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Which must retard, perhaps undo him quite.
Enter ROSINBERG, fantastically dressed, with a willow Thanks to his childish love, which has so well upon his head, and scraps of sonnets, and torn lellers Procured us time to tamper with the fools.
fluttering round his neck; pursued by a group of Masks Gent. Ah! but those feelings he has waked from one of the inner apartments, who hoot at him, and within them,
push him about as he enters. Are generous feelings, and endear himself.
1st Mask. Away, thou art a saucy, jeering knave, Gaur. It matters not; though generous in their And fain wouldst make a jest of all true love, nature,
Ros. Nay, gentle ladies, do not buffet me:
Who will enlist me in her loving service.
Ay, what besides offending? With idle tales of glory and renown;
Ros. 0! I can sigh so deeply, look so sad, Using their warm attachment to himself
Pule out a piteous tale on bended knee; For most unworthy ends.
Groan like a ghost; so very wretched be, This is the busy time: go forth, my friend; As would delight a tender lady's heart Mix with the soldiers, now in jolly groups
But to behold. Around their evening cups. There, spare no Ist Mask. Poo, poo, insipid fool! cost, (gives him a purse.)
Ros. But should my lady brisker mettle own,
Such pretty little quarrels I'd invent-
As whether such a fair one (some dear friend)
With favourite lap-dog of a surfeit sick,
THEIR WIDE DOORS THROWN OPEN, LIGHTED UP Or whether
1st Mask. Go, too bad thou art indeed! MASKS.
(aside.) How could he know I quarrell’d with the Enter several Masks, and pass through the first apartment count?
to the other rooms. Then enter Basil in the disguise 2d Mask. Wilt thou do nothing for thy lady's fame? of a wounded soldier.
Ros. Yes, lovely shepherdess, on every tree Bas. (alone.) Now am I in the region of delight! I'll carve her name, with true-love garlands bound: Within the blessed compass of these walls
Write madrigals upon her roseate cheeks; She is; the gay light of those blazing lamps Odes to her eye; 'faith, every wart and mole Doth shine upon her, and this painted foor That spots her snowy skin shall have its sonnet! Is with her footsteps press'd. E'en now, perhaps, I'll make love posies for her thimble's edge, Amidst that motley rout she plays her part: Rather than please her not. There will I go ; she cannot be conceald ;
3d Mask. But for her sake what dangers wilt For but the flowing of her graceful robe
thou brave? Will soon betray the lovely form that wears it, Ros. In truth, fair nun, I stomach dangers less Though in a thousand masks. Ye homely weeds,- | Than other service, and were something loath
(looking at his habit.) To storm a convent's walls for one dear glance; Which half conceal, and half declare my state, But if she'll wisely manage this alone, Beneath your kind disguise, 0! let me prosper, As maids have done, come o'er the wall herself, And boldly take the privilege ye give :
And meet me fairly on the open plain, Follow her mazy steps, crowd by her side; I will engage her tender steps to aid Thus near her face my listening ear incline, In all annoyance of rude brier or stone, And feel her soft breath fan my glowing cheek, Or crossing rill, some half foot wide or so, Her fair band seize, yea, press it closely too! Which that fair lady should unaided pass, May it not be e'en 80 ? by heaven it shall! Ye gracious powers forbid! I will defend This once, O! serve me well, and ever after, Against each hideous fly, whose dreadful buzzYe shall be treasured like a monarch's robes ; 4th Mask. Such paltry service suits thee best, Lodged in my chamber, near my pillow kept;
indeed. And oft with midnight lamp I'll visit ye,
What maid of spirit would not spurn thee from her? And, gazing wistfully, this night recall,
Ros. Yes, to recall me soon, sublime sultana ! With all its past delights.—But yonder moves For I can stand the burst of female passion, A slender form, dress'd in an azure robe ;
Each change of humour and affected storm; It moves not like the rest-it must be she ! Be scolded, frown'd upon, to exile sent, (Goes hastily into another apartment, and mixes Recall’d, caress'd, chid, and disgraced again ; with the Masks.)
And say what maid of spirit would forego
The bliss of one to exercise it thus ?
Alb. I thank your lordship for these courteous 0! I can bear ill treatment like a lamb!
words; 4th Mask. (beating him.) Well, bear it then, thou But to my purposeYou are Basil's friend : hast deserved it well.
