Skip to main content

Full text of "Volentia ; a play in five acts"

See other formats




/' > 




"Many things look bright, pretty moth, 
To dazzle and lead us astray." 






?Dramati0 Jpcraona. 

DORVAL, A Millionaire. 



BIENVILLE, Suitor to Lisette. 

VOLENTIA Dokval's Daughter. 

LISETTE, Her amie Servante. 

And other incidental characters. 




"An, mk! I'm sad, unloved, unblest!" 

A Spa. 

■ Enter Lewmarin and Doctor. 


— By your description I surmise the maid. 


My health forbade, that I should tarry long, 
And so, I saw her but a moment's pause. 
She seemed a maiden of a sixteenth year, 
Of stately presence and distinguished air, — 
The star and centre of surrounding eyes. 


Her name's Volentia, daughter of Dorval. 


Dorval! — I think I've heard the name before. 


A name familiar to the tongues of fame. 
He is a maii of genius and renown, 
A famous banker and a millionaire. 


I have — but sihall acquaintance with the tradt 




He 's most distinguished for his pride. 'Tis said. 
He owns a demon's art in using gold, 
And deals in highest marketry of men. 
He sounds the motives of aspiring minds, 
Explores all passions, and invents all whims. 


Is he so dext'rous in the affairs of men 1 


It is the triumph of his yearning pride 
To wed performance with his promised word; 
And men of justice, policy and trade, 
Generals, and statesmen of the highest grade, 
All bend in homage at his whisper'd will; 
Receive his thousands as their honor's meed; 
And render service with a flattered grace. 
None are so high as spurn his gilded smiles, 
Or feel the nettle of his spiny pride. 
Because his skill in pretexts, masks his bribes. 


But — such corruption — should disgust the world! 


His art withdraws it from the vulgar gaze. 
It is a dangerous talent, but 'tis one, 
And few possess it in the fai* extreme. 
To purchase falsehood, courtezans and slaves 
Is common to the common art, not his. 
His spirit, tortuous as the serpent's wile, 
Yet meek and gentle as a harmless dove, 


Inflames th' opinion of the monarch press ; 
Inspires ambition with the lust of power ; 
Enmeshes fashion with a golden web ; 
And dazzles women with a heaven of gems. 
He barters beauty, honor, virtue, fame. 
Bound in the links of ornamental chains, 
Whilst each, delighted, glories in the shame. 


Belike the daughter owns the father's charms. 


It were ungallant to consider so. 

And yet she has a spirit of her own. 

She is the daughter of his state and pride ; 

His idol, goddess — and his only child. 

Young, fresh and lovely in the dawn of youth, 

In budding beauty's bloom, yet scarce full blown, 

She sways his motives with a scepter'd will. 

For her, to him, the world is but a mine 

From which he draws her treasures, by his skill. 

His wealth, as boundless as his love for her, 

Has no reflexion in its boundless tide, 

But through the channels of her vast caprice 

Flows ever onward, loyal to her law: 

Her lightest fancy, gravest wish, the same. 


But he is distant in his high estate — 

And stands aloof in far, obscure reserve 1 — 


Ah no ! this jumps not with his policy. 


He mingles freely with the near-by world, 
And picks up knowledge by the grain from men. 
He has no fear, familiar touch may dim 
The gloss that fancy lends to famous men. 
His favors sparkle with commanding grace; 
And grades and classes, on what business bent, 
Have easy access at the proper place, 
And meet attention at the proper time. 


I'm weary. Doctor! — We have walked too far. 
My strength will scarce endure till we return. 


Courage, Lewmarin ! Lean upon my arm ! 
I fear no ill effect from this short stroll. 
These healing waters and these quiet scenes; 
These moderate rambles, conversations, air; 
With bracing science, patience, self-control, 
Must soon restore your wasted nature's spring. 


Nay, Doctor, nay, my nature is subdued. 
And like a steed, by too fast running, spent, 
Belash'd and spurr'd beyond his wind and thew, 
My youth is vanquished ere my life's begun. 


Courage, Lewmarin! youth has wond'rous force. 
It may be sorely crushed, yet rise again. 


I need a moral physic for my pain. 
Some vital motive must my health r^ain. 



0, you shall gain it, or prescription's vain. 

[ Exeunt. 
•-• « 

A Boudoir* 
Volentia reclining on a cushion, reading, 
Dorval arrear, watching her. 


O, I am withered in the dawn of life ! 
My heart precocious in the buds of youth, 
Blooming too early in the dews of morn, 

* Deep in the marble masonry of pride, 

The sumptuous convent of voluptuous wealth; 

And deeper still within a boudoir's cell, 

The inmost cloister of seclusion's shade, • 

Where mirrored pannels multiply the maze 

Of splendid trifles, rare fantastic toys: 

Of velvet volumes bound in gems and gold: 

Of passion's paintings, caskets of perfume ; 

Of lutes, and slippers, fiUagrees of gold. 

That load the grotesque furniture of whim 

With pomp's fastidious college, unarranged. 

And fill the fancy with exquisite di-eams; — 

Where wreaths of flowers in artful beauty bloom 

And twine the columns of the fretted hall ; — 

Where eastern carpets, wrought in western sheen, 

Contrast the sables of the soft divan 

And spread for beauty's foot a downy plain ; — 

Where damask looped in rosy, massive folds 

10 VOLENTIA. [act I. 

Was chilled and blighted by untimely frosts 
That lingered wintry in the smiles of spring. 
Ah me ! I 'm weary of this barren world — 
Forlorn and lifeless in this glittering woe, 

Drapes low ia ogive from the corniced walls 

And veils the day in beauty's clear obscure, 

That streams too gairish through the florid glass. 

In such retreat, reclining and immured, 

Luxurious ip the blaze of chandelier, 

Whose crystal lamps reflecting every hue 

Of light's redundant and prismatic ray, * 

Rival the glory of the setting sun 

And vie in softness with the fuU orbed moon, 

A form of youth in brighter beauty shone. 

And she was pensive in that rich estrade: 
A cloud of sadness hung upon her brow 
Th' excepted shadow of the glorious scene, 
■ Abandoned on a cushion, as she lay. 

She seemed a mermaid basking on a wave 

In velvet maelstrom and in silken tide, 

The queenly spirit of some sunlit sea. , 

One phantom hand of purest blonde restrained 
The falling tresses of her raven hair, 
That hung in torsades and excessive flow 
And veiled the whiteness of her bosom's snow. 
Whilst in the other, drooping by her side, 
A spangled volume of cerulian hue. 
That seemed suspended in a tintless cloud 
In mid air floating midst her misty robes. 
In mystic lightness she, half opened, held. 
O'er this she mused, «fec., Ac, 


The jewelled night resembles my despair ! 
My heart and spirit, in this marble form, 
Are cold as beauty, in her northern zone, 
Wrapt in the mantle of her arctic snow ! — 
I 'm surfeit, — surfeit of this gilded sphere. 
I 'm tired of triumphs, homages of men ; — 
Weary of jewels, equipage and robes ; 
And sick of spangles, tinselry and show ! — 
Alas, I cannot love; I am too cold. 
I am too high in latitude of world, 
Too full of peril — frozen and removed. 
To tempt devotion in my sheen of snow. 
None dare explore the regions of my woe- 
Save mad ambition and her frenzied sons. 
Oh, for a new enticement ! I have none ! — 
None love Volentia for herself alone ! — * 


Why sighs Volentia — daughter of my soul? — 
Nay never start! — I am no frightful ghost. 
Let not confusion strew her roses dear — 
Nor plant her lilies near the brooks of tears. 


Ah me! — 

* So sighed this maiden in her sixteenth year, 

Young, fresh and lovely in her- early spring, 

In beauty's bloom revealed, yet scarce fall blown. 

Eetired, apart, her doating father stood 

(For she -was dear to him, his only child, 

His pride and pet, and mother she had none,) 

12 ■ VOLENTIA. [ ACT ] 


Nay, sweet Volentia — never sigh ! — 
I heard the music of your lips, not heart — 
The song, but not the burthen of your woe. 
If I profane the temple of a heart, 
Or hear its vow with sacrilegious ear, — 
'Tis I, your father's venerable eye 
That views the worship, none besides, should see. 


'Twas dearly rude! — 


Not impious, dear! — 


Ah me! — 


Ah ! Speak my daughter ; let me know your grief. 
I've watched you only with a holy eye. 
I saw love dreaming in the lap of truth, 
And sad concealment nurse him in her folds. 


