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100 great ainly see tion?

Kind senora, prithee listen
Listen, also, thou my father,
And the friends who have come with thee:
For to me it is important
All the world should know the secret
That I carry in my bosom : [takes out her hand-

kerchief. Frederick. Tell me what has happened, Fabio,

Fabio. I don't know: (uside] If I were certain
It were not about the matter
That I mentioned to the duchess,
It would give me little trouble :

Frederick. Since I see she gives the signal [aside.
Let me pay her strict attention,
Joining the first words she utters.

Arnesto. Speak, my daughter. What delays you ?
Flerida. Laura, end your hesitation.

Laura. Flerida--who to wondrous beauty
Has-all mental riches added
Learned-and lovely, surely knoweth
Already-how I love her highness,

Flerida. Well I know your love, dear Laura;
But why now remind me of it?
Frederick. Ah! the first words plainly tell me,

Aside. * Flerida has already learned

Laura, That-I wish to draw, senora,
From this love iny consolation;
You-perhaps, would hear with wonder,
Did not-you know your love can never
Go-an instant from my bosom.

Arnesto. Speak with confidence, my daughter:
There's no need of sighs or weeping.
Frederick. The words again are plain and simple,

[ Aside. " That from this you did not go__"

Laura. And that the jealous words, Lisardo,
You spoke-have given much annoyance
Unto-me, is plain, for I am
Your mistress—but not yet your wife.

Lisardo. My love, dear Laura, must excuse me.
Flerida. Peace, Lisardo. [To Laura.] Pray,

Frederick. “And that you spoke unto your mis.
tress "

1 Aside.
Laura. For which I feel the indignation
She feeleth-whom suspicions libel.
Very-proud I am, and ever
Jealous-of my unstained honour.

Lisardo. She was reading some epistle,
Which, when I did ask the sight of,
She tore into a thousand pieces.

Arnesto. I think she acted very rightly.
Frederick. “ For which she feeleth very jealous."

[ Aside,
Laura. Remember what I say, my father,
That you'll see me dead, before you
Name me-by Lisardo's name;
Not-a jealous man I'll wed.

Arnesto. How will you obtain forgiveness
For this ungallant proceeding?

Lisardo. Ah, in truth, I'm much aflicted.
Arnesto. Silence.

Frederick. This is what she now hath spoken, “Remember that you name me not " (Aside.

Laura. For the man in time of courtship,
Who is-not a fond, respectful
(Your-experience, father, knows it)
Servant-proves a wedded tyrant.

Lisardo. I was wrong, indeed, dear Laura ;
But 'twas love that made me jealous.

Arnesto. That is no excuse, Lisardo.
Frederick. " For the man who is your ser-
vant "

[ Aside.
Laura. Is-jealousy the fruit of love ?
Your greatest-proof of love ; then call it
Foe--unto my reputation;
But come--my lord, to end this scene-
To-night--is the last time you'll see
And speak--to one you so have treated :
To me again--you'll ne'er be rude.

[Exit. Arnesto. I share my daughter's indignation, Which your jealousy has merited.

[Erit. Frederick. “Is your greatest foe; but come To-night, and speak to me again."

[ Aside. Flerida. Yes, Lisardo, you have actel In a most discourteous manner To your mistress ; but the cause, Springing, as I know it sprung, from

Jealousy's deep-buried root,
Is sufficient to excuse you.

Fabio. God be praised that she is gone [Aside,
Without speaking to my master
Of the tattle that I told her.

Lisardo, Heaven defend me! would one ever
Think so slight a cause as asking
To peruse a lady's letter,
Could create so great e quarrel ?
Frederick, do you plainly see
What has caused her indignation ?

Frederick. Yes, the reason is apparent : 'Tis because of your suspicion.

Lisardo. Ah! my foolish hope has perished, Murdered by my greater folly!

[Erit, Frederick. Ah, my hope has also vanished! [ Aside. Fabio. I have nothing now to fear for. [ Aside. Frederick. Let me join each separate sentence;

[ Aside. And, lest memory might deceive me, I will look upon her portrait, Thinking 'tis her brighter self. [ Takes out a portrait, Tell me, thou divinest image, What thou wishest I should know.

Fabio. Ah! a portrait ? this is something [ Aside, New to tell unto Flerida.

