beauty?--
But she quite gallantly answered,
Never until now have I
Felt so proud of my attractions,
For no beauty can be perfect
That all sorts of men do n't flatter.

What a feeble jest!

This feeble?--

Yes, the very type of flatness:--
Cease buffooning, for my uncle
Here is coming.

Of his sadness
Plainly is his face the mirror.

Enter Polemius and servants.

Jupiter doth know the anguish,
My good lord, with which I venture
To approach thee since this happened.

Claudius, as thine own, I 'm sure,
Thou dost feel this great disaster.

I my promise gave thee that
To Chrysanthus . . .

Cease; I ask thee
Not to proffer these excuses,
Since I do not care to have them.

Then it seems that all thy efforts
Have been useless to unravel
The strange mystery of his fate?

With these questions do not rack me;
For, though I would rather not
Give the answer, still the answer
Rises with such ready aptness
To my lips from out my heart,
That I scarcely can withstand it.

Why conceal it then from me,
Knowing that thy blood meanders
Through my veins, and that my life
Owns thee as its lord and master?--
Oh! my lord, confide in me,
Let thy tongue speak once the language
That thine eyes so oft have spoken.

Let the servants leave the apartment.

ESCARPIN (aside).
Ah! if beautiful Daria
Would but favour my attachment,
Though I have no house to give her,
Lots of stories I can grant her:-- [Exeunt Escarpin and servants.

Now, my lord, we are alone.

Listen then; for though to baffle
Thy desire were my intention,
By my miseries overmastered,
I am forced to tell my secret;
Not so much have I been granted
License to avow my sufferings,
But I am, as 't were commanded
Thus to break my painful silence,
Doing honestly, though sadly,
Willingly the fact disclosing,
Which by force had been extracted.
Hear it, Claudius: my Chrysanthus,
My Chrysanthus is not absent:
In this very house he 's living!--
Would the gods, ah! me, had rather
Made a tomb and not a prison
Of his present locked apartment!
Which is in this house, within it
Is he prisoned, chained, made captive.
This surprises thee, no wonder:
More surprised thou 'lt be hereafter,
When thou com'st to know the reason
Of a fact so strange and startling.
On that fatal day, when I
Sought the mount and thou the garden,
Him I found where thou didst lose him,
Near the wood where he had rambled:
He was taken by my soldiers
At the entrance of a cavern,
With Carpophorus:--oh! here
Patience, patience may heaven grant me!--
It was lucky that they did not
See his face, for thus it happened
That the front of my dishonour
Was not in his face made patent:
Him they captured without knowing
Who he was, it being commanded
That the faces of the prisoners
Should be covered, but ere captured
This effectually was done
By themselves, they flying backward
With averted faces; he
Thus was taken, but his partner,
That strange prodigy of Rome--
Man in mind, wild beast in manners,
Doubly thus a prodigy--
Saved himself by power of magic.
Thus Chrysanthus was sole prisoner,
While the Christian crowd, disheartened,
Fled for safety to the mountains
From their grottoes and their caverns.
These the soldiers quickly followed,
And behind in that abandoned
Savage place remained but two--
Two, oh! think, a son and father.--
One a judge, too, in a cause
Wicked, bad, beyond example,
In a cause that outraged Caesar,
And the gods themselves disparaged.
There with a delinquent son
Stood I, therefore this should happen,
That both clemency and rigour
In my heart waged fearful battle--
Clemency in fine had won,
I would have removed the bandage
From his eyes and let him fly,
But that instant, ah! unhappy!
Came the soldiers back, and then
It were but more misery added,
If they knew of my connivance:
All that then my care could manage
To protect him was the secret
Of his name to keep well guarded.
Thus to Rome I brought him prisoner,
Where pretending great exactness,
That his friends should not discover
Where this Christian malefactor
Was imprisoned, to this house,
To my own house, I commanded
That he should be brought; there hidden
And unknown, a few days after
I in his place substituted . . .
Ah! what will not the untrammelled
Strength of arbitrary power
Dare attempt? what law not trample?
Substituted, I repeat,
For my son a slave, whose strangled,
Headless corse thus paid the debt
Which from me were else exacted.
You will say, "Since fortune thus
Has the debt so happily cancelled,
Why imprison or conceal him?"--
And, thus, full of doubts, I answer
That though it is true I wished not,
Woe is me! the common scaffold
Should his punishment make public,
I as little wished his hardened
Heart should know my love and pity
Since it did not fear my anger:
Ah! believe me, Claudius,
'Twixt the chastisement a father
And an executioner gives,
A great difference must be granted:
One hand honours what it striketh,
One disgraces, blights, and blackens.
Soon my rigour ceased, for truly,
In a father's heart it lasteth
Seldom long: but then what wonder,
If the hand that in its anger
Smites his son, in his own breast
Leaves a wound that ever rankles--
I one day his prison entered
With the wish (I own it frankly)
To forgive him, and when I
Thought he would have even thanked me
For receiving a reproof,
Not severe, too lenient rather,
He began to praise the Christians
With such earnestness and ardour,
In defence of their new law,
That my clemency departed,
And my angrier mood returned.
I his doors and windows fastened.
In the room where he is lying,
Well secured by gyves and shackles,
Sparingly his food is given him,
Through my hands alone it passes,
For I dare not to another
Trust the care his state demandeth.
You will think in this I reached to
The extreme of my disasters--
The full limits of misfortune,
But not so, and if you hearken,
You 'll perceive they 're but beginning,
And not ended, as you fancied.
All these strange events so much
Have unnerved him and unmanned him,
That, forgetful of himself,
Of himself he is regardless.
Nothing to the purpose speaks he.
In his incoherent language
Frenzy shows itself, delusion
In his thoughts and in his fancies:--
Many times I 've listened to him,
Since so high-strung and abstracted
Is his mind, he takes no note of
Who goes in or who departeth.
Once I heard him deprecating
Some despotic beauty's hardness,
Saying, "Since I die for thee,
Thou thy favour sure wilt grant me".
At another time he said,
"Three in one, oh! how can that be?"
Things which these same Christian people
In their law hold quite established.
Thus it is my life is troubled,
Lost in doubts, emeshed, and tangled.
If to freedom I restore him,
I have little doubt that, darkened
By the Christian treachery, he
Will declare himself instanter
Openly a Christian, which
Would to me be such a scandal,
That my blood henceforth were tainted,
And my noble name were branded.
If I leave him here in prison,
So excessive is his sadness,
So extreme his melancholy,
That I fear 't will end in madness.
In a word, I hold, my nephew,
Hold it as a certain axiom,
That these dark magician Christians
Keep him bound by their enchantments;
Who through hatred of my house,
And my office to disparage,
Now revenge themselves on me
Through my only son Chrysanthus.
Tell me, then, what shall I do;
But before you give the answer
Which your subtle wit may dictate,
I would with your own eyes have thee
See him first, you 'll then know better
What my urgent need demandeth.
Come, he 's not far off, his quarter
Is adjoining this apartment;
When you see him, I am certain
You will think it a disaster
Far less evil he should die,
Than that in this cruel manner
He should outrage his own blood,
And my bright escutcheon blacken.
[He opens a door, and Chrysanthus is seen seated in a chair, with his
hands and feet in irons.]