Ah, no! ah, no! — I pray you sir, no more! — 

Enrapt in ■wonder at his daughter's woe. 
He'd watched her long, intently, and unseen. 
Knowing that she was sad, but could not learn 
The secret idea that inspired her pain. 
He 'd heard indeed, the music of her moan, 
But could not catch the burthen of her sighs. 
"With timid pace he ventured near her rest 
And broke her revery as he paused and bowed, 
She started as^ <fec., &c. 



What though a prince incite your love's young dream, 
I shall subject him to your beauty's law! 
Your dowry shall eclipse his star of state, 
And overlume the lustre of his rank ! — 
Perhaps some wedded lover has inclined 
The downward favor of your bending eye, 
And wedlock bars the freedom of its glance 1 — 
I will divorce him from his marriage bonds 
And loose him freely to your fancy's choice ! * 


Ah, me ! I do not — cannot weep for love. 


Not love, Volentia! O, confess your pain, — 
Reveal the anguish that subdues your soul. 
Your father's glory is his daughter's will. 
'Tis his religion and his ministering care 

* So spoke great Dorval, princely in his pride, 
And so might speak without unmeaning boast. 
For he might speak what others only feign'd. 
What vanity hyperbolonsly claimed 
And falsehood vaunted both of wealth and power, 
Were phrases merely of his daily deeds. 
His art, unequalled by his boldest schemes, 
Adjusted dt^ftly all the means to ends, 
■ And bought and sold, with skill, all human aims. 
His genius soared above low merchandise. 
And swept adventurous on the highest wing. 
So spoke great Dorval, eminent of fame. 
And meekly bent him by his daughter's side. 


To fill the measure of her lightest prayer, 
And drown her cup with overflowing joy. 


Ah, me! — 


Not love! — Is't a mansion — rich estate — 
A country villa — or an ocean seati 


No, no! — 


What then? a painting — statue — pearl — ? 
Look up Volentia! Let me see you smile — 
Is it a tire of diamonds, — queenly robe, — 
A holy relic, — or a keepsake rare? — 
Say what, — or whose — what fancy — or what worth — 
My daughter's vision shall in substance live 
That instant whisper'd in my joyful ear ! — 
Ha! — silent, still — ah! what can I deny! 


Ah, me, alas ! 't is none of these. Forbear ! 


'Tis none of these! — You are too young for woe. 
The luxury of want you 've never known, 
Nor felt the anguish of p. hope deferred ! — 
" That cheek, deep furrowed by the chase of tears, 
Should beam like Hebe's, full of happy smiles, 
And all your beauties in their youthful spring 
Should bloom in gladness with the rising sun. 


Ah, me! 



Nay, never sigh! — suppress these tears! — 


Tears! I cannot weep — I am too sad for tears. 
Ah, me! — 


— And still she sighs! — I am amazed 
That one so young, so skill-less in disguise, 
Can foil the glances of my piercing eye, 
And seel my judgment on the toss of doubt — 
Can hold so close, inexorably firm, 
And outshow nothing by her trembling eye! 
I know her not; her nature's wholly changed. 
O, where is now her once provoking skill 
That erst did urge me, with her girlish zeal. 
To yield performance to Her endless whims? 
Where now that eager and persistent will 
Which claimed obedience with tyrannic tear. 
And gave, with maiden's archness, all her lawsl — 
She sighs again! Volentia! — does not hear! — 
She only answers with her deep-drawn flaws 
And wakes the echoes of my own despair ! 
Ah, me! Volentia! — 


Father! — oh! forbear! — ► 


Enough! enough! — I'll search this new chagrin, 
And find the motive of her deep regret. 
To-night I'll light the lamp of festive hall 
And try th' effect of contrast on her soul. 

16 VOLENTIA. [act I. 

'Tis often proved that others' pleasures hold 
The glass which shows the features of our own. 
I'll weave some web shall snare her cautious heart, 
Or yield pretention to the coil of art. [Uxit, 


How warm the spirit of these tender lines {reads) 
Sweeps o'er the feelings of this unloved heart 
And fills the fancy with delicious airs! 
How soft it breathes among the cords of love 
And sighs in vesper and Eolean thought, 
Waking the welkin of my starlit woe ! — 
And I am still unblest with love like this!— 
O, love, empyrean! O, angelic love! 
O, bliss unclouded by the tints of earth ! — 
Bliss, like the sun, who fills all spheres with joy, 
And from himself, and for himself alone. 
Expands his glory through the realms of space. 
Beloved of all the worl J, and loving all — 
Why shouldst thou hide thy sheen, from me alone"? 
JEnter Idsette, 


Here are more books, more compliments and cards, 

More billets, souvenirs, regrets, regards. 

More splendid trifles and fantastic toys, 

That prove a world of men no more than boys. 


Lisette ! 


I would I were an empress now. 
I'd banish books and emigrate all beaux. 


Or if such traitors must infest my court, 

My belles should rig like women, forswear rouge, 

"Wear nature's ivory, and her proper hair. 

Nor borrow form from cotton, mould from whales, 

To foist off beauties that they never owned, 


Lisette ! — 


My beaux should talk like men — not maids ; 
Or shave their beards, or leave them quite alone 
As nature gave them, black or grisly gray, 
And not as barber's boons, all falsely pruned. 
I'd have no trappings of a middle sex — 
Each should have a business and a wife — they should, 
To keep them steady, veer them off from vice. 
Or I'd condemn them, wretchedly, from love, 
Beyond redemption from my women's grace! 


Lisette ! — 


Books should be written from the fact. 
And works of fancy burnt with real fire. 
My literature should have some tinge of truth ! 
For why should truth and nature be abhorred, 
And fancy's falsehoods be so much adored? 


Lisette ! — 


Speak lady mine! — 


Take these gauds away ! 

18 VOLENTIA. [act I. 


Why, these are all delightful in their place! 

The starry Flora of the verdant plains 

But gems the mantle of the vulgar soil. 

Her spangles deck the rudest forms of earth 

And ray them richly in a world of hues ; 

But when her buds are torn from natal dust 

And twined in garlands for the sumptuous hall, 

Though she may lend them transient beauty there, 

She yet denies the freshness of her bloom 

And fades them quickly in their ravished charms. 

Her odors, reeking in her rare perfume. 

When dainty mingled with the common air, 

Transfuse a sweetness to the sighing breeze 

And lend it fragrance with delicious grace. 

But when they 're rankly breathed in pent up bowers. 

Or purely stagnant in exclusive vales, 

Their spicy poison stimulates the soul ; 

Inspires the transports of a maniac's dream, . 

And fills the fancy with essential rage. 


Why, let them, then, remain ; give me the books ! 


Nay, letters too impart to life a sheen 
When beauty gilds the clay that nature moulds; 
But when refinement, with fastidious taste, 
Expends all splendor on the forms of art, — 
And science, frantic in the realms of thought, 
Transfers to fancy her imperial torch, 


Then whirl the atoms of the social world, 
Like insects eddied in some dazzling blaze, 
And hearts and heads, by phantoms, giddy, reeled, 
Ecstatic fly from wisdom's tempered shade 
And self-consuming, die in folly's flame. 


Away, Lisette — let books and flowers remain! 
I '11 have no touch of grossness in this cove. 
For I am like a flower, cropt to fade. 
And like these books, my world is fancy made. 



" None love me for myself alone ! " 


A Parlor. 

Dorval and Lisette. 


I am alarmed, Lisette. Volentia grows 
More sad. Her cheeks are pallid and adust 
Prom tears, whilst on her brow a sorrow casts 
The livid shadow of some sleepless care. 
Have you observed her as I gave you charge? 

I have with heedful watch espied her grief, 
And sought with diligence the cause. 


I owe 
You much. The debt shall be repaid. 


'Tis, sir, 
Already paid — indeed, o'erpaid. When from 
The depth of poverty your generous hand. 
Low-reaching, snatched me from despair — 


Alas! — 


And raised me, helpless orphan, to this height - 
To fortune, favor, nay to luxury — 

22 • VOLENTIA. [act II. 


Her growing sadness and her pensive air, 
Will sap her beauty and her spirits wear, 


Pray listen, sir. 


To what? 


My gratitude. 


What's that 1 pshaw ! pshaw ! a hollow, senseless word 
That hath no pith of feeling or regard. 
Na-y never blench. I bought thy virtues girl ! 
•Volentia loved thee — 'twas enough for me! 
What think you now of her chagrin 1 


I cannot fathom her desires; belike, 
'Tis marriage that inspires her now. . 


