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The chief European dramatists: Twenty-one plays from the drama of Greece ... online

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Fails, and a mangled.oorpse lies in my arms,
A piteous object, trophy of the wrath
Of Heaven — so changed, his father would

not know him.
Thbbbxts. Alas, mysonl Dear hope f<»^

The ruthless gods have served me but too

For what a life of anguish and remorse

Thbramsnsb. Aricia at that instant,
Flying from you, comes timidly, to take


For husband, there, in presence of the gods.
Thus drawing nigh, she sees the grass all

And reeking, sees (sad si^t for lover's

Hippolytus stretdi'd there, pale and dis-
But, for a time doubtful of her misfortune.
Unrecognised the hero she adores,
She looks, and asks — ** Where is Hippoly-
Only too sure at last that he lies there
Before her, with sad eyes that silently
Reproach the gods, she shudders, groans,

and falls.
Swooning and all but lifdess, at his feet.
Ismene, all in tears, kneels down beside her.
And calls her back to life — life that is

But sense of pain. And I, to whom this

Is darkness now, come to discharge the

The hero has imposed on me, to tell thee
His last request — a melancholy task.
But hither comes his mortal enemy.

[Enter Trmdrjl, Pangpb, and Ouards.] • '

THESBtm. Madam, you've triumph'd,
and my son is kiU'd!
Ah, but what room have I for fear! How

Suspicion racks me that in blaming him
lerr'dl But he is dead; accept your victim;
Rightly or wrongly slain, let your heart

For joy. My eyes shall be f (never blind:
Since you accuse him, I'll bdieve him

Hisdeath affords me cause enouf^ for tears,
Without a foolish seardi for f urtiier light
Which, pow'rless to restore him to my grief,
Might only serve to make me more un-
Far from this shore and far from you IH


For here the image of my mangled son

Would haunt my memory and drive me

From the whole world I fain would banish

For all the worid seems to rise up in judg-

Against me; and my very ^ry wdghts

My punishment; for, were my name leas

T were easier to hide me. All the favors

The gods have granted me I mourn and

Nor will I importune them with vain

Henceforth forever. Qive me what ihey

What they have taken will all else out-
Phadba. Theseus, I cannot hear yoa
and keep sflence:

I must repair the wrong that he has aof •
fer'd —

Yoiur son was innocent.
Thbsbub. Unhappy fatherl

And it was on your word that I condenm'd

Think you such cruelty can be eiccused —

Pelbdra. Moments to me are precioaa;

hear me, Theseus.

'T was I who cast an eye of lawless ]

On chaste and dutiful Hippolytus.

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Heav*!! in my bosom kindled baleful fire,
And vOe (Enone's cunning did the rest.
She fear'd Hippolytus, Imowing my mad-

Wonld make that paaabn known which he

With horror; so advantage of my weakness
She took, and hastened to accuse him first.
For that she has been punish'd, tho' too

Seeking to shun my wrath she cast herself
BeoeatiLthe waves. The sword ere now had

My thread ci life, but slander'd innocence
Made its cry heard, and I resolved to die
In a more lingering way, confessing first
My penitence to you. A poison, brought
To Athens by Medea, runs thro' my veins.
Already in my heart the venom works.
Infusing there a strange and fatal chill;

Already as thro' thickening mists I see
The spouse to whom my presence is an out-
Death, from mine eyeB veiling the light <^

Restores its purity that they defiled.
Panopb. She dies, my lord!
Thbsbub. Would that the memory
Of her disgraceful deed could perish with

Ah, disabused too late! CcMne, let us go,
And with the blood of mine unhappy son
Mingle our tears, clasping his dear remams.
In deep repentance for a prajr'r detested.
Let him be honored as he well deserves;
And, to appease his sore offended ghost.
Be her near kinsmen's guflt whate'tf it

Aricia shiJl be held my daughter from to-
day. IfSxiunt amne9.]

