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Pap. That's a question, indeed! don't you, 0. Wild. What, married to him! Sir ?

Kit. Most true. Y. Wild. Not I, as I hope to be saved.

Omnes. How !

Y. Wild. Sir, may I never —
Enter a SERVANT.

0. Wild. Peace, monster !-One question Serr. A young lady begs to speak with Mr. more : your maiden name? Wilding

Kit. Sybthorp. Y. Wid. With me?

0. Wild. Lydia, from Abingdon, in the county Miss God. A young lady with Mr. Wilding!

of Berks? Sero. Seems distressed, Madam, and extremely

Kit. The same. pressing for admittance.

0. Wild. As I suspected. So then the whole Mise God. Indeed: there may be something in story is true, and the monster is married at last. this! You must permit me, Sir, to pause a little: Ý. Wild. Me, Sir! by all that 'swho knows but a prior claim may prevent

0. Wild. Eternal dumbness seize thee, mes0. Wild. How, Sir, who is this lady.?.

sureless liar. Y. Wild. It is impossible for me to divine, Sir. Y. Wild. If not me, hear this gentleman. Mar 0. Wild. You know nothing of her ?

quisY. Wild. How should I?

Pap. Not I ; I'll be drawn into some of your 0. Wild. You hear, Madam.

scrapes: it is a pit of your own digging; and . Miss God. I presume your son can have no ob-get out as well as you can. Meantime I'll shit jection to the lady's appearance.

for myself.

(Ezü. Y. Wild. Not in the least, Madam.

0. Wid. What evasion now, monster ? Miss God. Show her in, John.

(Exit SERV.

Miss God. Deceiver ! 0. Wild. No, Madam, I don't think there is 0. Wid. Liar ! the least room for suspecting him: he can't be so Miss God. Impostor! abandoned as to—But she is here. Upon my distract me ; but I will be heard. Sir, you are

Y. Wild. Why, this is a general combination və word, a sightly woman.

grossly imposed upon: the low contriver of this Enter Kitty as Miss SYBTHORP. woman's shallow artifice I shall soon find means

to discover: and as to you, Madam, with whom I Kit. Where is he?-Oh, let me throw my have been suddenly surprised into a contract, I arms-my life, my

most solemnly declare this is the first time I ever Y. Wild. Hey-day !

set eyes on you. Kit. And could you leave me? and for so long o. Wid. Amazing confidence! did not I bring a space ? think how the tedious time has lagged her at your own request ? along.

Y. Wid. No. 0. Wild. Madam!

Miss God. Is not this your own letter ? Kit. But we are met at last, and now will part Y. Wild. No.

Kit. Am not I your wife? Y. Wild. The deuce we wont !

Y. Wild. No. Kit. What, not one kind look ; no tender word 0. Wid. Did not you own it to me? to bail our second meeting !

Y. Wild. Yes that is-no, no! Y. Wild. What the devil is all this?

Kit. Hear me. Kit. Are all your oaths, your protestations, Y. Wid. No. come to this ? have I deserved such treatment

Miss God. Answer me. quitted my father's house, left all my friends, and

Y, Wild. No. wandered here alone in search of thee, thou first, O. Wild. Have not Ilast, only object of my love.

Y. Wid. No, no, no. Zounds ! you are all med; . Wild. To what can all this tend ? Hark ye, and if I stay, I shall catch the infection. (Esi Sir, unriddle this mystery. Ý. Wild. Davus, non Edipus, sum. It is be- Enter Sir James Elliot and Miss GRANTAM

I confess. Some lunatic escaped from her keeper, I suppose,

Omnes. Ha, ha, ha! Kit. Am I disowned then, contemned, slighted ?

Miss Gr. Finely performed.

0. Wild. You have kept your promise, and I 0. Wild. Hold; let me inquire into this mat

thank ter a little. Pray, Madam-You seem to be

Miss Gr. My medicine was somewhat rough, pretty familiar here.-Do you know this gentle

Sir; but in desperate cases, you knowman?

6. Wild. If his cure is completed, he will Kit. Too well. O. Wild. His name?

gratefully acknowledge the cause; if not the pun Kit. Wilding:

ishment comes far short of his crimes. It is need 0. Wild. So far she is right. Now yours, if less to pay you any compliments, Sir James;

with that lady you can't fail to be happy. I sha'n'í you please ? Kit. Wilding

venture to hint a scheme I have greatly at heart Omnes. Wilding!

till we have undeniable proofs of the success 0. Wild. And how came you by that name, our operations. To the ladies, indeed, no cha

racter is so dangerous as that of a liar : Kit. Most lawfully, Sir: by the sacred band, They in the fairest fames can fix a flaw, the holy tie that made us one.

