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Enter PRIULI and Servants. Who's there?
[They seize her. Pri. Run, seize, and bring her safely home, Guard her as you would life : alas, poor creature!
Belv. What! to my husband ? then conduct me quickly : Are all things ready? shall we die most gloriously ? Say not a word of this to my old father : Murmuring streams, soft shades, and springing flowers, Lutes, laurels, seas of milk, and ships of amber. [Exeunt.
Belr. Then hear me too, just Heaven:
and let loose fury
Jaff. Now hold, heart, or never.
Belv. By all the tender days we've lived together,
Jaff. Oh, h-h!
Belv. By these arms that now cling round thy neck,
Jaff. Murther! un-hold me:
Belv. Hold, sir, be patient.
Belv. Leave thy dagger with me.
[Going out, looks back at her.
[Approaching each other. Oh that my arms were riveted Thus round thee ever! but my friends! my oath! This, and no more.
Jaff. So, now farewell.
Scene opening, discovers a Scaffold and a wheel prepared for the
E.recuting of PIERRE; then enter Officers, PIERRE and
Guards, a Friar, Executioner, and a great rabble.
Pier. Why you so troublesome, that a poor wretch
Fath. Yet Heaven
Pier. I tell thee, Heaven and I are friends :
Fath. But an all-seeing Judge
Pier. You say my conscience
Fati. 'Tis strange you should want Faith.
Pier. You want to lead
Pier. Yet nearer.
Jaff. Crawling on my knees,
How shall I look up to thy injured face,
It darts an air of so much manly virtue,
Pier. Dear to my arms, though thou 'st undone my fame.
Jaff. Good! I am the vilest creature, worse than e'er
Belv. Oh, my husband, Carries a dagger in his To pierce the heart vi
Pri. Kill thee!
Belv. Yes, kill me.
gave me up aslik
Iow I'm ready.
[He and JAFFEIR ascend the scaffold. * uz skould be a gentleman of honour,
a rabble, that I may have room *1922 my fate, and die with decency.
!"kes off his gown, Executioner prepares to bind hin.
son! ber. Hence, tempter! V. Stand off, priest. er. I thank you, sir. "I think on't.
[To JAFFEIR. f. 'Twon't grow stale before to-morrow. Fier. Now, Jaffeir! now I am going. Now ;
[Executioners haring bound kin. Jaff. Have at thee, Thou honest heart! Then-here
[Stabs him And this is well too.
[Then stabs himself. Fath. Damnable deed !
Pier. Now thou hast indeed been faithful.
[Scene shuts upon them.
Soft music. Enter BELVIDERA distracted, led by tico of her
Women, PRIULI and Servants. Pri. Strengthen her heart with patience, pitying Heaven!
Belv. Come, come, come, come, come, nay come to bed, Priythee my love. The winds; hark how they whistle And the rain beats: oh, how the weather shrinks me! You are angry now,
who cares? pish, no indeed. Choose then, I say you shall not go, you shall not. Whip your ill-nature; get you gone then; oh!
[JAFFerr's ghost riss. Are you returned ? See, father, here he's come again. Am I to blame to love him ? oh thou dear one. (Ghost sinks. Why do you fly me? Are you angry still then? Jaffeir, where art thou ? Father, why do you do thus? Stand off, don't hide him from me. He's here somewhere. Stand off I say: what, gone? remember 't tyrant ! I may revenge myself for this trick one day. I'll do 't-I'll do it. Renault 's a nasty fellow; Hang him, hang him, hang him!
Enter Officer and others. Pri. News, what news!
[Officer ichispers Purl. Offi. Most sad, sir. Jaffeir, upon the scaffold, to prevent A shameful death, stabbed Pierre, and next, himself; Both fell together.
Pri. Daughter. Belt. Ha, look there! [The ghosts of JAFFEIR and Pierre rise together borih blis.
My husband bloody, and his friend too! murther!
Pri. Then guard me from the sight on't:
ally a damsel, Violante, whom her brother, Lord Belguard, desires to marry and who is ready, for her own sake as well as her friend's, to confound his plans for the safe custody of women; because, she says, “whilst he has this disease upon him so mortal to liberty, I dare venture on him no more than if he had the plague, or any other distemper dangerous to life. For what is life without liberty? To be his wife is worse than to be a ghost, for that walks and enjoys a little chat sometimes, but I must be laid by a conjuror called a husband for my whole life.” Leonora can have liberty only on terms.
