Page images

Cha. Why wilt thou rack

My soul so long, Monimia? Ease me quickly;
Or thou wilt run me into madness-first.
Mon. Could you be secret?

Cha. Secret as the grave.

Mon. But when I have told you, will you keep your fury

Within its bonds? Will you not do some rash
And horrid mischief? For indeed, Chamont,

You would not think how hardly I've been used
From a near friend, from one, that has my soul
A slave, and therefore treats it like a tyrant.

Cha. I will be calm-but has Castalio wronged thee?

Has he already wasted all his love?

[blocks in formation]

What has he done? Quickly, for I'm all trem- I have a sword, my arm's good old acquaintance; Villain to thee!


With expectation of a horrid tale.

Mon. Oh! could you think it!

Cha. What?

Mon. I fear he'll kill me.

Cha. Ha!

Mon. Indeed I do; he's strangely cruel to me; Which, if it last, I'm sure must break my heart. Cha. What has he done?

Mon. Most barbarously used me. Nothing so kind as he, when in my arms! In thousand kisses, tender sighs and joys, Not to be thought again, the night was wasted; At dawn of day he rose, and left his conquest. But, when we met, and I, with open arms, Ran to embrace the lord of all my wishes, Oh, then!

[blocks in formation]

Cha. So may this arm

Throw him to the earth, like a dead dog despised! Lameness and leprosy, blindness and lunacy, Poverty, shame, pride, and the name of villain, Light on me, if, Castalio, I forgive thee!

Mon. Nay, now, Chamont, art thou unkind as he is!

Didst thou not promise me thou wouldst be calm?

Keep my disgrace concealed? Why shouldst thou kill him?

By all my love, this arm should do bim vengeance.
Alas! I love him still, and though I ne'er
Clasp him again within these longing arms,

[blocks in formation]

You have been her father too

[Takes Mon. by the hand. Acust. Forbear the prologueAnd let me know the substance of thy tale. Cha. You took her up, a little tender flower, Just sprouted on a bank, which the next frost Had nipped; and, with a careful loving hand, Transplanted her into your own fair garden, Where the sun always shines. There long she flourished,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Your son Castalio has wronged Monimia.
Acast. Ha! wronged her?

Cha. Married her.
Acast. I am sorry for it.
Cha. Why sorry?

By yon blest heaven, there's not a lord
But might be proud to take her to his heart!
Acast. I'll not deny it.

Cha. You dare not; all your family combined In one damned falsehood to outdo Castalio, Dare not deny it.

Acast. How has Castalio wronged her?

Cha. Ask that of him. I say, my sister's wronged :

Monimia, my sister, born as high
And noble as Castalio-Do her justice,
Or, by the gods, I'll lay a scene of blood,
Shall make this dwelling horrible to nature.

I'll do it. Hark you, my lord! your son Castalio;
Take him to your closet, and there teach him

[blocks in formation]

Is framing mischiefs too, for aught I know,
That may produce bloodshed and horrid murder.
I would not be the cause of one man's death
To reign the empress of the earth; nay, more,
I would rather lose, for ever, my Castalio,
My dear unkind Castalio!


Pol. Monimia, weeping!

So morning dews on new-blown roses lodge,
By the sun's amorous heat to be exhaled.

I come, my love, to kiss all sorrow from thee: . What mean these sighs? And why thus beats thy heart?

Mon. Let me alone to sorrow. 'Tis a cause None ere shall know: but it shall with me die.

Pol. Happy, Monimia, he, to whom these sighs, These tears, and all these languishings, are paid! I am no stranger to your dearest secret:

I know your heart was never meant for me;
That jewel's for an elder brother's price.
Mon. My lord!

Pol. Nay, wonder not; last night I heard
His oaths, your vows, and to my torment saw
Your wild embraces; heard the appointment

I did, Monimia, and cursed the sound.
Wilt thou be sworn, my love? wilt thou be ne'er
Unkind again?

Mon. Banish such fruitless hopes!
Have you swore constancy to my undoing?
Will you be ne'er my friend again?
Pol. What means my love?

Mon. Away; what meant my lord
Last night?

Pol. Is that a question now to be demanded?
I hope Monimia was not much displeased.
Mon. Was it well done to treat me like a

To assault my lodging at the dead of night,
And threaten me, if I denied admittance-
You said you were Castalio-

Pol. By those eyes

[Exit. It was the same: I spent my time much better: I tell thee, ill-natured fair one, I was posted

Mon. I am, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe to

[blocks in formation]

To more advantage, on a pleasant hill

Of springing joy, and everlasting sweetness.
Mon. Ha-have a care-

Pol. Where is the danger near me?

