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Gninr OF
Mr. Frank Marcham





THE

COLLECTION

OF

FRANK MARCHAM



1899



THE BRIDE;



A DRAMA.



IN THREE ACTS.



BY JOANNA BAILLIK



LONDON:

HENRY COLBURN, NEW BURLINGTON STREET.

1828.



LONDON:

PRINTED BY HKXRY DIGGEXS, LEICESTER STREET.
LEICESTER SQUARE.




PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.



MEN.

RASINGA.

SAMARKOON, his Brother-in-law.
JUAN DE CREDA, a Spanish Physician.
SAMAR, a Child, and Son of Rasinga.

EHLEYPOOLIE, )

% c Officers of Rasinga.

MlHDOONY, $

Officers, Domestics, Robbers, Spearmen, fyc.

WOMEN.

ARTINA, Wife of Rasinga, and Sister of Samarkoon.
MoNTEBESAj Mother of Rasinga.
THE BRIDE.
SAB A WATTE.

Nurse, Attendants, fyc.

SCENE IN CEYLON.



PREFACE.



To see the mind of a child awaking by degrees
from the dreamy indistinctness of infancy to a
clearer observation of what it beholds around, and
a capacity to compare and to reason on the dif-
ferences and resemblances which it perceives, is a
most pleasing and interesting sight ; so in a far
greater degree does the rousing a race or nation
from its infancy of ignorance and delusion, interest
and excite every mind of any feeling or reflection.
It was from this natural sympathy that I heard
with the most sensible pleasure, some months ago,
of the intended translation of my Drama, called
" The Martyr," into the Cingalese language, as a
work which might have some good effects upon a

b



IV PREFACE.

people of strong passions, emerging from a state of
comparative barbarism, and whose most effectual
mode of receiving instruction is frequently that of
dramatic representation, according to the fashion
of their country. A gentleman to whom Ceylon
owes the great benefits conferred on a people by
the pure and enlightened administration of justice,
and to whose strenuous exertions they are also
indebted for the invaluable institution of a trial by
native juries,* entertained this opinion of the Drama
in question, and afterwards did me the farther
honour to suppose that I might write something
of the kind, more peculiarly appropriate to the
circumstances of that island, which would naturally
have a stronger moral effect on the minds of its
inhabitants. Pleased to be made, in the humblest



* The measures above alluded to are detailed in the Asiatic
Journal for June 1827. They are the different measures which
were carried into effect by Sir Alexander Johnston when he was
President of His Majesty's Council in Ceylon, and of which
Mr. Brougham made honourable mention in his speech on the
Present State of the Law in February 1828.



PREFACE. V

degree, an instrument for their good, I most rea-
dily promised to endeavour at least to do so. And
when they read this piece, or when it is brought
before them in representation, they will regard it as
a proof that their former judge and friend, though
now 'absent and far separated from them, still con-
tinues to take a deep interest in their welfare. So
considered, it will not fail to make an impression on
their minds to which its own power or merit would
be altogether unequal.

But should the individual effects of this Drama
be ever so inconsiderable, the profits arising from
its publication in England, may be the means of
procuring translations into the Cingalese language
of more able and useful works, and make, as it were,
a first though a low step to an invigorating moral
eminence. In these days when many excellent
men are striving at the expence of health and ease,
and all that is valued by the world, to spread the
light of Christianity in the East; when the la-
mented Bishop Heber, with the disinterested de-
votion of an Apostle, joined to the mildness, libe-



VI PREFACE.

rality, ability, courteousness, and good sense which
promote and grace every laudable undertaking, has
proved himself to be the genuine and noble fol-
lower of his blessed Master, who will not be wil-
ling to lend some aid and encouragement to so
excellent a purpose ? I hope, and strongly hope
that good will be derived, even from such a feeble
effort as the present ; and that the time will come
when the different races of the East will consider
every human creature as a brother ; while English-
men, under whose rule or protection they may live,
will contemn that policy which founds its security
upon ignorance. All past experience is unfavour-
able to the unmanly and ungenerous maxim. And
in the present time, when perfect undisturbed
ignorance cannot be obtained, the preservation of
it in a middle state, to take no higher view of the
subject, will be found to be a very precarious and
expensive means of governing. But do I not
wrong my countrymen, connected with the East, in
supposing that the great proportion of them do
entertain such narrow views ? Of this at least I



