John Dryden.

The works of John Dryden, now first collected in eighteen volumes (Volume 6) online

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Lor. Three as good qualities for my purpose as
I could wish : now love be praised !

Enter Elvira's Dnennay and whispers to her.

Elv. [Aside.] If I get not home before my hus-
band, I shall be ruined. [To him.] I dare not stay
to tell you where. Farewell ! — Could I once more —


Lor. This is unconscionable dealing ; to be made
a slave, and know not whose livery I wear. Who
have we yonder ?

Enter Gomez.
By that shambling in his walk, it should be my rich


old banker, Gomez, whom I knew at Barcelona :
As I live 'tis he ! — What, old INlamnion here !

[Tu Gomez.

Go)n. How ! young Beelzebub ?

Lor. What devil has set his claws in thy haunch-
es, and brought thee hither to Saragossa ? Sure he
meant a farther journey with thee.

Go?u. I always remove before the enemy : AVhen
the Moors are ready to besiege one town, I shift
quarters to the next ; I keep as far from the infi-
dels as I can.

Lor. That's but a hair's-breadth at farthest.

Go?n. Well, you have got a famous victory ; all
true subjects are overjoyed at it : There are bon-
fires decreed ; an the times had not been hard, my
billet should have burnt too.

Lor. T dare say for thee, thou hast such a respect
for a single billet, thou wouldst almost have thrown
on thyself to save it ; thou art for saving every
thing but thy soul.

Go?n. Weil, well, you'll not believe me generous,
'till I carry you to the tavern, and crack half a pint
with you at my own charges.

Lor. No ; I'll keep thee from hanging thyself
for such an extravagance ; and, instead of it, thou
shalt do me a mere verbal courtesy. I have just
now seen a most incomparable young lady.

Gom. Whereabouts did you see this most in-
comparable young lady ? — JSIy mind misgives me
plaguily. [Aside.

Lor. Here, man, just before this corner-house :
Pray heaven, it prove no bawdy-house.

Gom. [Aside.'] Pray heaven,' he does not make
it one !

Lor. What dost thou mutter to thyself? Hast
thou any thing to say against the honesty of that
house ?


Gom. Not I, colonel ; the walls are very honest
stone, and the timber very honest wood, for aught
I know ; but for the woman I cannot say, till I
know her better : Describe her person, and, if she
live in this quarter, I may give you tidings of her.

Lor. She is of a middle stature, dark-coloured
hair, the most bewitching leer with her eyes, the
most roguish cast ! her cheeks are dimpled when she
smiles, and her smiles would tempt an hermit.

Gom. [Aside.] I am dead, I am buried, I am
damned. — Go on, colonel ; have you no other marks
of her ?

Lor. Thou hast all her marks ; but she has a hus-
band, a jealous, covetous, old hunks : Speak ! canst
thou tell me news of her ?

Gom. Yes ; this news, colonel, that you have seen
your last of her.

Lor. If thou help'st me not to the knowledge of
her, thou art a circumcised Jew.

Gom. Circumcise me no more than I circumcise
you. Colonel Hernando : Once more, you have seen
your last of her.

Lor. [Aside.] I am glad he knows me only by
that name of Hernando, by which I went at Barce-
lona ; now he can tell no tales of me to my father.
— [To him.] Come, thou wer't ever good-natured,
when thou couldst get by it — Look here, rogue ;
'tis of the right damning colour : Thou art not proof
against gold, sure ! — Do not I know thee for a co-

Go7)i. Jealous old hunks ? those were the marks
of your mistress's husband, as I remember, colonel.

Lor. Oh the devil ! what a rogue in understand-
ing was I, not to find him out sooner ! [Aside,

Gom. Do, do, look sillily, good colonel ; 'tis a
decent melancholy after an absolute defeat.

Lor. Faith, not for that, dear Gomez ; but


Gom. But — no pumping, my dear colonel.

Lor. Hang pumping ! I was thinking a little
upon a point of gratitude. AVe two have been long
acquaintance ; I know thy merits, and can make
some interest ; — Go to ; thou wert born to autho-
rity ; I'll make thee Alcaide, ]Mayor of Saragossa.