Mon. I fear you are on a rock will wreck your quiet,

And drown your soul in wretchedness for ever;
A thousand horrid thoughts crowd on my memory.
Will you be kind, and answer me one question?

Pol. I'll trust thee with my life; on those soft breasts

Breathe out the choicest secrets of my heart,
Till I have nothing in my heart but love.

Mon. Nay, I'll conjure you by the gods and angels,

By the honour of your name, that's most cont cerned,

To tell me, Polydore, and tell me truly,
Where did you rest last night?

Pol. Within thy arms

I triumphed ! rest had been my foe.
Mon. Tis done-

[She faints.
Pol. She faints! No help! who waits? A curse
Upon my vanity, that could not keep
The secret of my happiness in silence.
Confusion! we shall be surprised anon,
And consequently all must be betrayed.
Monimia! She breathes-Monimia-
Mon. Well-

Let mischiefs multiply! Let every hour
Of my loathed life yield me increase of horror!
Oh, let the sun to these unhappy eyes
Ne'er shine again, but be eclipsed for ever;
May every thing, I look on, seem a prodigy,
To fill my soul with terrors, till I quite
Forget I ever had humanity,

And grow a curser of the works of nature!
Pol. What means all this?

Mon. Oh, Polydore, if all

The friendship e'er you vowed to good Castalio
Be not a falsehood; if you ever loved
Your brother, you have undone yourself and me.
Pol. Which way can ruin reach the man that's

As I am, in possession of thy sweetness?
Mon. Oh! I'm his wife.

Pol. What says Monimia! ha!

Speak that again.

Mon. I am Castalio's wife.

Pol. His married, wedded wife?
Mon. Yesterday's sun

Saw it performed.

Pol. And then, have I enjoyed

My brother's wife?

Mon. As surely as we both

Must taste of misery, that guilt is thine.
Pol. Must we be miscrable then?
Mon. Oh!

Pol. Oh! thou mayst yet be happy.
Mon. Couldst thou be

Happy, with such a weight upon thy soul?

[blocks in formation]

I'll find some place, where adders nest in winter,
Loathsome and venomous: where poisons hang,
Like gums, against the walls: where witches meet
By night, and feed upon some pampered imp,
Fat with the blood of babes: There I'll inhabit,
And live up to the height of desperation;
Desire shall languish like a withering flower,
And no distinction of the sex be thought of.
Horrors shall fright me from those pleasing harms,
And I'll no more be caught with beauty's charms,
But, when I'm dying, take me in thy arms.


SCENE I.-A Garden. CASTALIO lying on the ground.-Soft music. SONG.

Come, all ye youths, whose hearts e'er bled
By cruel beauty's pride;

Bring each a garland on his head,

Let none his sorrows hide:
But hand in hand around me move,
Singing the saddest tales of love;
And see,
when your complaints ye join,
If all your wrongs can equal mine.

The happiest mortal once was I; My heart no sorrows knew; Pity the pain with which I die,

But ask not whence it grew. Yet if a tempting fair you find, That's very lovely, very kind,


Though bright as heaven, whose stamp she bears,
Think of my fate, and shun her snares.

See, where the deer trot after one another,
Male, female, father, daughter, mother, son,
Brother and sister, mingled all together.
No discontent they know; but in delightful

Acast. No, not much.


Wildness and freedom, pleasant springs, fresh


Calm arbours, lusty health and innocence,
Enjoy their portion; if they see a man,
How will they turn together all, and gaze
Upon the monster-

Once in a season too they taste of love:
Only the beast of reason is its slave,
And in that folly drudges all the year.


Acast. Castalio! Castalio!

Cast. Who's there

So wretched but to name Castalio?

Acast. I hope my message may succeed!
Cast. My father!

'Tis joy to see you, though where sorrow's nourished.

Acast. I'm come in beauty's cause; you'll guess the rest.

Cast. A woman! If you love my peace of mind,

Name not a woman to me; but to think
Of woman, were enough to taint my brains,
Till they ferment to madness. Oh, my father!

Acast. What ails my boy?
Cast. A woman is the thing

I would forget, and blot from my remembrance.
Acast. Forget Monimia!

Cast. She, to chuse: Monimia!


very sound's ungrateful to my sense. Acast. This might seem strange, but you, I've found, will hide

Your heart from me; you dare not trust your fa


Cast. No more Monimia.
Acast. Is she not your wife?

Cast. So much the worse; who loves to hear of wife?

When you would give all worldly plagues a name,
Worse than they have already, call them wife:
But a new-married wife's a teeming mischief,
Full of herself! Why, what a deal of horror
Has that poor wretch to come, that wedded yes-

Acast. Castalio, you must go along with me, And see Monimia.