PREFACE. Vll

am thoroughly persuaded, that if such a supposi-
tion does not wrong them at present, it will do so
grievously some years hence: for the ignorance I
speak of is that which stands opposed to the useful,
simple learning which promotes industry and cha-
rity. Of those superfluous fantastical acquirements
which the overstrained refinement of modern plans
of education seems anxious to extend to the lower
classes of society, I do not speak.

But I must beg leave to retract what I have said
above as to making a first step in this desirable pro-
gress : one of Mrs. Hannah More's sacred Dramas
was translated into the language of Ceylon, se-
veral, I believe many years ago, and was much
liked and admired by the natives. A second or
third, or any rank, so as it be a step at all, is honour
enough for me.

And now let me address a few words to those
whom I shall never see, whom many, many leagues
of ocean divide from any spot of earth on which
my foot hath ever rested or shall ever rest, those
for whose especial use the following Drama was



Vlll PREFACE.

written, and in whose country the story of it is
supposed to have happened.

I endeavour to set before you that leading precept
of the Christian religion which distinguishes it from
all other religions, the forgiveness of injuries. A
bold and fiery-tempered people is apt to consider it
as mean and pusillanimous to forgive ; and I am
persuaded that many a vindictive and fatal blow
has been inflicted by those, whose hearts at the
same moment have yearned to pardon their
enemies. But Christians, who, notwithstanding
the very imperfect manner in which they obey
and have obeyed the precepts and example of
Jesus Christ, do still acknowledge them, and have
their general conduct influenced by them, are
they a feeble and unhonoured race ? Look round you
in your own land, in other countries most connected
with your own, and you will acknowledge that this
is not the case. You will therefore, I hope, receive
in good part the moral of my story.

I wished to have found some event in the real
history of Ceylon that might have served as a



PREFACE. 1*

foundation for my Drama, but not proving suc-
cessful in my search, which, circumstanced as I
am, could not but be very imperfect, I have of
necessity had recourse to imagination. But there
is one person or character in it which is truly
your own, though placed in an imaginary situa-
tion, and any country in the world might be
proud to claim it. " Remember," said the son
of the first Adigar of the Gandian countiy to
his elder brother, who had clung for protec-
tion to his wretched mother, when she and all her
children were condemned to death by a late king
of Candy, " Remember that we are the sons
of a brave man, and should die as becomes his
sons ; I will be the first to receive the stroke of
the headsman." The land which hath produced
a child so brave and noble, will also, under
favourable circumstances, be fruitful of brave and
noble men ; and in proportion as her sons become
generous and humane, they will also increase in
valour and dignity. The little Samar, then, of my



X PREFACE.

play is what the son of the first Adigar would
have been in his place, and as such I commend
him to your favour and attention.

The views which I have given of the religion of
Juan De Creda are true to all that you will find in
the history and precepts of Jesus Christ, whenever
you are inclined to read those books of our sacred
Scripture which we call the Gospels, containing
his history and written by men who were his
immediate followers and disciples, being eye and
ear witnesses of all that they relate ; and let no
peculiar opinions or creeds of different classes of
Christians ever interfere with what you there
perceive plainly and generally taught. It was
given for the instruction of the simple and un-
learned ; as such receive it.

Wishing you all prosperity as a brave and
virtuous people, for brave ye are, and virtuous
I hope ye will become, I bid you farewell !



THE BRIDE.



THE BRIDE.



ACT I.
SCENE I.

Scene before the Castle of Rasinga.

Enter Ehleypoolie meeting Mihdoony and two
Officers of the Chieftains household.

