Imagens das páginas



zio,” or, rather, more that strikes the mind of the wild of life, the possessing that blamelessness the reader, and produces profounder impressions. of character, and the attracting that affection The time is limited to thirty-six hours; and the from our fellow-citizens which is so seldom the subject admitting powerful descriptions, the au- lot of celebrity. Thus is doubled the sum of thor has not neglected to avail himself of all rational enjoyment. In these respects Mr. Mil. which was within his grasp, to enhance the effect man is to be envied, if envy it be lawful to indulge of the performance. There is a happy substitu- towards any of our fellow-creatures; and, if report tion of prophecy for the ancient government of say true, no one more merits to enjoy the delightdestiny, and all the various characters are forci. ful feeling of conscious virtue than the author of bly and nobly conceived. This poem is well wor-“Fazio." thy the pen of a clergyman, gifted, as its author Several articles in the “ Quarterly Review," in undeniably is, with genius and learning far above its better literary days, are attributed to the pen the common lot of dramatic writers.

of Mr. Milman; but none of them are tainted with These works may be said to have established the asperity which was so long the besetting sin their author's fame upon an immovable basis, of that publication. The Oxford professor of and, with others which he has undertaken since, poetry would be as far above the meanness of to have earned him a celebrity of no mean grade. personal abuse, as his talents are above those of Mr. Milman assiduously performs the duties of a most who laboured in that work in its days of clergyınan, and is greatly respected by all who rabid criticism. Mr. Milman's articles were lite. know him in that character. They are things not rary, temperate, and such as might be expected a little to be envied, in journeying through from the pen of the Christian and the poet.








} Caplains of the Guard.



The following attempt at reviving our old national

FALSETTO. drama with greater simplicity of plot, was written DANDOLO. with some view to the stage. Circumstances and an THEODORE, opinion of considerable weight induced me 10 prefer

ANTONIO, the less perilous ordeal of the press : as in the one Piero. case, if its merits are small or moderate, the quiet sleep of oblivion will be infinitely less grating to an

WOMEN. author's feelings, than a noisy and tumultuous execu

MARCHESA ALDABELLA. tion in a public theatre; if, on the other hand, public

BIANCA. opinion be in its favour, its subsequent appearance on

CLARA, the stage would be at least under favourable auspices. I am aware, that there is a prejudice at the theatre against plays which have first appeared in print; but whence it originates I am at a loss to conceive. It

FAZIO. being impossible, on the present scale of our theatres, for more than a certain proportion of those present to see or hear with sufficient distinctness to form a judg. ment on a drama, which is independent of show and

ACT I.-SCENE I. hurry; it surely would be an dvantage that a pre- A Room with Crucibles and Apparalus of Alchymy. vious familiarity with the language and incidents

Enter Fazio and BIANCA. should enable the audience to catch those lighter and fainter touches of character, of passion, and of poetry, on which dramatic excellence so mainly depends. I Why what a peevish envious fabulist, put entirely out of the question those who go to a Was he, that vow'd cold wedlock's atmosphere play from mere desire of novelty, whose opinions Wearies the thin and dainty plumes of love; either way would be of very slight value.

That a fond husband's holy appetite, The Play is founded on a story, which was quoted Like the gross surfeit of intemperate joy, in the Annual Register for 1795, from the “Varieties Grows sickly and fastidious at the sweets of Literature ;” but great liberties have been taken of its own chosen fower!- My own Bianca, with it.

With what delicious scorn we laugh away
Such sorry satire!


Which of thy smooth looks
Teacheth this harmony of bland deceit?

Oh, my own Fozio! if a serpent told me

That it was stingless in a tone like thine,

I should believe it. On, thou sweetly false!

That at cold midnight quit'st my side to pore
Senators of Florence.

O'er musty tomes, dark sign'd and character'd,





O'er boiling skellets, crucibles and stills,

With tatter'd remnants of a money-bng, Drugs and clixirs.

Through cobwebs and thick dust I spied his face,

Like some dry wither-boned anatomy,
Ay, chide on, my love;

Through a huge chest-lid, jealously and scantily
The nightingale's complaining is more sweet, Uplifted, peering upon coin and jewels,
Than half the dull unvarying birds that pipe Ingots and wedges, and broad bars of gold,
Perpetual amorous joy. – Tell me, Bianca,

Upon whose lustre the wan light shone muddily, How long is 't since we wedded.