Thus to see my friend, o'erwhelms me
With a grief I cannot master.

Stay, do not approach him nearer;
For I would not he remarked thee,
I would save him the disgrace
Of being seen by thee thus shackled.

What his misery may dictate
We can hear, nor yet attract him.

Was ever human fate so strange as mine?
Were unmatched wishes ever mated so?
Is it not enough to feel one form of woe,
Without being forced 'neath opposite forms to pine?
A triune God's mysterious power divine,
From heaven I ask for life, that I may know,
From heaven I ask for death, life's grisly foe,
A fair one's favour in my heart to shrine:
But how can death and life so well agree,
That I can ask of heaven to end their strife,
And grant them both in pitying love to me?
Yet I will ask, though both with risks are rife,
Neither shall hinder me, for heaven must be
The arbiter of death as well as life.

See now if I spoke the truth.

I am utterly distracted. (The door closes.

Lest perhaps he should perceive us,
Let us move a little further.
Now advise me how to act,
Since you see the grief that racks me.

Though it savours of presumption
To white hairs like yours, to hazard
Words of council, yet at times
Even a young man may impart them:
Well-proportioned punishment
Grave defects oft counteracteth.
But when carried to extremes,
It but irritates and hardens.
Any instrument of music
Of this truth is an example.
Lightly touched, it breathes but sweetness,
Discord, when 't is roughly handled.
'T is not well to send an arrow
To such heights, that in discharging
The strong tension breaks the bowstring,
Or the bow itself is fractured.
These two simple illustrations
Are sufficiently adapted
To my purpose, of advising
Means of cure both mild and ample.
You must take a middle course,
All extremes must be abandoned.
Gentle but judicious treatment
Is the method for Chrysanthus.
For severer methods end in
Disappointment and disaster.
Take him, then, from out his prison,
Leave him free, unchecked, untrammelled,
For the danger is an infant
Without strength to hurt or harm him.
Be it that those wretched Christians
Have bewitched him, disenchant him,
Since you have the power; for Nature
With such careful forethought acteth,
That an antidotal herb
She for every poison planteth.
And if, finally, your wish
Is that he this fatal sadness
Should forget, and wholly change it
To a happier state and gladder,
Get him married: for remember
Nothing is so well adapted
To restrain discursive fancies
As the care and the attachment
Centered in a wife and children;
Taking care that in this matter
Mere convenience should not weigh
More than his own taste and fancy:
Let him choose his wife himself.
Pleased in that, to rove or ramble
Then will be beyond his power,
Even were he so attracted,
For a happy married lover
Thinks of naught except his rapture.

