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And, when enkindled in two faithful bearts,
Our wedded hearts, and blown awry their flame
My days of poem-making now are past,
Fact, truth, plain fact, alone can now content me.
Car. Ah wilt thou never one sad verse indite;
One elegy on her who did beguile thee?
Edw. O hell and furies!
Strange, disorder'd boy
Take that and blush-come, let him blush alone.
[Gives him a letter. Exeunt Sir Robert and Caroline.
Edw. A letter from my father! How can I
Endure the chastisement of his rebuke,
That in such spite, as 'twere, of him and all,
Syl. What, Ned!
Sylvia here! how, how is this?
And you have heard, and come you to condole ?
O Sylvia, Sylvia
Edward, are you mad?
Do not you know that I'm a wife again? Edw. Tis better, yes, I must confess it is, marry twice than
Syl. Edward, have a care
And know you not then who my husband is?
Edw. How should I know?
Edw. What Henry? Sylvia, art thou not a vision ?
[Enter SIR ROBERT, HENRY, CAROLINE, and
I fear, I fear, you all have come to laugh—
But how is this?
I will begin.
Syl. When good Sir Robert there propos'd to me
A marriage with his son, I had not then
Seen Henry, but by chance: he knew me not,
And I was fain that, for myself alone,
Not for my fortune, he should marry me.
For this alone I play'd the mystic part.
Tho. (to Edw.) You see, Sir, she's your own true flesh
Hen. And when my father spoke of a rich widow,
I thought of course the woman must be old.
Tho. And I thought sure that Sylvia Malabar,
Must needs be one of a fantastic mood,
As no one knew or whence or what she was;
We might rescue the family from disgrace,
For she o'er Henry still had powerful sway.
Tho. Nay, Master Edward, by your fury driven, You little noted what I said to you.
Edw. Well, Caroline! what must I next perform? Hen. Take the opinion of your counsel, Pistol. Edw. Laugh at me, mock me, do, I pray you, Scorn me Sir Robert, Sylvia, tear my hair, As you were wont, though I was innocent, For mischiefs that the dogs had done your dolls. My angel Caroline, never again Shall fiery I to mastership pretend, But be to thee, thou paragon of wives, A temp'rate, hearth-companion ever clear, Thy own prepar'd, domestic minister.
THE WORD OF HONOR.
This Play is in several respects a literary curiosity. It is, we believe, the first attempt to make the English public acquainted with the comedies of the celebrated Goldoni, whose memoirs have lately been translated.
Every Italian scholar will immediately recognize in "THE WORD OF HONOR" La gelosia di Lindoro; but upon comparing it with the original, he will be surprised at the extent and amount of the alterations: for it is not only a translation from prose into apparent verse, but, in fact, almost another play written on the same subject.
In "THE WORD OF HONOR" the classical unities are more strictly observed than in the original, while all the incidents connected with the developement of the plot are faithfully retained. But as the English author has changed the scene to London, he has endeavoured to imbue the characters with our national color of sentiment; and in avoiding the flatness of Goldoni's dialogue, which even many of the Italians often find too soft, the verbal deviations and poetical expressions, in which the difference between the English and Italian plays chiefly consists, seem to have been insensibly inserted.
With regard to the merits of this drama as a comedy, leaving out of consideration the peculiarities of the present version, we should now be too late to find fault if we felt ourselves disposed to do so; for it has long since obtained the admiration of all the most polished societies of Europe. As a comic exposition of the workings of the passion of jealousy, it is allowed to be at once without any superior, and to show that the intrinsic difference between tragedy and comedy does not consist in the former regarding the passions, and the latter only the manners, but in the characters, and the incidents by which the characters are affected. In this piece, the passion developed is the same as in the Othello of Shakespeare, and the skill with which it is accomplished is scarcely less ingenious; and yet nothing can be more opposite than the respective effects of the two plays, arising wholly from the constitutional difference between the character of Edward or Lindoro and that of the noble Moor, and the circumstances with which they are exhibited.
If the managers were informed that this piece was a translation of one of the best of Goldoni's comedies, we cannot conceive on what ground they could presume to refuse it. If they were not so informed, we must believe that their objection arose from the shape of the lines, as we have been told that the players have an almost inveterate antipathy to the very sight of blank verse. But, perhaps, it was thought that it did not require sufficient strength of lungs and distortion of visage in representation to suit, what they assert is, the public taste; or that it was deficient in incidents-which is to say, that we cannot tell what it wants, but that in our opinion it will not succeed in representation, or serve the interests of our concern to bring it forward.