Frederick “Flerida has already learned,
That from this you did not go ;
And that you spoke unto your mistress,
For which she feeleth very jealous.
Remember that you name me not,
For the man who is your servant
Is your greatest foe; but come
To-night, and speak to me again."
Heaven and earth! atrocious traitor, To Fabio,
It is thou that hast betrayed me! [ Punishes him,

Fabio. Oh, my lord, what sudden anger
Has possessed you? why attack me
In this most unpleasant manner ?

Frederick. Thus I pay you for your treason,

Fabio. What treason ? did you not, sir, enter
Ilere with me the best of friends,
And, since then, no one in private
Has, I'm sure, addressed your lordship
Who has spoken badly of me?
Who has spoken ba

Frederick, Villaini since I here have entered
I have learned that you betrayed me
How I spent last night in Parma,
And that I did meet my mistress.

Fabio. Since you entered here, you say ?
Frederick. Yes,

But pray, my lord, consider-
Frederick. I will make you an example !
Fabio, Heavens! my lord, who could have told

you? Frederick. Think to whom you spoke, you rascal, 'Tis the same who told me of it.

Fabio. I told no one [aside); more prepared
Am I to die than tell the truth.
Frederick. As I live you'll die this instant!

Luckily, at this critical moment of Fabio's existence, Henry, the disguised duke, entered the apartment, and, with some difficulty, rescued the unfortunate valet from his master's hands. Fabio was but too glad to have an opportunity of escaping, and immediately withdrew. Upon the whole matter being explained to Henry, he advised Frederick to act for the future with greater caution, to appear as if he had not the slightest suspicion of any espionage being practised against him, and to resume, even with Fabio, his old manner of confidence and familiarity. Fabio did not lose much time in repairing to Flerida with his new in. telligence. At first, affecting to be greatly incensed at what appeared to be the inability of the duchess to keep

a secret even for a single day, he professes that he has learned nothing, and that he will tell nothing. A little persuasion, however, induces him to break the strictness of his resolution, and he informs Flerida that his master always carries about with him the portrait of his mistress, and that by obtaining possession of it, she would be enabled to discover who the lady was. Frederick, on meeting his valet the next time, astonishes him by his kindness, which he carries to the extreme length of promising Fabio a new coat, for which that grateful personage prays, that in the other world his master's soul may be dressed in a cloak of scarlet, a trowsers of crystal, and a waistcoat of ambergris. Flerida, on the first opportunity, drops several hints to Frederick that she has discovered his duplicity; and that, if he has any engagement for that night, it would be well, to prevent disappointment, that he would send word to his mistress that he could not go, as she herself would have a great deal of writing for him to execute during the evening. By means of their secret method of conversation, Frederick is enabled, in the presence of Flerida, to inform Laura of this circumstance. Flerida arranges a plan, by which she will be able to obtain a sight of the portrait, which she is about explaining to her confidante Laura, when Frederick enters, with paper, &c., to execute the orders that he had received. Laura retires, but fearful of some discovery, waits outside the door, when the following conversation takes place:

Frederick. Here, senora, are the papers :

Flerida. Leave them there ; for ( no longer
Can permit that you should hold them;
Or that you should act henceforward
As my confidential agent :
Faithless servant-base betrayer
Of my interest and honour.

Frederiek. Lady, how have I been wanting
In my daty, as to merit
For my long and faithful service
Such an infamous description ?

Flerida. Dost thou dare to ask me wherefore ?
Knowing that I have sufficient
Evidence to prove thee guilty.

Frederick. May I know my crime, your highness, And I trust to exculpate me.

Laure. I am curious to discover (peeping at the How, by such a charge, Flerida

door, Means to learn who is his mistress,

Flerida. I will tell you: Information Has been given me of a treaty "Tsixt my greatest foe and you.

Frederick. Ah ! senore, if I harboured In my house the Duke of Mantua, It was but the night be sought me When he came disguised to Parma. Flerida, How's this? -- the Duke ? - All-seeing heaven!

(aside. Thou that knowest I but sported With a fond, fietitions anger, Xow has sent a real cause.

Frederick. He has lived within the palace Since your highnesg spoke unto him.

Flerida. Was the duke the cavalier, whom
I admitted to my palace ?

Frederick, Yes, senora.

