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Sci. Oh! truly guess'd—see'st thou, this trembling hand

[Holding up a dagger. Thrice justice urg'd—and thrice the slack’ning sinews Forgot their office, and confess'd the father. At length the stubborn virtue has prevailid, It must, it must be so-Oh! take it then,

[Giving the dagger. And know the rest untaught.

Cal. I understand you.
It is but thus, and both are satisfy'd.

[She offers to kill herself : Sciolto catches hold

of her arm. Sci. A moment, give me yet a moment's space. The stern, the rigid judge has been obey'd; Now nature, and the father, claim their turns. I've held the balance with an iron hand, And put off ev'ry tender human thought, To doom my child to death; but spare my eyes The most unnatural sight, lest their strings crack, My old brain split, and I grow mad with horror.

Cal. Hal is it possible; and is there yet Some little dear remain of love and tenderness For poor, undone Calista, in your

heart Sci. Oh! when I think what pleasure I took in

thee, What joys thou gav'st me in thy prattling infancy, Thy sprightly wit, and early blooming beauty; How have I stood, and fed my eyes upon thee, Then, lifting up my hands, and wond'ring, blest thee; By my strong grief, my heart ev'n melts within me;


I could curse Nature, and that tyrant, honour,
For making me thy father, and thy judge;
Thou art my daughter still.

Cal. For that kind word,
Thus let me fall, thus humbly to the earth,
Weep on your feet, and bless you for this goodness.
Oh! 'tis too much for this offending wretch,
This parricide, that murders with her crimes,
Shortens her father's age, and cuts him off,
Ere little more than half his years be number'd.

Sci. Would it were otherwise-but thou must die.

Cal. That I must die, it is my only comfort; Death is the privilege of human nature, And life without it were not worth our taking: “ Thither the poor, the pris’ner, and the mourner, 140

Fly for relief, and lay their burthens down." Come then, and take me into thy cold arms, Thou meagre shade; here let me breathe my last, Charm'd with my father's pity and forgiveness, More than if angels tun'd their golden viols, And sung a requiem to my parting soul. Sci. I'm summon’d hence; ere this my friends ex.

pect me. There is I know not what of sad presage, That tells me, I shall never see thee more ; If it be so, this is our last farewel, And these the parting pangs, which nature feels, When anguish rends the heart-strings—Oh, my daughter!

[Exit Sciolto. Cal. Now think, thou curst Calista, now behold

The desolation, horror, blood, and ruin,
Thy crimes and fatal folly spread around,
That loudly cry for vengeance on thy head;
Yet Heav'n, who knows our weak, imperfect natures,
How blind with passions, and how prone to evil,
Makes not too strict inquiry for offences,
But is aton'd by penitence and pray'r :
Cheap recompence! here 'twould not be receiv'd,
Nothing but blood can make the expiation,
And cleanse the soul from inbred, deep pollution.
And see, another injur'd wretch is come,
To call for justice from my tardy hand.


Enter ALTAMONT. Alt. Hail to you, horrors! hail, thou house of

death! And thou, the lovely mistress of these shades, Whose beauty gilds the more than midnight darkness, And makes it grateful as the dawn of day. Oh, take me in, a fellow-mourner, with thee, I'll number groan for groan, and tear for tear; And when the fountain of thy eyes are dry, Mine shall supply the stream, and weep for both.

Cal. I know thee well, thou art the injur'd Altamont; Thou com'st to urge me with the wrongs I've done

But w, I stand upon the brink of life,
And in a moment mean to set me free
From shame and thy upbraiding.
Alt. Falsely, falsely


Dost thou accuse me! When did I complain, 180 Or murmur at my fate ? " For thee I have “ Forgot the temper of Italian husbands, " And fondness has prevail'd upon revenge.'' I bore my load of infamy with patience, “ As holy men do punishment from Heav'n;" Nor thought it hard, because it came from thee. Oh, then, forbid me not to mourn thy loss, To wish some better fate had rul'd our loves, And that Calista had been mine, and true.

Cal. Oh, Altamont! 'tis hard for souls like mine, Haughty and fierce, to yield they've done amiss. But, Oh, behold! my proud disdainful heart Bends to thy gentler virtue. Yes, I own, Such is thy truth, thy tenderness, and love; “ Such are the graces that adorn thy youth,” That, were I not abandon’d to destruction, With thee I might have liv'd for ages bless’d, And dy'd in peace within thy faithful arms.

Alt. Then happiness is still within our reach.
Here let remembrance lose our past misfortunes, 200
Tear all records that hold the fatal story;
Here let our joys begin, from hence go on,
In long successive order.

Cal. What! in death?
Alt. Then, art thou fix'd to die?-

But be it so ;. We'll go together; my advent'rous love Shall follow thee " to those uncertain beings. " Whether our lifeless shades are doom'd to wander In gloomy groves, with discontented ghosts;

«« Or whether thro’ the upper air we fleet, “ And tread the fields of light; still I'll pursue thee,” "Till fate ordains that we shall part no more.

Cal. Oh, no! Heav'n has some other better lot in


To crown thee with. Live, and be happy long;
Live, for some maid that shall deserve thy goodness,
Some kind, unpractis'd heart, that never yet
Has listen'd to the false ones of thy sex,
Nor known the arts of ours; she shall reward thee,
Meet thee with virtues equal to thy own,
Charm thee with sweetness, beauty, and with truth; 220
Be blest in thee alone, and thou in her.

Hor. Now, mourn indeed, ye miserable pair;
For now the measure of your woes is full.
Alt. What dost thou mean, Horatio ?

Hor. Oh, 'tis dreadful!
The great, the good Sciolto dies this moment.

Cal. My father!
Alt. That's a deadly stroke, indeed.

Hor. Not long ago he privately went forth,
Attended but by few, and those unbidden.
I heard which way he took, and straight pursu'd him;
But found him compass’d by Lothario's faction,
Almost alone, amidst a crowd of foes.
Too late we brought him aid, and drove them back;
Ere that, his frantic valour had provok'd
The death he seem'd to wish for from their swords.

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