I with nothing such good counsel
Can repay, except the frankness
Of accepting it, which is
The reward yourself would ask for.
And since I a mean must choose
Between two extremes of action,
From his cell, to-day, my son
Shall go forth, but in a manner
That will leave his seeming freedom
Circumscribed and safely guarded.
Let that hall which looketh over
Great Apollo's beauteous garden
Be made gay by flowing curtains,
Be festooned by flowery garlands;
Costly robes for him get ready;
Then invite the loveliest damsels
Rome can boast of, to come hither
To the feasts and to the dances.
Bring musicians, and in fine
Let it be proclaimed that any
Woman of illustrious blood
Who from his delusive passions
Can divert him, by her charms
Curing him of all his sadness,
Shall become his wife, how humble
Her estate, her wealth how scanty.
And if this be not sufficient,
I will give a golden talent
Yearly to the leech who cures him
By some happy stroke of practice. [Exit.

Oh! a father's pitying love,
What will it not do, what marvel
Not attempt for a son's welfare,
For his life?


My lord 'por Baco!'
(That 's the god I like to swear by,
Jolly god of all good rascals)
May I ask you what 's the secret?

You gain little when you ask me
For a secret all may know.
After his mysterious absence
Your young lord 's returned home ill.

In what way?

That none can fathom,
Since he does not tell his ailment
Save by signs and by his manner.

Then he 's wrong, sir, not to tell it
Clearly: with extreme exactness
Should our griefs, our pains be mentioned.
A back tooth a man once maddened,
And a barber came to draw it.
As he sat with jaws expanded,
"Which tooth is it, sir, that pains you?"
Asked of him the honest barber,
And the patient in affected
Language grandly thus made answer,
"The penultimate"; the dentist
Not being used to such pedantic
Talk as this, with ready forceps
Soon the last of all extracted.
The poor patient to be certain,
With his tongue the spot examined,
And exclaimed, his mouth all bleeding,
"Why, that 's not the right tooth, master".
"Is it not the ultimate molar?"
Said the barber quite as grandly.
"Yes" (he answered), "but I said
The penultimate, and I 'd have you
Know, your worship, that it means
Simply that that 's next the farthest".
Thus instructed, he returned
To the attack once more, remarking
"In effect then the bad tooth
Is the one that 's next the last one?"
"Yes", he said, "then here it is",
Spoke the barber with great smartness,
Plucking out the tooth that then
Was the last but one; it happened
From not speaking plain, he lost
Two good teeth, and kept his bad one.

Come and something newer learn
In the stratagem his father
Has arranged to cure the illness
Of Chrysanthus, whom he fancies . . .


Is spell-bound by the Christians
Through the power of their enchantments:--
(Since to-day I cannot see thee, [aside.
Cynthia fair, forgive my absence). [Exit.

While these matters thus proceed,
I shall try, let what will happen,
Thee to see, divine Daria:--
At my love, oh! be not angered,
Since the penalty of beauty
Is to be beloved: then pardon. [Exit.

SCENE II.--The Wood.

Enter DARIA from the chase with bow and arrows.

O stag that swiftly flying
Before my feathered shafts the winds outvieing,
Impelled by wings, not feet,
If in this green retreat
Here panting thou wouldst die,
And stain with blood the fountain murmuring by,
Await another wound, another friend,
That so with quicker speed thy life may end;
For to a wretch that stroke a friend must be
That eases death and sooner sets life free.
[She stumbles and falls near the mouth of a cave.]
But, bless me, heaven! I feel
My brain grow hot, my curdling blood congeal:
A form of fire and snow
I seem at once to turn: this sudden blow,
This stumbling, how I know not, by this stone,
This horrid mouth in which my grave is shown,
This cave of many shapes,
Through which the melancholy mountain gapes,
This mountain's self, a vast
Abysmal shadow cast
Suddenly on my heart, as if 't were meant
To be my rustic pyre, my strange new monument,
All fill my heart with wonder and with fear,
What buried mysteries are hidden here
That terrify me so,
And make me tremble 'neath impending woe.
[A solemn strain of music is heard from within.]
Nay more, illusion now doth bear to me
The sweetest sounds of dulcet harmony,
Music and voice combine:--
O solitude! what phantasms are thine!
But let me listen to the voice that blent
Sounds with the music of the instrument.

