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But of what availeth reason,
Rest at length poor weary heart.
Hopeful dreamer that thou art;
Calm thy heart, or cool thy brain.
Of Atlanta, young and fair ;
It were idle to declare.
Which her heart cannot restrain,
Which for love itself is vain ?
Senora, they are mine.
Frederick. I am poor,
Of what importeth this to love ?
ports ; And thus, you see, that I do not complain Of feeling love's sweet bitter pain, senora, But that I do not merit being loved. Flerida, And canst thou, Frederick, love so base
an object, That can be influenced by thoughts of gain ? Frederick, It were a crime to charge her innocent
heart With such a thought. Flerida.
Whom do you blame? Frederick.
Flerida. A lover who doth own himself to be
Frederick. So guarded in my silence is my love,
it happen that you presume to speak to me with so much passion of your love? Do you forget who I am ?”
“Pardon me,” replied Frederick, “if I am in fault. But did you not ask me, senora, and have I not answered you?”
“ You have answered me a great deal more than I inquired of you,” said Flerida, as she turned to Arnesto, her steward, and commanded him to pay to Frederick two thousand ducats, in order that he might conciliate the attendants of his mysterious lady. “For I don't wish," she continued, " that, under pretence of his poverty, he should speak to me again with so little judgment as he has done to-day ; being so very timid with his mistress, and so bold with me."
While Libia, one of the ladies in waiting, was wondering at the displeasure which was apparent in the language and countenance of her mistress -while Laura was suspecting its cause --while Frederick was endeavouring to turn it aside by some polite compliments, such as his anxiety to kiss the earth where she trod, as the contact of her beautiful feet with the ground produced more flowers than spring up after the sunny showers of April_and while Fabio, his valet, was improving and parodying the compliment of his master, by assuring the duchess that he was anxious to kiss the ground beneath her feet, but that he dared not to approach it, as it was heaven and not earth where she walked—while all this was passing, Henry (the disguised Duke of Mantua) was announced. After being courteously received by Flerida, and after having received an invitation to remain at her court until the affair of the duel, mentioned in the letter of the duke, should blow over, Flerida sat down, surrounded by her ladies, beneath the pleasant shade of a spreading tree, and calling upon Arnesto, who stood, with the rest of the gentlemen, at a little distance, to propose a question, they commenced one of those games of wit, which were then so much the fashion in all courtly circles, in the following manner :
Arnesto. Though my white hairg might excuse me From my share in this sweet pastime: Still, to gratify, senora, Thee in ought, I put the question" What is Love's most bitter pain?"
Flerida. Sir, it is for you to answer: [To Henry.
Flerida. To thee, as guest and stranger,
Not to forfeit
“Enough, enough,” cried Flerida, " your language is as affected as your scruples are ridiculous. But how does
Hope, is added the concealing
Even that he feels it not.
Ever lives in hope and fear,
From the midst of pleasure near Some fancied evil, far removed,
Wounds him like a hidden spear; In his passion and his langour
He feels at once the double pain
Of him who loves, but meets disdain, And the proud disdainer's anger ;
As to jealousy, heaven knows, He feels its added pang as well ; He cannot for a moment dwell
From his loved mistress, but the throes Of absence in his bosom swell.
'Tis true Despair can find no scope
He can not feel the joy of Hope ;
And thus he feels the pain of cach
Who wanteth hope, or wanteth speech, "Twould seem, indeed, & man like this
Is wholly out of misery's reach, So much doth love his bosom bless
But, in the midst of all his joy,
There comes the shadow of annoy, Lest Fate, perchance, may make it less ;
And thus his breast contains each feeling That our several lips have stated,
or being loved, and being hatedBoth of speaking and concealing
Jealousy and absence mated.
The advantage you have given me,
Flora. I believe its greatest anguish
Lisardo. Tis jealousy-
Tis the feeling Of loving without lope or cure.
Flerida. I think its greatest pain is loving
Laura, And I, to love, and be beloved :
Flerida. That's a somewhat novel reason :
Laura. I will prove it, notwithstanding.