Marriage ! — 
Alas ! She does not love. I've sounded love ! * 
Casting her eye to heaven with fixed regard, 
Heaving long sighs upon the passing winds 
And breathing to the echoes sad, ah, me's ! 
She makes no answer to my inquiry. 

* The world 's a sceptic in the creed of love, 
And doubts profoundly constancy and truth; 
For every heart a conscious weakness owns 
And, swerving, errs before a tempting smile. 
Each judging others by its own approof. 
Denies affection an abiding faith. 



These are the tokens of a lover's pain, 
The outward symptoms of an inward flame. 


They 're also diagnoses of despair, 
That lack the vital motive of desire. 
If signs of love — it must be jealousy. 


I cannot tell ; and yet of this I'm sure : 
It holds her longer in its woeful spell 
Than ere caprice has bound her heretofore. 


Alas ! She 's fancy-faint and weary-minded. 

Have you prepared the fete, to-night, with care? — 


I have. 

All speak of truth abstractly as a grac«, 
A bright creation, beautifully fine, 
But yet ignore it as a common noun. 
Each seems to wear it outward when abroad, 
, But masks deception in fictitious glare. 
No wonder, then, hypocrisy should thrive. 
•Her tinsel splendor has more sheen than gold. 
For Truth herself looks dingy out of doors. 
And has no dazzle in her virgin ores. 
To wed a fortune is the hope of youth — 
A hope that's answered through the church of love. 
There, pure affection finds her due reward 
And saintly demons an unequal boon. 
All strive to win, (no matter how,) a prize. 
All see that happiness is seldom found 

24 • VOLENTIA. * [act IJ. 


'Tis well; your taste will there appear. 
Arrange your garlands with a dainty band, 
And scatter perfumes that entice delight! 
Temper the glory of each chandelier, 
Shade all with crystals, lamps of every hue. 
Let each prismatic and redundant ray 
Eival the softness of the full-orbed moon 
And vie in splendor with the setting sun ! — 
Fringe every column, and adorn each vase. 
Then lead Volentia from her trysting place. 

All is provided and" awaits your guests. 


By patient merit or by honest worth; 
That genius reaps what virtue fitly sows 
And garners glory from another's field; 
And, therefore, all with panting ardor run 
To win a triumph, honestly, — or win. 
So Dorval doubted quite Volentia's love: 
He never loved, himself — she could not love! 
Or if she could, the passion was absurd,— 
'Twas at the best a phasm of the brain. 
Which in the phases of her fitful breast 
Would change in aspect with her next caprice. 
Not so Volentia: She was truly sad. 
She had exhausted all the sweets of wealth, 
(Thanks to the indulgence of her vain papa.) 
A firm believer in the truth of love, 
Though she had never felt its dogma's force. 
Nor yet its spirit in a heart of flame, 




Musicians in attendance, Guests in promenade. 

Dorval and a General advance. 


— You owed us service at a foreign court. 


Excuse me, General. 'Twas beyond my due. 
A foreign mission is a statesman's tomb. 
I was not passe, rich enough, nor poor, 
To make a good ambassador. 


Ah, sir. 
The country much regretted your decline. 

Yet she had read its rubric, and believed 
That velvet volumes, elegantly bound, 
Contained the Gospel of etherial Love. 
Full -well she knew the vanity of -svealth 
That falsely drew from women hearts of men, 
And therefore wisely meant to seek and find 
A lover sighing for herself alone — 
A firmer worship and a surer sway. 
Her pleasures always were her father's law, 
And in her service he had ever scorned 
To seek her motives in her least command. 
'Twas his to give her inclination rein 
And speed it briefly on a course of joy. 
Volentia will'd it! — 'twas enough for him. 
He found excitement in her sudden flaws 
And took great intei'est in her grotesque whims. 



A nation's tears, sir, are but April showers, 
And only glisten on a new made grave. 
They vanish quickly in succeeding smiles 
When greatness rises on a statesman's fall. 

{They retire.) 
A Lady and a Politician advance. 


— Oh, yes, she's tall, distinguished, beautiful — 
Entrains th' enticements of a host of loves ; 
Inspires the passions with the wildest flame. 
But cannot feel herself, their revery. 


— Volentia ! — ■ Nay, nay, her whole existence 
Is a dream of love ! 

But wlien, 

In spite of worship, tenderness and tears, 
Volentia grew more sad from day to day. 
He changed his system, yielded to his feara. 
He saw her pining with the fasts of grief. 
And marked uneasily her waste of youth. 
Her spirit, wounded by some strange disease, 
Explored no more the regions of his Ga,re, 
But fell to earth exhausted in despair. 
He, therefore, probed the secrets of her soul, 
Examined all the symptoms of her woe. 
To find perchance the footprints of her care; 
'Twas all in vain. Her sadness still increased. 
At length, to solve a mystery so dark, 
Sad Dorval lit the lamp of festive hall 
To try th' effect of contrast on her soul. 



No, no, believe me, 
She feels no spark nor any touch of love. 
I vrarn you, sir, beware of her regard. 
Her heart, unscathed by love's ecstatic shaft, 
Has never felt the fever of his wound. 
Nor known his fury in her nerve and blood. 


Why then you think she is too cold to love 1 


Profoundly wrapt in self, she cannot love. 
Her soul, defended by the towers of pride, 
Is calm and valiant in its citadel, 
Nor heeds th' assault of passion from without. 

He rightly judged that others' pleasures hold 
The glass that shows the features of our own, 
And so resolved, his daughter's grief he tried — 
The evening came, the sumptuous ball prepared. 
Beamed in the splendor of a "night at home," 
And fashion, there assembled in array, 
Swept throu^ the dance luxuriously gay. 
And there, Volentia, midst the sparkling throng. 
In dazzling beauty and apparell'd grace. 
Received the homage of the courtly guests, 
The queen and centre of the splendid host. 
Well turned and tall, distinguished by her mien, 
She had the enticements of a world of loves. 
She could inspire the passion's wildest rage, 
And yet not feel herself its sweets or pangs. 
Profoundly wrapt in self, she could not love : 
But had the show of ornamental fruits. 


The glance electric of her full bright eye, 
By dazzling flashes, kindles up desire. 
Yet like a sun-glass, concentrating fire. 
Collects the ardor of a distant orb. 
Nor kens the passion in its crystal lens. 

{They retire.) 
A Merchant and an Author advance. 


Oj 'tis a vast absurdity ! — 


Ah, no! 
You merchants are naaterial in your trade ; 
You have no commerce with the spirit world! 

That richly painted on their waxen moulds, 
The rather tempt the eye of yearning sense 
Than have or taste or flavor in themselves. 
Encircled by the homage of the feast, 
Inspired by music's most enchanting strains. 
Illumined by the rays of gems and joys, 
Midst pleasure's fervor, in the trance of sense, 
Volentia's spirit, like a flaming torch. 
Flared in the tempest of a gust of sighs. 
And sudden as a meteor's wond'rous blaze 
Quenched all its glory in a storm of tears — 
The revel ceased. The dancers stood amazed. 
Her father froze, confounded by her rage, 
Scarce caught her falling on his lifeless breast, 
And like a statue bore her gasping form. 
The eye of wonder stared in silent gaze 
When she in frenzy waked and cried, away I 



You authors only deal in. fantasies, 

And have no business with the real world! 

Now tell me else, what mean you by this phrase : 

" I would be loved, but for myself alone," 


A splendid idea of refinement, sir — 

The extract sweetness of a hive of joys — 

The richest treasure of a world of flowers. 

Who would be loved for wealth ? — 'tis sordid love. 

Or loved for beauty 1 — 'tis a baseless love. 

What claim has wit to love 1 —'tis of the head — 

The heart alone should be the throne of love ! 

What were else our romances, operas, 

Our prince or princess roving in disguise. 

Our fancy's phasms and impassioned dreams, 

If heavenly love had not an earthly realm ? 


And could you love deformity, or find 

One single grace in poverty, or rags, 

Though clad with all the gems of mental wealth ? 


I would be loved, sir, for myself alone ! 
Though I were blasted in my outward form. 
Though old and ugly, devoid of rank, of fame, 
Of fortune, beauty, and all earthly charms, 
I would be loved, sir, for myself alone ! 


But would you love, I say. a woman so 1 — 

What means this music ! — {A crash of Music.) 

oO VOLENTIA. [act II. 