Music from within the cave.

Oh! be the day for ever blest,
And blest be pitying heaven's decree,
That makes the darksome cave to be
Daria's tomb, her place of rest!

Blest! can such evil auguries bless?
And happy can that strange fate be
That gives this darksome cave to me
As monument of my sad life?


Oh! who before in actual woe
The happier signs of bliss could read?
Will not a fate so rigorous lead
To misery, not to rapture?--


O fantasy! unwelcome guest!
How can this cave bring good to me?

Itself will tell, when it shall be
Daria's tomb, her place of rest.

But then, who gave the stern decree,
That this dark cave my bones should hide?

Daria, it was he who died,
Who gave his life for love of thee.

"Who gave his life for love of me!"
Ah! me, and can it be in sooth
That gentle noble Roman youth
I answered with such cruelty
In this same wood the other day,
Saying that I his love would be
If he would only die for me!
Can he have cast himself away
Down this dark cave, and there lies dead,
Buried within the dread abyss,
Waiting my love, his promised bliss?--
My soul, not now mine own, has fled!

CYNTHIA (within).
Forward! forward! through the gloom
Every cave and cavern enter,
Search the dark wood to its centre,
Lest it prove Daria's tomb.

Ah! me, the sense confounding,
Both here and there are opposite voices sounding.
Here is my name in measured cadence greeted,
And there in hollow echoes oft repeated.
Would that the latter cries that reach my ear
Came from my mates in this wild forest sphere,
In the dread solitude that doth surround me
Their presence would be welcome.
[Enter Cynthia with bow and arrows.]

Till I found me,
Beauteous Daria, by thy side once more,
Each mountain nook my search had well gone o'er.

DARIA (aside).
Let me dissemble
The terror and surprise that make me tremble,
If I have power to feign
Amid the wild confusion of my brain:--
Following the chase to-day,
Wishing Diana's part in full to play,
So fair the horizon smiled,
I left the wood and entered on the wild,
Led by a wounded deer still on and on.
And further in pursuit I would have gone,
Nor had my swift career
Even ended here,
But for this mouth that opening in the rock,
With horrid gape my vain attempt doth mock,
And stops my further way.

Until I found thee I was all dismay,
Lest thou some savage beast, some monstrous foe,
Hadst met.

DARIA (aside).
Ah! would to Jove 't were so!
And that my death in his wild hands had paid
For future chastisement by fate delayed!
But ah! the wish is vain,
Foreboding horror fills my heart and brain,
This mystic music borne upon the air
Must surely augur ill.

(Enter NISIDA.)

Daria fair,
And Cynthia wise, I come to seek ye two.

Has any thing occurred or strange or new?

I scarce can tell it. As I came along,
I heard a man, in a clear voice and strong,
Proclaiming as he went
Through all the mountain a most strange event:
Rome hath decreed
Priceless rewards to her whose charms may lead
Through lawful love and in an open way
By public wedlock in the light of day,
The son of proud Polemius from the state
Of gloom in which his mind is sunk of late.

And what can be the cause that he is so?

Ah! that I do not know,
But yonder, leaving the Salarian Way,
A Roman soldier hitherward doth stray:
He may enlighten us and tell us all.

Yes, let us know the truth, the stranger call.

DARIA (aside).
Ah! how distinct the pain
That presses on my heart, and dulls my wildered brain!

(Enter Escarpin.)

Thou, O thou, whose wandering footsteps
These secluded groves have entered . . .[9]

Thou four hundred times repeated--
Thou and all the thous, your servant.

Tell us of the proclamation
Publicly to-day presented
To the gaze of Rome.

I 'll do so;
For there 's nothing I love better
Than a story (aside, if to tell it
In divine Daria's presence
Does not put me out, for no one,
When the loved one listens, ever
Speaks his best): Polemius,
Rome's great senator, whose bended
Shoulders, like an Atlas, bear
All the burden of the empire,
By Numerian's self entrusted,
He, this chief of Rome's great senate,
Has a son, by name Chrysanthus,
Who, as rumour goes, at present
Is afflicted by a sadness
So extreme and so excessive,
That 't is thought to be occasioned
By the magic those detested
Christians (who abhor his house,
And his father, who hath pressed them
Heavily as judge and ruler)
Have against his life effected,
All through hatred of our gods.
And so great is the dejection
That he feels, there 's nothing yet
Found to rouse him or divert him.
Thus it is Numerianus,
Who is ever well-affected
To his father, hath proclaimed
All through Rome, that whosoever
Is so happy by her beauty,
Or so fortunately clever
By her wit, or by her graces
Is so powerful, as to temper
His affliction, since love conquers
All things by his magic presence,
He will give her (if a noble)
As his wife, and will present her
With a portion far surpassing
All Polemius' self possesses,
Not to speak of what is promised
Him whose skill may else effect it.
Thus it is that Rome to-day
Laurel wreaths and crowns presenteth
To its most renowned physicians,
To its sages and its elders,
And to wit and grace and beauty
Joyous feasts and courtly revels;
So that there is not a lady
In all Rome, but thinks it certain
That the prize is hers already,
Since by all 't will be contested,
Some through vanity, and some
Through a view more interested:
Even the ugly ones, I warrant,
Will be there well represented.
So with this, adieu. (Aside, Oh! fairest
Nymph Daria, since I ventured
Here to see thee, having seen thee
Now, alas! I must absent me!) [Exit.