Henry. Since I made the first beginning,
Fabio. Now we'll hear enough of nonsense [aside. The greater wit the greater folly.
llenry. Love is a planet, shining far
And so the greatest pain of love
Of some proud beauty's scornful eyes,
Which glance upon him to despise,
Flora. He who lifts his heart above
That he suffers for his love,
Suffers without any merit,
Neither can her heart inherit
Lisardo. He who loves, and yet is hated,
Which in time may be abated
With the thought that they are fated
From some dearer favoured lover,
Nor thought of Heaven's impartial plan,
But Jealousy is born of Man!
Jealousy relume its fires
Awakened by its glowing breath,
But absence, which the wise man saith,
Absence is Love's quickest death,
She who worshipped still doth scorn
He whom Jealousy's sharp thorn
All live beneuth Hope's horoscope ;
Of him who loveth without hope.
Can at least his state declare,
And by telling his despair
In secret, shares a sadder lot,
It was thus, in scholastic subtilties, and graceful combats of the wit, that Flerida and her courtiers amused themselves on that sunny morning of May. After Laura had concluded her ingenious argument in support of the startling paradox she had laid down, that “the greatest pain of love was in being loved," Flerida arose, accompanied by her train, and in the little confusion that followed, Frederick was enabled to arrange a simple stratagem, by means of which he could receive a letter which his mistress Laura had promised him, and which she had concealed' upon her person: this was merely to place it in her glove, which she would drop, as if by accident, and for which, Frederick should substitute his own, when apparently returning it to her. This little ruse succeeded admirably, and without the slightest detection, notwithstanding the jealous eagerness of Lisardo, who, as the declared admirer of Laura, considered that it was his privilege to restore the glove to its fair owner. The duchess having shortly after retired with her attendants, Frederick, who was dying with impatience to read the letter he had just received, was at length left alone with his valet Fabio.
Frederick. Oh! how delighted I am to be at length alone; I can now read this letter.
Fabio. Well, if this does not make me lose my senses, it is very likely because I have none to lose.
Frederick. What excites your wonder?
Fabio. What? Why your patience and want of curiosity: for this letter, which you must have received over night, it seems you have not yet opened.
Frederick. Do you know what this letter is?
Fabio Be it what it may, is it not certain that you have kept it by you unopened all this time?
Frederick. I have but this moment received it.
Fabio. You will make me love my wits; since no one has spoken to you since morning, it must doubtless have been the wind that brought it to you.
Frederick, No, Fabio, it is not to the wind that I am indebted for this letter, but to the fire which burns and consumes me.
Fabio. The are?
Fabio. That your are mad; or that you have become a phantom lover, worshipping some hobgoblin lady, whom you have created in your mind,
Frederick. Peace, fool : retire.
Fabio, Well, I ought to be a squire of purgatory, since I live in a state neither of rewards nor punishments.
Prederick (reads). “ My lord and master, my torment is increasing very much, since my father, contrary to my wishes, is forcibly treating of my marriage, and has appointed to-morrow for the signing of the contract." (Aloud.) Ah! me, what a short time I have to live, only from this until to-morrow, Fabio!
Pabio, What's the matter?
Fabio. You will do very wrong, unless you cannot help it ; for I can assure you, sir, that dying has Dow become exceedingly vulgar.
Frederick. How can I avoid it, when this letter is the sentence of my death?
Fabio, How ? Nothing easier ; since you have your sentence in that letter, can you not add a little postcript, which will entirely change its meaning to something more agreeable ?
Frederick. Without hope or life I proceed (reads) ** And thus, although I risk the unhappy secret of our love, in what I propose, it is still necessary that I should speak to you to-night, for wbich purpose I have arranged that the garden-gate will remain open, and sooner than I shall lose you, I shall lose my life; on the faith of which, I desire you to be prepared with suitable acknowledgments for the portrait I have pent you." (Aloud.) Was there ever such a happy man as I am? Fabio ! Fabio !