Be friendly to him then, and warn him well Ros. 'Zounds, lady! do not give such heavy This court to leave, nor be allured to stay; blows;
For if he does, there's mischief waits him here I'm not your husband, as belike you guess. May prove the bane of all his future days.
5th Mask. Come, lover, I enlist thee for my swain; Remember this, I must no longer stay. Therefore, good lady, do forbear your blows, God bless your friend and you; I love you both. Nor thus assume my rights.
(EXIT. Ros. Agreed. Wilt thou a gracious mistress Ros. (alone.) What may this warning mean? I prove?
had my fears. 5th Mask. Such as thou wouldst, such as thy There's something hatching which I know not of. genius suits;
I've lost all spirit for this masking now. For since of universal scope it is,
(Throwing away his papers and his willows.) All women's humour shalt thou find in me. Away, ye scraps ! I have no need of you. I'll gently soothe thee with such winning smiles- I would I knew what garment Basil wears: To nothing sink thee with a scornful frown: I watch'd him, yet he did escape my sight; Tease thee with peevish and affected freaks ; But I must search again and find him out. (Exit. Caress thee, love thee, hate thee, break thy pate; But still between the whiles I'll careful be, Enter Basil much agitated, with his mask in his hand. In feigned admiration of thy parts,
Bas. In vain I've sought her, follow'd every form Thy shape, thy manners, or thy graceful mien, Where aught appear'd of dignity or grice : To bind thy giddy soul with flattery's charm; I've listend to the tone of every voice; For well thou know'st that flattery ever is
I've watch'd the entrance of each female mask; The tickling spice, the pungent seasoning
My fluttering heart roused like a startled hare, Which makes this motley dish of monstrous scraps With the imagined rustling of her robes, So pleasing to the dainty lover's taste.
At every dame's approach. Deceitful night,
How much of thee is gone! O spiteful fate!
Some other eye doth gaze upon her form, Ros. Marry, thou hast the better of me there. Some other ear doth listen to her voice; 5th Mask. And more; I'll pledge to thee my Some happy favourite doth enjoy the bliss honest word,
My spiteful stars deny. That when your noble swainship shall bestow Disturber of my soul! what veil conceals thee? More faithful homage on the simple maid,
What devilish spell is o'er this cursed hour?
O heavens and earth! where art thou?
Enter a Mask in the dress of a female conjurer. My studied woman's wiles I'll lay aside,
Mask. Methinks thou art impatient, valiant And such a one become.
soldier : Ros. Well spoke, brave lady, I will follow thee. Thy wound doth gall thee sorely; is it so ?
(Follows her to the corner of the stage.) Bas. Away, away, I cannot fool with thee. Now on my life, these ears of mine I'd give, Mask. I have some potent drugs may ease thy To have but one look of that little face,
smart. Where such a biting tongue doth hold its court Where is thy wound ? is't here? To keep the fools in awe. Nay, nay, unmask:
(Pointing to the bandage on his arm.) I'm sure thou hast a pair of wicked eyes,
Poo, poo, begone! A short and saucy nose: now prithee do.
Thou canst do naught~'tis in my head, my heart
(Unmasking.) | 'Tis everywhere, where medicine cannot cure. Alb. (unmasking.) Well, hast thou guess'd me Mask. If wounded in the heart, it is a wound right?
Which some ungrateful fair one hath inflicted, Ros. (bowing low.) Wild freedom, changed to And I may conjure something for thy good. most profound respect,
Bas. Ah! if thou couldst! what, must I fool Doth make an awkward booby of me now.
with thee? Alb. I've joined your frolic with a good intent, Mask. Thou must a while, and be examined too. For much I wish'd to gain your private ear. What kind of woman did the wicked deed? The time is precious, and I must be short.
Bas. I cannot tell thee. In her presence still Ros. On me your slightest word more power will My mind in such a wild delight hath been, have,
I could not pause to picture out her beauty, Most honour'd lady, than a conn'd oration. Yet naught of woman e'er was form'd so fair. Thou art the only one of all thy sex,
Mask. Art thou a soldier, and no weapon bear'st Who wear’st thy years with such a winning grace; To send her wound for wound? Thou art the more admired the more thou fadest. Bas. Alas! she shoots from such a hopeless height,
No dart of mine hath plume to mount so far. Utter'd at unawares, with little heed,
And urge their meaning far beyond the right.
meant, But that she might at least with some good will, As though thy gentle breast did kindly feel Some gentle, pure regard, some secret kindness, Some secret pity for my hopeless pain, Within her dear remembrance give me place. And would not pierce with scorn, ungenerous scorn, This was my all of hope, but it is flown:
A heart so deeply stricken. For she regards me not; despises, scorns me:
Vict. So far thou'st read it well. Scorns, I must say it too, a noble heart,
Ha ! have I well? That would have bled for her.
