John Dryden.

The works of John Dryden, $c now first collected in eighteen volumes. $p Volume 02 online

. (page 8 of 27)
Online LibraryJohn DrydenThe works of John Dryden, $c now first collected in eighteen volumes. $p Volume 02 → online text (page 8 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

The wit is ended ere the play's begun.
You now have habits, dances, scenes, and rhymes;
High language often; ay, and sense, sometimes.
As for a clear contrivance, doubt it not;
They blow out candles to give light to th' plot.
And for surprise, two bloody-minded men
Fight till they die, then rise and dance again.
Such deep intrigues you're welcome to this day:
But blame yourselves, not him who writ the play;
Though his plot's dull, as can be well desired,
Wit stiff as any you have e'er admired:
He's bound to please, not to write well; and knows,
There is a mode in plays as well as clothes;
Therefore, kind judges -

_Second Prologue enters_.

2. - Hold; would you admit
For judges all you see within the pit?

1. Whom would he then except, or on what score?

2. All, who (like him) have writ ill plays before;
For they, like thieves condemned, are hangmen made,
To execute the members of their trade.
All that are writing now he would disown,
But then he must except - even all the town;
All cholerick, losing gamesters, who, in spite,
Will damn to day, because they lost last night;
All servants, whom their mistress' scorn upbraids;
All maudlin lovers, and all slighted maids;
All, who are out of humour, or severe;
All, that want wit, or hope to find it here.


DON GONSALVO DE PERALTA, _a young gentleman newly arrived from the
Indies, in love with_ JULIA.
DON RODORIGO DE SYLVA, _in love with the same lady_.

JULIA, _elder sister to_ DON MANUEL, _promised to_ RODORIGO.
HONORIA, _younger sister to_ DON MANUEL, _disguised in the
habit of a man, and going by the name of_ HIPPOLITO, _in love
ANGELINA, _sister to_ DON RODORIGO, _in man's habit, likewise
in love with_ GONSALVO, _and going by the name of_ AMIDEO.

_Servants, Robbers, Seamen, and Masquers_.

SCENE - _Alicant_.



SCENE I - _A Wood_.

_Enter_ GONSALVO _and a Servant_.

_Gon_. Nay, 'twas a strange as well as cruel storm,
To take us almost in the port of Sevile,
And drive us up as far as Barcelona;
The whole plate fleet was scattered, some part wrecked;
There one might see the sailors diligent
To cast o'erboard the merchant's envied wealth,
While he, all pale and dying, stood in doubt,
Whether to ease the burden of the ship,
By drowning of his ingots, or himself.

_Serv_. Fortune, sir, is a woman everywhere,
But most upon the sea.

_Gons_. Had that been all,
I should not have complained; but, ere we could
Repair our ship, to drive us back again,
Was such a cruelty -

_Serv_. Yet that short time you staid at Barcelona
You husbanded so well, I think you left
A mistress there.

_Gons_. I made some small essays
Of love; what might have been I cannot tell:
But, to leave that, upon what part of Spain
Are we now cast?

_Serv_. Sir, I take that city to be Alicant.

_Gons_. Some days must of necessity be spent
In looking to our ship; then back again
For Sevile.

_Serv_. There you're sure you shall be welcome.

_Gons_. Aye, if my brother Rodoric be returned
From Flanders; but 'tis now three years since I
Have heard from him, and, since I saw him, twelve.

_Serv_. Your growth, and your long absence in the Indies,
Have altered you so much, he'll scarcely know you.

_Gons_. I'm sure I should not him, and less my sister;
Who, when I with my uncle went this voyage,
Was then one of those little prating girls,
Of whom fond parents tell such tedious stories:
Well, go you back.

_Serv_. I go, sir.

_Gons_. And take care
None of the seamen slip ashore.

_Serv_. I shall, sir. [_Exit Servant_.

_Gons_. I'll walk a little while among these trees,
Now the fresh evening air blows from the hills,
And breathes the sweetness of the orange flowers
Upon me, from the gardens hear the city.

_Robbers within_.

_1 Rob_. I say, make sure, and kill him.

_Hip_. For heaven's dear sake have pity on my youth.


_Gons_. Some violence is offered in the wood
By robbers to a traveller: Whoe'er
Thou art, humanity obliges me
To give thee succour.