And vanquish females whom they never saw.

no more.

yond me,

you, Madam.

pray?

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TANCRED AND SIGISMUNDA:

A TRAGEDY,

IN FIVE ACTS.

BY JAMES THOMSON, Esq.

DRAMATIS PERSONA.

TANCRED, Count of Leece.
MATTEO SIFFREDI, Lord High Chancellor of Sicily.
Earl OSMOND, Lord High Constable of Sicily.
RODOLPHO, Friend to Tancred, and Captain of the Guards.
SIGISMUNDA, Daughter of Siffredi.
LAURA, Sister of Rodolpho, and Friend to Sigismunda

Barons, Officers, Guards, &c.
SCENE.—The City of PALERMO in Italy.

PROLOGUE

ACT I. Boud is the man! who, in this nicer age,

SCENE I.-The Palace.
Presumes to tread the chaste, corrected stage,

Enter SIGISMUNDA and LAURA.
Now, with gay tinsel arts, we can no more
Conceal the want of nature's sterling ore. Sig. Ah, fatal day to Sicily! the king
Our spells are vanish'd, broke our magic wand, Touches his last moments!
That us'd to waft you over sea and land.

Laura. So 'tis fear'd.
Before your light the fairy people fade,

Sig. The death of those distinguish'd by then The demons fly-the ghost itself is laid.

station, In vain of martial scenes the loud alarms, But by their virtue more, awakes the mind The mighty prompter thundering out to arms, To solemn dread, and strikes a saddening awe: The playhouse posse clattering from afar, Not that we grieve for them, but for ourselves, The close-wedged battle, and the din of war. Left to the toil of life-And yet the best Now, even the senate seldom we convene; Are, by the playful children of this world, The yawning fathers nod behind the scene. At once forgot, as they had never been. Your taste rejects the glittering, false sublime, Laura, 'tis said, the heart is sometimes charged To sigh in metaphor, and die in rhyme. With a prophetic sadness; such, methinks, High rant is tumbled from his gallery throne; Now hangs on mine. The king's approaching Description, dreams-nay, similes are gone.

death What shall we then ? to please you how de- Suggests a thousand fears. What troubles vise,

thence Whose judgment sits not in your ears nor eyes? May throw the state once more into confusion, Thrice happy, could we catch great Shakspeare's What sudden changes in my father's house art,

May rise, and part me from my dearest Tan To trace the deep recesses of the heart:

cred,
His simple, plain sublime, to which is given Alarms my thoughts.
To strike the soul with darted flame from Laura. The fears of love-sick fancy!
Heaven:

Perversely busy to torment itself.
Could we awake soft Otway's tender wo. But be assured, your father's steady friendship,
The pomp of verse and golden lines of Rowe. Join'd to a certain genius, that commands,

We to your hearts apply: let them attend; Not kneels to fortune, will support and cherish, Before their silent, candid bar we bend.

Here in the public eye of Sicily, If warm'd they listen, 'tis our noblest praise : This, I may call him, his adopted son, If cold, they wither all the Muse's bays. The noble Tancred, form'd to all his virtues. Vol. I....5 E 65

769

Sig. Ah, form'd to charm his daughter !—this Sig. And what, my Laura, says he on the fair morn

subject ? Has tempted far the chase. Is he not yet Laura. He says that, though he was not na Return'd?

bly born, Laura. No.-When your father to the king, Nature has form'd him noble, generous, brave, Who now expiring lies, was call'd in haste, Truly magnanimous, and warmly scorning He sent each way his messengers to find him; Whatever bears the smallest taint of baseness; With such a look of ardour and impatience, That every easy virtue is his own; As if this near event was to Count Tancred Not learnt by painful labour, but inspir'd, Of more importance than I comprehend. Implanted in his soul.–Chiefly one charm Sig.There lies, my Laura, o'er my Tancred's He in his graceful character observes; birth

That though his passions burn with high in A cloud I cannot pierce. With princely accost, patience, Nay, with respect, which oft I have observ'd, And sometimes, from a noble heat of nature, Stealing at times submissive o'er his features, Are ready to fly off; yet the least check In Belmont's woods my father rear'd this of ruling reason brings them back to temper, youth

And gentle softness. Ah, woods! where first my artless bosom learn'd Sig. True! Oh, true, Rodolpho! The sighs of love.—He gives him out the son Bless'd be thy kindred worth, for loving his! Of an old friend, a baron of Apulia,

He is all warmth, all amiable fire, Who in the late crusado bravely fell.