EHLEYPOOLIE.

Well met, my comrades ! I have words for you.

MIHDOONY.

We doubt it not; thou'rt bountiful in words.

FIRST OFFICER.

Thou never wast a niggard of such treasure.

B 2



THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

EHLEYPOOLIE.

Ay, but the words which ye shall now receive,
Are not the passing ware of daily traffic,
But such as in each listener's fancy wakes
Responding sounds, such as from twisted shell
On sea-beach found, comes to the bending ear
Of wand'ring child ; sounds strange and full of

omen.

(

M1HDOONY.

What, evil omen ? storms and hurricanes ?

EHLEYPOOLIE.

Fy on't ! A stirring, tinkling, hopeful sound :
The ring of scatter' d largess, sweeter far
Than pipe or chord or chaunt of forest birds :
The sound of mummery and merriment :

The sound

But wherefore stare ye on me thus ?
List ; I will tell ye what concerns us all.

, MIHDOONY.

Out with it then ! for it concerns us all
To be no more tormented with thy folly.

EHLEYPOOLIE.

Our Lord Rasinga wills, that we brave mates,



SCENE i.] THE BRIDE. 5

With fifty armed followers and their followers,

Shall be in readiness by early dawn.

To march in goodly order to the mountains.

FIRST OFFICER.

I like not mountain warfare.

SECOND OFFICER.

No, nor I.

MIHDOONY.

To force our toilsome way through thick rank

woods,
With bleeding limbs drained by a hundred

leeches !

EHLEYPOOLIE.

Fy, lazy cowards ! shrink ye from adventures
Which gentle lady, in her palanquin,
Will share with you ?

MIHDOONY.
A gentle lady, say'st thou ?

EHLEYPOOLIE.

Yes, ye dull dolts, I say so. Brave Rasinga
Has with one wife, for a good term of years,
(Lulled by some charm of sorcery) been satisfied.
It is good time that he, like other chiefs,



6 THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

Should have a first sultana and a second,

Or any such arrangement as becomes

His age and dignity. So, in gay trim

With our arm'd band, we by to-morrow's dawn

Must be in readiness. These are your orders,

Sent by our lord through me.

MIHUOONY.
Who is this honoured lady of the mountains ?

EHLEYPOOLIE.

Canst thou not guess ? The aged chieftain's

daughter,

Whose petty hold was sack'd by daring robbers
Not many weeks gone by. He and his daughter
Were dragg'd as prisoners from their ruin'd home.
In this sad plight, our chief with Samarkoon,
The valiant brother of his present wife,
And a good strength of spearmen, met them ;

charged

The bootied spoilers, conquered and released
Their wretched prey. And ye may well suppose
The lady's veil, amidst the strange confusion,
Could not be clutched so close, but that Rasinga
Might see the lovely face it should have covered.



SCENE i.] THE BRIDE. 7

MIHDOONY.

O now I understand it ; for, methinks,
Rasinga had not else brought to his house
Another bride to share it with Artina.

\JSamarkoon who has entered behind them
unperceived) and overheard part of the
preceding dialogue, now rushes forward
indignantly.

SAMARKOON.

Ye foul-tongued knaves, who so belie your

master !
What words are these which ye have dared to

utter ?

EHLEYPOOLIE.

My lord, I crave your pardon ; I have uttered
The orders which Rasinga charged me with,
That these (pointing to Mihdoony and Officers)

should straight prepare an armed band
To take their way to-morrow for the mountains.

SAMARKOON.

To bring a bride from thence? Speak out, I

charge thee,
Thou lying knave ! Went not thy words thus far ?



8 THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

EHLEYPOOLIE.

If they be true or lying words, I wot not.
What may within a guarded palanquin
Be from the mountains brought, I may but guess.
Perhaps some speaking bird or jabb'ring ape.

SAMARKOON. (striking him.)

Take that and that thou false audacious slave :
Dar'st thou to answer me with mockery ?