_Hip_. Help! ah cruel men! [_Within_.

_Gons_. This way, I think, the voice came; 'tis not far. [_Exit_.

_The_ SCENE _draws, and discovers_ HIPPOLITO _bound to a
tree, and two Robbers by him with drawn swords_.

_2 Rob_. Strip him, and let him go.

_1 Rob_. Dispatch him quite; off with his doublet quickly.

_Hip_. Ah me, unfortunate!

_Enter_ GONSALVO, _seizes the sword of one of them, and runs
him through; then, after a little resistance, disarms the other_.

_2 Rob_. If you have mercy in you, spare my life;
I never was consenting to a deed
So black as murder, though my fellow urged me:
I only meant to rob, and I am punished
Enough, in missing of my wicked aim.

_Gons_. Do they rob angels here? This sweet youth has
A face so like one, which I lately saw,
It makes your crime of kin to sacrilege:
But live; and henceforth
Take nobler courses to maintain your life:
Here's something that will rescue you from want,
'Till you can find employment.
[_Gives him gold, and unbinds_ HIPPOLITO.

_Hip_. What strange adventure's this! How little hoped I,
When thus disguised I stole from Barcelona,
To be relieved by brave Gonsalvo here? [_Aside_.

_2 Rob_. That life, you have preserved, shall still be yours;
And that you may perceive, how much my nature
Is wrought upon by this your generous act,
That goodness, you have shown to me, I'll use
To others for your sake, if you dare trust me
A moment from your sight.

_Gons_. Nay, take your sword;
I will not so much crush a budding virtue,
As to suspect. [_Gives him his sword. Exit Robber_.
- Sweet youth, you shall not leave me,
Till I have seen you safe.

_Hip_. You need not doubt it:
Alas! I find I cannot, if I would:
I am but freed to be a greater slave: [_Aside_.
How much am I obliged, sir, to your valour!

_Gons_. Rather to your own sweetness, pretty youth;
You must have been some way preserved, though I
Had not been near; my aid did but prevent
Some miracle more slowly setting out
To save such excellence.

_Hip_. How much more gladly could I hear those words,
If he, that spoke them, knew he spoke to me! [_Aside_.

_Enter the Robber again with Don_ MANUEL, _and_
JULIA, _bound_.

My brother and my sister prisoners too!
They cannot sure discover me through this
Disguise; however, I'll not venture it.
[_Steps behind the trees_.

_2 Rob_. This gentleman and lady
[_To_ GONS. _privately_.
My fellows bound. [_Exit Robber_.

_Man_. We must prepare to die;
This is the captain of the Picarons.

_Jul_. Methinks he looks like one; I have a strange
Aversion to that man; he's fatal to me.

_Gons_. I ne'er saw excellence in womankind
[_Stares on her_.
Till now, and yet discern it at the first:
Perfection is discovered in a moment;
He, that ne'er saw the sun before, yet knows him.

_Jul_. How the villain stares upon me!

_Gons_. Wonder prepares my soul, and then love enters:
But wonder is so close pursued by love,
That, like a fire, it warms as soon as born.

_Man_. If we must die, what need these circumstances?

_Jul_. Heaven defend me from him!

_Gons_. Why, madam, can you doubt a rudeness from me?
Your very fears and griefs create an awe,
Such majesty they bear; methinks, I see
Your soul retired within her inmost chamber.
Like a fair mourner sit in state, with all
The silent pomp of sorrow round about her.

_Man_. Your language does express a man, bred up
To worthier ways than those you follow now.

_Gons_. What does he mean? [_Aside_.

_Man_. If (as it seems) you love; love is a passion,
Which kindles honour into noble acts:
Restore my sister's liberty; oblige her,
And see what gratitude will work.

_Gons_. All this is stranger yet.

_Man_. Whate'er a brother's power
To-morrow can do for you, claim it boldly.

_Gons_. I know not why you think yourselves my prisoners;
This lady's freedom is a thing too precious
To be disposed by any but herself:
But value this small service as you please,
Which you reward too prodigally, by
Permitting me to pay her more.

_Jul_. Love from an outlaw? from a villain, love?
If I have that power on thee, thou pretend'st,
Go and pursue thy mischiefs, but presume not
To follow me: - Come, brother. [_Ex_. Jul. _and_ Man.