Gom. Satisfy yoiu'self ; you shall not make me
what you think, colonel.

Lo?'. Faith, but 1 will ; thou hast the face of a
magistrate already.

Gom. And you would provide me with a magis-
trate's head to my magistrate's face ; I thank you,

Lor. Come, thou art so suspicious upon an idle
story ! That woman I saw, I mean that little,
crooked, ugly woman, — ^for t'other was a lie, — is
no more thy wife, — As I'll go home with thee, and
satisfy thee immediately, my dear friend.

Gom. I shall not put you to that trouble ; no, not
so much as a single visit ; not so much as an embas-
sy by a civil old woman, nor a serenade of tiv'inhle-
dum twinldedum under my windows ; nay, I will
advise you, out of my tenderness to your person,
that you walk not near yon corner-house by night ;
for, to my certain knowledge, there are blunder-
busses planted in every loop-hole, that go oif con-
stantly of their own accord, at the squeaking of a
fiddle, and the thrumming of a guitar.

Lor. Art thou so obstinate ? Then I denounce
open war against thee ; I'll demolish thy citadel by
force ; or, at least, I'll bring my whole regiment
upon thee ; my thousand red locusts, that shall de-
vour thee in free quarters. Farewell, wrought night-
cap. S^Kxit Lorenzo.

Gom. Farewell, Buff. — Free quarters for a regi-
ment of red-coat locusts ? I hope to see them all in
the Red-Sea first ! But oh, this Jezabel of mine ! I'll

VOL. VI. 2 c


get a physician that shall prescribe her an ounce of
camphire every morning, for her breakfast, to abate
incontinency. She shall never peep abroad, no, not
to church for confession ; and, for never going, she
shall be condemned for a heretic. She shall have
stripes by Troy weight, and sustenance by drachms
and scruples : Nay, I'll have a fasting almanack,
printed on purpose for her use, in which
No Carnival nor Christmas shall appear.
But lents and ember- weeks shall fill the year.

ACT 11.

SCENE l.-'The Queen's Antechamber.

Enter Alphonso and Pedro.

Alpli. When saw you my Lorenzo ?

Ped. I had a glimpse of him ; but he shot by me,
Lfike a young hound upon a burning scent ;
He's gone a harlot-hunting.

Alpli. His foreign breeding might have taught
him better.

Fed. 'Tis that has taught him this.
What learn our youth abroad, but to refine
The homely vices of their native land ?
Give me an honest home-spun country clown
Of our own growth ; his dulness is but plain,
But theirs embroider'd ; they are sent out fools,
But come back fops.

Alpli. You know what reasons urged me ;
But now, I have accomplish'd my designs,
I should be glad he knew them. His wild riots
Disturb my soul ; but they would sit more close,
Did not the thrcaten'd downfal of our house,


In Torrismond, o'erwhelm my private ills.

Enter Bertran, attended, and uhispeiing tvith a
Courtier, aside.

Bert. I would not have her think, he dared to
love her ;
If he presume to own it, she's so proud,
He tempts his certain ruin.

Alph. to Fed. Mark how disdainfully he throws
his eyes on us.
Our old imprison'd king wore no such looks.

Ped. O ! would the general shake off his dotage
to the usurping queen,
And re-enthrone good venerable Sancho,
I'll undertake, should Bertran sound his trumpets.
And Torrismond but whistle through his fingers,
He draws his army off.

Alph. I told him so ;
But had an answer louder than a storm.

Ped. Now, plague and pox on his smock-loyalty!
I hate to see a brave bold fellow sotted,
Made sour and senseless, turn'd to whey by love ;
A drivelling hero, fit for a romance. —
O, here he comes : what will their greetings be ?

J5/»^^r Torrismond, attended; Bertran and he
meet and jostle.

Bert. Make way, my lords, and let the pageant

Tor. I make my way, where'er I see my foe ;
But you, my lord, are good at a retreat.
I have no Moors behind me.

Bert. Death and hell !
Dare to speak thus when you come out again.