What strange news!

There 's not a beauty
But for victory will endeavour
When among Rome's fairest daughters
Such a prize shall be contested.

Thus by showing us the value
Thou upon the victory settest,
We may understand that thou
Meanest in the lists to enter.

Yes, so far as heaven through music
Its most magic cures effecteth,
Since no witchcraft is so potent
But sweet music may dispel it.
It doth tame the raging wild beast,
Lulls to sleep the poisonous serpent,
And makes evil genii, who
Are revolted spirits--rebels--
Fly in fear, and in this art
I have always been most perfect:
Wrongly would I act to-day,
In not striving for the splendid
Prize which will be mine, when I
See myself the loved and wedded
Wife of the great senator's son,
And the mistress of such treasures.

Although music is an art
Which so many arts excelleth,
Still in truth 't is but a sound
Which the wanton air disperses.
It the sweet child of the air
In the air itself must perish.
I, who in my studious reading
Have such learn`ed lore collected,
Who in poetry, that art
Which both teacheth and diverteth,
May precedence claim o'er many
Geniuses so prized at present,
Can a surer victory hope for
In the great fight that impendeth,
Since the music of the soul
Is what keeps the mind suspended.
In one item, Nisida,
We two differ: thy incentive
Thy chief motive, is but interest:
Mine is vanity, a determined
Will no other woman shall
Triumph o'er me in this effort,
Since I wish that Rome should see
That the glory, the perfection
Of a woman is her mind,
All her other charms excelling.

Interest and vanity
Are the two things, as you tell me,
That, O Cynthia! can oblige thee,
That, O Nisida, can compel thee
To attempt this undertaking
By so many risks attended.
But I think you both are wrong,
Since in this case, having heard that
The affliction this man suffers
Christian sorcery hath effected
Through abhorrence of our gods,
By that atheist sect detested,
Neither of these feelings should
Be your motive to attempt it.
I then, who, for this time only
Will believe these waves that tell me--
These bright fountains--that the beauty
Which so oft they have reflected
Is unequalled, mean to lay it
As an offering in the temple
Of the gods, to show what little
Strength in Christian sorcery dwelleth.

Then 't is openly admitted
That we three the list will enter
For the prize.

And from this moment
That the rivalry commences.

Voice of song, thy sweet enchantment
On this great occasion lend me,
That through thy soft influence
Rank and riches I may merit. [Exit.

Genius, offspring of the soul,
Prove this time thou 'rt so descended,
That thy proud ambitious hopes
May the laurel crown be tendered. [Exit.

Beauty, daughter of the gods,
Now thy glorious birth remember:
Make me victress in the fight,
That the gods may live for ever. [Exit.

SCENE III.--A hall in the house of Polemius, opening at the end upon a

(Enter Polemius and Claudius.)

Is then everything prepared?--

Everything has been got ready
As you ordered. This apartment
Opening on the garden terrace
Has been draped and covered over
With the costliest silks and velvets,
Leaving certain spaces bare
For the painter's magic pencil,
Where, so cunning is his art,
That it nature's self resembles.
Flowers more fair than in the garden,
Pinks and roses are presented:
But what wonder when the fountains
Still run after to reflect them?--
All things else have been provided,
Music, dances, gala dresses;
And for all that, Rome yet knows not
What in truth is here projected;
'T is a fair Academy,
In whose floral halls assemble
Beauty, wit, and grace, a sight
That we see but very seldom.
All the ladies too of Rome
Have prepared for the contention
With due circumspection, since
As his wife will be selected
She who best doth please him; thus
There are none but will present them
In these gardens, some to see him,
Others to show off themselves here.

Oh, my Claudius, would to Jove
That all this could dispossess me
Of my dark foreboding fancies,
Of the terrors that oppress me!--

(Enter Aurelius.)

Sir, a very learned physician
Comes to proffer his best service
To Chrysanthus, led by rumour
Of his illness.

Bid him enter.
[Aurelius retires, and returns immediately with Carpophorus, disguised
as a physician.]