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Count Aluaviva, a grandee of Spain, the unknown lover of Roeine

Babtholo, a phyeidan, guardian of Roeine

RosiKB, a young lady of noble birth, and the ward of Barthoh

FiQABO, a barber of Seville

Don Bazilb, organist, and einffing-maeter to Boeine

La Jbunbssb, an old domestic of Bartholo

VEvmLLt, another servant of Bartholo, a simpteton and sluggard

A Notary

An Aldade and a Justice

Policemen and Servants with torches

The teene i$ laid in Seville in the firel ad, in (he street, and under the windowe
cf Boeine: the remainder <tf the pieee ieinthe houee of Doctor Bartholo.

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[The stage represents a street in SeoCUe:
windows looking upon the street are barred.

The Count in a heavy brown cloak and
inad-bfimmed hat. He looks at his watch
as he walks back and forth.]

CoTTNT. The morning is not so far ad-
▼anoed as I thought; the hour at which she
onally shows herself behind her blinds is
stin ffur off. No matter; I would far rather
arnve too soon than miss the one moment
when I may see her. If any of my amiable
friends at court could see me one hundred
ieagaee from Madrid, lingering beneath the
window of a lady to whom I have never
spoken, they would certainly take me for
a Spaniard of Isabella's time. Why not?
Every one seeks his own happiness. Mine
I find in the heart of Rosine. What! fol-
bw a lady to Seville, when Madrid and the
court everywhere offer pleasures so easily
attainedl That itself is the thing I shun.
I am weary to death of conquests which
ielf-interest, convenience, or vanity are
yielding me every day. Ah! 't is so sweet to
bek>ved for one's self alone! And if I could
be perfectly sure that under this digpim
• . . The devil take this unseasomtble

{fnter Fiqabo, with a guitar dung across
his back by a broad ritH^, paper and

FiGABO [singing gayly].
Away with sorrow oonsumingl
Without the fire of good liquor ingpiring,
Without enlivening pleasure,
All men would live in a stupor.
With very good prospects of dying.


Really, that's not so bad, so far, is

With very good prospects of dying.
Qeoeroos wine and idleness
Shall e'er diqnite my heart.

Well, no! they do not dispute; they reign
together peaceably enough. . . .

Shall ever share my heart.
Shall I say se partagentf Well, thank
goodness, we writers of comic operas are
not so particular about style. Nowadays,
what is scarcely worth saying, we sing.

Generous wine and idleness
Shall ever share my heart
I should like to finish with something
fine, brilliant, sparkling, which would really
look like an idea.

[Kneels and writes as he sings.]
Shall ever share my heart.
If one enjoys my tenderness. . . .
The other is my joy.
P&haw! that's flat. It is not that. ... I
need an antithesis: —

If one be my mistress,
The other . • .
There! I have it. . . .

The other shall be my slave.
Well done, Master Figaro.

[Writes and sings,]
Generous wine and idleness
Shall ever share my heart.
If one be my mistress.
The other shall be my slave.
The other shall be my slave.
The other shall be my slave!
There, how is that? When we have the
accompaniments, we shall see now, gentle-
men of the cabal, if I know what I am
talking about. [He perceives the Count.]
I have seen that priest somewhere.

[He rises.]
CouKT [aside], I am sure I know this fel-

FiGABO. No, he's no priest. His proud
and noble bearing . . .
Count. That grotesque figure . . .
Figaro. I was right. Count Almaviva.
Count. I think this rascal must bo

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FiGABO. The very same, my lord.

Count. You knavel If you say one
word . . .

Figaro. Yes, I reoogoixe 3rou; the same
familiar kindness with which you have al-
ways honored me.

Count. I did not recogniie you at all.
You were so tall and stout . . .

FiQARO. What would you have, my
lord? 't is hard times.

Count. Poor fellow I what are 3rou dmng
in Seville?] Not long since I recommended
you to a position in the government.

FiOABO. I received my appointment, my
lord, and my gratitude . . .

