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Tan. Forget thee! No! Thou art my soul | Pleads but too much) itself!
And yet, perhaps, if thou wert not a king, I have no thought, no hope, no wish but thee! I know not, Tancred, what I might have done, Even this repented injury, the fears,
Then, then, my conduct, sanctified by love, That rouse me all to madness, at the thought Could not be deem'd, by the severest judge, Of losing thee, the whole collected pains The mean effect of interest or ambition. Of my full heart, serve but to make thee dearer. But now, not all my partial heart can plead, Ah, how forget thee!—Much must be forgot, Shall ever shake th' unalterable dictates Ere Tancred can forget his Sigismunda! That tyrannize my breast. Sig. But you, my lord, must make that great Tan. 'Tis well-No moreeffort.
I yield me to my fate-Yes, yes, inhuman! Tan, Can Sigismunda make it?
Since thy barbarian heart is steeld by pride, Sig. Ah, I know not
Shut up to love and pity, here behold me With what success—But all that feeble woman Cast on the ground, a vile and abject wretch! And love-entangled reason can perform, Lost to all cares, all dignities, all duties! I, to the utmost, will exert to do it.
Here will I grow, breathe out my faithful soul
, Tan. Fear not-'Tis done !—If thou canst Here at thy feet-Death, death alone shall part form the thought,
us! Success is sure—I am forgot already.
Sig. Have you then vow'd to drive me to per Sig. Ah, Tancred !-But, my lord, respect me
What can I more ?-Yes, Tancred, once again Think who I am—What can you now propose ? I will forget the dignity my station Tan. To claim the plighted vows which Hea- Commands me to sustain--for the last time ven has heard,
Will tell thee, that, I fear, no ties, no duty, To vindicate the rites of holy love
Can ever root thee from my hapless bosom. By faith and honour bound, to which compar'd Oh, leave me! fly me! were it but in pity! These empty forms, which have ensnar'd thy To see what once we tenderly have lov'd
Cut off from every hope-cut off for ever! Are impious guile, abuse, and profanation- Is pain thy generosity should spare me. Nay, as a king, whose high prerogative Then rise, my lord; and if you truly love me, By this unlicens'd marriage is affronted, If you respect my honour, nay, my peace, To bid the laws themselves pronounce it void, Retire! for though th' emotions of my heart Sig. Honour, my lord, is much too proud to Can ne'er alarm my virtue; yet, alas! catch
They tear it so, they pierce it with such anguish-
Osm. Turn, tyrant, turn! and answer to my
honour, Then cease to urge me—Since I am not born To that exalted fate to be your queen
For this thy base insufferable outrage!
Tan. Insolent traitor! think not to escape Or, yet a dearer name—to be your wife !I am the wife of an illustrious lord
Thyself my vengeance ! Of your own princely blood; and what I am,
[They fight ; Osmond fail I will with proper dignity remain.
Sig. Help, here! help!-Oh, Heavens! Retire, my royal lord.— There is no means
[Throwing herself down by him. To cure the wounds this fatal day has given.
Alas, my lord, what meant your headlong rage ? We meet no more!
That faith, which I this day, upon the altar, Tan. Oh, barbarous Sigismunda!
To you devoted, is unblemish'd, pure
As vestal truth; was resolutely yours,
Beyond the power of aught on earth to shake it Poor is the love, that rather than give up
Osm. Perfidious woman! die!-(Skwortening A little pride, a little formal pride,
his sword, he plunges it into her breast.) and to The breath of vanity, can bear to see The man, whose heart was once so dear to thine,
Attend a husband, yet but half aveng'd! By many a tender vow so mix'd together,
Tan. Oh, horror! horror! execrable villain! A prey to anguish, fury, and distraction!
Osm. And tyrant! thou! -thou shalt not o'cs Thou canst not surely make me such a wretch,
Exult—"Tis well—'tis great! I die content Thou canst not, Sigismunda !-Yet relent, Oh, save us yet !-Rodolpho, with my guards, Waits in the garden-Let us seize the moments
Enter RODOLPHO and Laura. We ne'er may have again-With more than power
Tan.[Throwing himself doron by SIGISMUNDU.) I will assert thee mine, with fairest honour. Quick ! here! bring aid ! - All in Palermo bring. The world shall even approve; each honest bo- Whose skill can save her!-Ah, that gentle
bosom Swell'd with a kindred joy to see us happy. Pours fast the streams of life. Sig. The world approve! what is the world to Sig. All aid is vain; me;
I feel the powerful hand of death upon me T'he conscious mind is its own awful world.- But, oh! it sheds a sweetness through my fate, and mine is fir'd-Distress me then no more ; That I am thine again; and without blame Not all the heart can plead, (and it, alas, May in my Tancred's arms resign my soul!