Our last illustration of the Later Stuart Drama
Leonora loves a youth with a fair and free estate, shall be a comedy written by John Crowne in ac
Mr. Farewel, but he is forbidden. There has been cordance with a suggestion of Charles the Second.
family feud since the Conquest between her family John Crowne, was who the son of an independent and that of the Farewels. Because she showed none minister in Nova Scotia, began his career as dramatist
of the proper bitterness, Leonora's father had left her in London in 1671, with the tragi - comedy of
fortune tied by condition of her brother's assent to "Juliana,” and closed it with the tragedy of “ Cali
her marriage. The First Act, after opening the story gula," in 1698, having produced eighteen plays. His
in dialogue between Violante and Leonora, shows comedy of “ City Politics," printed in 1675, attacked
next the two guardians Hothead and Testimony, one the Whigs, and made him enemies. When he sought
a fanatical Church and State man, the other a fanatical of the king some office that would ensure him main
Puritan, in feud together. Hothead, who is my lord's tenance without constant exertion as a dramatist, the
cousin, is offended at the bringing of Testimony into king promised to help him when he had written one
the household. Another part of Lord Belguard's method play more, as a farewell to the stage. It was to be a
is to allow no handsome servants in the house. “I comedy, and written, by his Majesty's command, on
believe,” says Leonora to her friend when the two the plot of a Spanish play by Moreto, No Puede Ser
fanatics have left her for a time, “ I believe they are (It Cannot Be), founded on the Mayor Imposible of
now all together in the pantry, and my aunt among Lope de Vega. An English play had already been
'em, distributing their breakfasts—the monsters will formed on the same theme, called “ Tarugo's Wiles,”
be worth seeing-open the door.” which had failed; but Crowne took pains to satisfy
“The scene is drawn, and a company of crooked, the king with wit that would ensure his worldly com
withered, ill-looked fellows are at breakfast, and Aunt fort for the future, and his twelfth play, the comedy with them.” The humours of Aunt are then set forth “ Sir Courtly Nice,” was the result. But the king before Lord Belguard enters, and closes the Act in had an apoplectic stroke on the last day of its re
dialogue with his sister and Violante, wherein he hearsal, and died three days afterwards, on the 6th maintains his doctrine that “ woman like china should of February, 1685. The play, therefore, was pro
be kept with care.” duced at the beginning of the reign of James the
The Second Act opens in Violante's lodging, with Second
encouragement to Farewel to be bold, and with his SIR COURTLY NICE, OR IT CANNOT BE,
declaration that Leonora's brother could not keep him
out, “ though guards were set on guards, till their takes its second title straight from Moreto. What
confounded coxcombs reached the skies,” for he has cannot be is the shutting up of a woman from a suitor
leagued with a witch ; " at least a young fellow that whom she favours and who is determined to have
has more tricks than a witch." This is Crack, once a access to her. Lord Belguard is resolved to keep all men away from his sister Leonora, except Sir Courtly
poor student of Oxford, but expelled for his wild Nice, whom he intends that she shall marry.
ways, though no offence could ever be fixed upon He
him. sets as guards over her, an aunt aged fifty, and Hothead
He enters presently; and comes ready to put
out his wits on hire. and Testimony, one “a choleric Zealot against Fanatics," the other “a canting hypocritical Fanatic," Farewel. Mr. Crack, your servant. who, being fierce opponents, cannot unite to deceive
Crack. Your servant, sir, your humble servant, madam. him, and will serve, he believes, as checks on each
l'iolante. Your servant, sir; I am told you have been an other in the watching of the lady. Leonora has for Oxford scholar.
The foul complexin
Offi. The tiny
-rutleman, there enters Mr. Surls,
humour, professing Limself Sir - sut for the hand of Lecaora. - um, a woman o' your sense not choose
It has more land ; not more izgroved land.
up to one great weed -I mean tirself; and suins in periwigs and ribbons. Oh, bat he has a
That's a cheat; a false creed imposed on you ... 24 council of tailors, milliners, and seamstresses.
xpound his face, and you'll see what a piece of -t is.
*. Horrid! He has put his beastly hat upon my y, sir (to a servant), do me the favour to remove Sail grow very sick
Vr's insults, met with extreme politeness, at
torve Sir Courtly to challenge him, and the mitage is delivered in these terms : “Mr. Surls, wave received some favours from you, sir, and I ve the honour of your company, sir, to-morrow rning, at Barn Elms, sir.
Please to name your pon, sir.” “A squirt.” “A squirt !”
“A squirt !” “ Ay, for dat will go to thy heart, I'm sure.” The Act ends in the garden of Lord Belguard's house with another i Crack's devices. There is a noise outside of four nen setting upon one. Crack, as the lunatic Sir Thomas, blows tantivy on a horn, opens the garden door for a rescue, and while Lord Belguard and the rest rush out, lets Farewel in.
The Fifth Act opens with Farewel and Leonora happy, so far, in the success of Mr. Crack's devices, but Lord Belguard coming suddenly upon them,
Farewel is hidden in another room, and Crack rolls į on the floor as the bewitched Sir Thomas Calico, in
agonies because the curiosity of Leonora has caused a woman to look in upon him. But the Aunt knows more, Crack has to account for Farewel's presence in the house, and again succeeds in making Lord Belguard think himself in the wrong and make apolo gies to Leonora. He begs her pardon, will at once begone upon her business, to fetch Sir Courtly Nice. “ Your servant, sister.”
Leo. Oh, your servant, sir-ha! ha!-he runs-I may chance, sir, to run as nimbly from you, if Crack's wit do not fail him-here he comes. [Enter Crack.] Thou admirable fellow, what hast thou done with Mr. Farewel ?
