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Fre). No, say not all men. But thou art oftend- He seem'd amazed ; and fain he would have learnt el.
What cause procured us so much happiness. I see it well. I thought to do thee pleasure. He question'd hard, and hardly would believe, But if his presence is not welcome here,
I could not satisfy his strong desire. He shall not join our company to-day.
Rez. And know you not what brings De De Mon. What dost thou mean to say? What is't
Monfort here? to me
Freb. Truly, I do not. Whether I neet with such a thing as Rezenvelt Rez.
0! 'tis love of me. To-day, to-morrow, every day, or never?
I have but two short days in Amberg been, Freb. In truth, I thought you had been well with And here with postman's speed he follows me, him.
Finding his home so dull and tiresome grown. He praised you much.
Freb. (to De Mon.) Is Rezenvelt so sadly miss'd De Mon. I thank him for his praise--Come, let
with you? US move :
Your town so changed ? This chamber is confined and airless grown.
Not altogether so; (Starting.) Some witlings and jest-mongers still remain I hear a stranger's voice !
For fools to laugh at. Freb. 'Tis Rezenvelt,
Rez. But he laughs not, and therefore he is wise. Let him be told that we are gone abroad.
For ever frowns on them with sullen brow De Mon. (proudly.) No! let him enter. Who Contemptuous; therefore he is very wise. waits there? Ho! Manuel !
Nay, daily frets his most refined soul
With their poor folly, to its inmost core;
Therefore he is most eminently wise. What stranger speaks below ?
Freb. Fy, Rezen velt! you are too early gay. Man. The Marquis Rezenvelt.
Such spirits rise but with the evening glass : I have not told him that you are within.
They suit not placid morn. De Mon. (angrily.) And wherefore didst thou
(To De Monfort, who, after walking impatiently not? Let him ascend.
up and down, comes close to his ear, and lays (A long pause. De Monfort walking up and
hold of his arm.) down with a quick pace.)
What would you, Monfort? Enter REZENVELT, and runs freely up to De Monfort. De Mon. Nothing-what is't o'clock ? Rez. (to De Mon.) My noble marquis, welcome ! No, no-I had forgot-'tis early still. De Mon. Sir, I thank you.
(Turns away again.) Rez. (to Freb.) My gentle friend, well met.
Freb. (to Rez.) Waltser informs me that you Abroad so early?
have agreed Fred. It is indeed an early hour for me.
To read his verses o'er, and tell the truth. How suits thy last night's revel on thy spirits?
It is a dangerous task. Rez. 0, light as ever. On my way to you,
Yet I'll be honest : E'en now, I learnt De Monfort was arrived,
I can but lose his favour and a feast. And turn'd my steps aside ; so here I am.
(Whilst they speak, De Monfort walks up and (Bowing gayly to De Monfort.)
down impatiently and irresolute; at last pulls De Mon. I thank you, sir ; you do me too much
the bell violently.) honour.
(Proudly.) Rez. Nay, say not so; not too much honour,
Enter SERVANT. surely,
De Mon. (to Ser.) What dost thou want? Unless, indeed, 'tis more than pleases you.
I thought your bonour rung. De Mon. (confused.) Having no previous notice De Mon. I have forgot-stay ; are my horses of your coming,
saddled ? I look'd not for it.
Ser. I thought, my lord, you would not ride Rez. Ay, true indeed; when I approach you
After so long a journey. I'll send a herald to proclaim my coming,
| De Mon. (impatiently.) Welltis good. And bow to you by sound of trumpet, marquis. Begone! I want thee not. [Exit Servant. De Mon. (to Freb. turning haughtily from Re- Rez. (smiling significantly.) I humbly crave zenvelt with affected indifference.) How
your pardon, gentle marquis.
And make my visit of a friendly length. Freb. My cheerful friend? I know not whom I trust your goodness will excuse me now; you mean.
Another time I shall be less unkind. De Mon. Count Waterlan.
(To Freberg.) Will you not go with me? Freb. I know not one so named.