_Gons_. Those foul names of outlaw and of villain
I never did deserve: They raise my wonder. [_Walks_.
Dull that I was, not to find this before!
She took me for the captain of the robbers;
It must be so; I'll tell her her mistake.

[_Goes out hastily, and returns immediately_.

She's gone, she's gone, and who or whence she is
I cannot tell; methinks, she should have left
A track so bright, I might have followed her;
Like setting suns, that vanish in a glory.
O villain that I am! O hated villain!

_Enter_ HIPPOLITO _again_.

_Hip_. I cannot suffer you to wrong yourself
So much; for, though I do not know your person,
Your actions are too fair, too noble, sir,
To merit that foul name.

_Gons_. Pr'ythee, do not flatter me; I am a villain;
That admirable lady said I was.

_Hip_. I fear, you love her, sir.

_Gons_. No, no, not love her:
Love is the name of some more gentle passion;
Mine is a fury, grown up in a moment
To an extremity, and lasting in it;
An heap of powder set on fire, and burning
As long as any ordinary fuel.

_Hip_. How could he love so soon? and yet, alas!
What cause have I to ask that question,
Who loved him the first minute that I saw him?
I cannot leave him thus, though I perceive
His heart engaged another way. [_Aside_.

Sir, can you have such pity on my youth, [To Him.
On my forsaken and my helpless youth,
To take me to your service?

_Gons_. Would'st thou serve
A madman? how can he take care of thee,
Whom fortune and his reason have abandoned?
A man, that saw, and loved, and disobliged,
Is banished, and is mad, all in a moment.

_Hip_. Yet you alone have title to my service;
You make me yours by your preserving me:
And that's the title heaven has to mankind.

_Gons_. Pr'ythee, no more.

_Hip_. I know your mistress too.

_Gons_. Ha! dost thou know the person I adore?
Answer me quickly; speak, and I'll receive thee:
Hast thou no tongue?

_Hip_. Why did I say I knew her?
All I can hope for, if I have my wish
To live with him, is but to be unhappy. [Aside.

_Gons_. Thou false and lying boy, to say thou knew'st
Pr'ythee, say something, though thou cozen'st me.

_Hip_. Since you will know, her name is Julia, sir,
And that young gentleman you saw, her brother,
Don Manuel de Torres.

_Gons_. Say I should take thee, boy, and should
employ thee
To that fair lady, would'st thou serve me faithfully?

_Hip_. You ask me an hard question: I can die
For you; perhaps I cannot woo so well.

_Gons_. I knew thou would'st not do't.

_Hip_. I swear I would:
But, sir, I grieve to be the messenger
Of more unhappy news; she must be married
This day to one Don Roderick de Sylva,
Betwixt whom and her brother there has been.
A long (and it was thought a mortal) quarrel,
But now it must for ever end in peace:
For, happening both to love each others sisters,
They have concluded it in a cross marriage;
Which, in the palace of Don Rodorick,
They went to celebrate from their countryhouse,
When, taken by the thieves, you rescued them.

_Gons_. Methinks I am grown patient on a sudden,
And all my rage is gone: like losing gamesters,
Who fret and storm, and swear at little losses;
But, when they see all hope of fortune vanished,
Submit, and gain a temper by their ruin.

_Hip_. Would you could cast this love, which troubles you,
Out of your mind!

_Gons_. I cannot, boy; but since
Her brother, with intent to cozen me,
Made me the promise of his best assistance,
I'll take some course to be revenged of him.

[_Is going out_.

But stay - I charge thee, boy, discover not
To any, who I am.

_Hip_. Alas, I cannot, sir; I know you not.

_Gons_. Why, there's it; I am mad again; Oh love!

_Hip_. Oh love! [_Exeunt_.


_Enter two Servants of Don_ RODORICK'S, _placing
chairs, and talking as they place them_.

_1 Serv_. Make ready quickly there; Don Manuel
And his fair sister, that must be our lady,
Are coming in.

_2 Serv_. They have been long expected;
'Tis evening now, and the canonic hours
For marriage are past.

_1 Serv_. The nearer bedtime,
The better still; my lord will not defer it:
He swears, the clergy are no fit judges
Of our necessities.