As though the New World had outrun the Spaniard,

And emplied all its mines in that coarse hovel.

Wouldst thou know His ferret eyes gloated as wanton o'er them, Thy right and title to thy weariness ?

As a gross Satyr on a sleeping Nymph; Beyond two years.

And then, as he heard something like a sound, FAZIO.

He clapp'd the lid to, and blew out the lantern. Days, days, Bianca! Love But I, Bianca, hurried to thy arms, Hath in its calendar no tedious time,

And thank'd my God that I had braver riches. So long as what cold lifeless souls call years.

BIANCA Oh, with my books, my sage philosophy,

Oh then, let that black furnace burst: dash down My in!ants, and their mother, time slides on

Those ugly and misshapen jars and vials. So smoothly, as 't were fallin asleep, forgetting

Nay, nay, most sage philosopher, to-night, Its heaven-ordained motion. We are poor;

At least to-night, be only thy Bianca's. But in the wealth of love, in that, Bianca,

[She clings to kin. In that we are eastern sultans. I have thought If that my wondrous alchymy should win

FAZIO (looking fondly at her.) That precious liquor, whose transmuting dew

Why, e'en the Prince of Bards was false and slan

derous, Makes the black iron start furth brilliant gold,

Who girt Jove's bride in that voluptuous zone,
Were it not wise to cast it back again
Into its native darkness?

Ere she could win her weary lord 10 love;

While my earth-born Bianca bears by nature
Out upon it!

An ever-blooming cæstus of delight!
Oh, leave it there, my Fazio! - Leave it there!
I hate it!-- "Tis my rival, 't is thy mistress. -

So courtly and so fancisul, my Fazio!
Ay, this it is that makes thee strange and restless,

Which of our dukes hath lent thee his cast poesies? A truant to thine own Bianca's arms,

Why, such a musical and learned phrase This wondrous secret.

Had softend the marchesa, Aldabella,

That high signora, that once pamper'd thee
Dost thou know, Bianca,

Almost to madness with her rosy smiles ;
Our neighbour, old Bartolo?

And then my lady queen put on her winter,

And froze thee till thou wert a very icicle,
O yes, yes

Had not the lowly and despised Bianca
That yellow wretch, that looks as he were stain'd

Shone on it with the summer of her pity.
With watching his own gold; every one knows him,
Enough to loathe him. Not a friend hath he, Nay, taunt not her, Bianca, taunt not her!
Nor kindred nor familiar; not a slave,

Thy Fazio loved her once. Who, who would blame Not a lean serving wench: nothing e'er enter'd Heaven's moon, because a maniac hath adored it, But his spare self within his jealous doors,

And died in his dotage? E'en a saint might wear Except a wand'ring rat; and that, they say,

Proud Aldabella's scorn, nor look less heavenly. Was famine-struck, and died there. – What of him? Oh, it dropt balm upon the wounds it gave;

The soul was pleased to be so sweetly wrong'd, Yet he, Bianca, he is of our rich ones.

And misery grew rapturous. Aldabella! There's not a galliot on the sea, but bears

The gracious! the melodious! Oh, the words A venture of Bartolo's; not an acre,

Laugh'd on her lips; the motion of her smiles Nay, not a villa of our proudest princes,

Shower'd beauty, as the air.caressed spray But he hath cramp'd it with a mortgage; he,

The dew's of morning; and her stately steps He only stocks our prisons with his debtors.

Were light as though a winged angel trod I saw him creeping home last night; he shudder'd

Over earth's flowers, and fear'd to brush away As he unlock'd his door, and look'd around,

Their delicate hues; ay, e'en her very robes As if he thought that every breath of wind

Were animate and breathing, as they felt Were some keen thief; and when he lock'd him in, The presence of her loveliness, spread around I heard the grating key turn twenty times,

Their thin and gauzy clouds, ministering freely To try if all were safe. I look'd again

Officious duty on the shrine where Nature
From our high window by mere chance, and saw

Hath lavish'd all her skill.
The motion of his scanty moping lantern;
And, where his wind-rent lattice was ill stufrd

A proud loose wanton!