\JExit Ehleypoolie sulkily , followed by Mihdoony

and Officers : Manet Samarkoon.
Base sordid reptiles ! for some paltry largess,
And passing revelry, they would right gladly
See peace and order and domestic bliss
To misery and wild confusion changed.
Hateful suggestions ! base and vague conjectures
Which vulgar minds on slight foundation rear !

All false !

And yet they are upon my heart
Like the compressure of a coiled boa,
Loathly but irresistible.

A bride !

It cannot be ! Tho' her unveiled face
Was of surprising beauty O how lovely !



SCENE i.] THE BRIDE. 9

Yet he bestowed on her but frigid praise
And still continued to repress my ardour,
Whene'er I spoke of the fair mountain maid,
With silent stern reserve. Is this like love ?
It is not natural.

Ah ! but it is ;

It is too natural, deep subtle nature.
How was my ideot soul so far beguiled
That I ne'er thought of this ?

Yes, yes, he loves her !
Loves her whom I so well so dearly love,
That every female image but her own
Is from my heart effaced, like curling mists
That rising from the vale, cling for a while
To the tall cliff's brown breast, till the warm sun
Dissolves them utterly. 'Tis so ; even she
Whom I have thought of, dreamt of, talked of,

a y>

And talked to, though in absence, as a thing
Present and conscious of my words, and living,
Like the pure air around me, every where.

(after a pause.)
And he must have this creature of perfection !



10 THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

It shall not be, whatever else may be !

As there is blood and manhood in this body,

It shall not be !

And thou, my gentle sister,
Must thy long course of wedded love and honour
Come to such end ! Thy noble heart will break.
When love and friendly confidence are fled,
Thou art not form'd to sit within thy bower
Like a dress' d idol in its carv'd alcove,
A thing of silk and gems and cold repose :

Thy keen but generous nature Shall it be ?

I'll sooner to the trampling elephant
Lay down this mortal frame, than see thee
wrong'd. (after a considerable pause.}

Nay, nay ! I am a madman in my rage.
The words of that base varlet may be false.
Good Montebesa shall resolve my doubts.
Her son confides to her his secret thoughts :
To her I'll go and be relieved from torment,
Or know the worst at once. \_Exit.



SCENE ii.] THE BRIDE. 1 1



SCENE II.
The Apartment of Montebesa.

Sabawatte is discovered at work and singing.
SONG.

The gliding fish that takes his play
In shady nook of streamlet cool,

Thinks not how waters pass away,
And summer dries the pool.

The bird beneath his leafy dome
Who trills his carol, loud and clear,

Thinks not how soon his verdant home
The lightning's breath may sear.



12 THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

Shall I within my bridegroom's bower
With braids of budding roses twin'd,

Look forward to a coming hour
When he may prove unkind ?

The bee reigns in his waxen cell,
The chieftain in his stately hold,

To-morrow's earthquake, who can tell ?
May both in ruin fold.

Enter Montebesa as the Song is concluded.

MONTEBESA.

Did I not hear thee singing, as I came,
The song my dear Artina loves to hear ?

SABAWATTE.

Even so, good lady ; many a time I sang it
When first I was attendant in her bower ;
Ere, at your own desire, and for my honour,
She did resign me to your higher service.

MONTEBESA.

Sing it no more : alas ! she thought not then
Of its contain'd allusions to a fate
Which now abides herself.



SCENE IT.] THE BRIDE. 13

SABAWATTE.

No, not her fate ; you surely mean not so :

She is a happy wife, the only wife

Of brave Rasinga, honour' d and beloved.

MONTEBESA.

She was and is as yet his only wife.

SABAWATTE.

As yet his only wife ! and think you then
She will not so continue ?

MONTEBESA.

Sab a watte,

It grieves me much to tell thee what perforce
Must soon be known to all ; my son Rasinga
Hath set his heart upon a younger bride,
Perhaps a fairer too.

SABAWATTE. (eagerly.)
No ; not a fairer.