Lo ! Volentia comes ! 
{JSnter Volentia, attended.) 
O, what dazzling beauty ! — what diamonds rare ! — 

( Volentia surrounded ; homages by the guests.) 
What graceful congee ! — O, that ivory tower ! — 
How, through the vista of her fleecy robes 
It spires in glory from a base of snow ! — , 

That smile ! — it lights her bosom, glows with love. 
It is the splendor of the shrine of love ! 


Charming Miss Dorval ! Beautiful — divine! — 
Such moments are so rare — to me so dear, 
That I am stricken and enthralled by joy — 
Accept submission from a suppliant heart. 


Ah, General ! General ! still invincible, — 
Still charming captives by benignity ! 
'Tis still the triumph of your victories 
To win new conquests by your clemency. 
Receive my homage for your courtesy. 


My dear Volentia ! — You eclipse the hall ; 
To- night you're looking like a very queen. ■ 


- Your pardon. Madam — do yourself no wrong. 
'Tis not my presence, but your gen'rous smiles 
That light my splendor in your fancy's eye. 
'Tis but the halo of your own bright heart 
That casts its glory on my night-dark clouds. 



Ah, me ! Miss Dorval — you entrain all hearts 
Ajad lead them sighing in the chains of love. 


Ah ! you are sighing for the belle you love, 
And make me proxy for her absent charms. 
If r were she, so worshipped and implored, 
My sighs should answer all your prayers of love. 


Ha ! sweet Volentia ! pray don't look at me ! 
To-night I'm frightful in this wretched robe. 


Madam, your servant, I rejoice to see 
Your recent sadness, with its shades of woe, 
Blends all the lily with the rose's hue. 
Your cheek is brighter — 


O, these tedious bores — 
How irksome are these cringing, flattering fools ! 
Away! {to her father) lead me away! I choke! I die! — 
^In the midst of attentions, Volentia is suddenly trans- 
ported from delight into a gust of sighs and tears and 
falls in her father'' s arms and is home off.) 


I am amazed ! How sudden ill she grew. 


O,' 'tis sad ! The room 's too close, the air 's too warm. 


Ah, no, fatigue and compliment extreme 
Have wrought intensely on her tender frame. 

32 VOLENTIA. [act II. 


No, no, the light 's too bright. 


The perfume 's strong. 


I kno-vf not, ladies, what may be the cause, 
That now excites this agony, but this 
You must confess : it was a splendid scene. 
When you beheld her beauty's fainting grace, 
And saw the flexure of her sculptor's form. 


'Twas so, indeed. 


O, what a tableau 'twas ! 
When she, like April, glittering in her tears, 
Stood in the centre of this brilliant throng, 
And all with eye of wonder silent gazed, 
By fancy spell-bound, and with souls amazed. 


The revel 's done ! 'Tis time we were away. 


We '11 send regrets. There is no need to stay. 



A Boudoir. 

Dorval leading Volentia. 


Unhand me, father ! — O, this misery ! — 

{She snatches a wreath of jioviers from her hrov}.) 


O, misery ! — {detaches jewels from her neck and arms.) 
Misery ! — {tears off the laces of her dress.) 

Misery ! — {stamps them under foot.) 


Ah ! what afflicts you, my Volentia, dear ! — 
What may the woiid afford to sooth this pain ? — 
Give me to know it ! - — solace shall be found ! — 


You cannot know it, nor heal up itiy wound. 


Be 't mine to furnish what your woe demands ; 
At any cost, I '11 purchase it, my dear ! 


O, leave me ! leave me to myself, alone ! 
You cannot buy with gold my soul's desire ! 
'Tis far beyond your treasure, or your skill — 
Transcends the limit of your utmost art, 
And lives in rapture, such as angels know. 


O, name it, daughter ! give your wish one word ! 
And as I live, the bawble shall be yours. 
Say 't, Volentia ! Is it title, honor, fame 1 


No, no ! I've said 'tis none of these ! forbear ! 
I have exhausted all your powers to give. 


I have resources that you know not of ! — 


O, sir '■ — O, sir, — 'Tis love ! — 'Tis love refined ! 
'Tis love ! in cruset tried and purified ! 


'Tis love ! that animates the yearning soul 
And flings a halo round the heart alone ! — 
None love me, father, for myself alone ! 


O, vast caprice ! O, wonder-moving whim ! [aside.) 
A spark phosphoric flashes on my mind 
And lights the darkness of my ignorance. — 
Love you, Volentia, for yourself alone ! 
I shrink before the task of buying hearts 
That love intensely by no motive moved ! — 


I know it, father ! — 'Tis beyond your reach ! 


Why 'tis a glory of the lightning's cast, 
And would not tarry till the bargain 's made ! — 
'Twould vanish as the price was paid, and null 
The contract 'neath the notary's pen ! — 


Ah, me! — 


Tell me, Volentia, by what process, dear, 
Can men adore you for yourself alone — 
Are you not winsome, beautiful, and young 1 
Have you not fortune, and the arts that charm 1 
Do not these graces all inspire love 1 — 


'Tis true, alas ! I'm sad to think 'tis true. 
It is for this I grieve, my father, dear. 
0, would that I were poor, unknown, unprized ! 
The poor are loved, and for themselves alone, 
Whilst I am only loved for fortune's smiles ! 



What were the world without its sun and stars 1 


A statesman woos me with distinguished zeal, 
And lays ambition at my maiden feet ; 
Offers the incense of submissive heart, 
But sues me for the thousands he may need 
To gain the triumphs of historic page. 


Yet you would share the triumph of his pride. 


A soldier braves me with a stern caress, 
And war grows pale before the glance of love I 
And who would think this hero now is false 1. 
But yet he 'd wear his plume and wife alike — 
(He wears them both for envy's yearning eye,) 
But should a rival General's 'clipse them both. 
And win the wonder of the public gaze, 
He 'd then, despising, throw them rudely by, 
And curse poor Fortune for her second gifts. 


O 'twere contempt beyond endurance girl ! — 


A Bishop sighs, a Judge most humbly kneels, 
Nay, others too — a thousand, I could name, 
And blush, in naming, both for them and me, — 
Would seek alliance for some trivial cause, 
And so deceive me in the name of love. 
All would confess that rapture of the soul 
Which lends existence all its blissful charms, 



And flings o'er life enchantment's sweetest dreams, 
Yet none would love me for myself alone ! 


But such a love to me 's a mystery ! 
And has the odor of romantic flower. 
'Tis hut the essence of the fancy's still, 
The dream of letters, intellectual- flame, 
That breathes a subtle ether through the brain. 


How happy is the wild and lovely flower 
That blooms securely in its lonely love ! 
It sips the nectar of refreshing showers, 
Spreads all its glory in the summer's eye. 
And sheds its fragrance on the zephyr's sigh. 
O, would I were a daisy of the dell ! — 


Ah! this is frenzy borrowed from the stage, 

The dizzy perfume of the novelist. 

It cannot last, it is too rarely thin, 

Too far removed from earth and human love. 

Your spirit, in seclusion, has inhaled 

The subtle poison of romantic airs, 

And fancy revels in her wildest dreams. 


I see no beauty in this sordid world ! — 

I am disgusted with material charms ! 

I have exhausted all the joys of wealth, 

And find no pleasure save in gems of thought ! 

I'll leave these realms of fashion's feathery tribe, 


I'll fly the splendors of this glittering void 
And seek new conquests in a darker sphere. 
I shall retire, and live an humble maid. 


Ah ! she calms again ! Ah ! this flaw will pass, {aside) 
When clouds have vanished, skies are bright again ! — 
Your pleasure, daughter, is my duty's law; 
'Tis mine to give your inclination rein 
And speed it briefly on a course of joy. 


Pray, send Lisette. I will arrange my voyage. 

I am determined on a speedy sail : 

I'll find some haven for my tossing soul : 

Far from this throng of hypocrites, I'll fly 

To some rude spot where I may freely sigh. 

At once, I go — I languish to be gone ! 

I'll die a maiden, or be loved alone ! 



" Yes ! love me, deaeest, for myself alone ! " 

A Cottage and Landscape. 

Bienville and Lisette. 


— O, no, Bienville, men are flatterers, all. 
You would not love me long in simple laines, 
Though starched and tidy in domestic form, e 


Love thee, Lisette ! I could not love thee more, 
Though thou wer't robed in state and decked with crown. 


O, do hot thee and thou me, gentle friend ! 
They have a tender but a treacherous sound. 
And I am sick of falsity in forms. 
But how did you discover our retreat 1 


Why, by Love! Though blind, he has a world of spies ; 
And when you fled, /used the city's eyes. . 
But how did Dorval find this shady vale ? 