Thou dost not hate then ? Mask.(discovering herself to be Victoria, by speak Vict.
My father comes ing in her true voice.) 0! no, she does not. He were displeased if he should see thee thus.
[Exit hastily in confusion, Bas. Thou dost not hate me, then? Bas. (stands for a moment riveted to the spot, Vict. Away! he'll be displeased—I cannot say,
then holds up both his hands in an ecstacy.) Bas. Well, let him come: it is thyself I fear; It is herself! it is her blessed self !
For did destruction thunder o'er my head, 0! what a fool am I, that had no power
By the dread Power of heaven, I would not stir, To follow her, and urge th' advantage on.
Till thou hadst answer'd my impatient soul! Begone, unmanly fears! I must be bold.
Thou dost not hate me? [Exit after her.
Vict. Nay, nay, let go thy hold—I cannot hate
thee. A Dance of Masks.
(Breaks from him and erit.) Enter Duke and GAURIECIO, unmasked.
Bas. (alone.) Thou canst not hate me! no, thou
canst not hate me! Duke. This revelry, methinks, goes gayly on.
For I love thee so well, so passing well, The hour is late, and yet your friend returns not.
With such o'erflowing heart, so very dearly,
Some small, some kind return.
Enter MIRANDO, dressed like Cupid.
Mir. Bless thee, brave soldier.
Bas. What say'st thou, pretty child? what playFor now the poison works, and the stung soldiers
ful fair Rage o'er their cups, and, with fire-kindled eyes,
Has deck'd thee out in this fantastic guise ? Swear vengeance on the chief who would betray
Mir. It was Victoria's self; it was the princess. them.
Bas. Thou art her favourite, then? That Frederick, too, the discontented man
They say I am: Of whom your highness was so lately told, Swallows the bait, and does his part most bravely. I think in very truth she loves me well.
And now, between ourselves, I'll tell thee, soldier, Gauriecio counsell'd well to keep him blind,
Such merry little songs she teaches me
Sly riddles too, and when I'm laid to rest,
Ofttimes on tip-toe near my couch she steals, And ruin'd all the plot.
And lifts the covering so, to look upon me. Duke. Speak softly, friend—I'll hear it all in
And oftentimes I feign as though I slept ; private.
For then her warm lips to my cheek she lays, A gay and careless face we now assume.
And pats me softly with her fair white hands; DUKE, GAUR. and Gent. retire into the inner apartment, And then I laugh, and through mine eyelids peep,
appearing to laugh and talk gayly to the different Masks and then she tickles me, and calls me cheat ;
And then we so do laugh, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Bas. What! does she even so, thou happiest child ? Vict. Forbear, my lord; these words offend mine And have those rosy cheeks been press’d so dearly?
Delicious urchin! I will kiss thee too. Bas. Yet let me but this once, this once offend, (Takes him eagerly up in his arms, and kisses him.) Nor thus with thy displeasure punish me;
Mir. No, let me down, thy kisses are so rough, And if my words against all prudence sin,
So furious rough—she doth not kiss me so. 0! hear them, as the good of heart do list
Bas. Sweet boy, where is thy chamber? by VicTo the wild ravings of a soul distraught.
toria's ? Vict. If I indeed should listen to thy words, Mir. Hard by her own. They must not talk of love.
Bas. Then will I come beneath thy window soon: Bas. To be with thee, to speak, to hear thee speak, And, if I could, some pretty song I'd sing, To claim the soft attention of thine eye,
To lull thee to thy rest. I'd be content to talk of any thing,
Mir. O no, thou must not ! 'tis a frightful place; If it were possible to be with thee,
It is the churchyard of the neighbouring dome. And think of aught but love.