Crack. He's in the street, staying for you.
Crack. D'ye question it ? Put on a vizard and something over your clothes.
Leo. Sweet rogue!
dancing, she is met by BELGUARD and Sir CorRTLY. Bel. Oh! Sister, your tune's altered.
Sir Co. Oh! madam! I'm happy to find your ladyship in so gay a humour.
Lite xil the
kimiraTot it must
Hy nice as huse of his
da a delicate stati I bred him
i madam, and kentleman in Lwin, “has a
turtly goes on,
“ That's deli-
Leo. (aside) You will not find it so
CHAPTER IX. Bel. Sir Courtly, I'll betray her to you. I left her in tears upon an unhappy oocasion, and at parting told her I FROM THE ENGLISH REVOLUTION TO THE FRENCH would bring you. Now you are come, I find her in joy.
REVOLUTION.-A.D. 1689 to A.D. 1789. Nothing else could cause the change.
The comedies of William Wycherley were all pro
duced in the reign of Charles II. ; those of William Then follows another scene of Sir Courtly's court- Congreve in the reign of William III., Congreve ship, during which he becomes absorbed in the con- being thirty-two years younger than Wycherley. templation of himself in the glass. This gives Leo- He was the second son of a Staffordshire gentleman, nora her opportunity of slipping away, and before Richard Congreve, of Congreve and Stretton ; was Sir Courtly has finished his studies in the mirror, educated at Kilkenny and at Trinity College, Dublin, Aunt has entered, and the neat, pretty things he having at each place among his companions Jonathan says are received by her as intended for herself.
Swift, who was about two years his senior. From When he turns round and sees who is in the room, Dublin Congreve came to London, entered himself he resolves to improve the opportunity. The Aunt of the Middle Temple, went into society, and pubgoverns the niece. Her consent to his suit for
lished when twenty-one a novel written at the age of Leonora will be of considerable value.
seventeen, At the same age of twenty-one, in 1693, help to make him happy. “Well, madam," he asks,
Congreve saw his first play acted at Drury Lane. “ shall I have your consent to my happiness, my
• The Old Bachelor,” which he said he had glory?” “Oh, dear, sir ! is it possible to answer you written “several years before to amuse himself in so soon?" “ So soon, madam, you know my passion a slow recovery from a fit of sickness.” Dryden has been long.” The dialogue is ambiguous enough said he had never seen such a first play. Betterton to end in the belief of Sir Courtly that Aunt is and four chief actresses of the day appeared in it. going to put Leonora masked in a coach to be mar- Charles Montague, afterwards Lord Halifax, reried to him at the nearest church, and in the Aunt's warded the young wit with the office of a combelief that it is she who is to be, in such wise, im- missioner for licensing hackney-coaches. Some mediately married. Then Crack contrives that Leo
twenty years later he obtained also a place in the nora, in her vizard, shall be hustled out of the house
Pipe Office, and then another place, which was in the door by Hothead and Testimony as a strange woman, Customs and worth six hundred a year. Congreve who had slipped in for an evil purpose. Once out of lived on his private means and the income derived the house, Farewel is married to Leonora, and Sir from such patronage, with addition for some years Courtly finds that Aunt has become Lady Courtly from the theatre, although he professed to write Nice. Belguard is laughed at by Violante, and
plays only for his amusement. “ The Double yields up his faith in the art of conserving women.
was produced in 1694, with less success Violante requires that he shall consent to see her than “ The Old Bachelor.” In 1695 Betterton and kissed by Mr. Surly, in witness to his abandonment other good actors seceded from Drury Lane, and of all false jealousy. But when Surly is about to opened a new theatre within a tennis-court in take the kiss, his ears are boxed and Lord Belguard Lincoln's Inn Fields. They made their start with a is made as happy as his sister. But Sir Courtly's new comedy by Congreve, “ Love for Love,” which complaisance has found a limit. He will not take had a brilliant success. The actors of the new his old woman home.
company gave Congreve a share in the profits of the house, besides his author's profits, on condition of his writing for them only, and furnishing a play a
year if his health was good enough. His next play FOR
was a tragedy, “ The Mourning Bride,” produced in .
1697—which opens with the often quoted line, THE PIT “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast”.
and this was even more successful than the comedy. 16 8 4
His last comedy was • The Way of the World,” in 1700, a comedy excellent of its kind, that fell short of the usual success. A short masque of “The Judgment of Paris," and an opera, “Semele,” were written a few years later. He died in January, 1729, aged fifty-seven, and although he published
nothing during the last eighteen years of his life, FOR THE
partly, perhaps, because the act of writing was made
difficult to him by great weakness of sight, he mainFIRST-GALLERIE tained the foremost reputation among wits and critics.
He was kindly. Gay speaks of him as "friendly ர684
Congreve, unreproachful man;" and if fashionable life of the day had been a little wiser than it was,
there might have been some gentler feeling joined to THEATRE CHECKS OF THE BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF JAMES II.
the hard, worldly wit of comedy from the man who, (1684, OLD STYLE.)
in writing a paper for Steele's “ Tatler” on the