Freb. Excuse me, Monfort, I'll return again. De Mon. (very confused.) O pardon me-it was
(EXEUNT Rezenvelt and Freberg. at Bâle I knew him.
De Mon. (alone, tossing his arms distractedly.) Freb! You have not yet inquired for honest Hell hath no greater torment for th’accursed Reisdale.
Than this man's presence gives. I met him as I came, and mention'd you.
Abhorred fiend! he hath a pleasure too,
A damned pleasure in the pain he gives !
She is not deck'd in any gallant trim, O! the side glance of that detested eye!
But seems to me clad in the usual weeds
Wide flows her robe in many a waving fold,
Freb. (starting from his seat, where he has been Thy hateful visage ever spoke thy worth :
sitting during the conversation between I loathed thee when a boy.
the Lady and the Page.) It is an apparition That men should be besotted with him thus !
he has seen. And Freberg likewise so bewitched is,
Or it is Jane De Monfort.
(Exit, hastily. That, like a hireling flatterer, at his heels
Lady. (displeased.) No ; such description surely He meanly paces, offering brutish praise.
suits not her. 0! I could curse him too!
[Exit. Did she inquire for me?
Page. She ask'd to see the lady of Count Freberg.
Lady. Perhaps it is not she-I fear it is
Ha ! here they come. He has but guess'd too well. SCENE I.-A VERY SPLENDID APARTMENT IN COUNT
Enter FREBERG, leading in Jane DE MONFORT. FREBERG'S HOUSE, FANCIFULLY DECORATED. A WIDE FOLDING DOOR OPENED, SHOWS ANOTHER Freb. (presenting her to Lady.) Here, madam, MAGNIFICENT ROOM LIGHTED UP TO RECEIVE
welcome a most worthy guest. COMPANY.
Lady. Madam, a thousand welcomes ! Pardon Enter through the folding doors the Count and Countess,
me ; richly dressed.
I could not guess who honour'd me so far ; Freb. (looking round.) In truth, I like those I should not else have waited coldly here. decorations well:
Jane. I thank you for this welcome, gentle They suit those lofty walls. And here, my love,
countess; The gay profusion of a woman's fancy
But take those kind excuses back again ; Is well display'd. Noble simplicity
I am a bold intruder on this hour, Becomes us less, on such a night as this,
And am entitled to no ceremony.
I came in quest of a dear truant friend,
(To Freberg.) And he is well, you say? And as I know you love simplicity,
Yes, well, but joyless. I did intend it should be simple too.
Jane. It is the usual temper of his mind; Freb. Be satisfied. I pray: we want to-night It opens not, but with the thrilling touch A cheerful banquet-house, and not a temple. Of some strong heart-string o' the sudden press'd. How runs the hour?
Freb. It may be so, I've known him otherwise : Lady. It is not late, but soon we shall be roused | He is suspicious grown. With the loud entry of our frolick guests.
Jane. Not so, Count Freberg, Monfort is too
noble. Enter a Page, richly dressed.
Say rather, that he is a man in grief,
Lady. Is it not one of our invited friends? | Hast thought too hardly of him.
Ere long you'll see him here. Methought I could have compas'd sea and land Jane. I thank you truly, but this homely dress I do her bidding
Suits not the splendour of such scenes as these. Lady. Is she young or old ?
Freb. (pointing to her dress.) Such artless and Page. Neither, if right I guess ; but she is fair : 1 majestic eleganæ, F . time hath laid his hand so gently on her, So exquisitely just, so nobly simple, A he too had been awed.
Will make the gorgeous blush. Luły.
The foolish stripling! | Jane. (smiling.) Nay, nay, be more consistent, S has bewitch'd thee. Is she large in stature ?
courteous knight, Page. So stately and so graceful in her form, | And do not praise a plain and simple guise I trought at first her stature was gigantic;
With such profusion of unsimple words. But on a near approach I found in truth,
I cannot join your company to night. She scarcely does surpass the middle size.
Lady. Not stay to see your brother? Lady. What is her garb?