The princess loves it for the lofty trees, Vict. I fear, my lord, you have too much presumed Whose spreading branches shade her chamber walls: On those unguarded words, which were in truth So do not I; for when 'tis dark o' nights,
Goblins howl there, and ghosts rise through the
Enter BASIL. ground. I hear them many a time when I'm a bed,
Bas. The blue air of the morning pinches keenly. And hide beneath the clothes my cowering head. Beneath her window all the chilly night, 0! is it not a frightful thing, my lord,
I felt it not. Ah! night has been my day ; To sleep alone i’ the dark?
And the pale lamp which from her chamber Bas. Poor harmless child! thy prate is wondrous
Has to the breeze a warmer temper lent
Than the red burning east. 1st Mask. What dost thou here, thou little truant
Re-enter ROSINBERG, &c. from the house. boy? Come, play thy part with us.
Ros. Himself! himself! He's here! he's here!
O Basil ! Masks place Mirando in the middle, and range them. What friend at such a time could lead thee forth? selves round him.
Bas. What is the matter which disturbs you SONG.-A GLEE.
thus ? Child, with many a childish wile,
Ros. Matter that would a wiser man disturb. Timid look, and blushing smile,
Treason's abroad : thy men have mutinied.
Bas. It is not so; thy wits have mutinied,
And left their sober station in thy brain. The tyrant of the human race ?
1st Off. Indeed, my lord, he speaks in sober
earnest. Who is he whose flinty heart Hath not felt the flying dart?
Some secret enemies have been employed Who is he that from the wound
To fill your troops with strange imaginations. Hath not pain and pleasure found ?
As though their general would, for selfish gain, Who is he that hath not shed
Their generous valour urge to desperate deeds. Curse and blessings on thy head ?
All to a man assembled on the ramparts,
Now threaten vengeance, and refuse to march. Ah love ! our weal, our wo, our bliss, our bane,
Bas. What! think they vilely of me? threaten More hapless still are they who never felt thy pain!
too ! (All the Masks dance round Cupid. Then enter O! most ungenerous, most unmanly thought !
a band of yrs, who fright away Love and Didst thou attempt (to Ros.) to reason with their his votaries; and conclude the scene, dancing
folly? in a grotesque manner.)
Folly it is; baseness it cannot be.
Ros. Yes, truly, I did reason with a storm,
And bid it cease to rage.
Their eyes look fire on him who questions them
The hollow murmurs of their mutter'd wrath SCENE I. THE STREET BEFORE BASIL'S LODGINGS.
Sound dreadful through the dark extended ranks, Enter ROSINBERG and two Officers
Like subterraneous grumblings of an earthquake.
-The vengeful hurricane Ros. (speaking as he enters.) Unless we find him
Does not with such fantastic writhings toss quickly, all is lost. 1st off. His very guards, methinks, have left The wood's green boughs, as does convulsive rage their post
Their forms with frantic gestures agitate. To join the mutiny.
Around the chief of hell such legions throng'd Ros. (knocking very loud.) Holla! who's there. To bring back curse and discord on creation. within ? confound this door !
Bas. Nay, they are men, although impassion 8
I'll go to them,
And we will stand by thee.
My sword is thine against ten thousand strong, Ros. (eagerly to the porter.) Is he return'd ? is If it should come to this. he return'd not yet?
No, never, never ! Thy face doth tell me so.
There is no mean: I with my soldiers must Port.
Not yet, my lord. Or their commander or their victim prove. Ros. Then let him ne'er return !
But are my officers all stanch and faithful ? Tumult, disgrace, and ruin have their way!
Ros. All but that devil, FrederickI'll search for him no more.
He, disappointed, left his former corps, Port. He hath been absent all the night, my lord. Where he, in truth, had been too long neglected, Ros. I know he hath.
Thinking he should all on the sudden rise, 2d Off.
And yet 'tis possible From Basil's well-known love of valiant men ; He may have entered by the secret door ;
And now, because it still must be deferr'd, And now perhaps, in deepest sleep entranced, He thinks you seek from envy to depress him, Is dead to every sound.
And burns to be revenged. (Ros. without speaking, rushes into the house, and Bas. Well, well -This grieves me too
the rest follow him.)
But let us go
What wear we arms for? (Others call out) SCENE II.-THE RAMPARTS OF THE TOWN.
No, he dares not do it. The Soldiers are discovered, drawn up in a disorderly
(One voice very loud) manner, hollaing and speaking big, and clashing their Disband us at thy peril, treacherous Basil! arms tumultuously.