All quick, heroic ardour! temper'd soft But then 'tis strange; is all his family

With gentleness of heart, and manly reason As well as father dead ? and all their friends, If virtue were to wear a human form, Except my sire, the generous, good Siil'redi ? To light it with her dignity and flame, Had he a mother, sister, brother left,

Then softening mix her smiles and tender The last remain of kindred ; with what pride,

graces; What rapture, might they fiy o'er earth and Oh, she would choose the person of my Tancred! sea,

Go on, my friend, go on, and ever praise him; To claim this rising honour of their blood ! The subject knows no bounds, nor can I tire, This bright unknown! this all-accomplish'd While my breast trembles to that sweetest youth!

music!
Who charms too much the heart of Sigismunda! The heart of woman tastes no truer joy,
Laura, perhaps your brother knows him better, Is never flatter'd with such dear enchantment-
The friend and partner of his freest hours. 'Tis more than selfish vanity—as when
What says Rodolpho ? Does he truly credit She hears the praises of the man she loves
This story of his birth?

Laura. Madam, your father comes.
Laura. He has sometimes,
Like you, his doubts; yet, when maturely

Enter SIFFREDI.
weigh'd,

Sif. (To an ATTENDANT as he enters.] Lond Believes it true. As for Lord Tancred's self,

Tancred
He never entertain'd the slightest thought Is found ?
That verg'd to doubt; but oft laments his state, At. My lord, he quickly will be here.
By cruel fortune so ill pair'd to yours.

I scarce could keep before him, though he had
Sig. Merit like his, the fortune of the mind,
Beggars all wealth—Then, to your brother, Speed on, to say he would attend your order.
Laura,

sif. 'Tis well-retireHe talks of me?

daughter, leave me Laura. Of nothing else. Howe'er

Sig. I go, my father, but how fares the king 1 The talk begin, it ends with Sigismunda.

Sif He is no more. Gone to that awful state, Their morning, noontide, and their evening Where kings the crown wear only of their sit

walks, Are full of you, and all the woods of Belmont Sig. How bright must then be his This Enamour'd with your name

stroke is sudden; Sig. Away, my friend,

He was this morning well, when to the chase You flatter—yet the dear delusion charms. Lord Tancred went. Laura. No, Sigismunda, 'tis the strictest Sif. 'Tis true. But at his years truth,

Death gives short notice-Drooping nature then, Nor half the truth, I tell you. Even with fond- Without a gust of pain to shake it, falls.

His death, my daughter, was that happy period My brother talks for ever of the passion, Which few attain. The duties of his day That fires young Tancred's breast. So much Were all discharg’d, and gratefully enjoy'd it strikes him,

Its noblest blessings; calm as evening skies He praises love as if he were a lover.

Was his pure mind, and lighted up with hopes He blames the false pursuits of vagrant youth, That open heaven; when for his last long sleep Calls them gay folly, a mistaken struggle Timely prepar'd, a lassitude of life, Against best judging nature. Heaven, he says, pleasing weariness of mortal joy, In lavish'd bounty form'u the heart for love; Fell on his soul, and down he sunk to rest. In love included all the finer seeds

Oh, may my death be such !He but one wish Of honour, virtue, friendship, purest bliss- Left unfuláll’d, which was to see Count Tas Sig. Virtuous Rodolpho !

credLaura. Then his pleasing theme

Sig. To see Count Tancred !- Pardon me, He varies to the praises of your lover

me

You too, my

tues.

ness

my lord

now

Sif. For what, my daughter ?-But, with such | Gave sign of sad conjecture. Others show'd, emotion,

Athwart their grief, or real or affected, Why did you start at mention of Count Tan- A gleam of expectation, from what chance cred

A change might bring. A mingled murmur ran Sig. Nothing—I only hop'd the dying king Along the streets; and from the lonely court Might mean to make some generous just pro- Of him who can no more assist their fortunes, vision

I saw the courtier-fry, with eager haste,
For this worthy charge, this noble orphan. All hurrying to Constantia.
Sif. And he has done it largely-Leave me Sif. Noble youth

I joy to hear from thee these just reflections, I want some private conference with Lord Tan- Worthy of riper years—But if they seek

cred. (Exeunt SiGISMUNDA and LAURA. Constantia, trust me, they mistake their course. My doubts are but too true-If these old eyes Tan. How! Is she not, my lord, the late Can trace the marks of love, a mutual passion

king's sister, Has seiz’d, I fear, my daughter and this prince, Heir to the crown of Sicily ? the last My sovereign now-Should it be so ? Ah, there, Of our fam'd Norman line, and now our queen ? There lurks a brooding tempest, that may shake Sif. Tancred, 'tis true; she is the late king's My long concerted scheme, to settle firm

sister, The public peace and welfare, which the king The sole surviving offspring of that tyrant Has made the prudent basis of his will

William the Bad-s0 for his vices styl’d; Away, unworthy views! you shall not tempt Who spilt much noble blood, and sore oppress’d me!