Jane. Therefore it is I would not, gentle hostess, Page. I cannot well describe the fashion of it. Here will he find all that can woo the heart
To joy and sweet forgetfulness of pain ;
As ever fancy own'd.
1st Gent. There is, indeed, a gay variety. Calm and unwearied is my love for him ;
Rez. And if the liberality of nature And having found him, patiently I'll wait,
Suffices not, there's store of grafted charms, Nor greet him in the hour of social joy,
Blending in one the sweets of many plants,
So obstinately, strangely opposite,
Freb. Nay, do not, do not injure us so far! But female cultivation. Aged youth,
Clothes her dim eye, parch'd lips, and skinny Lady. We wear not masks, but you may be con
In most unlovely softness : Behind the double foldings of a veil.
And youthful age, with fat, round, trackless face, Jane. (after pausing to consider.) In truth, I The downcast look of contemplation deep feel a little so inclined.
Most pensively assumes.
(To Lady.) With most unskilful pains; and the coquet,
Fixes her studied looks upon the ground And do what she commands you.
Forbiddingly demure. [Exeunt Jane and Waiting-woman. Freb. Fy! thou art too severe. Freb. (looking after Jane, as she goes out, with Rez.
Say, rather, gentle. admiration.) 0! what a soul she bears! I' faith! the very dwarfs attempt to charm see how she steps !
With lofty airs of puny majesty;
Whilst potent damsels of a portly make,
Lady. Such lofty mien, and high assumed gait Of gentle sympathy.
Who shall escape to night.
Freb. (to De Mon. who has entered during (Looking at her.) How hang those trappings on
Rezenvelt's speech, and heard the greatest thy motley gown?
part of it.) Ha, ha, ha, ha! They seem like garlands on a May-day queen, How pleasantly he gives his wit the rein, Which hinds have dress'd in sport.
Yet guides its wild career! (Lady turns away displeased.) |
(De Mon, is silent.) Freb. Nay, do not frown; I spoke it but in haste: / Rez. (smiling archly.) What, think you, FreFor thou art lovely still in every garb.
berg, the same powerful spell But see, the guests assemble.
Of transformation reigns o'er all to night?
Or that De Monfort is a woman turn'd, Enter groups of well-dressed people, who pay their so widely from his native self to swerve, compliments to FREBERG and his LADY; and followed
As grace my folly with a smile of his ? by her, pass into the inner apartment, where more
De Mon. Nay, think not, Rezenvelt, there is no company appear assembling, as if by another entry.
with a friend or two.) How loud the hum A smile of nature too, which I can spare,
And yet, perhaps, thou wilt not thank me for it. 'Tis like a bee-swarm in the noonday sun.
(Smiles contemptuously.) Music will quell the sound. Who waits without ? Rez. Not thank thee! It were surely most unMusic strike up.
grateful (Music, and when it ceases, enter from the inner No thanks to pay for nobly giving me apartment Rezenvelt, itith several gentlemen, What, well we see, has cost thee so much pain. all richly dressed.)
For nature hath her smiles of birth more painful Freb. (to those just entered.) What, lively gal. Than bitterest execrations. lants, quit the field so soon?
Freb. These idle words will lead us to dis. Are there no beauties in that moving crowd
quiet: To fix your fancy?
Forbear, forbear, my friends! Go, Rezenvelt, Rez. Ay, marry, are there! men of every fancy | Accept the challenge of those lovely dames, May in that moving crowd some fair one find, Who through the portal come with bolder step To suit their taste, though whimsical and strange, To claim your notice.
I've proudly to th’ inquiring stranger told Enter a group of Ladies from the other apartment, who | Her pamc and lineage! yet within her house, walk slowly across the bottom of the stage, and return
The virgin mother of an orphan race to it again. KEz. shrugs up his shoulders, as if unwilling to go.
Her dying parents left, this noble woman
Did, like a Roman matron, proudly sit, 1st Gent. (to Rez.) Behold in sable veil a lady Despising all the blandishments of love; comes,
Whilst many a youth his hopeless love conceal'd, Whose noble air doth challenge fancy's skill 0, humbly distant, woo'd her like a queen. To suit it with a countenance as goodly.