Oh! how often is a truth the child of falschool!

[aside. Laura. Scared by terror after terror, Still I cannot see her meaning.

(al the door. Flerida, Why from me was this kept secret ?

Frederick. As the suitor of your highness,
I believed that you would pardon
What was but love's indiscretion,
Not the dark crime of a traitor.

Flerida. Now I understand 'twas easy
To present my letter to him :

Frederick. Yes, senora, at the moment
I was going on my journey
He arrived : and I was able
Without going out of Parma,
Thus to execute my mission.

Flerida. Well, allowing that to be so,
Tell me, whence came Laura's letter ?
Frederick. That-the duke himself brought with

Laura. He has answered most adroitly:

(at the door. But I yet cannot discover How she means to gain her object,

Flerida. Do you think my information
Endeth here. Produce the letters
Which you have received this morning
From his grace the Duke of Florence,
On the subject of the ancient
Claim he makes upon my kingdom.

Frederick. Humbly I entreat your highness,
That at least you will remember
Who I am: if I have acted
Wrong in giving my assistance
To a lover who adores you,
Do not think that I am guilty
Of a crime, so much unworthy
of my stainless blood and honour.

Flerida. He who finds one crime when starting,
May find many on the journey.
Give the letters I have asked for.

Frederick. Letters ? Take, oh! take, senora,
All the papers that I carry.
Take the keys of all the others
In my house; and if in searching
You can find the smallest cipher
Of disloyalty or treason,
Then my life shall be the forfeit.

(He draws out a handkerchief, a bunch of keys, and a small box, or miniature-case, which last he conceals.)

Flerida, What is that you seem so anxious
To conceal?
Frederick. A box.

Permit me
To examine it.

Frederick. I plainly
Now can understand her meaning.

As this box cannot, senora,
Be the proof of any treason,
I implore you to excuse me.
Laura, Gracious Heavens! it is my portrait.

(at the door.
Flerida. I insist at once on knowing
What this box contains.

We're ruined!
Frederick. 'Tis a portrait; and if only
This you wish to know, senora,
Now you know it.

Till I see it
I will not believe: produce it.

Frederick. If, senora-

What a trial !
Frederick, It were this

What dreadful danger!
Frederick. That did make me

How I tremble!
Frederick. Traitor to your grace.

What terror!
Frederick. Rightly-

Oh! what bitter anguish!
Frederick. Would you call me.

Cruel torture!

Frederick. But before I

What confusion !
Frederick. Would expose it-

What misfortune!
Frederick, I a thousand deaths would suffer !

(Laura slips from her hiding-place, snatches the portrait from his hands, changes it instantly for the portrait of Frederick, which she herself had, and gives the latter to Flerida.)

Laura, Traitor! wilt thou now refuse it?
Frederick. Laura, how is this?

'Tis simply,
That I heard your conversation-
Heard her grace demand to see it,
And your ungallant refusal.
Take it from my hands, senora.

Flerida. Never in my whole existence
Did you do me greater service.

Frederick. Doubtless, Laura takes this method Of proclaiming our affection.

[aside. Flerida. Bring the candle, hither, Laura. Now at length I'll see this wonder

[aside. That awakes my jealous fears.

Frederick. When she recognizes Laura, What will be her wrath !

[aside. Flerida.

Oh! heavens !
What is this I see?

No question
'Tis the gentleman's own likeness !

Again Flerida retires in great anger, baffled in her plans, and totally unable to understand the reason of Frederick's disinclination to show her his own portrait, or why he carried it about with him, except that, like Narcissus, he was enamoured of himself. No ex. planation between the lovers follows. Fabio enters, and reminds his master of the coat he promised him. Frederick, enraged at his new treachery, addresses him in no very compliments ary terms, and is about chastising him, when he thinks of his promise to the Duke of Mantua. Without any ostensible reason, his manner suddenly changes, and he now once more renews the promise of the coat. The second act closes, and the third opens with Fabio's reflections on the capriciousness of his master's temper.

his anger and good-humour come each in its turn, and this is the turn for anger- I think I may as well conceal myself under this buffet, a very appropriate hiding-place for one who like me has been so often bud elled in another manner."