Fabio. What is the matter now? You are not dying, I hope?
Frederick. No, I live.
Frederick. I feel almost giddy with excess of joy ; for this night I am to speak to the beautiful being whom I adore. Oh! thou shining champion of the skies, who, in thy golden chariot, slowly drivest over the plain of heaven, shorten thy tedious course, for thou knowest how many eyes are weary of thy light this day. And ye, beautiful stars! who are the planets of the heart, revolt against the regal despotier of the san, and in his stead, establish your shining republics in the heavens, for the sun has robbed you of your rights, and prides himself in your broken power!
cularly as her questions were prefaced by the gift of a chain, which he assured the duchess he valued very much for two reasons, namely, that it came from her, and that it was of gold. The only subject, however, that Flerida felt any curiosity about was, unfortunately, the only one of which Fabio was entirely ignorant, and that was the name of the lady to whom his master Frederick was attached. “In fact,” said Fabio, “I scarcely think he knows it himself; he trusts it to no one. He laughs alone, and he weeps alone. If he receives a letter, I cannot make out whence it comes; if he answer it, I never can discover whither it goes ; and it is only this very day that I have been able to obtain the slightest clue to his affection : for after having read a letter which Barabbas in person must have brought to him, he stated that a divine beauty expected him this night to speak to him.” This information was wormwood to the jealous heart of Flerida: she restrained herself, however, and asked Fabio if he knew the house, or even the street, in which the lady lived. “ She lives in this palace," replied Fabio ; "and I know it for the following reasons:-My master suffers without change - he enjoys without fruition_he adores without desirehe loves without hope ; and night and day he writes as much as would fill a huge portfolio. Discreet follies such as these are only to be met with in a palace.” After Flerida had directed Fabio to watch, with the utmost exactness, every action of his master, for which she would take care to reward him amply, she withdrew to devise some means, as well of preventing the dreaded assignation, as of discovering the name of this fair unknown. She was not long in thinking of an easy plan, by which the former of her wishes, at least, might be satisfied. It was, to write an answer to the letter which she had received from the Duke of Mantua, which she would dispatch by Frederick that very evening; and as the distance was more than twelve leagues, it would be impossible for him to return before the following day. Accordingly, when Frederick waited on her as usual, in order to obtain her signature to some documents, he was overwhelmed with confusion and dismay, at receiving a letter from her hands, with the positive command of delivering it to the person
After this speech, which tended considerably to strengthen Fabio's suspi. cion of his master's insanity, he with drew, giving that amusing and inquisitive personage a full opportunity of expressing his opinions on the subject. His reflections and observations were, however, brought to an abrupt termi nation, by a message from the duchess, requiring his immediate attendance. Fabio, who would have been too happy to impart anything he knew to any person, for the mere pleasure of talk
to whom it was addressed that very night. In vain he pleaded the state of his health, to induce her to substitute some other person as the bearer of her commands; she peremptorily declined to listen to any excuse, repeating that her honour required his compliance, and that she should insist upon being obeyed. She then left him in a state of the utmost bewilderment, vainly endeavouring to think how it was pos. sible, at the same time, to keep his appointment with Laura, and observe his loyalty and obedience to his sovereign. In this perplexity Fabio wait. ed upon him :
Fabio. My lord, does not the day appear to you to very be long?
Frederick. It is the devil that has sent you here. Go, Fabio, and saddle both our horses.
Fabio. Have you received another letter, either by the fire, or by the air ?
Frederick. Yes; I have just received a letter.
Fabio. Oh ! very well. Make a little alteration in it, als in the other, and you will be as merry as Christmas. Look at it again, and your sorrow will end.
Frederick. I have not yet had the courage to read even the superscription.
Fabio. Read it, and see whether it agrees with your first impression.
Frederick. I will see, at least, whither I am sent [reads) “To the Duke of Mantua." [aside) Henvens! my confusion is now of another kind; she has, doubtless, discovered the duke, and takes this method of showing how offended she is with me, for my want of fidelity in concealing him in my apartments. This is what she meant by saying that it was on business that concerned her honour. Oh ! my foolish thought; I have but escaped one danger to fall into another.