Cast. Sure my lord but mocks me.

Go see Monimia! Pray, my lord, excuse me,
And leave the conduct of this part of life
To my own choice.

Acast. I say, no more dispute. Complaints are made to me, that you have wronged her.

Cast. Who has complained?

[blocks in formation]

Cha. Where is the hero, famous and renowned For wronging innocence and breaking vows? Whose mighty spirit, and whose stubborn heart, No woman can appease, nor man provoke?

Acast. I guess, Chamont, you come to seek

Cha. I come to seek the husband of Monimia.
Cast. The slave is here.

Cha. I thought ere now to have found you
Atoning for the ills you have done Chamont;
For you have wronged the dearest part of him.
Monimia, young lord, weeps in this heart;
And all the tears, thy injuries have drawn
From her poor eyes, are drops of blood from

Cast. Then you are Chamont?
Cha. Yes, and I hope no stranger
To great Castalio.

Cast. I have heard of such a man,
That has been very busy with my honour.
I own, I'm much indebted to you, sir,
And here return the villain back again,
You sent me by my father.


Cha. Thus I'll thank [Draws. Acast. By this good sword, who first presumes to violence, Makes me his foe Young man, it once was thought I was fit guardian of my house's honour; And you might trust your share with me


[Draws and interposes. [To Cast.


[To Cha. Young soldier, I must tell you, you have wronged


Acast. Her brother, to my face, proclaimed her I promised you to do Monimia right,

[blocks in formation]

And thought my word a pledge, I would not forfeit:

But you, I find, would fright us to performance. Cast. Sir, in my younger years, with care you

taught me,

That brave revenge was due to injured honour;

Oppose not then the justice of my sword,
Lest you should make me jealous of your love.
Cha. Into thy father's arms thou fliest for

Because thou knowest that place is sanctified
With the remembrance of an ancient friendship.

Cast. I am a villain, if I will not seek thee,
Till I may be revenged for all the wrongs,
Done me by that ungrateful fair, thou pleadest for.
Cha. She wronged thee! by the fury in my

Thy father's honour's not above Monimia's;
Nor was thy mother's truth and virtue fairer.

Acast. Boy, don't disturb the ashes of the dead With thy capricious follies. The remembrance Of the loved creature, that once filled these

[blocks in formation]

Sheath up thy angry sword, and don't affright me.
Chamont, let once Serina calm thy breast:
If any of my friends have done thee injuries,
I'll be revenged, and love thee better for it.

Cast. Sir, if you'd have me think you did not take

This opportunity to shew your vanity,
Let's meet some other time, when by ourselves
We fairly may dispute our wrongs together.
Cha. Till then, I am Castalio's friend.
Cast. Serina,

Farewell: I wish much happiness attend you.
Ser. Chamont's the dearest thing I have on earth;
Give me Chamont, and let the world forsake me.
Cha. Witness the gods, how happy I'm in thee!
No beauteous blossom of the fragrant spring,
Though the fair child of nature, newly born,
Can be so lovely. Angry, unkind Castalio,
Suppose I should a while lay by my passions,
And be a beggar in Monimia's cause,
Might I be heard?

Cast. Sir, 'twas my last request,

You would, though I find you will not be satisfied;

So, in a word, Monimia is my scorn;

She basely sent you here to try my fears;

That was your business;

No artful prostitute, in falsehoods practised,
To make advantage of her coxcomb's follies,
Could have done more.-Disquiet vex her for it!
Cha. Farewell.
[Exit Cha. and Ser.

Cast. Farewell-My father, you seem troubled. Acast. Would I'd been absent, when this boisterous brave Came to disturb thee thus. I'm grieved I hindered

Thy just resentment. But Monimia-
Cast. Damn her.

Acast. Don't curse her.
Cast. Did I?
Acast. Yes.

Cast. I'm sorry for it.

Acast. Methinks, if, as I guess, the fault's but small,

[blocks in formation]

Flor. Oh, shew me quickly, where's Castalio!
Acast. Why, what's the business?
Flor. Oh, the poor Monimia !
Cast. Ha!

Acast. What's the matter?

Flor. Hurried by despair,

She flies with fury over all the house,
Through every room of each apartment, crying,
'Where's my Castalio? Give me my Castalio!
Except she see you, sure she'll grow distracted.

Cast. Ha! will she? Does she name Castalio? And with such tenderness? Conduct me quickly To the poor lovely mourner. Oh, my father!

Acast. Then wilt thou go? Blessings attend thy purpose.!

Cast. I cannot hear Monimia's soul's in sadness, And be a man; my heart will not forgot her; But do not tell the world you saw this of me.

« PreviousContinue »