Heaven, that I may do the work
That this day I have attempted,
Grant me strength a little while;
For I know my death impendeth!--
Mighty lord, thy victor hand, [aloud.
Let me kiss and kneeling press it.

Venerable elder, rise
From the ground; thy very presence
Gives me joy, a certain instinct
Even at sight of thee doth tell me
Thou alone canst save my son.

Heaven but grant the cure be perfect!

Whence, sir, art thou?

Sir, from Athens.

'T is a city that excelleth
All the world in knowledge.

All are teachers, all are learners.
The sole wish to be of use
Has on this occasion led me
From my home. Inform me then
How Chrysanthus is affected.

With an overwhelming sadness;
Or to speak it more correctly
(Since when we consult a doctor
Even suspicions should be mentioned),
He, my son, has been bewitched;--
Thus it is these Christian perverts
Take revenge through him on me:
In particular an elder
Called Carpophorus, a wizard . . .
May the day soon come for vengeance!

May heaven grant it . . . (aside, For that day
I the martyr's crown may merit).
Where at present is Chrysanthus?

He is just about to enter:--
You can see him; all his ailment
In the soul you 'll find is centered.

In the soul then I will cure him,
If my skill heaven only blesses. [Music is heard from within.

That he 's leaving his apartment
This harmonious strain suggesteth,
Since to counteract his gloom
He by music is attended.
(Enter Chrysanthus richly dressed, preceded by musicians playing and
singing, and followed by attendants.)

Cease; my pain, perchance my folly,
Cannot be by song diverted;
Music is a power exerted
For the cure of melancholy,
Which in truth it but augmenteth.

This your father bade us do.

'T is because he never knew
Pain like that which me tormenteth.
For if he that pang incessant
Felt, he would not wish to cure it,
He would love it and endure it.

Think, my son, that I am present,
And that I am not ambitious
To assume your evil mood,
But to find that it is good.

No, sir, you mistake my wishes.
I would not through you relieve me
Of my care; my former state
Seemed, though, more to mitigate
What I suffer: why not leave me
There to die?

That yet I may,
Pitying your sad condition,
Work your cure:--A great physician
Comes to visit you to-day.

Who do I behold? ah, me!

I will speak to him with your leave.

No, my eyes do not deceive,
'T is Carpophorus that I see!
I my pleasure must conceal.

Sir, of what do you complain?

Since you come to cure my pain,
I will tell you how I feel.
A great sadness hath been thrown
O'er my mind and o'er my feelings,
A dark blank whose dim revealings
Make their sombre tints mine own.

Can you any cause assign me
Whence this sadness is proceeding?

From my earliest years to reading
Did my studious tastes incline me.
Something thus acquired doth wake
Doubts, and fears, and hopes, ah me!
That the things I read may be.

Then from me this lesson take.
Every mystery how obscure,
Is explained by faith alone;
All is clear when that is known:
'T is through faith I 'll work your cure.
Since in that your healing lies,
Take it then from me.

From you
I infer all good: that true
Faith I hope which you advise.

CARPOPHORUS (to Polemius).
Give me leave, sir, to address
Some few words to him alone,
Less reserve will then be shown. (The two retire to one side.
Have you recognized me?

Every sign shows you are he
Who in my most perilous strait
Fled and left me to my fate.

God did that; and would you see
That it was His own work, say,
If I did not then absent me
Through His means, could I present me
As your teacher here to-day?


How just His providence!
Since I was preserved, that I
Here might seek you, and more nigh
Give you full intelligence
Leisurely of every doubt
Which disturbs you when you read.

Mysteries they are indeed,
Difficult to be made out.

To the believer all is plain.

I would believe, what must I do?--

Your intellectual pride subdue.

I will subdue it, since 't is vain.

Then the first thing to be done
Is to be baptized.

I bow,
Father, and implore it now.

Let us for the present shun
Further notice; lest suspicion
Should betray what we would smother;
Every day we 'll see each other,
When I 'll execute my mission:
I, to cure sin's primal scath,
Will at fitting time baptize you,
Taking care to catechise you
In the principles of the faith;
Only now one admonition
Must I give; be armed, be ready
For the fight most fierce and steady
Ever fought for man's perdition;
Oh! take heed, amid the advances
Of the fair who wish to win you,
'Mid the fires that burn within you,
'Mid lascivious looks and glances,
'Mid such various foes enlisted,
That you are not conquered by them.

Women! oh! who dare defy them
By such dread allies assisted?

He whom God assists.

Be swayed
By my tears, and ask him.

Must too ask him: for he who
Aids himself, him God doth aid.

What, sir, think you of his case?