Tor. Dare to provoke me thus, insulting man !


Enter Teresa.

Ter. ISIy lords, you are too loud so near the queen ;
You, Torrismond, have much offended her.
'Tis her command you instantly appear,
To answer your demeanour to the prince.

\_Exit Teresa ; Bertran, iv'tth his company,
follow her.

Tor. O, Pedro, O, Alphonso, pity me !
A grove of pikes,

Whose polish'd steel from far severely shines,
Are not so dreadful as this beauteous queen.

Alph. Call up your courage timely to your aid.
And, like a lion, press'd upon the toils,
Leap on your hunters. Speak your actions boldly ;
There is a time when modest virtue is
Allow'd to praise itself

Fed. Heart ! you were hot enough, too hot, but
now ;
Your fury then boil'd upward to a foam ;
But since this message came, you sink and settle.
As if cold water had been pour'd upon you.

Tor. Alas ! thou know'st not what it is to love \
When we behold an angel, not to fear,
Is to be impudent : No, I am resolved.
Like a led victim, to my death I'll go,
And, dying, bless the hand, that gave the blow.


The Scene draws, and shews the Queen sitt'm^^ in
state ; Bertran standi?/^ next to her ; then
Teresa, &^c. She rises, and comes to the front.

Leonora, to Bert. I blame not you, my lord
my father's will.
Your own tlcserts, and all my people's voice,


Have placed you in the view of sovereign power.
But I would learn the cause, why Torrisinond,
Within my palace-walls, within my hearing,
Almost within my sight, — affronts a prince,
Who shortly shall command him.

Bert. He thinks you owe him more than you can
And looks as he were lord of human knid.

Enter Torrismond, Alpiionso, Pedro. Tor-
RiSMOND hows loiv, then loolis earnesthj on the
Queen, and keeps at distance.

Teresa. Madam, the general.

Leo. Let me view him well.
My father sent him early to the frontiers ;
I have not often seen him ; if I did.
He pass'd unmark'd by my unheeding eyes : —
But Where's the fierceness, the disdainful pride.
The haughty port, the fiery arrogance ? —
By all these marks, this is not, sure, the man.

Bert. Yet this is he, who fill'd your court with
Whose fierce demeanour, and whose insolence,
The patience of a god could not support.

Leo. Name his offence, my lord, and he shall have
Immediate punishment.

Bert. 'Tis of so high a nature, should I speak it,
That my presumption then would equal his.

Leo. Some one among you speak.

Fed. Now my tongue itches. [Aside.

Leo. All dumb ! On your allegiance, Torrismond,
By all your hopes, I do command you, speak.

Tor.\K?ieeling'.] O seek not to convince me of a
Which I can ne'er repent, nor can you pardon ;
Or, if you needs will know it, think, oh think,
That he who, thus commanded, dares to speak,


Unless commanded, would have died in silence.
But you adjured me, madam, by my hopes !
Hopes I have none, for I am all despair ;
Friends I have none, for friendship follows favour ;
Desert I've none, for what I did was duty : —
Oh that it were ! — that it were duty all !

Leo. Why do you pause ? proceed.

2hr. As one, condemn'd to leap a precipice,
Who sees before his eyes the depth below,
Stops short, and looks about for some kind shrub

To break his dreadful fall, — so I

But whither am I going ? If to death,
He looks so lovely sweet in beauty's pomp.
He draws me to his dart. 1 dare no more.

Bert. He's mad, beyond the cure of hellebore.
Whips, darkness, dungeons, for this insolence !

2hr. Mad as 1 am, yet I know when to bear.

Leo. You're both too bold. You, Torrismond,

I'll teach you all what's owing to your queen. —
For you, my lord, —
The priest to-morrow was to join our hands ;

I'll try if I can live a day without you.

So both of you depart, and live in peace.

AIp/i. Who knows which way she points ?
Doubling and turning like an hunted hare ; —
Find out the meaning of her mind who can.

