Imatges de pàgina

him to concern himself about. He teaches his children his own idolatries, and he envelopes himself in the complacent reflections, that, thank God, he is rich, whoever is poor ; that the sun of heaven shines upon nothing more worthy of pursuit than wealth, and that other people may take care of themselves.

“Hard words !" cries the reader,—"a portrait of John Bull prompted by envy or spleen-no virtues bestowed upon honest John!" Our virtues are seldom written in water if we ourselves can help ittheir enumeration never chastens us-John Bull flatters himself enough ;-to recall his faults may not please, but may arouse some step towards their amendment.


(Continued from page 410.)


Scene I.-Interior of the Tower.
I'm here, it seems, in an enchanted tow'r.
If they would kill me thus for what I know,
What will they do for that which I know not.
That I a man with such a hungry tooth
Should die a living death ? I can't refrain
From pitying myself, for all will say,
As I believe, and 'tis most credible
That such a silence can but ill accord
With such a name as Clarin. I must speak.
To say the truth, my only comrades here
Are mice and spiders-most sweet linnets those !
Still my poor head is ringing with the dreams
Of this eventful night ; 'tis full of fancies,
Of shawms and trumpets, crosses and processions ;
Of penitents, some rising, others sinking,
While some were frightened, gazing on the blood
The others shed. I, to confess the truth,
Am only frightened having nought to eat.
For here within this prison I find myself
Where all day long I must peruse the works
Of Nicomedes the philosopher,
Studying through the night the Nicene Council. +

* The old joke on "trumpet."

of These jokes of Clarin are darker than his own tower. From the German Fersion of Griess, I suspect that some pun is intended by the words “ Nicomedes," and “ Niceno," the former perhaps meaning “eat-nothing," and the latter "10 supper." Any hint from a Spanish scholar will be thankfully received.-J. 0.

If silence, as in a new almanac,
Be now a saint, Saint Secret is my patron,
For without respite do I fast for him.
Yet have I well deserved this punishment,
For having kept my silence, when a servant-
There could not be a greater sacrilege.
(The sound of drums and trumpets-voices heard

behind the scenes.) 1st Soldier. He's in this tow'r! Come here—break down the door,

And enter all of you-

They're seeking me,
That's clear enough; they say that I am here.

What would they have with me? 1st Soldier.

Come, enter all.

Enter Soldiers. 2nd Soldier. Yes, here he is. Clarin.

No, he is not. All.

My lord !
Clarin (aside). Surely, they all are drunk.
1st Soldier.

Thou art our prince,
We will admit none but our native lord ;
We'll have no foreign ruler. Let us, pray,

Salute thy feet.

Long live our mighty Prince !
Clarin (aside). Faith, they're in earnest. Is't the custom here

Daily to pick out some one for a Prince,
And then to clap him in the tow'r? It must be-
For ev'ry day I see it; and at best
1, too, must play my part.

Give us thy feet.
Clarin. I cannot, as I want them for myself.

A footless Prince would be a sorry wight. Two Soldiers. We all have told thy father, we will own

None for our Prince but thee; we will not have

The Muscovite.

What! had you for my father
No more respect? I see you're, one and all,

A scurvy crew. 1st Soldier.

It was our loyalty. Clarin. Nay, if 'twas loyalty, I pardon you. 2nd Soldier. Come, hasten with us to regain thy realm.

Long live great Sigismund ! All.

Long live our Prince !


Clarin (aside). They call me Sigismund. Aye, true, I see

That is the name they have for their mock princes.*

Sigismund. Who calls on Sigismund ?
Clarin (aside).

There goes my Princehood. 1st Soldier. Who, then, is Sigismund ? Sigismund.

I am. 2nd Soldier.

Then why,
Audacious fool, didst thou pretend to be

Prince Sigismund ?

I Sigismund ? Not I. 'Twas only you that Sigismundizedt me;

Hence the audacious folly is your own.
1st Soldier. Great Sigismund, the standards that we bear

Are thine; our faith proclaims thee as our lord.
Thy father, great Basilio, being fearful
The heavens may fulfil a prophecy,
Which says, that he will at thy feet be bowed,
A conquer'd man, attempts to take from thee
Thy lawful rights, and give them to Astolfo,
The Duke of Muscovy. To gain this end,
His court he summoned; but the people knowing
They have a natural monarch, will not suffer
A stranger to reign o'er them; and despising,
With noble feeling, all the threats of fate,
Have sought thee here, where thou art prisoner.
They hope that thou, assisted by their arms,
Leaving thy dungeon, and thy crown regaining,
Will free them from a tyrant. Come, then, Prince !
For in this desert is a num'rous band
Of outlaws and plebeians, who invite thee.

