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RUINS OF ATHENS;

A DRAMATIC MASQUE.

FIRST PERFORMED AT THE

PRINCESS'S THEATRE, OXFORD STREET,

MARCH 5TH, 1846,

Under the Management of J. M. MADDOX, Esq.

WRITTEN AND ADAPTED BY

W. BARTHOLOMEW,

TO THE MUSIC, AS COMPOSED BY

LOUIS VAN BEETHOVEN.

Entered at Stationers' Hall.

LONDON:

PUBLISHED BY EWER & CO., NEWGATE STREET,

And Sold in the Theatre.

PRINTED BY J. BONSOR, 134, FENCHURCH STREET.

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Shakspeare's Tragic and Comic Characters. Janizaries, Dancers, &c.

SCENE-in ATHENS, and afterwards in LONDON.

PREFACE.

“ Die RUINEN VON ATHEN,” the prototype of this Dramatic Masque, was written by ERNEST von KOTZEBUE; and the incidental Music, with that also for its lyric verses, was composed by Louis VAN BEETHOVEN, expressly for the opening of the new Theatre of Pesth, in Hungary, on which occasion it was represented, in February, 1812, while Athens was subject to a controul from which she has since been emancipated: although, for the sake of Dramatic effect, an anachronism has been admitted, by which it would appear that she is still under the Ottoman domination.

In addition to the whole of the Music originally performed, two Airs, by the same Composer,-not generally known; also portions of his more familiar instrumental productions have been engrafted, for the purpose of rendering the appropriated version more interesting to an English audience: and it is hoped that the intention will be an excuse for the liberty taken on this occasion by its Author, who cannot omit the opportunity of stating, that if his humble efforts prove successful, it will be mainly owing to the united exertions of every one engaged in preparing and representing it, many having voluntarily condescended to appear as silent masquers, to enhance this tribute offered to the genius of the Bard, whose leading characters are performed by them on important occasions.

THE RUINS OF

OF ATHENS.

O VERTURE.

SCENE I.-An Olympian Cavern : in which Minerva is

discovered enchained to a rock.

CHORUS-( Aerial.)
Daughter of high-throned Jove; he calls thee,-

He smiles once more;
His angry frown no longer appals thee,
Vengeance is o'er.

MINERVA.
My father reconciled ? O joyful strain !
My guilt at length atoned by centuries
Of lonely grief and vain regret for him
I might have saved from death. O Socrates !
How have I suffered for neglecting thee,
Thou wisest of the wise,-for leaving thee,
Whom I should have rescued, to perish? Yes,
Thy wisdom raised my envy, and thou wast left
To die a martyr for the truth. Great Jove,
How justly hast thou punished me! alone,
Immured within this solitary cell,
Thy once-beloved daughter hath endured
Beyond two thousand years of sorrow: here,
Unseeing and unseen by men and Gods,
I have at last, by expiation, moved
Olympus to relent. Who enters here?

Enter MERCURY.
Hail swift-winged messenger of Jove! music
Has wafted pardon in a sweeter strain
Than ever charmed my ravished ears before.

MERCURY.
It wafted me to tell thee thou art free.

MINERVA.
O joy! the bitter part appears a dream!
I shall behold my votaries again,
Shall dwell within the temples they have reared
To honour me in my beloved Athens !

MERCURY.
Confined within this gloomy narrow den,
You know not of the changes Time hath wrought:
Your Athens is no longer what it was.

MINERVA.
What is it? Speak!

MERCURY.

A skeleton of beauty,
Fast crumbling into dust: its relics are
Its epitaph.

MINERVA.
Impossible !
MERCURY.

'Tis true.

MINERVA.
Let me behold, to credit what I hear.

MERCURY.
Thought, wing our flight; and Athens shall appear.

[Waving his Caduceus.

SCENE II.—THE RUINS OF ATHENS.—The Acropolis, the

Parthenon, the Temple of Theseus, the Temple of the Winds, ģc. Hector is beating rice in an antique vase of marble. HELEN carries a basket containing figs for sale.

DUET.

HECTOR.
Faultless, yet hated,
Still are we fated

Thus to slave;
Every morrow

Brings new sorrow,
Freedom waits us in the grave !

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