Fed. \Vho ever found a Avoman's? backward and


The whole sex in every word. In my conscience,

when she was getting, her mother was thinking of

a riddle. \_Kjceunf all hut the C^ueen and Teresa.

IjCo. Haste, my Teresa, haste, and call him back.

Ter. AVhoni, madam ?

l^eo. Him.

Ter. Prince Bcrtran ?


Leo. Torrismond ;
There is no other he.

Ter. [Aside. ~\ A rising sun,
Or I am much deceived. [Exit Teresa.

Leo. A change so swift what heart did ever feel !
It rush'd upon me like a mighty stream.
And bore me, in a moment, far from shore.
I loved away myself; in one short hour
Already am I gone an age of passion.
Was it his youth, his valour, or success?
These might, perhaps, be found in other men.
'Twas that respect, that awful homage, paid me ;
That fearful love, which trembled in his eyes,
And with a silent earthquake shook his soul.
But, w^hen he spoke, what tender words he said !
So softly, that, like flakes of feather'd snow.
They melted as they fell.

Enter Teresa ivith Torrismond.

Ter. He waits your pleasure.

Leo. 'Tis well ; retire. — O heavens, that I must

So distant from my heart ! [Aside.

[To Tor.] How now ! AVhat boldness brings you
back again ?

Tor. I heard 'twas your command.

Leo. A fond mistake.
To credit so unlikely a command ;
And you return, full of the same presumption.
To affront me with your love !

Tor. If 'tis presumption, for a wretch cotidemn'd
To throw himself beneath his judge's feet ;
A boldness more than this I never knew ;
Or, if I did, 'twas only to your foes.

Leo. You would insinuate your past services.
And those, I grant, were great ; but you confess
A fault committed since, that cancels all.


Tor. And who could dare to disavow his crime,
When that, for which he is accused and seized,
He bears about him stiU ! INly eyes confess it ;
My every action speaks my heart aloud.
But, oh, the madness of my high attempt
Speaks louder yet ! and all together cry, —
I love and I despair.

Leo. Have you not heard,
]\ly father, with his dying voice, bequeath'd
JNly crown and me to Bertran ? And dare you,
A private man, presume to love a queen ?

Tor. That, that's the wound ! I see you set so high,
As no desert or sei-vices can reach. —
Good heavens, why gave you me a monarch's soul.
And crusted it with base plebeian clay ?
Why gave you me desires of such extent.
And such a span to grasp them ? Sure, my lot
By some o'er-hasty angel was misplaced

In fate's eternal volume !- But I rave,

And, like a giddy bird in dead of night,
Fly round the fire that scorches me to death.

Leo. Yet, Torrismond, you've not so ill deserved.
But I may give you counsel for your cure.

Tor. I cannot, nay, 1 wish not to be cured.

Leo. \_Aside.'\ Nor I, heaven knows !

Tor. There is a pleasure, sure.
In being mad, which none but madmen knoAV !
Let me indulge it ; let me gaze for ever !
And, since you are too great to be beloved,
Be greater, greater yet, and be adored.

Leo. These are the words which I must only hear
From Bertran's mouth ; they should displease from

you :
I say they should ; but women are so vain.
To like the love, tliough they despise the lover.
Yet, that I may not send you from my sight
In absolute despair, — I pity you.


Tor. Am I then pitied ! I have lived enoiifh !

Death, take me in this moment of my joy ;
But, when my soul is plunged in long oblivion,
Spare this one thought ! let me remember pity,
And, so deceived, think all my life was bless'd.

L,eo. What if I add a little to my alms ?
If that would help, I could cast in a tear
To your misfortunes.

Tor. A tear ! You have o'erbid all my })ast suf-
And all my future too !

Leo. Were I no queen —
Or you of royal blood

Tor. What have I lost by my forefathers' fault !
Why was not I the twentieth by descent
From a Ions restive race of droninjr kings ?
I^ove ! what a poor omnipotence hast thou,
When gold and titles buy thee !

Leo. \Siglis?i^ Oh, my torture !

Tor. INIight I presume, — but, oh, I dare not hope
That sigh was added to your alms for me !