Tan. Oh, death is in that voice! so gently Will burst indignant from this jail of nature, mild,
To where she beckons yonder-No, mild seraph, šo sadly sweet, as mixes even with mine Point not to life-I cannot linger here, The tears of hovering angels!—Mine again! Cut off from thee, the miserable pity, And is it thus the cruel fates have join'd us? The scorn of human kind !A trampled king! Are these the horrid nuptials they prepare Who let his mean, poor-hearted love, one mofor love like ours ?-Is virtue thus rewarded ?
ment, Let not my impious rage accuse just Heaven! To coward prudence stoop! who made it not Chou, Tancred, thou hast murder'd Sigismunda! The first undoubting action of his reign, That furious man was but the tool of fate, To snatch thee to his throne, and there to shield I the cause -But I will do thee justice
thes, 3n this deaf heart! that to thy tender wisdom Thy helpless bosom, from a ruffian's fury!lefused an ear-Yes, death shall soon unite us. Oh, shame! Oh, agony! Oh, the fell stings Sig. Live, live, my Tancred !-Let my death Of late, of vain repentance !
-Ha, my brain suffice
Is all on fire! a wild abyss of thought ! To expiate all that may have been amiss. Th' infernal world discloses! See? Behold him! May it appease the fates, avert their fury Lo! with fierce smiles he shakes the bloody steel, rom thy propitious reign! Meantime, of me And mocks my feeble tears-Hence, quickly, And of thy glory mindful, live, I charge thee,
hence! lo guard our friends, and make thy people Spurn his vile carcass! give it to the dogs! happy
Expose it to the winds and screaming ravens, Enter Siffredi, fired in astonishment and grief. There with his soul to toss in flames for ever.
Or hurl it down that fiery steep to hell, My father!-Oh, how shall I lift my eyes Ah, impotence of rage! What am I? Where? Co thee, my sinking father!
Sad, silent, all ?—The forms of dumb despair, Sif. Awful Heaven!
Around some mournful tomb.—What do I see? am chastis'd-My dearest child !
The soft abode of innocence and love Sig. Where am I?
Turn'd to the house of death! a place of horA fearful darkness closes all around
ror 5 My friends! We needs must part--I must obey Ah, that poor corse! pale! pale! deform'd with Th’impetuous call--Farewell, my Laura ! cherish
murder! My poor afflicted father's age-Rodolpho, Is that my Sigismunda ? Now is the time to watch the unhappy king,
[Throws himself down by her. With all the care and tenderness of friendship.- Sif. (After a pathetic pause, looking on the Oh, my dear father, bow'd beneath the weight
scene before him.) Of age and grief-the victim even of virtue,
Have I liv'd Receive my last adieu - Where art thou, Tan- To these enfeebled years, by Heaven reservid cred?
To be a dreadful monument of justice ?five me thy hand-But, ah, it cannot save me Rodolpho, raise the king, and bear him hence rom the dire king of terrors, whose cold power From this distracting scene of blood and death. Creeps o'er my heart- -Oh!
Alas! I dare not give him my assistance; Tan. How these pangs distract me!
My care would only more inflame his rage. Dh, lift thy gracious eyes !— Thou leav'st me Behold the fatal work of my dark hand, then!
That by rude force the passions would command, Chou leav'st me, Sigismunda !
That ruthless thought to root them from the Sig. Yet a moment
breast; had, my Tancred, something more to say- They may be rul'd, but will not be oppress’d. les- -but thy love and tenderness for me, Taught hence, ye parents, who from nature stray, Sure make it needless-Harbour no resentment And the great ties of social life betray; Against my father; venerate his zeal,
Ne'er with your children act a tyrant's part: l'hat acted from a principle of goodness, 'Tis yours to guide, not violate the heart. rom faithful love to thee-Live, and maintain Ye vainly wise, who o'er mankind preside, My innocence embalm’d, with holiest care Behold my righteous woes, and drop your pride; Preserve my spotless memory! Oh, I die- Keep virtue's
simple path before your eyes, ternal Mercy take my trembling soul !