I'd peril life and limb upon the bet,
She is not half so fair, nor half so good.

MONTEBESA.

Be not so hasty. Why dost thou regard it
As such a grievous thing? She has already
Enjoyed his undivided love much longer



THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

Than other dames have done with other lords,
And reason teaches she should now give place.

SABAWATTE.

Reason and cruelty sort ill together ;

A loorie haunting with a spotted pard.

Ah ! wo the day! Why have you told me this ?

MONTEBESA.

Because I would upon your sadden' d brow
Print traces which may lead our poor Artina
To question thee ; and thou who art her friend
Canst by degrees, with gentle wise precaution,
Reveal to her what she must needs be told.

SABAWATTE.

I cannot : put not such a task on me,

I do implore your goodness ! No, I cannot.

MONTEBESA.

Hush, hush ! I hear the footsteps of a man,
But not Rasinga. It is Samarkoon ;
I know his rapid tread. Be wise ; be silent ;
For he a while must live in ignorance.



SCENE ii.] THE BRIDE. 15

Enter Samarkoon, and Sabawatte retires to some
distance.

A happy morning to you, my youthful kinsman !

SAMARKOON.

As it may prove, good lady : happy morning
Oft leads to woeful eve, ay, woeful noon.

MONTEBESA.

These are strange sombre words ; what is the

matter ?
Why dost thou look both sorrowful and stern ?

SAMARKOON.

I have good cause, if that which I have heard

Be aught but a malignant, hateful tale,

On mere conjecture founded. Answer me

If thou know'st nothing of a num'rous train

In preparation, by Rasinga's orders,

To fetch home to his house a fair young bride ?

There's no such thing. Speak speak ! I will

believe thee ;
For if to thee unknown, there's no such thing.

[A pause, he looking inquisitively in her face.



16 THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

Thou dost not speak ; thou dost not answer me ;
There's trouble in thine eye. A withering curse
Light on his heartless heart, if this be true !

MONTEBESA.

Brave Samarkoon! thou art not wise so fiercely
To question me of that which well may be
Without my knowledge ; that which, if it be,
Nor thou nor I have any power to alter.

SAMARKOON.

Which if it be ! that if betrays an answer ;
A shameful answer, shunning open words.
Dear, dear Artina ! thou hast climbed already
The sunny side of Doombra's mountain ridge,
And now with one short step must pass the bounds
Dividing ardent heat from chilling clouds
With drenching mist surcharged.

So suddenly

To bring this change upon her ! Cruel craft !
He knows that it will break her tender heart,
And serve his fatal purpose.

MONTEBESA.

Frantic man !
Thou art unjust, ungenerous, unwise ;



SCENE ii.] THE BRIDE. 17

For should Rasinga no uncommon act,
Take to his princely bower a second bride,
Would not Artina still be held in honour,
Her children cherished and their rank secured ?

SAMARKOON.

Such honour as unfeeling worldlings give

To fall'n deserted merit, she will have ;

And such security as should-be heirs,

Who stand i th' way of younger, petted minions,

Find in the house of an estranged sire,

Her children will receive. Alas, alas !

The very bonds of soul-devoted love

That did so long entwine a husband's heart,

For her own life the cord of execution

Will surely prove. Detested cruelty !

But is it so ? My head is all confusion,

My heart all fire ; I know not what thou said'st.

MONTEBESA.

Indeed, young kinsman, thou art now unfit
To hold discourse on such a wayward subject.
She whom thou lov'st so dearly as a brother,
I as a mother do most truly love.
Let this suffice thee, and retire a while,

c



18 THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

For I expect Artina, and 'tis meet

She be not now overwhelm' d with thy distress.

Ha ! she is here already ; tripping lightly

With sparkling eyes, like any happy child,

Who bears away the new-robb'd rock-bird's spoil.



Enter Artina, gayly, with an embroidered scarf
of many colours in her hand y and running up
to Montebesa.

ARTINA.