Th' exhausted land: whence grievous wars Nor interest nor ambition shall seduce

arose, My fix'd resolve-Perish the selfish thought, And many a dire convulsion shook the state. Which our own good prefers to that of millions! When he, whose death Sicilia mourns to-day, He comes, my king, unconscious of his fortune. William, who has and well deserv'd the name

Of Good, succeeding to his father's throne, Enter TANCRED.

Reliev'd his country's woes-But to return;

She is the late king's sister, born some months Tan. My Lord Siffredi, in your looks I read After the tyrant's death, but not next heir. Confirm'd, the mournful news that fly abroad Tan. You much surprise me May I then From tongue to tongue-We then, at last, have

presume lost

To ask who is ? The good old king?

Sif. Come nearer, noble Tancred, Syf. Yes, we have lost a father!

Son of my care. I must, on this occasion, The greatest blessing Heaven bestows on mor- Consult thy generous heart; which, when con tals,

ducted And seldom found amidst these wiles of time. By rectitude of mind and honest virtues, A good, a worthy king !-Hear me, my Tancred, Gives better counsel than the hoary headAnd I will tell thee, in a few plain words, Then know, there lives a prince, here in PaHow he deserv'd that best, that glorious title.

lermo,
'Tis nought complex, 'tis clear as truth and vir- The lineal offspring of our famous hero,

Roger the First.
He lov'd his people, deem'd them all his children; Tan. Great Heaven! how far remov'd
The good exalted, and depress'd the bad. From that our mighty founder ?
He spurn'd the flattering crew, with scorn re- Sif. His great grandson:
jected

Sprung from his eldest son, who died untimely,
Their smooth advice that only means themselves, Before his father.
Their schemes to aggrandize him into baseness; Tan. Ha! the prince you mean,
Nor did he less disdain the secret breath, Is he not Manfred's son? The generous, brave,
The whisper'd tale, that blights a virtuous name. Unhappy Manfred! whom the tyrant William,
He sought alone the good of those for whom You just now mention'd, not content to spoil
He was intrusted with the sovereign power: Of his paternal crown, threw into fetters,
Well knowing that a people, in their rights And in famously murder'd ?
And industry protected, líving safe

Sif. Yes, the same. Beneath the sacred shelter of the laws,

Tan. By Heavens, I joy to find our Norman Encourag'd in their genius, arts, and labours,

reign, And happy each as he himself deserves, The world's sole light amidst these barbarous Are ne'er ungrateful. With an unsparing hand

ages, They will for him provide: their filial love Yet rears its head; and shall not, from the And confidence are his unfailing treasure,

lance, And every honest man his faithful guard. Pass to the feeble distaff.--But this prince, Tan. A general face of grief o'erspreads the Where has he lain conceald ? city.

Sif. The late good king; I mark'd the people, as I hither came,

By noble pity mov'd, contriv'd to save him In crowds assembled, struck with silent sorrow, From his dire father's unrelenting rage, And pouring forth the noblest praise of tears. And had him rear'd in private, as became Those, whom remembrance of their former woes, His birth and hopes, with high and princely And long experience of the vain illusions

nurture, Of youthful hope, had into wise consent Till now, too young to rule a troubled state, And fear of change corrected, wrung their hands, By civil broils most miserably torn, And, often casting up their eyes to heaven, He in his safe retreat has lain conceald,

tue.

gur ill?

age

His birth and fortune to himself unknown; Nothing so easy as in speculation,
But when the dying king to me intrusted, And at a distance seen, the course of honour,
As to the chancellor of the realm, his will, A fair delightful champaign strew'd with flowers.
His successor he nam'd him.