_2 Serv_. Where is my lord?

_1 Serv_. Gone out to meet his bride.

_2 Serv_. I wonder that my lady Angelina
Went not with him; she's to be married too.

_1 Serv_. I do not think she fancies much the man:
Only, to make the reconcilement perfect
Betwixt the families, she's passive in it;
The choice being but her brother's, not her own.

_2 Serv_. Troth, were't my case, I cared not who
chose for me.

_1 Serv_. Nor I; 'twould save the process of a tedious
A long law-suit of love, which quite consumes
An honest lover, ere he gets possession:
I would come plump, and fresh, and all my self,
Served up to my bride's bed like a fat fowl,
Before the frost of love had nipped me through.
I look on wives as on good dull companions,
For elder brothers to sleep out their time with;
All, we can hope for in the marriage-bed,
Is but to take our rest; and what care I,
Who lays my pillow for me?

_Enter a Poet with verses_.

_1 Serv_. Now, what's your business, friend?

_Poet_. An epithalamium, to the noble bridegrooms.

_1 Serv_. Let me see; what's here? as I live,
[_Takes it_.
Nothing but downright bawdry: Sirrah, rascal,
Is this an age for ribaldry in verse;
When every gentleman in town speaks it
With so much better grace, than thou canst write it?
I'll beat thee with a stave of thy own rhymes.

_Poet_. Nay, good sir - [_Runs off, and Exit_.

_2 Serv_. Peace, they are here.

[_Enter_ Don RODORICK, _Don_ MANUEL, JULIA, _and Company_.

_1 Serv_. My lord looks sullenly, and fain would
hide it.

_2 Serv_. Howe'er he weds Don Manuel's sister, yet
I fear he's hardly reconciled to him.

_Jul_. I tremble at it still.

_Rod_. I must confess
Your danger great; but, madam, since 'tis past,
To speak of it were to renew your fears.
My noble brother, welcome to my breast.
Some, call my sister; say, Don Manuel,
Her bridegroom, waits.

_Man_. Tell her, in both the houses
There now remains no enemy but she.

_Rod_. In the mean time let's dance; madam, I
hope You'll grace me with your hand. -

[_Enter_ LEONORA, _woman to_ ANGELINA; _takes the two men aside_.

_Leon_. O sir, my lady Angelina -

_Rod_. Why comes she not?

_Leon_. Is fallen extremely sick.

_Both_. How?

_Leon_. Nay, trouble not yourselves too much;
These fits are usual with her, and not dangerous.

_Rod_. O rarely counterfeited.

_Man_. May not I see her?

_Leon_. She does, by me, deny herself that honour.
[_As she speaks, steals a note into his hand_.
I shall return, I hope, with better news;
In the mean time she prays, you'll not disturb
The company.
[_Exit _LEONORA.

_Rod_. This troubles me exceedingly.

_Man_. A note put privately into my hand
By Angelina's woman? She's my creature:
There's something in't; I'll read it to myself. -

_Rod_. Brother, what paper's that?

_Man_. Some begging verses,
Delivered me this morning on my wedding.

_Rod_. Pray, let me see them.

_Man_. I have many copies,
Please you to entertain yourself with these.
[_Gives him another paper_. MANUEL _reads_.

_My lady feigns this sickness to delude you:
Her brother hates you still; and the plot is,
That he shall marry first your sister,
And then deny you his_. -

_Yours_, LEONORA.


_Since I writ this, I have so wrought upon her,
(Who, of herself, is timorous enough)
That she believes her brother will betray her,
Or else be forced to give her up to you;
Therefore, unknown to him, she means to fly:
Come to the garden door at seven this evening,
And there you may surprise her; mean time, I
Will keep her ignorant of all things, that
Her fear may still increase_.

_Enter_ LEONORA _again_.

_Rod_. How now? How does your lady?

_Leon_. So ill, she cannot possibly wait on you.

_Man_. Kind heaven, give me her sickness!

_Rod_. Those are wishes:
What's to be done?

_Man_. We must defer our marriages.

_Rod_. Leonora, now! [_Aside to her_

_Leon_. My lady, sir, has absolutely charged,
Her brother's should go forward.

_Rod_. Absolutely!