Dear mother, look at this ! such tints, such flowers r
The spirits of the Peak have done this work ;
Not hands of flesh and blood. Nay, look more

closely.
And thou too, Samarkoon. How cams' t thou

here?

I pray you both admire the beauteous gift
Rasinga's gift which I have just received.

SAMARKOON. (eagerly.)
Received from his own hand, so lately too ?

ARTINA.
Ev'n now. But did I say from his own hand ?



SCENE ii.] THE BRIDE. 19

He sent it to me, the capricious man !
Ay, and another present, some days since,
Was also sent. Ay, so it was indeed.

SAMARKOON.

Was he not wont to bring such gifts himself?

ARTINA.

With what a face of gravity thou ask'st
This most important question ! Never mind :
I can devise a means to be revenged.
For all this seeming lack of courtesy.

MONTEBESA.

Devise a means to be revenged ! and how ?

ARTINA.

I'll dress old nurse, as my ambassadress,
With robe and veil and pall majestical,
And she shall thank him in a tiresome speech,
(He hates her formal prosing) that I trow,
Will cure him of such princely modes of sending
His gifts to me. But ye are wond'rous grave.
What ails thee, brother ? Speak, good Montebesa ;
I fear he is not well.

MONTEBESA.

He is not very well.

c 2



20 THE BRIDE.



[ACT i.



ARTINA. (taking his hand affectionately.)
Indeed he is not.

SAMARKOON. (turning aivay his face.)
A passing fit of fever has disturbed me,
But mind it not, Artina.

ARTINA.

Nay, nay, but I will mind it, gentle brother.
And I have learnt this morning cheering news,
Good news for thee and all sick folk beside.

MONTEBESA.

We want good news; what is it thou hast heard?

ARTINA.

De Creda, who, by physic magical,
Did cure Rasinga of his fearful malady,
When at the point of death, is just arrived.
Where he hath been these two long years and more
There's not a creature knows. Perhaps i' the

moon,
If magic knows the way to climb so high.

MONTEBESA.

Perhaps in his own land.

ARTINA.

Ay, certes, Europe is a wond'rous kingdom,



SCENE ii.] THE BRIDE. 21

And well worth visiting, which sends forth men
So gifted and so good.

SAMARKOON.

I pray thee say not men, but only man.
Hath it e'er sent another like to him ?
Yet wherefore came he to these happier regions
With such a wicked crew ?

ARTINA.

Nay, blame him not :
His fate hath been disasterous and sad,
As I have heard him say ; and woe is me !
Misfortune is not dainty in associates.

SAMARKOON.

Associates ! Solitude in trackless deserts,
Where locusts, ants, and lizards poorly thrive,
On the bare summit of a rugged peak,
Where birds of prey in dusky circles wing
The troubled air with loud and clam'rous din,
Were to an honest heart endurable,
Rather than such associates.

ARTINA.

Ha ! does this rouse thee so ? Yet, ne'ertheless,
I'll send for him, and he will make thee well.



22 THE BRIDE. [ACT i.

SAMARKOON.

I'm well if thou art so, my gentle sister.

ARTINA.

And I am so ; how canst thou doubt it, brother,
Being so loving and so well beloved.

SAMARKOON.

O yes ! thou art indeed beloved most dearly,
Both thee and thine, and so shall ever be
Whilst life gives motion to thy brother's heart.

ARTINA.

A brother's heart! How so ? there is a meaning,
A meaning and a mystery in this.
Tears too are on my hand, dropt from thine
eyes ;

speak and tell the worst !

SAMARKOON.

I may not now.

1 pray thee let me go ; I cannot speak.

[Breaks from her and exit. Then Sabawatte
comes forward and takes hold of her robe
with an action of soothing tenderness.

ARTINA. (to Sabawatte.}
Dost thou too look on me with pity ? Speak,



SCENE ii.] THE BRIDE. 23

I charge thee speak, and tell the fearful cause,
Since no one else will do it.

MONTEBESA.

My dear Artina, thou shalt know the truth,


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