« ПредишнаНапред »
And will, by frequent oratory of tears,
Be brought to wear the perfect shape, the figure
Of my affection on it.
Isa. Thus besieg'd,
It is high time I summon up my virtue,
All that is good about me, to assist
My resolution : sir, I would be loath
That you should see me angry: 'tis a passion
My modesty is unacquainted with;
Yet, in this case, dear to me as my honour,
I needs must chide your passion. O consider ! look
What a precipice of certain ruin
Your violent will (as on some dangerous rock
That strikes whate'er dashes upon't in pieces)
Has cast your heedless youth upon, my lord;
Why should you venture your whole stock of goodness
Upon forbidden merchandize? a prize
Which the most barbarous pirates of the laws
Of moral honesty, would fear to seize on,
Both for its sanctity and trivial value.
Alb. I'm thunderstruck!
Isa. What foolish thief, my lord, would rob an altar,
Be guilty of the sacrilege to gain
A brazen censer? why should you, then, affect
A sin so great as spoiling me of honour,
For such a poor gain as the satisfying
Your sensual appetite ? think, good my lord,
The pleasures you so covet are but like flattering mornings
That shew the rising sun in its full brightness,
Yet do, ere night, bury his head in tempests.
Alb. I'm disinchanted! all the charms are fled
That hung, like mists, about my soul, and robb'd it
Of the fair light of nature. Excellent angel!
You have that power in goodness as shall teach
Wonder, that child of ignorance, a faith,
No woman can be bad. I do confess,
Big with the rage of my intemperate lust,
I came to blast your purity, but am
Become its perfect convert; so reclaim'd
By your best goodness from these foul intentions,
Hell has not strength enough to tempt my frailty
To th' like wild looseness: pray, sweet, forgive me;
Seal it with one chaste kiss; and henceforth let me
Adore you as the saviour of my honour,
My truth and fame preserver.
Isa. I am glad
I've wrought this reclamation on your folly;
And, trust me, I shall ever love this in you,
Though my more humble thoughts shall ne'er aspire
To affect your person.
Alb. Had you yielded to my desires,
Been no whit virtuous, I should have esteem'd you
(My looser heat, by your consent, extinguish'd)
But as a fair house haunted with goblins,
Which none will enter to possess, and blest me
From the prodigious building; when now,
Big with the chaste assurance of your virtue,
I do beseech, by your love, your mercy,
Look on my innocent love more spotless
Than are the thoughts of babes which ne'er knew foulness;
Accept me for your husband; start not, lady!
By your fair self I mean it, do entreat it
As my extent of happiness.
Isa. This, my lord,
Is too extreme o'th' other side; as much
Too mean I hold myself to be your wife,
As my own fame and honour did esteem me
Too good to be your prostitute. My lord,
The wiving vine, that 'bout the friendly elm
Twines her soft limbs, and weaves a leafy mantle
For her supporting lover, dares not venture
To mix her humble boughs with the embraces
Of the more lofty cedar; 'twixt us two
Is the same difference. Love, my lord, and hope
A nobler choice,-a lady of your own
Rank; all the ends my poor ambition
Shall ever aim shall be to love your worth,
Bat ne'er aspire your nuptials.
Alb. You're too humble,
Impose too mean a value on a gem
Kings would be proud to wear; dear Isabella,
Let not thy modest sweetness interpose
A new impediment 'twixt my lawful flames
And thy own vestal chastity; let not fear
(To the sex incident) of my father's wrath
Stagger thy resolution; thou shalt be
To me my father, mother, brother, friend,
My all of happiness ; if we cannot here,
In peace, enjoy our wishes, we will love,
Like turtles in a desert, only blest
VOL, X. PART I.
In one another's company."
Enter Albert to Wallenstein.
“ Alb. Your grace was pleas’d to send for me.
Wal. I did so : Know you the cause?
Alb. Not yet, my lord.
Wal. I am your father, sir ;
Whose frowns you ought to tremble at, whose anger
Should be as dreadful to you as heaven's curses:
Look on my face, and read my business there.
Alb. Alas, my lord, your looks
Are discompos’d with rage; your fiery eyes
Roll with the accustom'd motion they had wont
To dart upon your enemies : I am
Assur'd my innocence can no way merit
Your all-consuming anger.
Wal. 'Tis a lie !
A worthless lie! false as thy flattering hopes are :
You are in love; most gallantly in love
With Isabella; one who is compos'd
Of paint and plasters. Thou degenerate monster!
Traitor to fame, and parricide to renown!
Abject in thy condition as thy thoughts are!
Tear this vile strumpet from thy soul; do't quickly;
Renounce her with all binding ties can urge thee
To keep thy faith, or I will quite put off
The name of father, take as little notice
Thou art my offspring as the surly North
Does of the snow which, when it has engender'd,
Its wild breath scatters through the earth forgotten.'
Alb. This was the killing fever I still fear'd:
Sir, I should be a stranger to your blood,
As well as noble worth, should I commit
Actions I sham'd to justify; I confess
I love fair Isabella; and beseech you,
The meanness of her fortune and her birth
Omitted she may be conferr'd upon me
In lawful marriage.
Wal. Dare you, boy,
Speak this to me?
Alb. I should, sir, be degenerate
From your great spirit, should I fear to utter
What I do wish effected. Were you a god,
As, being my father, you're but a degree
To me beneath one, in a cause of righteousness,
I should not only boldly crave your license,
But hope to have it granted.
Durst any mortal fool, but my own issue,
Venture to brave my fury thus ? Resolve,
Villain, in full to satisfy my purpose;
Do it without regret; renounce this strumpet;
Even from thy soul abandon her remembrance,
Or, by my own unwearied valour, better,
And with more safety, thou may'st hug a wave,
When its white lips kiss heaven. Young sir, your honour
Is not your own; for it you're but my factor,
And must give me account, a strict account,
Of the errors you run in : to the dust
Of my great ancestors stand I accountant
For my family; and their blest ashes
Would break their marble lodgings, and come forth
To quarrel with me, should I permit this bar
To stain their glorious heraldry.
Alb. Great sir !
Can virtue be a blemish, or true worth
Disgrace nobility ? 'twas that, at first,
When nature made all equal, did distinguish
'Twixt man and man, and gave a just precedence
To the most worthy. Honour is virtue's offspring.
Since, then, the angel my affection's fix'd on,
Is fair and virtuous, all the good that ever
Durst with frail Aesh commix, or earth be proud of,
How to our families' honour can she bring
A diminution? Can, sir, the chaste ice,
Kiss'd by the sun into its native substance,
Pollute a crystal river ? surely, rather,
It adds fresh moisture to its stream. My lord,
I am your son, and have been still obedient
To your commands. O, by your love, your virtue,
Your never daunted virtue, I beseech you,
Grant me this one request : wer't for my life, .
I should not be so abject as to spend
This breath for its redemption.
Wal. Well, thy prate
Has overcome me; I am pitiful,
Beyond my nature pitiful, to thee:
Thou shalt enjoy thy wishes.
Alb. All the blessings
Prayers can obtain from heaven, shower down upon you,
For your superlative mercy.
Wal. Stay, and mark me;
It shall be with this condition that, as soon
As thou art wed, and hast enjoy'd thy wishes,
Ere the next sun rise on you, you resolve,
To kill your Isabella !
Alb. Heavens protect me!
Wal. Nay, thou shalt swear it too! Alas, gentle boy,
I know thy nature is too full of fire
To mix with sordid earth; and though thy lust,
Which is but manhood in thee, prompt thee on
To taste the sweets of Isabella's beauty,
I know thou scorn'st so much to unmake thy gentry,
To take her for thy wife. Perhaps she will not
Give up her honour, till the church has seal'd
That grant as lawful : freely I allow
Her brave ambition, if, as a reward
Due to her haughty pride, thy own hands kill her,
And so wipe out the infamy.
Alb. Strange cruelty! So tyrants us'd to grant offenders
After their condemnation, to reserve them
To combat wild beasts in the spacious cirque,
Or bloody amphitheatre. My lord !
Wal. Pish! I am deaf; inexorable as seas
To th' prayers of mariners, when their keel
Is drunk with billows.
Enter Dutchess, Isabel, and Page.
Dutch. O, my lord,
Your justice on this cursed witch, this thief!
This morning I have lost out of my cabinet
The so much valu'd jewel, which your bounty
Bestow'd upon me; none but she and I
Having been there since, she must be thief:
Force her to restitution.
Wal. 'Twas a gem my mother gave me; which I did preserve
With as much care as votaries do the relics
Of their protecting saints : I gave it you,
When, in the eager fervor of my youth,
I destin'd you my wife. Come hither, minion;