Count. Call me Lindor. Don't yoa see,
by my disguise, that I wish to be un-

FiQABO. I win leave 3rou.

Count. On the contrary. I await the
issue of a certain affair, and two men chat-
ting together are less suspect than one
pacing back and forth. Let us appear to be
chatting. Now, this position.

FiOABO. The minister, having considered
your exceUency's recommendation, forth-
with appointed me apothecary's boy.

Count. In the army hospitals?

Figaro. No, indeed; in the Andalusian

Count \laugking]. Truly, a fine beginningl

Figaro. li^e position was not a bad one;
for, having the dressings and the drugs in
my charge, I often sold the men the best
of horse medicines . . .

Count. Which killed the king's loyal

FtGARo. Hal ha! There is no universal
remedy which has not f afled sometimes to
cure Galioians, Catalans, or Auvergnats.

Count. Why, then, did you resign it?

Figaro. Reisign itl Faith, I was re-
moved. Some one maligned me to the
powers. ''Envy with crooked fingers, with
visage pale and livid."

Count. For pity's sake, my friendl Do
you also make verses? I saw you scratch-
ing away there on your knee, and singing
this very morning.

Figaro. That is really the cause of my
misfortune, your excellency. When they
reported to the minister that I was mak-

ing, if I may so, some very fair garlands of
verses to Cloris, that I was sending riddles
to the joumab, that madrigals of my com-
position were the fashion, — in short, ndien
he found out that I was everywhere in
print, — he took the matter tragically, and
had me dismissed the service, on the pre-
text that a love of letters is quite incom-
patible with the spirit of business.

Count. Powerfully reasoned! And you
failed to represent to him . . .

Figaro. I thought mytM only too
happy to be forgott^i; for I am permiaded
that a grandee does us good enough when
he does us no harm.

Count. You do not tell the whole story.
I remember that in my service you were
something of a rascal.

Figaro. Good Heavens! my lord, jroa
would have a poor feUow absolutely falilt-

CouNT. Lazy, dissolute . . .

Figaro. In comparison with the virtues
demanded of a domestic, does your excel-
lency know of many masters worthy of
being valets?

Count [Zati^ftin^]. Not so bad. And you
retired to this city?

Figaro. No, not immediately.

Count Istopjdng him]. One moment . . .
I thought 't was she. . . . Keep on talk-
ing, I can hear 3rou well enough.

Figaro. On my return to Madrid, I
tried my literary talents again; and the
theater seemed to me a field of honot . . .

Count. Ahl God help 3rou there!

Figaro [wkUe he replies, the Count
gazes aUentiody in the direcUon ofthebiind\.
Truly I know not why I had not the g;peat-
est success; for I had filled the pit with the
most excellent workers, with hands like
paddles; I had forbidden gloves, canes, and
everything else wMch produces only dull
applause, and, on my honor, before the
piece was played, the caf6 seemed to be
perfectly well-disposed toward us. But the
efforts of the cabal . . .

Count. Ah! the cabal! The last refine
of oiur fallen author.

Figaro. I may say that as well as an-
other; why not? They hissed me, but if I
could ever get them together again • • •

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Count. You would take your revenge by
boring them to death.

FiQABO. Ah I how I lay it up against
them! Zoundsl

CouifT. Youswearl Do you know that
ia the courts you have only twenty-four
iKyon in which to curse your judges?

FiQABO. You have twenty-four years in
the theater; life is only too short to exhaust
ndi resentment.

CouMT. Your meiry anger delists me.
Bot you have not told me what cavued you
to leave Madrid.