Got they from old Bartolo. - -Oh, I bleed!
She wanton! - Aldabella loose! - Then, then And my old heart beats minutes like a clock.
Are the pure lilies black as soot within,
The stainless virgin snow is hot and rancid,

A surgeon, friend
And chastity — ay, it may be in heaven,

But all beneath the moon is wild and haggard.
If she be spotted, oh, unholiness

Ay, one of your kind butchers,

Who cut and slash your flesh for their own pastime, Hath never been so delicately lodged

And then, God bless the mark! they must have Since that bad devil walk'd fair Paradise.

money! Already silent? Hath your idol quaff'd

Gold, gold, or nothing! Silver is grown coarse, Enough of your soft incense ? Fazio! Fazio !

And rings unhandsomely. Have I 'scaped robbing, But that her gaudy bark would aye disdain

Only to give ?-Oh there! there! there! Cold, cold,

Cold as December.
The quiet stream whereon we glide so smooth,
I should be fearful of ye.


Nay, then, a confessor!
Nay, unjust !

Ungenerous Bianca! who foregoes,

A confessor! one of your black smooth talkers, For the gay revel of a golden harp,

That drone the name of God incessantly, Its ecstasies and rich enchanting falls,

Like the drear burthen of a doleful ballad! His own domestic lute's familiar pleasing ?

That sing to one of bounteous codicils But thou, thou vain and wanton in thy power,

To the Franciscans or some hospital! Thou know'st canst make e'en jealousy look lovely, Oh! there's a shooting! – Oozing here! — Ah me! And all thy punishment for that bad passion My ducats and my ingots scarcely cold Be this — [Kisses her] — Good night!- I will but From the hot Indies ! -Oh! and I forgot snatch a look

To seal those jewels from the Milan Duke! How the great crucible doth its slow work, Oh! misery, misery!-- Just this very day, And be with thee; unless thou fanciest, sweet,

And that mad spendthrift Angelo hath not sign'd That Aldabella lurks behind the furnace;

The mortgage on those meadows by the Amo. And then, heaven knows how long I may be truant.

Oh! misery, misery!-- Yet I 'scaped them bravely, [Exit Bianca. And brought my ducals off!

[Dies FAZIO (solus.) Oh, what a star of the first magnitude

Why e'en lie there, as foul a mass of earth Were poor young Fazio, if his skill should work As ever loaded it. 'T were sin to charity The wondrous secret your deep-closeted sages To wring one drop of brine upon thy corpse. Grow grey in dreaming of! Why all our Florence In sooth, Death 's not nice-stomach'd, to be cramm'd Would be too narrow for his branching glories ; With such unsavoury offal. What a god It would o'erleap the Alps, and all the north 'Mong men might this dead wither'd thing have been, Troop here to see the great philosopher,

That now must rot beneath the earth, as once He would be wealthy too wealthy in fame; He rotted on it! Why his wealth had won And that's more golden than the richest gold. In better hands an atmosphere around him,

(A groan without. Musical ever with the voice of blessing, Holy St. Francis! what a groan was there !

Nations around his tomb, like marble mourners, Voice without.

Vied for their pedestals. — In better hands ? Within there!-Oh! within there, neighbour!—Death, Methinks these fingers are not coarse nor clumsy. Murder, and merciless robbery!

Philosophy, Philosophy! thou 'rt lame
FAZIO opens the Door.

And tortoise-paced to my fleet desires ?
What! Bartolo! I scent a shorter path to fame and riches.

The Hesperian trees nod their rich clusters at me,
Thank ye, my friend! Ha! ha! ha! my old limbs! Tickling my timorous and withdrawing grasp ; -
I did not think them half so tough and sinewy. I would, yet dare not :—that's a coward's reckoning
St. Dominic! but their pins prick'd close and keen. Half of the sin lies in “I would.” To-morrow,
Six of 'em, strong and sturdy, with their daggers, If that it find me poor, will write me fool,
Tickling the old man to let loose his ducats. And myself be a mock unto myself.

Ay, and the body murder'd in my house ! Who, neighbour, who?

Your carrion breeds most strange and loathsome in



[blocks in formation]

Robbers, black crape-faced robbers, Suspicion ’s of the quickest and the keenest — Your only blood-suckers, that drain your veins, So, neighbour, by your leave, your keys! In sooth, And yet their meagre bodies aye grow sparer. Thou hadst no desperate love for holy church; They knew that I had moneys from the Duke. Long-knolled bell were no sweet music to thee. But I o'erreach'd them, neighbour: not a ducat, A “God be with thee" shall be all thy mass ; Nay, not a doit, to cross themselves withal,

Thou never lovedst those dry and droning priests,


Thou 'lt rot most cool and quiet in my garden; And socketless pale eyes look glaring on me. Your gay and gilded vault would be too costly. But I have past them: and methinks this weight [Exit with the body of Bartolo. Might strain more sturdy sinews than mine own.

