Imatges de pÓgina
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As to its centre, to the walls of Antioch;

Take which you will you cannot miss your road. Demon. And such is ignorance! Even in the sight Of knowledge it can draw no profit from it.

But as it still is early, and as I

Have no acquaintances in Antioch,
Being a stranger there, I will even wait
The few surviving hours of the day,

Until the night shall conquer it.

I see

Both by your dress and by the books in which
You find delight and company, that you

Are a great student;-for my part, I feel
Much sympathy with such pursuits.

Сур.

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Have you

No, and yet I know enough

Pray, sir,

Many.

Alas!

What science may you know?

Demon.

Cyp.

Much pains must we expend on one alone,
And even then attain it not;-but you
Have the presumption to assert that you
Know many without study.

Demon.

And with truth.
For in the country whence I come, sciences
Require no learning,—they are known.
Cyp.

Oh, would

I were of that bright country! for in this
The more we study, we the more discover
Our ignorance.

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Had so much arrogance as to oppose

The chair of the most high Professorship,

And obtained many votes, and though I lost,

The attempt was still more glorious, than the failure Could be dishonourable: if you believe not,

Let us refer it to dispute respecting

That which you know best, and although I

Know not the opinion you maintain, and though
It be the true one, I will take the contrary.
Cyp. The offer gives me pleasure. I am now
Debating with myself upon a passage

Of Plinius, and my mind is racked with doubt
To understand and know who is the God
Of whom he speaks.

Demon.

It is a passage, if

I recollect it right, couched in these words:

"God is one supreme goodness, one pure essence, One substance, and one sense, all sight, all hands." Cyp. 'Tis true.

Demon.

What difficulty find you here? Cyp. I do not recognise among the Gods The God defined by Plinius; if he must Be supreme goodness, even Jupiter Is not supremely good; because we see His deeds are evil, and his attributes

Tainted with mortal weakness; in what manner
Can supreme goodness be consistent with

The passions of humanity?

Demon.

The wisdom

Of the old world masked with the names of Gods, The attributes of Nature and of Man;

A sort of popular philosophy.

Cyp. This reply will not satisfy me, for
Such awe is due to the high name of God
That ill should never be imputed. Then,
Examining the question with more care,

It follows, that the gods should always will
That which is best, were they supremely good.
How then does one will one thing-one another?
And you may not say that I allege
Poetical or philosophic learning:

Consider the ambiguous responses

Of their oracular statues; from two shrines
Two armies shall obtain the assurance of

One victory. Is it not indisputable

That two contending wills can never lead
To the same end? And being opposite,

If one be good is not the other evil?
Evil in God is inconceivable;

But supreme goodness fails among the gods
Without their union.

Demon.

I deny your major.
These responses are means towards some end
Unfathomed by our intellectual beam,

They are the work of providence, and more
The battle's loss may profit those who lose,

Than victory advantage those who win.

Cyp. That I admit, and yet that God should not
(Falsehood is incompatible with deity)
Assure the victory; it would be enough
To have permitted the defeat; if God
Be all sight,-God, who beheld the truth,
Would not have given assurance of an end
Never to be accomplished; thus, although
The Deity may according to his attributes
Be well distinguished into persons, yet
Even in the minutest circumstance,
His essence must be one.

Demon.
To attain the end
The affections of the actors in the scene
Must have been thus influenced by his voice.

Cyp. But for a purpose thus subordinate
He might have employed genii, good or evil, -
A sort of spirits called so by the learned,
Who roam about inspiring good or evil,
And from whose influence and existence we
May well infer our immortality:

Thus God might easily, without descending
To a gross falsehood in his proper person,
Have moved the affections by this mediation
To the just point.

Demon.

These trifling contradictions Do not suffice to impugn the unity

Of the high gods; in things of great importance

They still appear unanimous; consider

That glorious fabric-man,-his workmanship,
Is stamped with one conception.

Сур.

Who made man

Must have, methinks, the advantage of the others.
If they are equal, might they not have risen

In opposition to the work, and being

All hands, according to our author here,
Have still destroyed even as the other made?
If equal in their power, and only unequal

In opportunity, which of the two

Will remain conqueror?

Demon.

On impossible

And false hypothesis there can be built

No argument.

From this?

Say, what do you infer

Cyp. That there must be a mighty God

Of supreme goodness and of highest grace,

All sight, all hands, all truth, infallible,

Without an equal and without a rival;

The cause of all things and the effect of nothing,

One power, one will, one substance, and one essence.
And in whatever persons, one or two,

His attributes may be distinguished, one
Sovereign power, one solitary essence,
One cause of all cause.