FiOABO. My good angel, your exoel-
kney, since I am happy enough to find my
old master. Recognising that, at Madrid,
the republic of letters is the republic of
wolves, continually at each others' throats,
and that, delivered up to the contempt to
which this ridiculous obstinacy leads them,
ifl the insects, gnats, noosquitoes and critics,
ifl the envious, journalists, booksellers,
eeoson, and, in fact, everything able to
ding to the hide of the unhappy man of
letteiB, succeeded in lacerating and suck-
mg the little substance left to them; worn
out with writing, weary of mysdf , dis-
gusted with others, ovorwhefaned with
debts, and innocent of cash; finally con-
naoed that the tangible revenue from my
luor is preferable to the empty honors of
the pen, I left Madrid, my baggage slung
Q|WQ my shoulder, philosophioally waader-
hg throu^ the two Oastiles, la Mancha,
EBtiemaduia, Siena Morena, and Anda-
jOBia; welcomed in one town, imfMnsoned
in the next, and everywhere superior to
events; praised by some, bkmed by others,
inaking the best of good weather and en-
during the bad; mocking the foolish and
btaving the wicked; laughing in my misnry
aad shaving all; you see me finally estab-
liahed in Seville and ready to serve 3rour
ocodlen^ in anything you may be pkAsed
U> order.

Count. Who, then, has endowed you
^i^ 80 gay a philosophy?

FiQABO. Continual misfortune. I al-
^ys hasten to laugh at ever3rthing for fear
^ I msy be obliged to weep. What are
you staring at over there?

Comrr. Letushkle.

FiGABO. Why?

Count. Come, you blockheadi You will
be my destrucUon. [They conceal thern^

[T%e blind in the first dory opens^ and
Babtholo and RosnnB ajppear at the

RosiNB. What a pleasure it is to breathe
the fresh air! This blind is so rarely
ojpeiDi&d . . .

Babtholo. What is that pi4)er?

RoaiNa. These are a few couplets from
The Uedese Precaution^ which my singing
master gave me yesterday.

Babtholo. What is this Uedeu Pre-

RofiiNB. 'T is a new comedy.

Babtholo. Some new play! Some new
sort of folly!

RosnnB. I know nothing about it.

Babtholo. Well, the journals and the
authxHities will avenge us. Barbarous
age. • . !

RofiiNa. You are always criticising our
poor century.

Babtholo. Pardon the liberty that I
take! What has it produced that we should
praise it? Follies of all sorts; liberty of
thought, gravitation, electricity, reli^us
tderation, inoculation, quinine, the en-
OrdopcDdia, and plajrs . . .

RoBiNH [ae the paper drape from her
hand and fcile into the etreet]. Oh! my song!
My song dropped from my hand as I was
listening to you. . . . Run, run, sir, — my
song — it will be lost!

Babtholo. Confound it! When you
had it why did 3rou not hold it?

[Leaves the bdtcony.]

RoeiNB Igfaneee about the room and sig-
nals to the Count in the street]. Shi [The
Count appears.] Pick it up quickly, make
your escape. [The Count seiees the paper
and retreats to his hiding-place.]

Babtholo [appears in the street and
searches for the song]. Where is it? I can-
not find it.

Rosinb. Under the balcony, at the foot
of the wall.

Babtholo. You have sent me upon m
fine errand. Has any one passed by? i

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Robins. I have seen no one.

Babtholo [oncie]. And I, who have been

80 simple as to search . . . Bartholo, my

friend, you are indeed a simpleton. This

should teach you never to open the blinds.

[He reBnters the house.]

Rosins [in the balcony]. My excuse lies
in my unhappiness; alone, ill, and a butt for
the persecutions of an odious man, is it a
crime to try to escape the bonds of davery?

BabtholO [appearing in the balcony]. Go
in, young lady; it is my fault that you have
lost your song; but this misfortune will
never overtake you again; I swear it.

[CarefvUy locks the blind.]

Count. Now that they have gone in,
let us examine this song, in which a mystery
surely lies hidden. Ah, it is a note!

Figaro. E.esakiddwh&tTheUsdessPn'
caution was I

Count [reading excitedly]. "Your devo-
tion excites my curiosity. As soon as my
guardian has gone out, sing carelessly to
&e well-known air of these couplets, a few
words which shall tell me the name, the
rank, and the intentions of the gentleman
who appears so desperately attached to the
unfortunate Rosine."