Fabio. Well, sir, does the letter improve ?
Frederick. The more I sce of it, the less I comprehend it.
Fabio. Perhaps it is written in cipher, like the letter of the merchant.
Frederick. You fatigue me; I know not of what you are speaking.
Fabio. Well, to remove your ignorance I will tell you the story. A certain inhabitant of Tremezen, a dealer in glass, was in love with a lady of the same place. He had a particular friend, who resided at Tetuan. One day the lady told her lover that she would like to have a monkey, and desired him to write to his friend at Tetuan to send one. As a lover is always anxious not only to gratify, but even to exceed, the wishes of his beloved ; and wishing that the lady would have the opportunity of selecting one to her liking, he requested his friend to send him three or four monkeys. In his letter, however, instead of woriting the numbers, he used figures, and as O is the Spanish of or, his astonished friend read as follows: * Dear friend, for a person for whom I have a great respect, send me 3 o 4 monkeys immediately." He of Tetuan, however, had nothing for it but to comply : and you can easily imagine the consternation of our lover, when, in a few days after, a ship arrived in the harbour of Tremezen, bearing, to his order, three hundred and four monkeys, playing more than three hundred thousand buffooneries. If the same thing has happened to you, I would advise you to read with figures; for, according to this story, one monkey in writing makes a hundred monkeys in cipher.
Frederick. Was anything more ill-timed than to give me this letter at the present moment.
Fabio. Is there no remedy by which you can send a less number of monkeys ?
Frederick. Was there ever any one in the world in a greater state of uncertainty? What shall I do?
Mantua, to whom the letter was ad- . dressed, came into the apartment. Frederick, unbeard by Fabio, told him of the difficulty in which he was placed. They agree that if the duke, on opening the letter, finds that Flerida has seen through his disguise, he shall im. mediately depart for his own territory; but if not, that Frederick shall proceed a little out of the city, as if on the road to Mantua, and return in the dusk of the night, to keep his appointment with Laura ; the duke, writing a reply to Flerida's letter, which Frederick would present to her on the following morning, and thus make it appear that he had spent the night in executing her commands. This unexpected mode of extricating himself from his difficulty, made Frederick look so happy, that Fabio could only explain it by supposing that his master had deciphered the letter, and that his correspondent did not require so many monkeys as he had at first imagined.
Flerida, having thus succeeded, as she thought, in getting one of the lovers out of the way, now turned all her attention to discover who was the other. She would herself have gone to the terrace in the garden, so anxious did she feel to know who her rival was, if she had not been afraid of compromising her dignity. As Laura was her most trusted and confidential agent, and as, of all others, she never had the slightest suspicion of her, she told her that she had learned with great surprise and displeasure, that some lady connected with her court had appointed to meet a gentleman in the garden that very night, and as she could not tolerate such an impropriety, and was anxious to know who the parties were, in order to punish them, she requested Laura to watch from time to time upon the terrace, and report to her accordingly. Poor Laura was very much frightened at this statement, lest Flerida should in reality have known more than she pretended: with some confusion, she, of course, undertook the commission of her mistress, and in her subsequent interview with Frederick, accused him of not having observed a proper secrecy with regard to their meeting-telling him what Flerida had said, and that it was owing to her misplaced confidence she was enabled to keep her appointment with him. He, of course, protested his innocence. The discovery, however, proving the constant vigilance of Fle.
At this moment, Henry, who, as our readers are aware, was the Duke of
rida, and that some one was betraya ing their secrets, Frederick promised that he would send her, on the following day, a plan by which, even in the presence of third parties, they could speak to each other aloud, without their meaning being understood by any one but themselves. This restored them a little to their confidence, and after mutual vows of constancy and love, they separated, she to invent some story that would dissipate the suspicions of the duchess, and he, to have the appearance of returning from Mantua in the morning.