_Leon_. Expressly, sir; because, she says, there are
So many honourable persons here,
Whom to defraud of their intended mirth,
And of each others company, were rude:
So, hoping your excuse - [_Exit_ LEONORA.

_Rod_. That privilege of power, which brothers have
In Spain, I never used, therefore submit
My will to hers; but with much sorrow, sir,
My happiness should go before, not wait
On yours: Lead on.

_Man_. Stay, sir; though your fair sister, in respect
To this assembly, seems to be content
Your marriage should proceed, we must not want
So much good manners as to suffer it.

_Rod_. So much good manners, brother?

_Man_. - I have said it.
Should we, to show our sorrow for her sickness,
Provoke our easy souls to careless mirth,
As if our drunken revels were designed
For joy of what she suffers?

_Rod_. 'Twill be over
In a few days.

_Man_. Your stay will be the less.

_Rod_. All things are now in readiness, and must not
Be put off, for a peevish humour thus.

_Man_. They must; or I shall think you mean not fairly.

_Rod_. Explain yourself.

_Man_. That you would marry first,
And afterwards refuse me Angelina.

_Rod_. - Think so.

_Man_. You are -

_Rod_. Speak softly.

_Man_. A foul villain.

_Rod_. Then -

_Man_. Speak softly.

_Rod_. I'll find a time to tell you, you are one.

_Man_. 'Tis well.
Ladies, you wonder at our private whispers,
[_To the company_.
But more will wonder when you know the cause;
The beauteous Angelina is fallen ill;
And, since she cannot with her presence grace
This day's solemnity, the noble Roderick
Thinks fit it be deferred, 'till she recover;
Then, we both hope to have your companies.

_Lad_. Wishing her health, we take our leaves.
[_Exeunt company_.
_Rod_. Your sister yet will marry me.

_Man_. She will not: Come hither, Julia.

_Jul_. What strange afflicting news is this you tell us?

_Man_. 'Twas all this false man's plot, that when he had
Possest you, he might cheat me of his sister.

_Jul_. Is this true, Roderick? - Alas, his silence
Does but too much confess it: How I blush
To own that love, I cannot yet take from thee!
Yet for my sake be friends.

_Man_. 'Tis now too late:
I am by honour hindered.

_Rod_. I by hate.

_Jul_. What shall I do?

_Man_. Leave him, and come away;
Thy virtue bids thee.

_Jul_. But love bids me stay.

_Man_. Her love's so like my own, that I should blame
The brother's passion in the sister's flame.
Rodorick, we shall meet. - He little thinks
I am as sure this night of Angelina,
As he of Julia. [_Aside. Exit_ MANUEL.

_Rod_. Madam, to what an ecstasy of joy
Your goodness raises me! this was an act
Of kindness, which no service e'er can pay.

_Jul_. Yes, Rodorick, 'tis in your power to quit
The debt you owe me.

_Rod_. Do but name the way.

_Jul_. Then briefly thus; 'tis to be just to me,
As I have been to you.

_Rod_. You cannot doubt it.

_Jul_. You know I have adventured, for your sake,
A brother's anger, and the world's opinion:
I value neither; for a settled virtue
Makes itself judge, and, satisfied within,
Smiles at that common enemy, the world.
I am no more afraid of flying censures,
Than heaven of being fired with mounting sparkles.

_Rod_. But wherein must my gratitude consist?

_Jul_. Answer yourself, by thinking what is fit
For me to do.

_Rod_. By marriage, to confirm
Our mutual love.

_Jul_. Ungrateful Rodorick!
Canst thou name marriage, while thou entertain'st
A hatred so unjust against my brother?

_Rod_. But, unkind Julia, you know the causes
Of love and hate are hid deep in our stars,
And none but heaven can give account of both.

_Jul_. Too well I know it: for my love to thee
Is born by inclination, not by judgment;
And makes my virtue shrink within my heart,
As loth to leave it, and as loth to mingle.

_Rod_. What would you have me do?

_Jul_. Since I must tell thee,
Lead me to some near monastery; there
(Till heaven find out some way to make us happy)
I shall be kept in safety from my brother.

_Rod_. But more from me; what hopes can Rodorick
That she, who leaves him freely, and unforced,
Should ever of her own accord return?