Howbeit, thank God, 't is safe! Thank God!- los


That a poor honest man 's grown a rich villain.

A Street.
Enter Fazio, with a dark Lantern.

I, wont to rove like a tame household dog,

Fazio's House Caress'd by every hand, and fearing none,

Enter Fazio with his sack, which he opens and surreys. Now prowl e'en like a grey and treasonous wolf.

I thank ye, bounteous thieves! most liberal thieves! "T is a bad deed to rob, and I'll have none on 't: 'Tis a bad deed to rob — and whom? the dead!

Your daggers are my worship. Have ye leapid Ay, of their winding-sheets and coffin nails.

The broad and sharp-staked trenches of the law, "T is but a quit-rent for the land I sold him,

Mock'd at the deep damnation that attaints

'The souls of murderers, for my hands unbloodied, Almost two yards to house him and his worms:

As delicately, purely white as ever,
Somewhat usurious in the main, but that
Is honest thrift to your keen usurer.

To pluck the golden fruitage? Oh, I thank ye, Had he a kinsman, nay a friend, 't were devilish.

Will chronicle ye, my good friends and true. But now whom rob I? why the state - In sooth

Enter BIANCA. (Fazio conceals the trcasure.) Marvellous little owe I this same state,

That I should be so dainty of its welfare.

Nay, Fazio, nay: this is too much : nay, Fazio,
Methinks our Duke hath pomp enough, our Senate I'll not be humoured like a froward child,
Sit in their scarlet robes and ermine tippets, Trick'd into sleep with pretty tuneful tales.
And live in proud and pillar'd palaces,

Where their Greek wines flow plentiful - Besides, We feast the Duke to-morrow; shall it be
To scatter it abroad amid so many,

In the Adorni or Vitelli palace ?
It were to cut the sun out into spangles,

They 're both on sale, and each is fair and losiy, And mar its brilliance by dispersing it. Away! away! his burying is my Rubicon!

Why, Fazio, art thou frantic? Nay, look not Cæsar or nothing! Now, ye close-lock'd treasures, So strangely, so unmeaningly. I had rather Put on your gaudiest hues, outshine yourselves ! That thou wouldst weep, than look so haggard joyful. With a deliverer's, not a tyrant's hand

Invade I thus your dull and peaceful slumbers Ay, and a glorious banquet it shall be:
And give ye light and liberty. Ye shall not Gay servants in as proud caparisons,
Moulder and rust in pale and pitiful darkness, As though they served immortal gods with nectar.
But front the sun with light bright es his own. Ay, ay, Bianca! there shall be a princess;

She shall be lady of the seast. Let's see
Your gold and crimson for your fair-hair'd beauties :-

It shall be gold and crimson. Dost thou know

The princess that I mean? Dost thou, Bianca ?
The Street near Fazio's Door.

Nay, if thou still wilt flout me, I'll not weep:
Re-enter Fazio with a sack : he resis it.

Thou shalt not have the pitiful bad pleasure
My steps were ever to this door, as though

Of wringing me to misery. I'll be cold They trod on beds of perfume and of down. And patient as a statue of my wrongs. The winged birds were not by half so light, When through the lazy twilight air they wheel I have just thought, Bianca, these black stills Home to their brooding mates. But methinks, An ugly and ill-filling furniture: The heavy earth doth cling around my feet. We'll try an they are brittle. (Dashes them in pieces.) I move as every separate limb were gyved

I'll have gilding, With its particular weight of manacle.

Nothing but gilding, nothing but what looks glittering: The moonlight that was wont to seem so soft, I'm sick of black and dingy darkness. Here (UnSo balmy to the slow respired breath,

covering the sack.) Icily, shiveringly cold falls on me.

Look here, Bianca, here's a light! Take care : The marble pillars, that soared stately up,

Thine eyesight is too weak for such a blaze.
As though to prop the azure vault of heaven, It is not daylight; nay, it is not morn-
Hang o'er me with a dull and dizzy weight. And every one is worth a thousand florins.
The stones whereon I tread do grimly speak, Who shall be princess of the feast to-morrow?
Forbidding echoes, ay with human voices.

[She bursts into tears, Unbodied arras pluck at me as I pass,

Within, within, I'll tell thee all within. [Exeunt.




« AnteriorContinuar »