Figaro [imikUing Rosinb'b voice]. My
song, I have lost my song; run, quickly.
[Laughing.] Hal hal Oh! these women!
Would you teach cunning to the most un-
sophisticated? Just shut her up.

Count. My dear Rosinel

Figaro. My lord, I am at no more
trouble for tfa« motives for your mas-
querade; you are making love here in pro-

Count. I see that you know how the
land lies; but if you chatter . . .

Figaro. I, chatter! To reassure you I
shall employ none of the high-sounding
phrases of honor and devotion which are
continually abused. I have only one word
to say; my interest will answer for my
loyalty; weigh everything in that balance,
and . . .

Count. Very well! Know, then, that
six months ago I met, by chance, in the
Prado, a young lady of such beauty . . .
Well, you have just seen her. I have sought
her in vain through all Madrid Itwasonly

a few days ago that I discovered that her
name is Rosine, that she is of noble blood,
an orphan, and married to an old phjrsidan
of that city, one Bartholo.

Figaro. A fine bird, by my faith! —
and a hard one to root out! But ^o told
you that she is the doctor's wife?

Count. Everybody.

Figaro. That is a story invented by him
on his arrival from Madrid, to give the slip
to the gallants, and put them off the soent.
She is still only his ward, but soon . . .

Count [passionately]. Never! Ah! what
news! I was resolved to dare eversrthing
to express my disappointment, and now I
find her free ! There 's not a moment to lose ;
I must win her love, and snatch her from
the unworthy husband to whom she is
destined. Do you know her guardian?

Figaro. As well as my mother.

Count. What sort of man is he?

Figaro [mvaeiously]. He is a fine big,
short, young old man, dapple gray, crafty,
well-shaven, btasS^ peeping and piying,
grumbling and moaning, all at once.

Count [impatiently]. Ah! I have seen
him. And his character?

Figaro. Brutal, avaridous, and ab-
surdly jealous of his ward, who hates hini
with a deadly hatred.

Count. So his power to please is . • .

Figaro. Zero.

Count. So mudi the betterl Wm

Figaro. He is quite honest enoufi^ to
escape hanging.

Count. So much the better! Topunlsl^
a rascal while at the same moment I fin^
my happiness . . .

Figaro. Is to do a public and private
good; really, a masterpieoe of morality, my

Count. You say that fear of the gal^
lants makes him keep his doors dosed upoa

Figaro. Upon every one if he could stop
up the cracks in it. . . .

Count. The devil! So much the worset
Do you happen to have access to his housed

Figaro. Have I! The house that I oo«
cupy belongs to the doctor, who lodges idq
there gratis. i

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Count. Hal hat

FiGABO. Yes, indeedl And I, in my grati-
ude, promise him ten gold pistoles a year

Covrn [unpaiiendy]. You are his tenant?

FiOABO. Much more; his barber, his
nirgeon, his apothecary; there is not a
itzoke of the rasor, the limcet, or the syringe
n his house whidi does not proceed from
die hand of your humble servant.

Coinrr [embracing kim]. Ah, Figaro, my
^iendl you shall be my savior and my
suardian angel.

FiOABO. The plague! How soon has my
isefulness short^ied the distance between
isl Talk to me of men with a passioni

Count. Fortunate Figaro! You shall
lee my Rosine! you shall see her! Can you
jmsgim* your good fortune?

FiGABO. That's the usual lover's talk!
[ do not adore her. I wish that you could
take my place.

Count. Ah, if we could only dodge these
riplant feDows!

FiGABO. That's what I was thinking of.

Count. For but a sin^ day.

FiGABO. By setting the servants to look
Nit for their own interests, we shall prevent
ihem from interfering with the interests of

Couirr. Doubtless. Well?

YiaABolrefiecting], I shall rack my brains
o see whether materia medica will not
^orniBh some innocent means . . .