IjCo. I give you leave to guess, and not forbid you
To make the best construction for your love :
Be secret and discreet ; these fairy favours
Are lost, when not conceal'd.* — Provoke not Ber-

tran. —
Retire : I must no more but this, — Hope, Torris-
mond. {Exit.

Tor. She bids me hope; oh heavens, she pities me !
And pity still foreruns approaching love,

* Alluding to the common superstition, that the continuance
of the favours of fairies depends upon the receiver's secrecy : —
" This is fairy gold, hoy, and 'twill prove so ; up with it, keep it
close ; houjc, home, the nearest ua^. We are lucky, boy, and
to be so still, requires nothing but secrecy." Winter's Talc.


As lightning does the thunder ! Tune your harps,
Ye angels, to that sound ; and thou, my heart,
JNIake room to entertain thy flowing joy.
Hence, all my griefs and every anxious care !
One word, and one kind glance, can cure despair.

SCENE II.— A Chamber. A Table and Wine set


Enter Lorenzo.

Lor. This may hit ; 'tis more than barely pos-
sible ; for friars have free admittance into every
house. This jacobin, whom I have sent to, is her
confessor ; and who can suspect a man of such re-
verence for a pimp ? I'll try for once ; I'll bribe him
high ; for commonly none love money better than
they, who have made a vow of poverty.

Enter Se?%'anf.

Serv. There's a huge, fat, religious gentleman
coming up, sir. He says he's but a friar, but he's big
enough to be a pope ; his gills are as rosy as a tur-
key-cock's ; his great belly walks in state before
him, like an harbinger ; and his gouty legs come
limping after it : Never was such a ton of devotion

Lor. Bring him in, and vanish. [Exit Servant.

Enter Father Dominick.

Lor. Welcome, father.

Dom. Peace be here : I thought I had been sent
for to a dying man ; to have fitted him for another

Lor. No, faith, father, I was never for taking
sucli long journeys. Repose yourself, I beseech you,


sir, if those spindle legs of yours will carry you to
the next chair.

Dom. I am old, I iini infirm, I must confess, with

Lor. 'Tis a sign by your wan complexion, and
your thin jowls, father. Come, to our better ac-
quaintance : — here's a sovereign remedy for old age
and sorrow. \_l)nnl\s.

Dom. The looks of it are indeed alluring : I'll do
you reason. \_DnnJcs.

Lor. Is it to your palate, father ?
Dom. Second thoughts, they say, are best : I'll
consider of it once again. [^DrinJes.^ It has a most
delicious flavour with it. Gad forgive me, I have
forgotten to drink your health, son, I am not used
to be so unmannerly. \_Drinks again.

Lor. No, I'll be sworn, by what I see of you, you

are not. To the bottom ; — I warrant him a true

church-man. — Now, father, to our business : 'tis
agreeable to your calling ; I do intend to do an act
of charity.

Dom. And I love to hear of charity ; 'tis a com-
fortable subject.

Lor. Being in the late battle, in great hazard of
my life, I recommended my person to good Saint

Dom. You could not have pitched upon a bet-
ter ; he's a sure card ; I never knew him fail his

Lor. Troth, I also made bold to strike up a bar-
gain with him, that, if I escaped with life and plun-
der, I would present some brother of his order with
part of the booty taken from the infidels, to be em-
ployed in charitable uses.

Dmn. There vou hit him ; Saint Dominick loves


charity exceedingly ; that argument never fails with

Lor. The spoils were mighty ; and I scorn to
wrong him of a farthing. To make short my sto-
ry ; 1 inquired among the jacobins for an almoner,
and the general fume has pointed out your reve-
rence as the worthiest man : — here are fifty good
pieces in this purse.

Doi?i. How, fifty pieces ? 'tis too much, too much,
in conscience.

Lor. Here, take them, father.

Do?fi. No, in troth, I dare not ; do not tempt me
to break my vow of poverty.

Lor. If you are modest, I must force you ; for I
am strongest.