He conceals himself accordingly, and Frederick and Henry enter the apartment. Frederick informs the duke that Flerida has seen through his disguise, so that it is useless to at. tempt to keep up that deception any longer. He also informs him that his own mistress, weary as well of the efforts made by her father to unite her in marriage with a person she did not like, as of the jealousy of the duchess, has written to him to state that she considers they have now no other remedy but flight, and that, in obedience to her letter, he has appointed to wait for her, that night, with two horses, between the bridge and the park. The duke begs of him to select Mantua as the place of his retreat, and not only offers him his protection there, but even his assistance and company on the road. This latter favour, how. ever, Frederick respectfully declines, as he considersit essential to the duke's honour that the duke himself, before his departure, should have an explanation with Flerida on the subject of his disguise, and most conducive to his own interest that he should leave behind him in Parma so powerful a friend, who would be able to explain and defend his conduct. Fabio at once bears this intelligence to the duchess, who is reduced to her last stratagem. Her only hope is, that by endeavouring to keep Frederick a close prisoner to his apartments during the night, she will be able to postpone, if not to prevent, the dreaded elopement. For this purpose, she informs Arnesto, the father of Laura, that she has reason to believe that Frederick, having received

the young man during the evening and night; and to prevent his leaving the house, if possible by fair means, and

" Well," said Fabio, " I wonder if any one, by any accident, has found the wits of an unfortunate valet, who has lost them because his master has lost hiswhich, indeed, as they were no great loss to him who lost them, will be of equally little value to him who finds them? I am very anxious to learn their fate, nevertheless, but unfortunately there is no one here to give me any information. Let me, then, by way of soliloquy, ask myself two or three questions. After all, has any one, after losing his senses, ever recovered them? We'll pass that. Is there any news, Fabio? I don't know. What is the reason that, at the moment when I seem to be on the best terms with my master, he suddenly falls upon me and gives me two thousand blows? The reason is that he is mad. And what is the reason that, at the very time I feel most guilty, and wish to avoid his presence, he promises me a new dress, and overwhelms me with coresses? Why the reason is, that he is drunk ! Two very admirable conclusions, indeed. I shall not proceed with my questions at present, as I see my master and Henry coming in this direction, talking very confidentially to each other. If they are seeking this remote chamber in order not to be seen by me, I think it only polite to anticipate them, and not allow myself to be seen by them. And as it will be agreeable to overhear what they say, and also to escape the uncertainty of my master's temper-for

to place him under arrest. Accord. ingly, just as he is on the point of

gagement, and as he is taking leave of Henry, Arnesto pays him his unex. pected and most ill-timed visit:

Frederick. Who is there?

'Tis I. Frederick.

No doubt, Some business drives you out so late? Arnesto. Why no, the distance is not great

And I but come to seek you out.

Or, trust me, Frederick, tell me, is it
An assignation you have made?
If so, come on, be not afraid
That aught shall interrupt your visit.

Frederick. My lord, your courage well I know, But I must go alone; adieu.

[He rises from his chair. Arnesto. Do not deceive yourself-with you I go to-night where'er you go.

Frederick. To seek me?-(How I quake with fear)

[ Aside. My lord, I wait your lordship's will.

Arnesto. They told me that you came home ill, Depressed and low; and being near, I thought it would be most unkind If I unto my bed retired, Before I had, my lord, inquired How yon your health this evening find.

Frederick. May Heaven with all its choicest wealth
Your lordship's friendly care reward !
But I can tell you now, my lord,
I never felt in stronger health :
They spread a false report, in sooth
Who told you this?

I much rejoice
To find that rumour's lying voice
Is wholly unsustained by truth.
But how did you contrive to spend
The time ere I came in?

In chat,
With Henry here, of this and that.

Arnesto. The conversation of a friend, Who is with wit and sense imbued, Who teaches with his voice and looks Is worth a thousand printed books. Frederick. This solemn preface bodes no good!

faside. Henry. For Frederick's sake, I much desire aside. To stop the old man's long discourse;

To leave them is the proper course : Will you allow me to retire ?

Arnesto. Is it because I came you go?

Frederick. Why partly yes, and partly no. Yes, for I wished to go, I own,

Before your steps did hither wend

And no, for parting with my friend I do not leave him now alone.