Next day, accordingly, Frederick and Fabio, having, from their dress, all the appearance of persons who had spent the night in travelling, were seen approaching the palace of Flerida, Frederick bearing the answer of the Duke of Mantua, written by his own hand, and sealed with the ducal seal, as well as the promised letter to Laura, containing the plan of “ the secret in words." This was, simply, that after a signal given by either of them (the drawing forth of a handkerchief), the first word of every line spoken by the party giving the signal, was intended for the other, and the remainder for the Duchess, or whatever third parties might be present. By joining these words together, the meaning of the speaker would be discovered. Fabio accompanied his master, quite bewildered by all the contradictory orders he had received, and ntterly incapable of penetrating the mystery of his proceedings. Being unable to keep silence any longer on the subject, he expressed himself in the following terms.
Fabio. Must an honorable man endure all this? Frederick. Of what are you complaining, Fabio?
Fabio. Oh! I complain of nothing, my lord, but perhaps your lordehip would allow me to make a calcolation of the time I have served you, for if you paid ide by the hour as much as you pay me by the year, I vow to God I would not serve you a day longer,
Frederick. And why?
Fabio. Because my unfortunate head is absolutely sea-sick with thinking and refleeting; and there is not money enough in the world to pay a valet that reflects : besides, your orders are so various that I can not understand them.
Frederick. How is that?
Fabio. Why, to give you a specimen- Fabio, I must die. This day my life and hope expire." Oh! Indeed, my lord. Then am I to look after your lordship's funeral?" No, you need not mind it at present, Fabio, for now I will not die, as this black night that is approaching will be brighter in my eyes than the sunnieat day." I am delighted to hear it.
Fabio !" My lord ? "I must depart this instant; so get our horses ready immediately." "Tis done. ** Now I will not depart, but let the horses be brought nevertheless." They are brought. “ Mount." I do .0. How far do we go? " One league." Are We to return? “We must return." Shall I attend your lordship? “No, Fabio; go to my apartments, od mind that you do not follow me." And many
other absurdities, contradictions, and mysteries, that the devil himself could not understand. Besides, my conscience upbraids me for serving a master who, without being Pope, has so many reserved cases.
Frederick. Silence, for her highness appronches. Remember what I have told you already, that you should in no manner allow it to be known that I did not leave Parma last night.
Fabio. Of course : (aside) I am dying to tell it to Flerida, and for these reasons-Firstly, to regale my tongue a little ; secondly, to revenge myself upon my master; and thirdly, to serve the duchess.
Frederick presents the letter of the duke to Flerida, and also one to Laura, which he says he received from Celia, a lady connected with the court of the duchess, the duke's mother. Flerida being quite convinced by the seal and writing of the duke that Frederick must have been to Mantua, feels quite pleased with her stratagem. And as Laura reported that she was unable to see any one in the gardens on the preceding evening, she feels satisfied that, whoever Frederick's mistress may be, she belongs to the city, and not to the court. Fabio, however, takes a very early opportunity of disabusing her on the subject; tells her that his master did not leave Parma the preceding night, the better part of which he spent in conversation with his mistress, and that as to the letter, it must have been the devil himself that brought it to him, as Frederick neither went nor sent any human being to Mantua for that purpose. Flerida, as usual, acquaints Laura with this new intelligence, to the utmost terror and amazement of the latter. Laura retires to think over this strange discovery, and also to read the letter which she herself had received from Frederick. While reading it with great attention, she is surprised by Lisardo, who, in his jealousy, insists upon seeing its contents. She, of course, refuses, and the noise of their altercation attracts Flerida, Frederick, and Fabio, as well
perhaps you to time I have served as me by the ye
Arnesto. What is all this noise, Lisardo ?
Nay, your highness,
[ Aside. Arnesto. Wilt thou speak thus ? [to Lisardo. Plerida.
Wilt thou quarrel ?
Thy betrothed ?
Laura. It is much: you know, Senora,
Laura, And being thus employed, I