I have ordered him a bath,
Strong restoring powers it hath,
Which his illness must displace:--

Sir, relying on you then,
I will give you ample wealth,
If you can restore his health.

Still I cannot tell you when,
But I shall return and see him
Frequently; in fact 'till he
Is from all his ailment free,
From my hand I will not free him.

For your kindness I am grateful.

He alone has power to cure me.
Since he knows what will allure me,
When all other modes are hateful. [Exit Carpophorus.

(Enter Escarpin.)

All this garden of delight
Must be beauty's birth-place sure,
Here the fresh rose doubly pure,
Here the jasmin doubly white,
Learn to-day a newer grace,
Lovelier red, more dazzling snow.


Because the world doth show
Naught so fair as this sweet place.
Falsely boasts th' Elysian bower
Peerless beauty, here to-day
More, far more, these groves display:--
Not a fountain, tree, or flower . . .


But by a nymph more fair
Is surpassed.

Come, Claudius, come,
He will be but dull and dumb,
Shy the proffered bliss to share,
Through the fear and the respect
Which, as son, he owes to me.

He who gave the advice should see
Also after the effect.
Let us all from this withdraw.

Great results I hope to gather:

ESCARPIN (aside).
Well, you 're the first pander-father
Ever in my life I saw.

What, Escarpin, you, as well,
Going to leave me? Mum for once.

Silence suits me for the nonce.


A tale in point I 'll tell:
Once a snuffler, by a pirate
Moor was captured, who in some
Way affected to be dumb,
That his ransom at no high rate
Might be purchased: when his owner
This defect perceived, the shuffle
Made him sell this Mr. Snuffle
Very cheaply: to the donor
Of his freedom, through his nose,
Half in snuffle, half in squeak,
Then he said, "Oh! Moor, I speak,
I 'm not dumb as you suppose".
"Fool, to let your folly lead you
So astray", replied the Moor.
"Had I heard you speak, be sure
I for nothing would have freed you".
Thus it is I moderate me
In the use of tongue and cheek,
Lest when you have heard me speak,
Still more cheaply you may rate me.

You must know the estimation
I have held you in so long.

Well, my memory is not strong.
It requires consideration
To admit that pleasant fact.

What of me do people say?--

Shall I speak it?


Why, they
Say, my lord, that you are cracked.

For what reason? Why this blame?

Reason, sir, need not be had,
For the wisest man is mad
If he only gets the name.

Well, it was not wrongly given,
If they only knew that I
Have consented even to die
So to reach the wished-for heaven
Of a sovereign beauty's favour.

For a lady's favour you
Have agreed to die?

'T is true.

Does not this a certain savour
Of insanity give your sadness?

Were I certain as of breath
I could claim it after death,
There was method in my madness.

A brave soldier of the line,
On his death-bed lying ill,
Spoke thus, "Item, 't is my will,
Gallant friends and comrades mine,
That you 'll bear me to my grave,
And although I 've little wealth,
Thirty reals to drink my health
Shall you for your kindness have".
Thus the hope as vain must be
After death one's love to wed,
As to drink one's health when dead.
[Nisida advances from the garden.]

But what maid is this I see
Hither through the garden wending?

If you take a stroll with me
Plenty of her sort you 'll see.

One who would effect the ending
Of thy sadness.

Now comes near thee,
O my heart, thy threatened trial!
Lady, pardon the denial,
But I would nor see nor hear thee.

Not so ungallantly surely
Wilt thou act, as not to see
One who comes to speak with thee?

To see one who thinks so poorly
Of herself, and with such lightness
Owns she comes to speak with me,
Rather would appear to be
Want of sense than of politeness.

All discourse is not so slight
That thou need'st decline it so.

No, I will not see thee, no.
Thus I shut thee from my sight.

Vainly art thou cold and wise,
Other senses thou shouldst fear,
Since I enter by the ear,
Though thou shut me from the eyes.

"The bless`ed rapture of forgetting
Never doth my heart deserve,
What my memory would preserve
Is the memory I 'm regretting".

That melting voice, that melody
Spell-bound holds th' entranc`ed soul.
Ah! from such divine control
Who his fettered soul could free?--
Human Siren, leave me, go!
Too well I feel its fatal power.
I faint before it like a flower
By warm-winds wooed in noontide's glow.
The close-pressed lips the mouth can lock,
And so repress the vain reply,
The lid can veil th' unwilling eye
From all that may offend and shock,--
Nature doth seem a niggard here,
Unequally her gifts disposing,
For no instinctive means of closing
She gives the unprotected ear.

(Enter Cynthia.)