[Exit. Arneato. Adieu. Frederick. I beg that you'll declare Whate'er you're anxious to confide; Why do you look on every side? Arnesto. I'm only looking for a chair. For, being quite unused to walking, I feel fatigued and somewhat heated ; I think we may as well be seated As standing, all the time we're talking. [ They sit

doren. Frederick. Oh heavens! was ever such assurance ?

[aside. To come at such an hour as this When I was on the wings of bliss !

His coolness is beyond endurance !
Arnesto. How do you make the nights pass o'er ?

Frederick, I sometimes at the court attend;
Whither I shall be proud to lend

My arm, and see you to your door.
Arnesto. "Tis rather early.

Powers that rule ! [aside.
Must I then lose my life and love?
Arresto. Do you play piquet ?

Heavens above! (aside.
Was ever anything so cool ?
No, mny good lord.

Being ont of tune,
Deprened, I left my home to-day,
And feeling better, wish to stay,

Nor care for going home so soon.

Frederick. My lord, I feel disturbed, enraged,
At being compelled to go : to-night
I have, in trath, so much to write,
That all my time shall be engaged.

(He wishes to rise, but Arnesto prevents him. Arnesto. Let me assist you with your task, A good, fair, flowing hand I bring.

Frederick. I could not think of such a thing!
Arnesto. Nay, 'tie a favour that I ask!

Prederick. A very bad return 'twould be
For your great kindness and attention :
Besides, my lord, I have to mention

One reason why I wished to see

Your lordship home, it is that one
of my best friend. I'm bound to meet
To-night, quite near your lordship's street.

Arnesto. I will attend you-let's be gone.
My power to serve you is not great,
But what I can I'll do : I'll wait
Outside the door till break of dawn :

This decision on the part of Arnesto produces a sort of explanation. He proceeds to state that in his capacity of Governor of Parma, information has been given him of the receipt of a letter by Frederick, and of a contemplated meeting that night, which, of course, he cannot permit. Frederick, thinking that all was discovered, makes an appeal to the old man, and implores of him to present him with the hand of the person he expected to meet. Arnesto, still thinking of nothing but the duel, and delighted at the notion of being the means of affecting a reconciliation between the parties, promises him, in a very warm manner, to accede to his wishes, which produces a burst of gratitude from Frederick. Two or three words, however, undeceive him, and he again insists on leaving the house alone. Arnesto then calls in the guard, as he had been ordered, and Frederick is placed under arrest. After some time, however, by means of a second door, he is enabled to make his escape. Laura, in the mean while, is alone in the park, shaken by a thousand fears, and terrified by the continued delay of her lover, In this state of uncertainty, she sighs forth the following complaint :

used to more chair.

hed and

Laura. Oh! thou cold, fatal shadow of the night,

The cradle and the sepulchre of light;
If all the crimes of love, from age to age,
Were written on thy dark and mourning page ;
Then would as many tales be read on high,
As there are sapphire planets in the sky.
There, too, perchance, my destiny is drawn,
To fade and vanish in the coming dawn.
There in thy shining annals may be read,
The fate of one like me, who thus doth tread
Blindly the jealous shadows of despair,
But thy impartial pages would declare
The cause, and thus to every eye discover
A tyrant father, and a hated lover ;
A jealous mistress, too. But oh, dread fear!

My love, my life, my lord, my Frederick dear, Why dost thou now delay, and leave me lonely here?

[Retires a little.

Flerida enters. Flerida. Fabio told me that his master • Bade him in the park await him, Which doth clearly prove his mistress Dwelleth somewhere in the palace. Laura went to rest so early, That I had not time to order ller attendance in the garden And as I could trust none other, I have been compelled to venture Here alone, for fear Arnesto May have failed in what I ordered.

Ah! if I may trust the lustre,
Shining through the trembling branches,
From the azure planets yonder,
I can recognise some person.
Who is there?
Laura. It is Flerida!

[ Aside. Now my subtle wit assist me; Tell me who is that that's waiting?

[ Aloud.
For, her highness has commanded
I should learn who is the person
That, protected by the darkness,
In the precincts of her palace,
Treats her with so much dishonour.

Flerida. Laura, do not speak so loudly.
Laura, Who are you?

I am Flerida.
Laura, You, senora ? how dost happen
That at such an hour I see you?