_Jul_. Thou hast too great assurance of my faith,
That, in despite of my own self, I love thee.
Be friends with Manuel, I am thine; 'till when
My honour's. Lead me.


SCENE III. - _The representation of a Street discovered
by twilight_.

_Enter Don_ MANUEL, _solus_.

_Man_. This is the time and place, where I expect
My fugitive mistress; if I meet with her,
I may forget the wrongs, her brother did me;
If otherwise, his blood shall expiate them.
I hope her woman keeps her ignorant
How all things passed, according to her promise.

_A door opens, - Enter_ ANGELINA _in boy's clothes_.
LEONORA _behind at the door_.

_Leon_. I had forgot to tell him of this habit
She has put on; but sure he'll know her in it.


_Man_. Who goes there?

_Ang_. 'Tis Don Manuel's voice; I must run back:
The door shut on me? - Leonora! where? - Does
she not follow me? I am betrayed.

_Man_. What are you?

_Ang_. A poor boy.

_Man_. Do you belong to Rodorick?

_Ang_. Yes, I do.

_Man_. Here's money for you; tell me where's his

_Ang_. Just now I met her coming down the stairs,
Which lead into the garden.

_Man_. 'Tis well; leave me
In silence.

_Ang_. With all my heart; was ever such a 'scape?
[_Exit running_.

_Man_. She cannot now be long; sure by the moons shine
I shall discover her:

_Enter_ RODORICK _and_ JULIA.

This must be she; I'll seize her.

_Jul_. Help me, Roderick.

_Rod_. Unhand the lady, villain.

_Man_. Roderick!
I'm glad we meet alone; now is the time
To end our difference.

_Rod_. I cannot stay.

_Man_. You must.

_Rod_. I will not.

_Man_. 'Tis base to injure any man; but yet
Tis far more base, once done, not to defend it.

_Rod_. Is this an hour, for valiant men to fight?
They love the sun should witness what they do;
Cowards have courage, when they see not death;
And fearful hares, that sculk in forms all day,
Yet fight their feeble quarrels by the moonlight.

_Man_. No; light and darkness are but poor distinctions
Of such, whose courage comes by fits and starts.

_Rod_. Thou urgest me above my patience;
This minute of my life was not my own,
But hers, I love beyond it. [_They draw, and fight_.

_Jul_. Help, help! none hear me!
Heaven, I think, is deaf too:
O Roderick! O brother!


_Jul_. Whoe'er you are, if you have honour, part
them! [MANUEL _stumbles, and falls_.

_Gons_. Hold, sir, you are too cruel; he, that kills
At such advantage, fears to fight again.

[_Holds_ RODORICK.

_Man_. Cavalier, I may live to thank you for this
favour. [_Rises_.

_Rod_. I will not quit you so.

_Man_. I'll breathe, and then -

_Jul_. Is there no way to save their lives?

_Hip_. Run out of sight,
If 'tis concerning you they quarrel.

[JULIA _retires to a corner_.

_Hip_. Help, help, as you are cavaliers; the lady.
For whom you thus contend, is seized by some
Night-robbing villains.

_All_. Which way took they?

_Hip_. 'Twas so dark I could not see distinctly.

_Rod_. Let us divide; I this way. [_Exit_.

_Gons_. Down yonder street I'll take.

_Man_. And I down that. [_Exeunt severally_.

_Hip_. Now, madam, may we not lay by our fear?
They are all gone.

_Jul_. Tis true; but we are here,
Exposed to darkness, without guide or aid,
But of ourselves.

_Hip_. And of ourselves afraid.

_Jul_. These dangers, while 'twas light, I could
Then I was bold, but watched by many eyes:
Ah! could not heaven for lovers find a way,
That prying people still might sleep by day?


_Hip_. Methinks I'm certain I discover some.

_Jul_. This was your speaking of them, made them

_Hip_. There is but one, perhaps he may go by.

_Ang_. Where had I courage for this bold disguise,
Which more my nature than my sex belies?
Alas! I am betrayed to darkness here;
Darkness, which virtue hates, and maids most fear:

Online LibraryJohn DrydenThe works of John Dryden, $c now first collected in eighteen volumes. $p Volume 02 → online text (page 8 of 27)