Hush! hush, Bienville! He's not Dorval here. 
His name is Scallop — Alice, Volentia's name. 


I'm dark ! — How came he here ? 




'Tis secret, sir, 
But as you know too much and might reveal — 


Nay, nay. Your secret is my honor's ward. 


Enough ! enough ! You found it out by love's^ 
He by his daughter's eyes. 


Could she look so low 1 


The eagle wounded in her mountain's crags 
Deserts the summit of her sunlit home. 
Her spirit, tameless by afflictive blow. 
In pride unbounded, yields to fate alone ; 
Disdains to suffer in the sky's, proud eye 
Which looks in glory on her misery. 
She seeks some shadow with undaunted will 
And screens her sorrows in a valley's gloom. 


Volentia, then, has reasoned thus 1 


She has ; 
For she is proud and practised to excel. 
She spurns subjection and the slaves of form ; 
Nor can she bide example, nor conform 
Her lightest act to precedent or rule. 


But what does she intend by solitude 1 



Why only this : To be sought out and found. 
Examine well her pride, it thus appears : 
She's seen celebrity at masquerade, 
The stage exhaust the wells of novelty, 
And romance lead her heroes in disguise 
Through amorous toils and pilgrimage of love. 
But these are hackneyed fictions, threadbare worn — 
Too low in strategy for noble souls. 
Her genius towers ascendant and sublime 
Above the pretexts of such vulgar schemes ; 
And as poor fiction has familiar grown 
And truth is mystic in the souls of men. 
She flies in earnest from the city's blaze 
And truly plunges in this rustic shade. 


And — Scallop — is'contented with the plot ? 


He would, but cannot, wean her from her plan. 
He wisely sponged as much as he could hold, 
The wildest spirit of her maniac dream, 
To save her from an instant, yawning grave. 
He cramped ambition to appease her rage, • 
Ignored the prestige of his wealth and fame, ' 
Applauded her design and led her here, 
To search for lovers for herself alone ! 


Ah ! he 's a zealot and his daughter's slave. 
How beautiful this vale ! — these rondel hills ! — 
That village nestling there ! — This cottage here ! 


That hotel seated in a wilderness 
Above the fountain of that healing Spa ! 
Here city people breathe the country air ; 
And fashion flies in summer to repair 
• The waste of winter and a season's wear. 


Here pensive nature sweetly whispers, peace j 
But there, obstreperous Art forbids repose. 
There music brays from orchestras of brass, 
And waltzers swing immodest, but entranced 
In dreams delicious, but licentious grace. 


There thousands suffocate in mountain air, 
Compacting beauty in the narrowest space 
And braving torture with laborious ease. 


There, flashing eyes and heavftag bosoms meet 
In merry movements and on dancing feet. 


And does your — Alice — mingle with the throng ? 


No, no, Bienville, she abhors display, 

A crowded village has no charms for her. 

She seeks no pleasure from the inn or Spa, 

Though every day she skirs the village strolls. 

I er father now is silent and absurd 

And shrinks defeated by his daughter's wiles. 

The world he knows is treacherously smooth 

And bright as ocean in its deepest guile. 

H' has sought its fathoms by his reaching line, 


But little dreamed hypocrisy so deep, 
Could ere be sounded by a girl so young. 
He 's therefore quite content that she abstains, 
Because he fgars she '11 measure his abyss, 
And find him shallow by her deep-sea line, 


He 's then defeated by this enterprise ? 


In all the enticements of his wond'rous art ! — 

The world is not in love with poverty. 

He swept at first the field with careful eye, 

Observed the heroes of the camp of love, 

And sought for gallants of the boldest heart 

To lead a forlorn hope 'gainst her despair. 

He watched occasion and saluted all, 

Alluring notice of aspiring youth; 

But found, alas, each youthful bosom owned 

Some urgent motive for a siege of love. 

He played his part so awkwardly overt 

That all perceived the folly of his role, 

And judged him low imposter, cheap and vile. 

For: "Scallop's daughter may be young and fine. 

But dowry is the glory of a bride." 

And both, dejected, sunk in self esteem. 


'Tis sad to see the working of caprice ! — 
With such a scene as this ; with thee Lisette ; 
With patient labor and domestic joys. 
With grazing herds and fields of waving corn. 


And all the comforts of a rural life, 

r would not change it for a city's wealth! 


You thinkHio now, but were I once your wife, 
You 'd find more pleasure in life's active strife. 
Adieu ! Bienville, we shall meet again ! 


Adieu ! Lisette ! Let us not meet in vain. 


A Boom. 

Lewmarin and Doctor. 


How now, Lewmarin ! O, you're much improved ! 
Your nerves are steady — and your pulse is good ! 
You gain sir, gain ! 


Doctor, I've just got in. 
I've been to make a turn about the Spa, 
And feel a slight excitement from the round. 


Th' effect is healthful, exercise is well. 


And I have had a pleasant recreation. 

I saw a brace of natives on a stroll 

In rural weeds, improving scene and air : 

They kept, howe'er, at awful distance, shy. 

Awkward they were and yet some graces had ; 


Open in movement, yet some motive hid, 
They had assurance, though they seemed afraid. 


I saw them also, as I passed this way. 
Father and daughter, as it seemed to me, 
Unused to life and company. 


Ha, ha ! 
You did not close observe them. They were veiled. 
No botanist pursues his minute art 
With more devotion than this laboring pair,. 
In eager search of Fashion's glancing eyes. 


I scarcely marked them, and it may be so. 


With measured pace they swept the village green. 

They climbed each cope and gesturing stood at pauise- 

As if to scan the features of the land 

And not to watch, in fact, the glint of eyes 

That centered on them with a curious gaze. 

Strangers they heeded with a careful note 

And shot their glances with a shaft askance. 

But if some well-known features on them smiled,. 

Or seemed to question with familiar air. 

They turned aside their own, lest word or nod 

Betray their purpose or defeat their aim. 

They much amused me by their oddity. 


'Tis strange that they escaped my heed ! 



Ah, no, 
For few remarked them with a special eye, 
Or more observance than was justly due 
To middle station or to modest x'ank. 
Exclusive fashion has an inward eye 
And only takes recognisance of self. 
Her votaries think the world was made to stare 
Upon the twinkle of their several star. 
Ha! there they are ! — see, see, they're passing now! 
Look from the window, Doctor, there they are ! — 


Why, that is Scallop and his vagrant belle. 

The crazy cottager of Daisy Dell. 

He lives below the village, in the lawn 

That sweeps so gently from yon swelling hill. 

There, you may see the cottage through the vines ! 

O, 'tis indeed a lovely rural spot 

Where men of fortune, weary of the world. 

Might find exhaustless pleasures in its smiles 

And recreate the energies of mind. 

But Scallop seems impatient in the dale 

And discontented with his narrow shell ; 

For every day he strolls the circle round, 

And clips the edges to escape its bounds 

As if imprisoned by its verdant walls. 


And that 's his daughter swinging on his arm ? 


I do not know, but must believe it is. 


He has not long been here — came, none knew how, 
But from his conduct and his anxious care 
His great attention to his minion there. 
The spinster is, I think, his child — not wife. 


Why, are not men attentive to their Avives ? 


Sometimes they are, but in a moderate way, 
Yet, as a general rule, the tethered pair 
Are apt to pasture with the longest cord. 
And grow impatient of the fettering thong. 
Whilst unleashed grazers couple side by side. 
But then this cotter has disordered wits ; 
I've heard of strange adventures by the man. 
Sometimes he speaks of fortune, marriage, love, 
And wags his head mysteriously grand ; 
But all regard him as a vulgar boor 
And her a spinster of the lowest grade- 
Farewell, Lewmarin! now my visit's made; 
I knew you 'd profit by prescription's aid. 



A Green. 

Dorval and Volentia. 


Why, sir, you 're disconcerted — quite dismayed ; 
By reassurance ward this cool contempt ! 


T' unveil the truth, I see, is terrible. 

48 VOLENTIA. [act III. 


You see, my father, how the world regards 
The richest treasure of a woman's heart. 
You now perceive the falsity of men 
Who once pursued me with their homages, 
They never loved me for myself, O, no ! — 


Alas] I am convinced. 'Tis fearful, true ! 


Am I less beautiful and lovely here 

Than when at home, they breathed the prayers of love? 