Flerida. Having all the day forgotten
To request you

How I tremble ! [ Aside.
Flerida. To come hither, I considered
It were best to come myself here.

Laura. Oh! you wrong me, dear senora;
Is it not enough to tell me
Once the object of your wishes,
Without giving me each moment
Special orders for my guidance ?
Furthermore, I had this evening
Other reasons for my coming.

Fleria. What were these?

Beneath my window,
Which upon the park doth open,
I could hear the tramp of horses;
And the novelty induced me
To descend and search the garden.

Flerida. What you tell me is in keeping
With my private information ;
For your zeal I'm very grateful.
Did you in the park discover
Anything that seemed peculiar?

Laura. I saw nothing whatsoever
of the person that I looked for.
But you can retire, senora,
Now that I am here ; believe me
Nothing shall escape my searching.

Flerida, Be it so, but you remain here.
Laura, Certainly.

[Some one knocks, Flerida,

What means this knocking? Laura. Many times the wind deceives one.

[ Knocking repeated. Flerida. This is surely no deception : Open and reply.

Laura. Senora ?

Flerida. Open ; and, to give you courage,
I myself shall stand beside you.
We shall learn who seeks admission,
And the name of her he seeketh,
If he should but chance to name her.

Laura, My voice is too well-known, I fear me.

Flerida. You can slightly change your accent-
Come, I say.
Laura. Oh I never, never,

[ Aside.
Was there such a cruel precept!
How shall I support the double
Part assigned me in this drama?
When the night forbids my using
Our ingenious secret cypher.

Flerida. Why dost thou tremble?

Lest they know me When I speak.

Flerida, What groundless terror ?
Come I say,
Laura. Who's there? ropens the ucindow of

the trellis.
[Frederick within.].

A wretched,
Dying man, divinest Laura !

Laura, Did I not declare, senora, That I would be known the moment That I spoke--you ree't has happened At the first word that I uttered,

Flerida. Yes, and that is little wonder, I too would have known yon, Laura,

Laura, Cavalier, since you do know me,
You do also know for certain
That I'm not the wished for lady,
Whom your hopes are here expecting-
Go away, and thank your fortune
That my much-offended honour
Takes no deeper mode of vengeance
Than to close the window on you. [closes the window,

Frederick. My life, my soul, my dearest Laura,
My love, indeed I am not guilty-
My tardiness was forced upon me-
Listen, lady, though you kill me,
Or I will myself destroy me!
Laura. Why did you compel my speaking ?

[to Flerida. When just now I told you Flerida.

Laura. If my father, or Lisardo
Could have known

Speak not so loudly.
Laura. Who e'er felt so strange a torture? [aside.

Frederick. Hear me, though you kill me after-
In pity open, dearest Laura. [Flerida opens the

window. Flerida. What then would you wish to tell me?

Frederick. That Flerida's jealous anger
Sent to me your sire Arnesto,
Who, by force of arms, detained me
All the evening in my chamber,
So that till this moment, dearest,
I could not come here.-Why linger?
In the park our horses tarry.
From the Duke I carry letters,
Which will gain us full protection
In his royal court of Mantua.
Come with me what, though the morning
Glimmers o'er the eastern mountains-
Once with thee upon the journey
I shall fear no interruption.

Laura. If a word he could have added, [aside. He would not have stopped ! I perish!

Flerida, Frederick, it is too near morning
Now to think of going with you;
It is better you should enter
Once again your prison chamber,
And, perhaps, a kinder fortune
May befriend us on to-morrow.

Frederick. Thou art my life, my soul, and ever
Shall I study to obey thee;
But thou wilt remain in sorrow?

Flerida. Oh! not with thee, but with my planet ! Adieu !

[Erit. Frederick. Adieu ! divinest Laura ! [Ecil.

Thus then was every doubt painfully removed from the mind of Flerida, and every hope from her heart. Her first feeling was that of indignation against Laura for the continued duplicity of her conduct; but the faithful and disinterested affection of Frederick, under such strong temptation, soon changed it into a more generous channel; and her whole study was, to secure his happiness, even at the sacrifice of her own. Her influence easily obtained the consent of all parties concerned, and Frederick and Laura are united. The love and constancy of Henry also obtained their reward ; for, in a short time, the fair Flerida became the happy wife of the happiest duke that ever reigned over pleasant Mantua.

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