But when the practice comes; when our fond Tan. Happy youth!

passions, He then will triumph o'er his father's foes, Pleasure and pride, and self-indulgence, throw O'er haughty Osmond, and the tyrant's daughter. Their magic dust around, the prospect roughens; Sif. Ay, that is what I dread—the heat of Then dreadful passes, craggy mountains rise, youth;

Cliff's to be scald, and torrents to be stemm'd; There lurks, I fear, perdition to the state. Then toil ensues, and perseverance stern; I dread the horrors of rekindled war:

And endless combats with our grosser sense, Though dead, the tyrant still is to be fear'd; Oft lost, and oft renewd; and generous pain His daughter's party still is strong and numerous: For others felt; and, harder lesson still! Her friend, Earl Osmond, constable of Sicily, Our honest bliss for others sacrific'd; Experienc'd, brave, high-born, of mighty interest. And all the rugged task of virtue quells Better the prince and princess should by marriage The stoutest heart of common resolution, Unite their friends, their interest, and their Few get above this turbid scene of strife. claims !

Few gain the summit, breathe that purest air, Then will the peace and welfare of the land That heavenly ether, which untroubled sees On a firm basis rise.

The storm of vice and passion rage below. Tan. My Lord Siffredi,

Tan. Most true, my lord. But why thus atIf by myself I of this prince may judge, That scheme will scarce succeed Your prudent You seem to doubt this prince. I know him not

Yet, oh, methinks, my heart could answer fa In vain will counsel, if the heart forbid it

him! But wherefore fear? The right is clearly his; The juncture is so high, so strong the gale And, under your direction, with each man That blows from Heaven, as through the deadest Of worth and steadfast loyalty to back

soul At once the king's appointment and his birth- Might breathe the godlike energy of virtue. right,

Šif. Hear him, immortal shades of his great There is no ground for fear. They have great

fathers! odds,

Forgive me, Sir, this trial of your heart.
Against th' astonish'd sons of violence,

Thou! thou, art he!
Who fight with awful justice on their side. Tan. Siffredi !
All Sicily will rouse, all faithful hearts

Sif. Tancred, thou!
Will range themselves around Prince Manfred's Thou art the man of all the many thousands

That toil upon the bosom of this isle, For me, I here devote me to the service

By Heaven elected to command the rest, Of this young prince; I every drop of blood To rule, protect them, and to make them happy Will lose with joy, with transport, in his cause- Tan. Manfred my father! I the last support Pardon my warmth—but that, my lord, will Of the fam'd Norman line, that awes the world!

I, who this morning wander'd forth an orphan, To this decision come.— Then find the prince; Outcast of all but thee, my second father! Lose not a moment to awaken in him

Thus callid to glory! to the first great lot The royal soul. Perhaps he now, desponding, Of human-kind !-Oh, wonder-working hand, Pines in a corner, and laments his fortune; That, in majestic silence, sways at will That in the narrower bounds of private life The mighty movements of unbounded nature; He must confine his aims, those swelling virtues Oh, grant me, Heaten, the virtues to sustain Which from his noble father he inherits. This awful burden of so many heroes!

Sif. Perhaps, regardless, in the common bane Let me not be exalted into shame, Of youth, he melts, in vanity and love. Set up the worthless pageant of vain grandeur. But if the seeds of virtue glow within him, Meantime I thank the justice of the king, I will awake a higher sense, a love

Who has my right bequeath'd me. Thee, Sif That grasps the loves and happiness of millions.

fredi, Tan. Why that surmise ? Or should he love, I thank thee-Oh, I ne'er enough can thank Siffredi,

thee! I doubt not, it is nobly, which will raise Yes, thou hast been—thou art-shalt be my fa And animate his virtues—Oh, permit me

ther! To plead the cause of youth - Their virtue oft, Thou shalt direct my unexperienc'd years, In pleasure's soft enchantment lull'd awhile, Shalt be the ruling head, and I the hand. Forgets itself; it sleeps and gaily dreams, Sif. It is enough for me to see my sovereign Till great occasion rouse it; then, all flame, Assert his virtues, and maintain his honour. It walks abroad, with heighten'd soul and vigour, Tan. I think, my lord, you said the king wat And by the change astonishes the world.

mitted Even with a kind of sympathy, I feel

To you his will. I hope it is not clogga The joy that waits this prince; when all the With any base conditions, any clause, powers,

To tyrannize my heart, and to Constantia 'Th' expanding heart can wish, of doing good; Enslave my hand devoted to another. Whatever swells ambition, or exalts

The hint you just now gave of that alliance, The human soul into divine emotions,

You must imagine, wakes my fear. But know, All crowd at once upon him.

In this alone I will not bear dispute, Sif Ah, my Tancred,

Not even from thee, Siffredi !- Let the council

son.

never

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