Count. Scoundrell

FiGABO. Am I going to hurt them? They
in need my minntrations. It is <mly a
luestion of how to treat them all at once.

Count. But this doctor may grow sus-

FiGABO. We shall have to set to work so
luickly that he will have no time to sus-
pect. I have an idea. The regiment of the
lieir-i^iparent has just arrived in the city.

Coxtnt. The colonel is one of my friends.

FiGABO. Good. Go to the doctor's in a
trooper's uniform with your billet; he will be
Mged to lodge you; and I will look after
the rest.

Count. Excellent!

FiGABO. It would be stall better if you
ippeared a trifle ii»tozioated . . •

Count. Why?

FiGABO. And treat him a bit cavalierly,
for you have an excellent excuse for being

Count. Again I ask 3rou why?

FiGABO. So that he will take no offense,
and think you more in a hurry to go to bed
than carry on intrigues in his house.

Count. Beaut^ully planned! But why
do you not figure in it?

FiGABO. I, mdeedl We shall be fortu-
nate enough if he does not recognise you
whom he bias never seen. And how should
I introduce you afterward?

Count. You are ri^t.

FiGABO. It is because you may not be
able to act this difficult part. Cavalier
... the worse for wine . . .

Count. You are laughing at me. [Imu
taUng the speech of a dnmkard.] Is this the
house of Doctor Bartholo, my friend?

FiGABO. Truly, not bad, only a little
more unsteady in the legs. [In a mare
drunken voice,] Is this the house of Doctor
Bartholo . . .

Count. Shame upon 3rou! 'Tis a low
and vulgar drunkenness.

FiGABO. A good one and a pleasant one.

Count. The door opens.

FiGABO. Our man: let us make off until
he is gone. [They hide,]

Babtholo [coming out, speaking to some
one in the house], I shall return instantly,
let no one enter the house. How foolish I
was to come down. As soon as she asked
me, I should have suspected. . . . \^y is
Basile so late? He was to arrange every-
thing for my secret marriage to-monow:
and no news! Let us go and find out what
may have delayed him. [BxU^

Count. What did I hear? To-morrow he
marries Rosine secretly!

FiGABO. My lord, the difficulties in the
way of success only add to the necessity of
the undertaking.

Count. What sort of a man is this
Bazile who is meddling with this mar-

FiGABO. A poor devil who teaches music
to the doctor's ward, infatuated with his
art, a bit of a rascal, always needy, on his
knees before a crown-piece, who, in shorti

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will be very easy to manage, my lord . . .
IGlandng at the hUnd.] There she ist there

Count. Who?

Figaro. Behind the blind, — there she
Is! there she is! Don't look! Don't look!

Count. Why?

FiGABO. Did she not write: "Sing oare-
leasly" ? — that is to say, sing ... as if
you were singing . . . only for the sake of
singing. Oh! there she is! there she is!

Count. Since I have begun to interest
her without being known to her, I shall
keep the name of Undor which I have as-
sumed; my triumph will have a greater
charm. [He unfolds the paper whidtRomKa
has thrown out of the window,] But how
shall I sing to this music. I cannot make

FiGABO. Every verse that oooura to you,
my lord, will be excellent : in love, the heart
assists the productions of tbo mind . . .
And take my guitar.

Count. What shall I do with it? I play
so badly!

FiQABO. Can a man like 3rou be ignorant
of anything? With the back of the hand:
tum, tum tum. ... To sing without a
guitar in Seville! You would soon be re-
cognised; faith, you would soon be hunted

[FiGABO stands ciose to the waU
under the haieony,]

Count [sinffing, walking back and forth,
and accompanying himsdf on the guitar].

Thou shalt know my name, since to command
18 thine;

Unknown to thee, I dared to show my adora-

My name onoe known, I've nou^t but dee-

What matters it? My master's will is mine.

FiGABO [in a low voice]. Fine, upon my
word! Courage, my lord!

lindor am I, of common birth and nation;

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