Demon.

So clear a consequence?

[They rise.

How can I impugn

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In rivalry of wit? I could reply

And urge new difficulties, but will now

Depart, for I hear steps of men approaching,
And it is time that I should now pursue

My journey to the city.

Сур.

Go in peace!

Demon. Remain in peace! Since thus it profits him
To study, I will wrap his senses up

In sweet oblivion of all thought, but of
A piece of excellent beauty; and as I
Have power given me to wage enmity
Against Justina's soul, I will extract
From one effect two vengeances.

I never

Cyp.
Met a more learned person. Let me now
Revolve this doubt again with careful mind.

Enter LELIO and FLORO.

[Exil.

[He reads.

Lel. Here stop. These toppling rocks and tangled boughs, Impenetrable by the noonday beam,

Shall be sole witnesses of what we

Flo.

Draw!

If there were words, here is the place for deeds.

Lel. Thou needest not instruct me; well I know
That in the field the silent tongue of steel
Speaks thus.

[They fight.

Сур.

Ha! what is this? Lelio, Floro,

Be it enough that Cyprian stands between you,
Although unarmed.

Lel.

Whence comest thou, to stand

From what rocks

Between me and my vengeance?

Flo.

And desert cells?

Enter MOSCON and CLARIN.

Mos. Run, run! for where we left my master We hear the clash of swords.

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Run to approach things of this sort, but only

To avoid them. Sir! Cyprian! sir!

Cyp. Be silent, fellows! What! two friends who are In blood and fame the eyes and hope of Antioch;

One of the noble men of the Colatti,

The other son of the Governor, adventure

And cast away, on some slight cause no doubt,
Two lives the honour of their country?

Lel.

Cyprian!

Although my high respect towards your person
Holds now my sword suspended, thou canst not
Restore it to the slumber of its scabbard.
Thou knowest more of science than the duel;
For when two inen of honour take the field,
No [
]or respect can make them friends,
But one must die in the pursuit.

Flo.

I pray
That you depart hence with your people, and
Leave us to finish what we have begun
Without advantage.

Cyp.

Though you may imagine

That I know little of the laws of duel,
Which vanity and valour instituted,
You are in error. By my birth I am

Held no less than yourselves to know the limits
Of honour and of infamy, nor has study

Quenched the free spirit which first ordered them;

And thus to me, as one well experienced

In the false quicksands of the sea of honour,

You may refer the merits of the case;

And if I should perceive in your relation

That either has the right to satisfaction

From the other, I give you my word of honour
To leave you.

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It seems

Flo.
Much to me that the light of day should look
Upon that idol of my heart-but he-

Leave us to fight, according to thy word.

Cyp. Permit one question further: is the lady Impossible to hope or not?

Lel.

She is

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So excellent, that if the light of day
Should excite Floro's jealousy, it were

Without just cause, for even the light of day
Trembles to gaze on her.

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Would you for your

O, would that I could lift my hope

Such is my confidence,

So high? for though she is extremely poor,
Her virtue is her dowry.

Cyp.

And if you both

Would marry her, is it not weak and vain,

Culpable and unworthy, thus beforehand

To slur her honour? What would the world say
If one should slay the other, and if she

Should afterwards espouse the murderer?

[The rivals agree to refer their quarrel to CYPRIAN; who in consequence visits JUSTINA, and becomes enamoured of ker: she disdains him, and he retires to a solitary seashore,

SCENE II.

CYPRIAN.

Oh, memory! permit it not
That the tyrant of my thought
Be another soul that still

Holds dominion o'er the will,

That would refuse, but can no more,

To bend, to tremble, and adore.

Vain idolatry !-I saw,

And gazing, became blind with error;

Weak ambition, which the awe

Of her presence bound to terror!

So beautiful she was—and I,

Between my love and jealousy,

Am so convulsed with hope and fear,
Unworthy as it may appear;

So bitter is the life I live,

That, hear me, Hell! I now would give

To thy most detested spirit

My soul, for ever to inherit,

To suffer punishment and pine,

So this woman may be mine.

Hear'st thou, Hell! dost thou reject it?

My soul is offered !

Demon [unseen].

I accept it.

[Tempest, with thunder and lightning. CYPRIAN.

What is this? ye heavens for ever pure,
At once intensely radiant and obscure!
Athwart the ethereal halls

The lightning's arrow and the thunder-balls
The day affright.

As from the horizon round,

Burst with earthquake sound,

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