Forgive, I pray you! O forgive this boasting! (Pointing to Jane De Mon. who now enters in a In faith! I mean you no discourtesy. thick black veil.)
Jane. (Of her guard, in a soft natural tone of Rez. Yes, this way lies attraction. (To Freb.) |
voice.) O no! nor do me any. With permission, (going up to Jane.) De Mon. What voice speaks now? Withdraw, Fair lily, though within that envious shroud
withdraw this shade! Your leauty deigns not to enlighten us,
For if thy face bear semblance to thy voice, We bid you welcome, and our beauties here I'll fall and worship thee. Pray! pray undo! Will welcome you the more for such concealment. (Puis forth his hand eagerly to snatch away the With the permission of our noble host
veil, whilst she shrinks back, and Rezenvelt (Taking her hand, and leading her to the front steps betureen to prevent him.) of the stage.) ,
Rez. Stand off: no hand shall lift this sacred Jane. (10 Freb.) Pardon me this presumption,
veil. courteous sir:
De Mon. What, dost thou think De Monfort fall’n I thus appear, (pointing to her veil,) not careless
so low, of respect
That there may live a man beneath heaven's roof, Unto the generous lady of the feast.
Who dares to say, he shall not Beneath this veil no beauty shrouded is,
Rez. He lives who dares to sayThat, now, or pain or pleasure can bestow.
Jane. (throuing back her veil, much alarmed, ang Within the friendly cover of its shade
rushes betricen them.) Forbear, forbear! I only wish, unknown, again to see
(Rezen velt, very much struck, steps back respectOne who, alas! is heedless of my pain.
fully, and makes her a low bou. De Monfort De Mon. Yes, it is ever thus. Undo that veil, stands for a while motionless, gazing upon her, And give thy countenance to the cheerful light. till sh?, lcoking erpressively to him, ertends Men nuw all soft, and female beauty scorn,
her arms, and he, rushing into them, bursts into And mock the gentle cares which aim to please. lears. Freberg seems tcry much pleased. The It is most damnable ! undo thy veil,
company then advancing froin the inner apartAnd think of him no more.
ment, gather about them, and the Scene closes.) Jane. I know it well, even to a proverb grown, Is lovers' faith, and I had borne such slight:
SCENE II.---DE HONFORT'S APARTMENTS
Enter De MONPORT, with a disordered air, and his hand
pressed upon his forehead, followed by JANE. My cradle's mate, mine infant play fellow. Within our opening minds, with riper years, I De Mon. No more, my sister, urge me not again : The love of praise and generous virtue sprung: My sccret troubles cannot be reveal’d. Through varied life our pride, our joys were one; From all participation of its thoughts At the same tale we wept: he is my brother. My heart recuils: I pray thee be contented. De Mon. And he forsook thee?-No, I dare not Jane. What, must I, like a distant humble friend, curse him:
Observe thy restless eye, and gait disturbid, ly heart upbraids me with a crime like his. In timid silence, whilst with yearning heart
Jane. Ah! do not thus distress a feeling heart. I turn aside to weep? O no! De Monfort! 111 sisters are not to the soul entwined
A nobler task thy nobler mind will give; With equal bans; thine has not watch'd for thee, Thy true intrusted friend I still shall be. Wept for thee, cheer'd thee, shared thy weal and De Mon. Ah, Jane, forbear! I cannot e'en to wo,
thee, As I have done for him.
Jane. Then, fy upon it! fy upon it, Monfort! De Mon. (engerly.) Ah! has she not?
There was a time when c'en with murder stain'd, By heaven! the sum of all thy kindly deeds Had it been possible that such dire deed Were but as chall poised against massy gold, | Could e'er have been the crime of one so piteous, Compared to that which I do owe her love.
Thou wouldst have told it me. O pardon me! I mean not to offend-
De Mon. So would I now--but ask of this no I am too warm-but she of whom I speak
more, Is the dear sister of my earliest love;
All other trouble but the one I feel In noble, virtuous worth to none a second :
I had disclosed to thee. I pray thee spare me ; And though behind those sable folds were hid It is the secret weakness of my nature. As fair a face as ever woman own'd,
Jane. Then secret let it be ; I urge no farther. Still would I say she is as fair as thou.