Am I less charming in this vile retreat 

Than in the halo of the gay saloon 1 

No, no, believe me, in this sylvan gear 

My love 's a« priceless as in urban robes. 

Here all behold me with a cold regard, 

And scarcely mark me in my poverty ; 

While there, enthusiasts kneeled, devoted down, 

And hymned wealth's praises as they sighed for me. 


'Tis terrible to ha^e our treasures stolen. 
Our pockets jadked by dainty jeweled hands. 
And yet, no soourge to lash the dext'rous rogues. 
1 IVe often seen a, woman robbed of gems, 
While she iorgnetted beauty from her box 
Amidst the plaudits of a theatre : 
And so, methinks the world observes my cheat 
Whilst courteous villains fawn on me. 


Ah, me ! 


'Tis terrible to have susceptive heart 

And yet to languish, both for love and truth ! 

You are perplexed, I see ; abashed — absurd — 


You are, Volentia, miserably right! 


Come, let 's away ! — our cottage is hard by — 
There, in the bosom of embowered glen, 
'Midst tangled vines and shade of open trees, 
'Midst humble flowers and aspiring hills, 
'Midst beetling cliff's, reflected by the tarn. 
Whose heads salute the early gray of morn, 
And bid adieu to evening's latest sun, 
My weary spirit seeks a fresh retreat 
To shun the langor of the crowded way. 
There laughing echoes babbling with the brooks 
Make silence joyous in her solitude, 
And winds perfumed and musical with sighs, 
Inspire the heart with fainting hopes renewed. 
There I would live from public gaze, concealed, 
In humble strictness and in close reserve. 
Let 's to the cottage, sleep the while away. 


The world 's the world, let men do as they may! — 

JEnter Lewmarin. 


I'm surely not deceived! — they passed this way. 
I marked them well ! — they turned aside just here. 


Her beauty is a gem to tempt a crown, 

And monarchs might be proud to wear her there. 

And why not I — but I must see her nigh. 

I cannot miss her — sure they went this way — 

I'll follow after, whersoe'er they stray. [Exit. 


A Bower. 

Enter Volentia hahilU a la negligence, a hook in hand. 


Love ! love ! Alas, there 's no such thing as love ! 
Or else it flies me with disdainful wing. 
Why should the spirit of the inward soul 
Linger in wishes when all hope's extinct? 
Why should the outward form of beauty live. 
Still breathe refreshing and life-giving airs, 
When every feeling is suppressed by woe 
And sorrow-letted in its dearest joys ? — 
Sweet, sweet remembrancer of bliss denied ! — 
Away ! I cast thee dearly from my eyes ; 

(Throivs away the booTc.) 
Thy honeyed poison aggravates dispair. 
Here let me die ! — in living flowers embowered ; — 
Like me they bloom neglected, — neglected. 
Die. This precious acid, death to every nerve, (a vial. ) 
Extracted from the almond's flowery tree, 
In wrecking beauty shall her spirit free. 

{Throivs herself upon a bank.) 


The world shall weep at sad Volentia's fate 
And fame do justice though it be too late — 
But who profanes this sacrifice — Ha! — ha! — 

[Hides the vial.) 
A stranger — youth, — a student in decline ! — 
His step though firm 's without elastic spring ! 
Perhaps an artist, on a reverous stroll ! 
A pensive calmness casts a pleasing smile 
O'er all the features of his pallid face ! — 
He nearer comes — but I'll not heed his path. 

Enter Lewmarin* 
( Without obtrusive or abashed advent, he strays ua- 
heedful near the cottage stile ; thence casts afar 
a glance upon the plain and stands entranced 
delighted with the scene.) 

* The living spirit of the Universe 
Collects all matter from capacious space. 
Elects the atoms in their formless waste 
And links them in affiant time and place. 
Life springs to motion quickened by its will. 
While death resisting controverts all change, 
And thus opposing his eternal rest 
Begets the strife of never ending war. 
The spheres that glitter in the sun's decline, 
(The sun himself the centre of the spheres,) 
Attracted and repelled, their orbits keep ; 
Or flying off by accident or jar 
Dive deep in space, immeasurably fax-. 
Yet find no rest — obedience is the law. 
And like to like the animated world 



How SAVims this beauty 'neath the sweeping eye ! 
How sweet reposes in the clear obscure 
And blends in softness and harmonious whole, 
Both hill and valley in its liquid blue. — 
The soul alone perceives th' exquisite charm 
That baffles artists in their pencil's dream, 
But breathes in nature's universe of smiles. 
See ! autumn clad in 'many colored robes 
Shames all the glories of the blooming spring ! 
See ! Nature languid in her summer's green, 
Superbly mantled in her evening rose, 
Ere she descend to winter's lonely bed 

Cleaves still together, quadruped and fowl : 
The sea witli fishes and the earth with men, 
Link'd by affection's complicated web ; 
In whole repelled, particularly chained. 
Nations and nature in life's eddies move, 
Disperse, combine in each degree and state, 
But still obey the laws that love defines, 
Or snaps the order by its will arranged. 
In all, the lining spirit conquei-s death, 
And man must live,. eternity is his. 
The swan-like lily loves the limpid lake 
And floats delighted on its dimpled wave : 
The tufted cedar, towering in his marsli. 
Beholds the gloomy fastness of his shade 
And lowers funereal in triumphant frown; 
The monarch oak, on mountain-side enthroned. 
Casts all his shadows on the fertile plains, 
And every soil its several plants obtain 


And sink in slumber on her couch of snow. 
Ah ! this is love ! We know not how nor why 
Each elemental trait should so combine 
To work sweet issues by the spirits tie 
And weave the chain of universal joy ! 
Those mountains rising like the passions bold; 
That lawn broad-sweeping like the virtues mild •, 
That valley shadowed like the vices dark ; 
All blent and softened in affection's light, 
Make up the picture of a sunny souL 
And yet alas, I die, alone, unloved- 
No eye can view the landscape of my heart 
Where blended feelings have as bright a hue- 
(jHe slowly turns from the distance^ whilst his eye, 

without apparent search, falls on Volentia's face. 

Their glances meet without emotion or surprise. 

Lewmarin turns away as if to retrojce his steps. 

Volentia sighs,) 

And life to all alike, a like assigns. 
Lewmai'in was a man of highest caste. 
Endowed by nature with her rarest gifts; 
And yet his genius spurned control, defied 
The love or censure of a slavish world; 
Superbly equal to the loftiest deeds, 
It could not brook the toil that fame demands, 
But wandered reckless in unguided sphere. 
In apprehension and address astute. 
His selfish nature clung to selfish state 
Deeming all pleasure smothered in renown, 
He snatched his triumphs with a stealthy hand. 



Ha ! ha ! What sense is this ! — can this be love ! — 
I am deserted, — 0, I die — I die ! — 


What moan was that ! It was a grievous sigh ! — 

What dazzling light breaks sudden on my soul ! 

It is electric both in flash and sound — 

It fills my bosom with a novel flame, 

And wakes the echoes of my trembling heart ! — 


O, turn that glance away, 'tis melting fire ! 
It scathes the glaciers of my frozen heart. 
In vain I draw the fringes of mine eyes — 

He viewed the world, and wondered as he saw, 

The hermit Honor stand aloof from men, 

Abstain from pleasure in the social world 

And hear his worship in his mountain hold, 

In faint hozannas from the vale below. 

Midst pomp and power Authority was shy 

And like a lion growled within her lair ; 

His name in terror held the herd in awe 

"While he affrighted trembled on his throne. 

Lest they might gore him with their brandished lioriis 

And crush him rudely on the field of rule. 

Lewmarin took delight in lupine ease, 

Enjoyed the freedom of an idle mood. 

Assumed the visage of the passing time. 

And seized occasion with a dext'rous hand. 

To see Volentia was to read her soul. 

So clearly was her character impressed 

Upon the open volume of her face. 


In vain my tresses charitably fall 
To screen my features from th' unsparing blaze — 
It drowns my vision in its burning flood — 
An ocean glance ; it swallows up my form ; 
I faint ; I whirl in reeling circles vast. — 
Away, 'tis love ! O, spare my heart ! away ! 
'Tis love ! 'tis love ! I own a conqueror's sway ! 
( Volentia swoons and Lewmarin kneels at her feet.) 

[Scene doses. 

Her beauty was a treasure for a king, 
But he was surfeit of such vulgar charm 
Since women made it cheap with rouge and lawn. 
But she was young, elastic and well formed — 
, Yet age and stiffness, by the toilets aid, 
By help of dentists, chemistry and whales. 
Found youth in art and suppleness in bones. 
Accomplished she unquestionably was — 
But that 's no matter with ambition's sons : 
For maiden's talents through their purses shine 
And dazzles heroes with a golden glare. 
In short, Lewmarin saw her in disguise 
A peerless heiress and a tempting prize ; 
And love-at-first-sight has a wonderous zest 
"When maidens' hearts are once with doubts possessed. 




Room in a Cottage, 
Volentia and Lisette. 


O, how delicious are these flowers, Lisette ! 


Their jeweled cups were splendid in their bloom 
When fresh and odorous in the morning dews. 
But now — 


Bedight my tresses with a pink 
Entwined with plumb-tree buds and peppermint ; 
For these shall speak the triumph of my heart ! 


They 're too much faded for love's gonfalon. 


Select a rose bud for my bosom, girl ! — 
Arrange my toilet with my best attire ! 


Remember lady, you 're an humble maid ! 


I am triumphant in Lewmarin's love ! 

I am the proudest queen that lives ! — You 're right - 

I have forgotten in my happiness 

The humble role I play — you 're right — you 're right ■ 

51i^ VOiLENTIA. [ ACT IV. 


'Twere Avell to fill it, or you '11 spoil the part. 


( Volentia approaching a windotv.') 
How beautiful and bright all nature smiles ! 
The sun shines glorious in the cloudless sky 
And heaven and earth are glad in sympathy. 
O, I am happy now — where can he be ! 
Where is Lewmarin 1 I'm weary of delay ! — 
There is a sunshine of the heart, Lisette, 
That rays all feeling in the sheen of joy, 
Dispels the sorrows of the vale of woe, 
And fills the soul with ecstasy. 'Tis so 
With mine. I am exalted with delight 
And love is radiant in the beams of hope. 


I'm glad to see your beauty's joyous smile. 


But where 's Lewmarin 1 — strange he does not come ; 

Our wonted hour of promenade is past. 

i have a world of fancies for his ear, 

A world of beauties for his eye. 'Tis late. 

And yet he comes not ! — Can he be ill ! Ha ! 

Lewmarin ill ! — Be not so envious fate ! — 

But yet I tremble ; — he is delicate — 

Go, go, Lisette ! — go see if he be near ! 

(^Bxit Lisette, and enter Dorval.) 
O, triumph father ! glory ! happiness ! 


I fear this exaltation — O, she 's wild — {aside.) 



Alas ! — there is a cloud upon your brow. 


Be ever thus my daughter — O, I'm sad ! — {aside;) 
There 's too much shade — too little sun, and air — 
I languish for the city — would be there. 


And so we shall be, in the briefest term. 

But where 's Lewmarin 1 Have you seen him, sir ? — 


Lewmarin ! — 


Ay, Lewmarin ! Where is he ? — 
O, answer, father, have you seen my joy. 
He comes not punctual to my promenade. 
Why comes he not to speak of love to me — 
To arrange our nuptials and appoint the day 1 


My dear Volentia, — can she bear the word ? — {aside.)) 


" My dear Volentia ! " — What can this silence mean 't-: 


Thou art, my daughter, all the world to me. 
Lewmarin will not come. 


What ! will not come ! — 
Thou art mad to say it ; — 


O, I know him well.. 
You think he loves you for yourself alone — 

60 . VOLENTIA. [ ACT lY, 


Think ! think he loves me ! O, I know he does. 


Hear me, Volentia ! and be patient — still ! 
I've probed him deep by demonstrative skill, 
By tortuous converse, analytic art, 
I have unveiled the motives of the man, 
And found the value of his moral stamp. 


O, spare this torture ! — Tell me what you know ! 


He is a scion of the first of states, 

Of first of families, but the last of sons — 


And deem'st thou, thence, Lewmarin is a wolf? 
Do not his features, words and gestures, prove, 
A noble breeding and distinguished blood ? 
His thoughts, like music, show his soul well stored 
With all the*" virtues that should grace his race 1 
How can he, then, be false, and will not come ! 


Be not deceived, my daughter, by this man I 
He 's young, imposing, delicately false — 
Of youth, in years he owns but twenty-three : 
Of fortune, nothing, save a world of debt-: 
Of vices, more than I shall choose to name : 
Of talents, all superior genius claims : 
But yet of honor, pride and modesty 
He has — nay, mark me — not a single dram, 
And less than scruple of the gentleman. 



Imposter ! — O, you slander hiin — no more ! 
But why should he pursue me ? I am poor ! — 
He knows me only as a suffering girl ! 
What means his assiduity, since he 
Gains nothing, as a ruined man 1 


Beware ! — 
Beware Lewmarin ! He 's the worst of men. 
And lacks in naught to give his treachery range. 
He has no virtue, shame, nor love, nor soul, 
And can approach a woman in disguise, " 

Without one feeling that should check a man. 


He 's basely envied by the inept world ! 

He 's slandered ! slandered ! and' you 're much abused ! 


Nay, one word more. You are his last resource. 
And came unsought on his meandering way. 
He 's now at Spa to mend his feeble health. 
And would have sought you in your city sphere 
Had we not blindly favored his designs. 


O, torture, torture ! — spare me this despair ! — 


Believe it, daughter, he's a dangerous man. 


I'll not believe it ! O, he 's dear to me ! — 
He loves me, father, for myself alone! 

_ ^^2 VOLENTIA. [ ACT IV. 


'Tis false ! 


'Tis true ! 


'Tis false ! 


I swear 'tis true ! 


He claimed a dowry — or disclaimed your hand ! 


He prayed no dowry save my heart alone ! — 


He halted, haggled at the sifm proposed ! 


O, "spare me, father, spare your desperate child — 


Nay ! when I told him what, the utmost coin, 
, I meant to give you on your wedding day, 
. He told me plainly, he abandoned you ! 


This is too much — Abandoned me ! 


'Tis true ! 
You see he comes not ;. why should he delay 1 
He had some motive for your hand, you see ! 


Abandons me ! 0, maiden pride ! — ^Volentia ! — me 1 — 


I've gone too far ! — O, stay — Volentia — stay ! 

. [Uxeunt. 



A Room. 

Enter Doctor and Dorval. 


Now, Mr. Scallop, what's your wifl 1 


Doctor, for a hopeless ease. 


Service — hum ! — 
And for a hopeless case ! — You flatter me ! — 


None other needs physician, sir — 


Indeed ! — 


From such alone physicians draw renown 

And fill the mouths of purse as well as fame. i 


Your jest is shrewd ! 


Nay, sir, 'tis merely true. 
In every art there 's nothing equals truth ; 
No policy 's complete that 's wholly false. 
Great men are wont to use it in their schemes, 
While little gamesters ply hypocrisy. 
There is a force in truth that never fails 
Whilst feeble falsehood only sometimes wins. 


Yety in the world, bold quackery prevails ! — 



But 'tis the harder role for art to play, 
And only few can manage to deceive. 
To lie is easy, but to lie like truth 
And keep proportion in a seeming fraud, 
You must admit is difficult indeed. 
There is but one in all the world 
That ever flattered truth with truth-like lies, 
And yet he failed and ruined paradise. 
I have a hopeless case, and need your aid. 


What would you have me do ? 


Why cure it — sure ! 
Hear me. Doctor, — then advise. 


Say on ! I'll hear, 


" My name is Dorval, — of the city near — 
Some call me banker — others, millionaire — 
And I am both. — Nay ! — hear me. Doctor — hear ! 
I have a daughter, she 's Volentia called — 
Nay ! — give attention, hear me through ! — 


Dear sir — 


She has a lover that she much desires ; 

A lover loving for herself alone ! 

But she is sad — nay, seriously ill, 

And desperate fallen into hopeless grief, — 

A dangerous sickness for all women, sir. 



I'll call and see her with my swiftest speed ! 


See who 1 


Your daughter ! 


She has no need of you ! — 


Did you not say that she ^s exceeding ill ? 


I did ! — but did not, therefore, ask your aid ; 
It is her lover that invites my care ! 
He 's sick, — most feeble, — worn by slow disease, 
I'd have him quickly cured ; exceeding well ! — * 
My daughter else will drown herself in tears, 
Or fall untimely in a tomb of grief. 


Who is her lover 1 where may he be found ? 


His name 's Lewmarin ! — He attends this Spa. 


Lewmarin ! — 




I know, perhaps ! — the man. 


