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If thou wilt sooth me, tell some dismal tale
Luc. Why do you follow still that wand'ring fire, That has misled your weary steps, and leaves you Benighted in a wilderness of woe, That false Lothario? Turn from the deceiver; Turn, and behold where gentle Altamont, “ Kind as the softest virgin of our sex, “ And faithful as the simple village swain, " That never knew the courtly vice of changing," Sighs at your feet, and woes you to be happy.
Cal. Away! I think not of him. My sad soul Has form'd a dismal melancholy scene, Such a retreat as I would wish to find; An unfrequented vale, o'ergrown with trees Mossy and old, within whose lonesome shade Ravens, and birds ill-omen'd only dwell : No sound to break the silence, but a brook That bubbling winds among the weeds: no mark Of any human shape that had been there, Unless a skeleton of some poor wretch, Who had long since, like me, by love undone, Sought that sad place out, to despair and die in.
Luc. Alas, for pity!
Cal. There I fain would hide me From the base world, from malice, and from shame; For 'tis the solemn counsel of my soul
Never to live with public loss of honour :
Luc. Can you perceive the manifest destruction,
Cal. On thy life
Luc. Trust not to that:
Cal. I have been wrong'd enough to arm my temper
Against the smooth delusion; but alas! .
dence “ Is watchful for our good, guard me from men, “ From their deceitful tongues, their vows, and flat
" teries; “ Still let me pass neglected by their eyes, “ Let my bloom wither, and my form decay, “ That none may think it worth his while to ruin
“ me, “ And fatal love may never be my bane.” [Exit.
Cal. Ha, Altamont ! Calista, now be wary, And guard thy soul's accesses with dissembling: 80 Nor let this hostile husband's eyes explore The warring passions, and tumultuous thoughts, That rage within thee, and deform thy reason.
Enter ALTAMONT. Alt. Begone, my cares, I give you to the winds, Far to be borne, far from the happy Altamont; “ For from this sacred æra of my love, “ A better order of succeeding days
“ Comes smiling forward, white and lucky all.”
Cal. If I were ever mistress of such happiness,
Alt. Oh, mighty Lovel Shall that fair face profanc
Cal. I tell thee, Altamont, Such hearts as ours were never pair'd above: Ill-suited to each other; join'd, not match'd ; Some sullen influence, a foe to both, Has wrought this fatal marriage to undo us, Mark, but the frame and temper of our minds, How very much we differ. Ev'n this day, That fills thee with such ecstacy and transport, To me brings nothing that should make me bless it, Or think it better than the day before, Or any other in the course of time, That duly took its turn, and was forgotten.
Alt. If to behold thee as my pledge of happiness, To know none fair, none excellent but thee; If still to love thee with unwearied constancy, “ Through ev'ry season, ev'ry change of life,
“ Thro' wrinkled age, thro' sickness and misfortune,”
Cal. 'Tis the day
Enter SciolTO, HORATIO, and LAVINIA.
[Music. “ SONG, “ BY MR. CONGREVE. " Ah, stay! ah, turn! ah, whither would you fly,
“ Too charming, too relentless maid ? “ I follow not to conquer, but to die;
140 “ You of the fearful are afraid.