Since then the ear cannot be closed,
And thou resistance need'st not try,
Listen to the gloss that I
On this sweet conceit composed:
"The bless`ed rapture of forgetting
Never doth my heart deserve;
What my memory would preserve
Is the memory I 'm regretting".
When Nature from the void obscure
Her varied world to life awakes,
All things find use and so endure:--
Thus she a poison never makes
Without its corresponding cure:
Each thing of Nature's careful setting,
Each plant that grows in field or grove
Hath got its opposite flower or weed;
The cure is with the pain decreed;
Thus too is found for feverish love
'The bless`ed rapture of forgetting.'
The starry wonders of the night,
The arbiters of fate on high,
Nothing can dim: To see their light
Is easy, but to draw more nigh
The orbs themselves, exceeds our might.
Thus 't is to know, and only know,
The troubled heart, the trembling nerve,
To sweet oblivion's blank may owe
Their rest, but, ah! that cure of woe
'Never doth my heart deserve.'
Then what imports it that there be,
For all the ills of heart or brain,
A sweet oblivious remedy,
If it, when 't is applied to me,
Fails to cure me of my pain?
Forgetfulness in me doth serve
No useful purpose: But why fret
My heart at this? Do I deserve,
Strange contradiction! to forget
'What my memory would preserve?'
And thus my pain in straits like these,
Must needs despise the only sure
Remedial means of partial ease--
That is--to perish of the cure
Rather than die of the disease.
Then not in wailing or in fretting,
My love, accept thy fate, but let
This victory o'er myself, to thee
Bring consolation, pride, and glee,
Since what I wish not to forget
'Is the memory I 'm regretting.'

'T is not through the voice alone
Music breathes its soft enchantment.[10]
All things that in concord blend
Find in music their one language.
Thou with thy delicious sweetness [To Nisida]
Host my heart at once made captive;--
Thou with thy melodious verses [To Cynthia]
Hast my very soul enraptured.
Ah! how subtly thou dost reason!
Ah! how tenderly thou chantest!
Thou with thy artistic skill,
Thou with thy clear understanding.
But what say I? I speak falsely,
For you both are sphinxes rather,
Who with flattering words seduce me
But to ruin me hereafter:--
Leave me; go: I cannot listen
To your wiles.

My lord, oh! hearken
To my song once more.

Wait! stay!

Why thus treat with so much harshness
Those who mourn thy deep dejection?

Oh! how soon they 'd have an answer
If they asked of me these questions.
I know how to treat such tattle:
Leave them, sir, to me.

My senses
'Gainst their lures I must keep guarded:
They are crocodiles, but feigning
Human speech, so but to drag me
To my ruin, my destruction.

Since my voice will still attract thee,
'T is of little use to fly me.

Though thou dost thy best to guard thee,
While I gloss the words she singeth
To my genius thou must hearken.

God whom I adore! since I
Help myself, Thy help, oh! grant me!

"Ah! the joy" . . . . (she becomes confused.
But what is this?
Icy torpor coldly fastens
On my hands; the lute drops from me,
And my very breath departeth.

Since she cannot sing; then listen
To this subtle play of fancy:
"Love, if thou 'rt my god" . . . . (she becomes confused.
But how,
What can have my mind so darkened
What my memory so confuses,
What my voice can so embarrass?

I am turned to frost and fire,
I am changed to living marble.

Frozen over is my breast,
And my heart is cleft and hardened.

Thus to lose your wits, ye two,
What can have so strangely happened?

Being poets and musicians,
Quite accounts, sir, for their absence.

Heavens! beneath the noontide sun
To be left in total darkness!

In an instant, O ye heavens!
O'er your vault can thick clouds gather?

'Neath the contact of my feet
Earth doth tremble, and I stagger.

Mountains upon mountains seem
On my shoulders to be balanced.

So it always is with those
Who make verses, or who chant them.

Of the one God whom I worship
These are miracles, are marvels.

(Enter Daria.)

Here, Chrysanthus, I have come . . .

Stay, Daria.

Stay, 't is rashness
Here to come, for, full of wonders,
Full of terrors is this garden.

Do not enter: awful omens
Threat'ning death await thy advent.

By my miseries admonished . . . .

By my strange misfortune startled . . .

Flying from myself, I leave
This green sphere, dismayed, distracted.

Without soul or life I fly,
Overwhelmed by this enchantment.

Oh! how dreadful!

Oh! how awful!

Oh! the horror!

Oh! the anguish! [Exeunt Cynthia and Nisida.]

Mad with jealousy and rage
Have the tuneful twain departed.

DARIA (aside).
Chastisements for due offences
Do not fright me, do not startle,
For if they through arrogance
And ambition sought this garden,
Me the worship of the gods
Here has led, and so I 'm guarded
'Gainst all sorceries whatsoever,
'Gainst all forms of Christian magic:--
Art thou then Chrysanthus?


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