(Several of the Soldiers brandish their
and 1st Sol. No, comrade, no ; hell gape and swallow threaten to attack him; the Officers gather me,
round Basil, and draw their swords to defend If I do budge for such most devilish orders !
him.) 2d Sol. Huzza! brave comrades! Who says Bas. Put up your swords, my friends, it must not
otherwise ? 3d Sol. No one, huzza! confound all treacherous I thank your zeal, I'll deal with them alone. leaders!
Ros. What, shall we calmly stand and see thee (The Soldiers huzza and clash their arms.)
butcher'd ? 5th Sol. Heaven dart its fiery lightning on his Bas. (very earnestly.) Put up, my friends. head!
(Officers still persist.) What! are you We're men, we are not cattle to be slaughter'd !
rebels too ? 20 Sol. They who do long to caper high in air, Will no one here his general's voice obey ? Into a thousand bloody fragments blown,
I do command you to put up your swords. May follow our brave general.
Retire, and at a distance wait th' event. 1st Sol.
Curse his name! Obey, or henceforth be no friends of mine. I've fought for him till my strain'd nerves have Officers retire very unwillingly. Basil waves crackd!
them off with his hand till they are all gone, 2d Sol. We will command ourselves: for Milan,
then walks up to the front of his Soldiers, comrades.
who still hold themselves in a threatening 5th Sol. Ay, ay, for Milan, valiant hearts, huzza. posture.) (All the Soldiers cast up their caps in the air and Soldiers ! we've fought together in the field, huzza.)
And bravely fought: i’ the face of horrid death, 2 Sol. Yes, comrades, tempting booty waits us At honour's call, I've led you dauntless on; here,
Nor do I know the man of all your bands, And easy service: keep good hearts, my soldiers ! That ever poorly from the trial shrunk, The general comes, good hearts ! no finching, Or yielded to the foe contended space. boys!
Am I the meanest then of all my troops, Look bold and fiercely: we're the masters now.
That thus ye think, with base unmanly threats, (They all clash their arms and put on a fierce To move me now? Put up those paltry weapons ;
threatening aspect to receive their general, who They edgeless are to him who fears them not; now enters, followed by Rosinberg and Officers. Rocks have been shaken from the solid base ; Basil walks close along the front ranks of the But what shall move a firm and dauntless mind? Soldiers, looking at them very steadfastly; then Put up your swords, or dare the threaten'd deedTetires a few paces back, and raising his arm, Obey, or murder me.speaks with a very full loud voice.)
(A confused murmur—some of the Soldiers call Bas. How is it, soldiers, that I see you thus,
out) Assembled here unsummon’d by command ? March us to Milan, and we will obey thee. (A confused murmur is heard amongst the Sol
(Others call out) diers ; some of them call out)
Ay, march us there, and be our leader still. But we ourselves command: we wait no orders. Bas. Nay, if I am your leader, I'll command ye; (A confused noise of voices is heard, and one And where I do command, there shall you go, louder than the rest calls out)
But not to Milan. No, nor shall you deviate Must we be butcher'd for that we are brave? E’en half a furlong from your destined way, (A loud clamour and clashing of arms, then To seize the golden booty of the east. several voices call out)
Think not to gain, or temporize with me; Damn hidden treachery! we defy thy orders.
For should I this day's mutiny survive, Frederick shall lead us now
Much as I've loved you, soldiers, ye shall find me
(Others call oud) Still more relentless in pursuit of vengeance ; We'll march where'er we list; for Milan march. Tremendous, cruel, military vengeance. Bas. (waring his hand, and beckoning them to There is no mean—a desperate game ye play;
be silent, speaks with a very loud voice.) Therefore, I say, obey, or murder me. Yes, march where'er ye list: for Milan march. Do as ye will, but do it manfully. Sol. Hear him, hear him!
He is a coward who doth threaten me : (The murmur ceases—a short pause.) The man who slays me, but an angry soldier; Bas. Yes, march where'er ye list; for Milan Acting in passion, like the frantic son, march:
Who struck bis sire and wept. But as banditti, not as soldiers go;
(Soldiers call out) It was thyself who sought to For on this spot of earth I will disband,
murder us. And take from you the rank and name of soldiers. 1st Sol. You have unto the emperor pledged (A great clamour amongst the ranks—some call out)
To lead us foremost in all desperate service: