« ElőzőTovább »
fure, but provides for his Departure in the following Manner:
Sfor. Stay you, Francifco. -You fee how Things fland with me? Fran. To my Grief:
And if the Lofs of my poor Life could be
A Sacrifice, to restore them as they were,
I willingly would lay it down.
Sfor. I think fo;
For I have ever found you true and thankful,
Which makes me love the Building I have rais'd,
In your Advancement; and repent no Grace
I have confer'd upon you: And, believe me,
Though now I fhould repeat my Favours to you,
The Titles I have given you, and the Means
Suitable to your Honours; that I thought you
Worthy my Sifter, and my Family,
And in my Dukedom made you next myself;
It is not to upbraid you; but to tell you
I find you're worthy of them, in your Love
And Service to me.
Fran. Sir, I am your Creature ;
And any Shape that you
I gladly will put on.
Sfor. Thus, then, Francifco;
I now am to deliver to your Truft
A weighty Secret, of so strange a Nature,
And 'twill, I know, appear fo monstrous to you,
That you will tremble in the Execution,
As much as I am tortur'd to command it:
For 'tis a Deed fo horrid, that, but to hear it,
Would strike into a Ruffian flesh'd in Murthers,
Or an obdurate Hangman, foft Compaffion;
And yet, Francifco (of all Men the deareft,
And from me moft deferving) fuch my State
And ftrange Condition is, that Thou alone
Muft know the fatal Service, and perform it.
Fran. Thefe Preparations, Sir, to work a Stranger, Or to one unacquainted with your Bounties, Might appear ufeful; but, to Me, they are Needlefs Impertinencies: For I dare do Whate'er you dare command.
Sfor. But thou must fwear it,
And put into thy Oath, all Joys, or Torments
That fright the Wicked, or confirm the Good:
Not to conceal it only (that is nothing)
But, whenfoe'er my Will fhall speak, ftrike now!
To fall upon't like Thunder.
The Oath in any Way, or Form you please,
I ftand refolv'd to take it.
Sfor. Thou must do, then,
What no malevolent Star will dare to look on,
It is fo wicked: For which, Men will curfe thee
For being the Inftrument; and the Angels
Forfake me at my Need, for being the Author:
For 'tis a Deed of Night, of Night, Francifco,
In which the Memory of all good Actions,
We can pretend to, thall be buried quick:
Or, if we be remember'd, it thall be
To fright Pofterity by our Example,
That have outgone all Precedents of Villains
That were before us; and fuch as fucceed,
Though taught in Hell's black School, fhall ne'er
-Art thou not fhaken yet! [come near us.
Fran. I grant you move me:
But to a Man confirm'd-
Sfer. I'll try your Temper: What think you of my Wife?
Fran. As a Thing facred;
To whofe fair Name and Memory I pay gladly
Thefe Signs of Duty.
Sfor: Is fhe not the Abstract
Of all that's rare, or to be wifh'd in Woman?
Fran. It were a Kind of Blafphemy to difpute it:
-But to the Purpofe, Sir.
Sfor. Add to her Goodness,
Her Tendernefs of me, her Care to please me,
Her unfufpected Chastity, ne'er equall'd,
Her Innocence, her Honour-O I am loft
In the Ocean of her Virtues, and her Graces,
When I think of them.
Fran. Now I find the End
Of all your Conjurations: There's fome Service
To be done for this fweet Lady. If the have Enemies
That the would have remov'd-
Sfor. Alas! Francifco,
Her greatest Enemy is her greatest Lover;
Yet, in that Hatred, her Idolater.
One Smile of her's would make a Savage tame;
One Accent of that Tongue would calm the Seas,
Though all the Winds at once ftrove there for Empire.
Yet I, for whom the thinks all this too little,
Should I miscarry in this prefent Journey,
(From whence it is all Number to a Cypher,
I ne'er return with Honour) by thy Hand
Must have her murther'd.
Fran. Murther'd!-She that loves fo, And fo deferves to be belov'd again?
And I, who fometimes you were pleas'd to favour, Pick'd out the Inftrument?
Sfor. Do not fly off:
What is decreed, can never be recall'd.
'Tis more than Love to her, that marks her out
A wifh'd Companion to me, in both Fortunes:
And ftrong Affurance of thy zealous Faith,
That gives up to thy Truft a Secret, that
Racks fhould not have forc'd from me.-O Francifco,
There is no Heav'n without her; nor a Hell,
Where the refides. I ask from her but Juftice,
And what I would have paid to her, had Sickness,
Or any other Accident, divorc'd
Her purer Soul from her unfpotted Body.
The flavish Indian Princes, when they die,
Are chearfully attended to the Fire
By the Wife and Slave, that living they lov'd beft,
To do them Service in another World:
Nor will I be lefs honour'd, that love more.
And therefore trifle not, but in thy Looks
Express a ready Purpose to perform
What I command; or, by Marcelia's Soul,
This is thy latest Minute.
Fran. 'Tis not Fear
Of Death, but Love to you, makes me embrace it.
But, for mine own Security, when 'tis done,
What Warrant have I? If you please to fign one,
I fhall, though with Unwillingness and Horror,
Perform your dreadful Charge.
Sfor. I will, Francifco:
But ftill remember, that a Prince's Secrets
Are Balm, conceal'd; but Poison, if discover'd.
I may come back; then this is but a Trial,
To purchase thee, if it were poffible,
A nearer Place in
I know thee honeft.
Fran. 'Tis a Character
I will not part with.
Sfor. I may live to reward it.
At the Opening of the THEATRE in DRURYLANE, 1747.
WHEN Learning's Triumph o'er her bar
Firft rear'd the Stage, immortal Shakespeare role,
Each Change of many-colour'd Life he drew,
Exhaufted Worlds, and then imagin'd new :
Existence faw him fpurn her bounded Reign,
And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.
His powerful Strokes prefiding Truth impress'd,
And unrefifting Paffion ftorm'd the Breaft.
Then Fonfon came, inftructed from the School, To please in Method, and invent by Rule; His ftudious Patience, and laborious Art, By regular Approach affail'd the Heart: Cold Approbation gave the ling'ring Bays For those who durft not cenfure, fcarce could praise. A Mortal born, he met the general Doom, But left, like Egypt's Kings, a lafting Tomb. The Wits of Charles found easier Ways to Fame, Nor with'd for Jonson's Art, or Shakespeare's Flame; U 2