Nor think from evil good can ever rise.
EPILOGUE. Rod. Hold, hold, my lord --Have you forgot Your Sigismunda's last request already ? Cramo'd to the throat with wholesome moral Tan. Off! set me free! Think not to bind me
Alas, poor audience! you have had enough.
Was ever woman so by love betray'd? Which death still opens to the woes of mortals ?— Match'd with two husbands, and yet—die a shall find means-No power in earth or heaven
maid. an force me to endure the hateful light, But bless me!-hold—what sounds are these I Chus robb’d of all that lent it joy and sweetness !
hear-Off, traitors, off! or my distracted soul
I see the Tragic Muse herself appear.
The back-scene opens, and discovers a to In Greece and Rome, I watch'd the public
And mend the melting heart with softer pain. Hence with your flippant epilogue, that tries On France and You then rose my brightening To wipe the virtuous tears from British eyes;
star, That dares my moral, tragic scene profane, With social ray—The arts are ne'er at war. With strains-at best, unsuiting, light, and yain. Oh, as your fire and genius strongly blaze, Hence from the pure unsully'd beams that play As yours are generous freedom's bolder lays, In yon fair eyes where virtue shines-away! Let not the Gallic taste leave yours bebind,
In decent manners and in life refind; Britons, to you from chaste Castalian groves, Banish the motley mode, to tag low verse, Where dwell the tender, oft unhappy loves; The laughing ballad to the mournful bearse. Where shades of heroes roam, each mighty When through five acts your hearts have learn' name,
to glow, And court my aid to rise again to fame; Touch'd with the sacred force of honest wo; To you I come, to freedom's noblest seat, Oh, keep the dear impression on your breast, And in Britannia fix my last retreat.
Nor idly lose it for a wretched jest.
THE BE AU X' STRATAGEM:
IN FIVE ACTS.
BY GEORGE FARQUHAR.
The Author of this play scarcely lived to see the great success of his lively comedy. Ae is said to have written it in the short space of six weeks, and during an illness, which, at last, carried him off. The frequent repre. sentation of this play, and the pleasure it always affords, are proofs of its intrinsic merit.
It was first acted at the Haymarket, in 1707; and was never better supported than by the dramatic corps of ibo present day.
Bon. But they threaten to go to another inn SCENE I.-An Inn.
Cher. That they dare not, for fear the coach The bar-bell rings.-Enter Boniface, running. man should overturn them to-morrow. (Ring
Bon. Chamberlain, maid, Cherry, daughter ing.] Coming, coming: here 's the London coach Cherry! All asleep, all dead?
arrived. Enter CHERRY, running.
Sederal People, with trunks, fac. cross the stage. Cher. Here, here. Why d'ye bawl so, father? Bon. Welcome, ladies. D'ye think we have no ears ?
Cher. Very welcome, gentlemen- -ChamberBon. You deserve to have none, you young lain, show the Lion and the Rose. minx-the company of the Warrington coach
(Erit with the Compa.lg. has stood in the hall this hour, and nobody to show them to their chambers.
Enter AIMWELL in a riding-habit. ARCHER Cher. And let 'em wait, father: there's nei- as Footman, carrying a portmanteau. ther red coat in the coach, nor footman behind it.
Bon. This way,
this way, gentlemen.
Ain. Set down the things; go to the stable, Bon. Yes, Sir, she has a daughter by Sr and see my horses well rubbed.
Charles, the finest woman in all our country, and Arch. I shall, Sir.
(Erit. the greatest fortune; she has a son too, wher Aim. You're my landlord, I suppose ?
first husband, 'squire Sullen, who marned a fine Bon. Yes, Sir, I'm old Will Boniface; pretty lady from London t'other day; if you please, Sir well known upon this road, as the saying is ! we'll drink his health. Aim. O, Mr. Boniface, your servant.
Aim. What sort of a man is he? Bon. O, Sir-what will your honour please to Bon. Why, Sir, the man's well enough; says drink? as the saying is.
little, thinks less, and does nothing at all, 'faith; Aim. I have heard your town of Litchfield but he's a man of great estate, and values nobody much famed for ale: I think I'll taste that.