Do?n. Nay, if you compel me, there's no contend-
ing ; but, will you set your strength against a de-
crepit, poor old man ? [Takes the Purse. ^ As I said,
'tis too great a bounty ; but Saint Dominick shall
owe you another scape : I'll put him in mind of you.

Lor. If you please, father, we will not trouble
him till the next battle. But you may do me a
greater kindness, by conveying my prayers to a fe-
male saint.

Dom. A female saint ! good now, good now, how
your devotions jump with mine ! I always loved the
female saints.

Lor. I mean, a female, mortal, married- woman-
saint : Look upon the superscription of this note ;
you know Hon Gomez's wife. \_Gives him a Letter.

1)07)1. Who? Honna Elvira? I think I have some
reason ; I am her ghostly father.

Lor. I have some business of importance with her,
which 1 have communicated in this paper ; but her
lju.s])and is so horribly given to be jealous,

Dom. Ho, jealous ? he's the very quintessence of


jealousy ; he keeps no male creature in liis house ;
and from abroad he lets no man come near her.

Lor. Exceptnig you, father.

Dom. Me, I grant you ; I am her director and
her guide in spiritual affairs. But he has his hu-
mours with me too ; for t'other day he called me
false apostle.

Lor. Did he so ? that reflects upon you all ; on
my word, father, that touches your copy-liold. If
you would do a meritorious action, you might re-
venge the church's quarrel. — INiy letter, father,

Dom. AVell, so far as a letter, I will take upon
me ; for what can I refuse to a man so charitably
given ?

Lor. If you bring an answer back, that purse in
your hand has a twin-brother, as like him as ever
he can look ; there are fifty pieces lie dormant in
it, for more charities.

Dom. That must not be ; not a farthing more,
upon my priesthood. — But what may be the pur-
port and meaning of this letter ? that, I confess, a
little troubles me.

Lor. No harm, I warrant you.

Dom. Well, you are a charitable man ; and I'll
take your w^ord : my comfort is, I know not the
contents ; and so far I am blameless. But an an-
swer you shall have ; though not for the sake of
your lifty pieces more : I have sworn not to take
them ; they shall not be altogether fifty. Your
mistress — forgive me, that I should call her your
mistress, I meant Elvira, — lives but at next door :^
I'll visit her immediately ; but not a word more of
the nine-and-forty pieces.

Lor. Nay, I'll w^ait on you down stairs. — Fifty
pounds for the postage of a letter ! to send by the
church, is certainly the dearest road in Christendom.



SCENE III— y^ Chamber.

Enter Gomez and Elvira.

Goni. Henceforth I banish flesh and wine : I'll
have none stirring within these walls these twelve

EIv. I care not ; the sooner I am starved, the
sooner I am rid of wedlock. I shall learn the knack
to fast o' days ; you have used me to fasting nights

Gom. How the gipsey answers me ! Oh, 'tis a
most notorious hilding.

Elv. [^Crijing\] But was ever poor innocent crea-
ture so hardly dealt with, for a little harmless chat ?

Gom. Oh, the impudence of this wicked sex !
Lascivious dialogues are iimocent with you !

Elv. Was it such a crime to inquire how the
battle passed ?

Gom. But that was not the business, gentlewo-
man : you were not asking news of a battle passed ;
you were engaging for a skirmish that was to come.

Elv. An honest woman would be glad to hear,
that her honour was safe, and her enemies were

Gom. {In her tone.] And to ask, if he were wound-
ed in your defence ; and, in case he were, to offer
yourself to be his chirurgeon : — then, you did not
describe your husband to him, for a covetous, jea-
lous, rich, old hunks.

Elv. No, I need not ; he desci'ibes himself suffi-
ciently : but, in what dream did I do this ?

Go7?i. You walked in your sleep, with your eyes
broad open, at noon-day ; and dreamt you were
talking to the foresaid purpose with one Colonel


Elv. AVho, dear husband, who ?

Gom. What the devil have I said ? — You would
have farther information, would you ?

Elv. No ; but my dear little old man, tell me

Online LibraryJohn DrydenThe works of John Dryden, now first collected in eighteen volumes (Volume 6) → online text (page 26 of 31)