The eldest of our valiant father's hopes, How oft amidst the beauty-blazing throng, So sadly orphan'd, side by side we stood,
Like two young trees, whose boughs in early Here I entreat thee on my bended knees. strength
(Kneeling.) Screen the weak saplings of the rising grove, Alas! my brother! And brave the storm together
(De Monfort starts up, and catching her in his I have so long, as if by nature's right,
arms, raises her up, then placing her in the Thy bosom's inmate and adviser been,
chair kneels at her feet.) I thought through life I should have so remain'd, | De Mon. Thus let him kneel who should th' Nor ever known a change. Forgive me, Monfort,
abased be, A humbler station will I take by thee:
And at thine honour'd feet confession make. The close attendant of thy wandering steps ; I'll tell thee all—but, O! thou wilt despise me. The cheerer of this home, with strangers sought For in my breast a raging passion burns, The soother of those griefs I must not know: To which thy soul no sympathy will ownThis is mine office now : I ask no more.
A passion which hath made my nightly couch De Mon. O Jane! thou dost constrain me with A place of torment; and the light of day, thy love!
With the gay intercourse of social man, Would I could tell it thee .
Feel like the oppressive airless pestilence. Jane Thou shalt not tell me. Nay, l'll stop mine O Jane! thou wilt despise me. ears,
Say not so: Nor from the yearnings of affection wring
I never can despise thee, gentle brother. What shrinks from utterance. Let it pass, my | A lover's jealousy and hopeless pangs brother.
No kindly heart contemns. I'll stay by thee; I'll cheer thee, comfort thee: De Mon.
A lover, say'st thou ? Pursue with thee the study of some art,
No, it is hate! black, lasting, deadly hate ! Or nobler science, that compels the mind
Which thus hath driven me forth from kindred To steady thought progressive, driving forth
peace, All floating, wild, unhappy fantasies;
From social pleasure, from my native home,
Jane, De Monfort, this is fiend-like, frightful, Hold its own world, with dreadful fancy press'd
terrible! Of some dire, terrible, or murderous deed, What being, by th' Almighty Father form'd, Wakes to the dawning morn, and blesses heaven. Of flesh and blood, created even as thou, De Mon. It will not pass away: 'twill haunt me Could in thy breast such horrid tempest wake, still.
Who art thyself his fellow? Jane. Ah! say not so, for I will haunt thee Unknit thy brows, and spread those wrath clench'd too;
hands. And be to it so close an adversary,
Some sprite accursed within thy bosom mates That, though I wrestle darkling with the fiend, To work thy ruin. Strive with it, my brother! I shall o'ercome it.
Strive bravely with it; drive it from thy breast : De Mon.
Thou most generous woman! 'Tis the degrader of a noble heart :
De Mon. It will not part. (His hand on his He will not let me be the man I would.
breast.) Jane. What say'st thou, Monfort? O! what
I've lodged it here too long :
With my first cares I felt its rankling touch ;
Jane. Who didst thou say?
E'en in our early sports, like two young whelps By the affection thou didst ever bear me ;
Of hostile breed, instinctively reverse, By the dear memory of our infant days ;
Each 'gainst the other pitch'd his ready pledge, By kindred living ties, ay, and by those
And frown'd defiance. As we onward pass'd
And envious gibing malice, poorly veil'd (He waves her off with his hand, and covers his In the affected carelessness of mirth, face with the other, siill turning from her.) Still more detestable and odious grew.
Ha! wilt thou not? There is no living being on this earth
With all his gay and damned merriment,
Above his paltry self. When, low in fortune,
As nightly birds, roused from their murky holes, (He throws himself into a chair, greatly agi- Do scowl and chatter at the light of day, tated.)
I could endure it ; even as we bear De Monfort, do not thus resist my love.
| Th' impotent bite of some half-trodden worm,