Aim. A sportsman, I suppose ? Bon. Sir, I have now in my cellar ten ton of Bon. Yes, Sir; he's a man of pleasure; be the best ale in Staffordshire: 'tis smooth as oil, plays at whist, and smokes his pipe eight and sweet as milk, clear as amber, and strong as forty hours together, sometimes. brandy, and will be just fourteen years old the Aim. A fine sportsman, truly! and married, fifth day of next March, old style.
you say? Aim. You are very exact, I find, in the age of Bon. Ay, and to a curious woman, Sir. But your ale.
he's a-He wants it here, Sir. Bon. As punctual, Sir, as I am in the age of
[Pointing to his forehead my children: I'll show you such ale.—Here, tap
Aim. He has it there you mean. ster, broach number 1706, as the saying is. Sir, Bon. That's none of my business, he's my you shall taste my anno domino- I have lived landlord, and so a man, you know would not in Litchfield, man and boy, above eight and fifty -But I'cod he's no better than—Sir, my years, and I believe have not consumed eight and humble service to you. (Drinks.] Though I value fifty Ounces of meat.
not a farthing what he can do me; I pay him his Aim. At a meal, you mean, if one may guess rent at quarter day; I have a good running trade; your sense by your bulk.
I have but one daughter, and I can give her Bon. Not in my life, Sir; I have fed purely But no matter for that. upon ale: I have eat my ale, drank my ale, and I Aim. You're very happy, Mr. Boniface; pray, always sleep upon my ale.
what other company have you in town? Enter TAPster with a tankard.
Bon. A power of fine ladies; and then we haw
the French officers. Now, Sir, you shall see. (Filling it out.) Your
Aim. O, that's right; you have a good many worship's' health: Ha! delicious-fancy it Bur- of those gentlemen: pray, how do you like their gundy-only fancy it, and 'tis worth ton shillings company? a quart.
Bon. So well, as the saying is, that I could Aim. (Drinks.) 'Tis confounded strong. wish we had as many more of 'em: they're full of
Bon. Strong! it must be so, or how would we money, and pay double for every thing they have; be strong that drink it?
they know, Sir, that we pay good round taxes for Aim. And have you lived so long upon this ale, the taking of them, and so they are willing to landlord?
reimburse us a little: one of 'ein lodges in my Bon. Eight and fifty years, upon my credit, house. Sir; but it killed my wife, poor woman! as the
Enter ARCHER. waying is. 'Aim. How came that to pass ?
Arch. Landlord, there are some French gen Bon. I don't know how, Sir; she would not let tlemen below that ask for you. the ale take its natural course, Sir; she was for Bon. I'll wait on them—Does your master qualifying it every now and then with a dram, as stay long in town, as the saying is? the saying is: and an honest gentleman, that
[TO ARCHEE. came this way from Ireland, made her a present Arch. I can't tell, as the saying is. of a dozen bottles of usquebaugh—but the poor
Bon. Come from London ? woman was never well after; but, however, I was Arch. No. obliged to the gentleman, you know.
Bon. Going to London, mayhap? Aim. Why, was it the usquebaugh that killed Arch. No. her?
Bon. An odd fellow, this. (Bar-bell ringr.) Bon. My lady Bountiful said so—she, good I beg your worship’s pardon, I'll wait on you in lady, did what could be done; she cured her of half a minute.
. three tympanies, but the fourth carried her off; but Aim. The coast is clear, I see-Now, my dear she's happy and I am contented, as the saying is. Archer, welcome to Litchfield.
Aim. Who's that lady Bountiful you men- Arch. I thank thee, my dear brother in ini tioned ?
quity. Bon. Od's my life, Sir, we'll drink her health. Aim. Iniquity! pr’ythee leave canting ; you [Drinks.) My lady Bountiful is one of the best need not change your style with your dress. of women: her last husband, Sir Charles Bounti- Arch. Don't mistake me, Aimwell, for 'tis still ful, left her worth a thousand pounds a year; and my maxim, that there's no scandal like rags, nor I believe she lays out one half on't in charitable any crime so shameful as poverty. Men must uses for the good of her neighbours; in short she not be poor; idleness is the root of all evil; the has cured more people in and about Litchfield world's wide enough, let 'em bustle : fortune has within ten years, than the doctors have killed in taken the weak under her protection, but men of twenty, and that's a bold word.
sense are left to their industry. Aim. Has the lady heen any other way useful Aim. Upon which topic we proceed, and I in her generation ?
think luckily hitherto. Would not any man