Liberty waits thee, hear her accents there!
Voices (behind the scenes). Long live great Sigismund!

A second time?
What can this mean, ye heavens? Do ye wish
That I should dream again of majesty,
And time once more dispel it? Do ye wish
That I among illusions and mere shadows
Should see my glories scattered by the winds ?
Again shall I be undeceived, again
Incur that peril to which human pow'r

* There is some humour in this notion of Clarin's, who has seen the rise and fall of Sigismund, and who thinks he, in his turn, may be a prince for a day. The situation altogether is comic ; but the joke of “wanting his feet for himself," is dreadfully poor.-J. O.

† Segismundeasteis.-J. O.

Is subject at its birth and fears through life?
It must not be-Oh, no-it must not be !
See, I am once more subject to my fate.
But as I know that life is but a dream,
Hence, empty shadows, who would fain persuade
My deadened senses you have voice and body,
Although no real form and voice are yours.
I wish not this feigned majesty-I wish not
Fantastic pomps, and vain illusive shows,
Which vanish at the lightest breath of air.
Thus is it with the almond tree-too soon,
Too unadvisedly,* it bears its flow'rs,
Which fade with the least breeze, and thus despoil
Its rosy locks of light and ornament.
I know ye well, -Oh, yes, I know ye well,
And that ye fare the same with every dreamer.
For me there's no illusion ; undeceived,

Too well I know that life is but a dream.
2nd Soldier. Nay, if thou think'st that we deceive thee, look

On this proud mountain-mark the people there,

Who long but to obey thee.

Once before
That very sight I saw, and as distinctly

As now I see it - and it was a dream. 2nd Soldier. Omens, my lord, have ever gone before

Mighty events; and if such were thy dream,

It was an omen. ,

Thou art right; it was.
And if 'twere real, yet is life but short,
And so we'll dream, my soul, a second time;
Yet with due caution, and reflecting well,
That we must waken from our highest joy.
Having this knowledge, we shall feel less grief
When we are undeceived ; we mock our ills
If we anticipate them. Knowing, too,
That if our pow'r is a reality,
It is but lent, and must return anon
Unto its master, we may venture all.
Subjects, I thank you for your loyalty ;
You have in me a bold and skilful leader,
To free you from this foreign servitude.
Sound, then, to arms! My valour you shall see,
I will attack my father, and to prove
The truth of heaven, bring him to my feet.
(Aside.) Yet should I wake-methinks it would be better
Not to speak thus, if I do nought at last.

* This personification is in the original :

“Sin aviso y sin consejo."

All. Long live great Sigismund !


What noise is this?
Sigismund. Clotaldo !
Clotaldo. What ! my lord I now shall feel

The weight of all his anger.
Clarin (aside).

I would lay That Sigismund will pitch him from the mountain. (Exit. Clotaldo. I humbly kneel before thy royal feet,

And know I have to die.

Arise, good father,
For thou must be my north star and my guide,
To whom I trust my fortunes. Well I know
That all my education was the fruit

Of thy great loyalty. Embrace me.

How ? Sigismund. I know I'm dreaming, and I would act justly.

Good deeds will not be lost, although in dreams.
Clotaldo. My lord, if doing well be thy high boast,

It is most certain I shall not offend
When asking the same glory for myself.
Art marching now against thy noble sire ?
I cannot counsel thee against my king,
Nor aid in any way; but still I lie

Before thy feet, and ask for death.

Traitorous wretch !-(Aside.) No, I must curb myself;
I know not if I am awake C lotaldo,
I envy and acknowledge thy high worth.
Go! serve thy king-we'll see thee in the field,

And you, there, sound to arms !

A thousand times
I kiss thy feet.

[Exit. Sigismund.

Thus, fortune, we march on
To empire. Do not wake me if I dream;
But let me keep awake if it be truth.
And whether all be truth or a mere dream,
I must act justly ;- if all be a truth
Because 'tis true, and if it be a dream,
To secure friends against the time I wake.

(Exeunt, drums beating. Scene II.-Chamber in the Royal Palace.

Enter King Basilio and Astolfo. Basilio. Astolfo, who can check an unreined steed?

« AnteriorContinua »