He has, perhaps ! — a mortal malady — 

And I — would pay some thousands to obtain — 

His speedy health — a mortal remedy ! 

<)6 VOLENTIA. [ ACr IV. 


Some thousands fee — and mortal malady! — (aside.) 

A slight congestion of some viscera — 

No more ! — It is no more! — a thing of naught — ! 

If he will follow my advice, I'll cure him 

In a week at most. 


Ha ! — will you, Doctor ! — 
Do it straight ! — do it well ; and skilfully ! 
Do it at once ! and keep it secret, close — 
And I'll reward your skill to full content ! 


Your daughter's health, you say — depends on this ? 


It does, it does ; nay more, her fame — her life ! 
My good, my glory, and my dearest hopes ! 


Nor you, nor ^he, dear sir, shall be deceived. 


Thanks, Doctor, thanks — my confidence sustain. 
I place my life — my joy — - my trust in you — 
Hark'ee ! — one word before I say adieu. 

( Whispers him, and exit.) 


Hum ! — hum ! so goes the world ! a thousand fee ! 
Now for Lewmarin ! — thousands for a fee ! — 
Enter Lewmarin. 


How Doctor, musing ! — playing with your thoughts ! 
Twas Scallop, was it not, went hence but now ? 



I thought it was, but now I know 'tis not. 
Who think you 'tis ? 


I shall not guess, I'm sure. 


Why Dorval ! He told me so but now. 


Indeed ! 
He came to speak you of his daughter's cure ? 


He did and did not — for he spoke of you. 


Your fortune 's made. His daughter 's indisposed ! 


She 's sad, demented by a hopeless love. 


Nay, don't believe it, she 's delighted, glad ! 


She 's fallen into grief and great despair. 
Her lover 's dying and provokes her woe ! 


And he has feed you to restore his life 1 — 
To save his daughter from a wedded grave % — 


He did and did not, as it seemed to me. 
He offered thousands for his mortal cure. 


'Tis well ! and I am grateful for his care ! — 

He loves his daughter with a loyal soul 

And that's the physic, Doctor, makes me whole. 



A Bower. 

Lewmarin and Volentia. 


— But yet 'twas wrong to speak of dowry, love ! — 


I own it, dearest. I confess the wrong, 

But 'twas the sin of tenderness alone. 

True love was ever linked with jealousy, 

And 'twas my aim to know your love was true. 


And 'twas to test my faith, you practiced so ? — 


For that alone. I feared it was a dream. 
Ah ! every heart a conscious weakness owns, 
And judging others by its own approof 
Distrusts profoundly constancy and truth, 
When love demands the worship of the soul. 
'Twas so with mine — it had mysterious doubts. 


I must forgive thee, then, the fault of love ! 


Beauty should be kind to love. 


'Tis malign ! 
Love not for beauty, 'tis an idiot's love. 
Love not for fortune, 'tis ambition's love. 
Love not for fame, it is a vapory love. 
Love not for wealth, nor genius, faculty, 
For these are but the phasms of the brain ; 
Love, love me, dearest, for myself alone ! 



I do, I do ! Ah, hear my vow — the last ! 
O, though thy beauty's universe of charms 
Were all revealed by negligence extreme ; 
Though all your riches flowed on tides of ore, 
And ran unmeasured through a sand of gems ; 
TTiough your sweet hams were echoed thro' the world, 
With still increasing volume, sounding praise. 
Lapsing and rolling in the thoughts of men, 
I'd love thee, angel ! — for thyself alone. 


O, joy of joys ! My heart can ask no more ! 


Be mine ! be mine ! — and I shall sweetly die ! 


Then die, Lewmarin ! Oh ! I'm wholly thine ! — 
Ha ! ha ! He swoons ! He takes me at my word ! 
O Heaven, O Earth ! — Alas ! He dies — he dies — 
Help, father, help ! O, help, Lisetta, help I — 



A Room in a Cottage. 

Doctor and Dorval. 


Now — Doctor — will he die ? — 


He needs repose. The odds are much against him. 


An awful thing to die — yet — all must die! — 

"70 VOLENTI A. ' [ ACT IV. 


The comnion lot, — a necessary end. 


In all your drugs — have you no means to save ? 
Have you no opiate to subdue all pain 1 


Our science has resorts unknown to men. 


Were he to die — 'twould break Volentia's heart. — 
O, tell me, Doctor, will Lewmarin die ? 
I have a jewel of unvalued worth — * 

{^Palming a jewel.) 
Your answer. Doctor — Can Lewmarin live ? 


He dies. 

* It is a proverb that the world approves 

That action has a truer tongue than word ; 

And by the saw, if this 'side line be tried : 

/ have a jewel of unvalued wealth — 

It will be judged unfitly placed; because, 

"lis clear in this most treacherous scene, Dorval, 

In tones of wail, Lewmarin's fate deplores. 

Whiles, both by gesture and pereuading mien, 

He plies the Doctor to insure his death. 

'Twere better, therefore, to omit it quite 

And let sly action sport the diamond brooch. 

Else word may claim an equal share of truth 

And prove degree comparative, unsound. 

I write it though, to show the Doctor's eyes 

Were not indifferent to the prize 

When answei-ing straight the question, said, " he dies." 



Is there no hope 1 — 


None ! 


Art sure 1 


I am ! — 


r thank thee, Fortune ! I'm thy favorite still ! [aside.) 
(Enter Volentia and Lisette.) 


Ah, me ! ah, me ! I fear Lewmarin dies ! — 

Tell me, Doctor, can Lewmarin live 1 — your eye — 

One word — or yes, or no ! 


The chances are — 


Uncertain ! Even or odd — Have patience f 


Father, my life is trembling on his breath !' — 
O, where 's Lisette, unloop my cincture, quick ! 


Comfort, Volentia, there's at least one hope — 

And that will soon exhaust her last resource, (.aside. ^ 


One hope, one hope ! — and only one ! — Alas ! — 
Away ! He shall be mine ! Iwill be his ! 


What ! what ! ! what ! ! ! — 


O, patience, lady ; patience f 

72 VOLENTIA. [act IV 


We must be wedded ! I "will be his wife ! ! 


Ye stars ! ! ! 


He shall be mine ! I'll bear his name ! 
I'll hear it whispered ever in my soul, 
Through every hour of my nature's course, 
To tell my heart all happiness is lost. 


Vanquished, — vanquished — O, this vast caprice ! 


Ah ! if he die before our hands are bound — 
Joined at the altar by love's solemn vow ! — 
I'll tear my heart from this detested form 
And throw it lifeless on his new made tomb. 
I'll die self-slaughtered, or I'll be his bride ! 


0, calm your spirit, cease these useless tears ! 


Away ! away ! You never felt despair ! 


He shall be yours, and you shall bear his name ! 


It is the only tribute death can pay ; 

And death must make this sacrifice to love. 

When, father, when 1 Alas, he dies — 


Now ! — e'en now ! — 
Doctor, I ask your aid. Your patient see ; 


And then, with wings of speed, some holy man, 
Or magistrate -provide, — Away ! away ! 
'Twere charity to sooth her desperate mind ! 

{Exit Doctor.) 
Go, go, Lisette ! go deck your mourning bride ! — 
Here we will bind her in the marriage tie. 
Hence to the city let us straight repair 
And fitly celebrate her nuptials there. 

{Exit Lisette, leading Volentia.) 
O, who can sound all chords of woman's heart ! 
Who, find the compass of her thousand strings ! — 
And yet — this funeral symphony is well ! 
It is the overture that sounds her fame — 
'Twill lend attraction to my daughter's name. 
No evil comes without attendant good ; 
A virgin widow and an hour's wife 
Will make an epoch in distinguished life. [Exit. 





The City : Hall in DorvaVs House. 

Bienville and Lisette. 


— Volentia, then, is truly sad ? 


She is. 
Though much exalted by that thirst of heart, 
That woman's nature, quenchless, ever owns 
To quaff distinction to the very lees, 
And draw from all positions praise and fame, 
She feels affection now engaged. 


That 's strange. 


No. There is a depth profound in woman's love 
Beneath the surface of her sunlit heart, 
That beauty sparkling on its joyous wave, 
Cannot illumine by her world of smiles. 


I thought her vanity, not love, inspired. 


Ah! woman, drifting on the smooth bright sea, 
Is but a helpless and a calm-bound bark 

VOLENTIA. [act T. 

That veers in voyage with e^ch shifting tide. 

But when calamity in fury frowns, 

And waves are roaring in their fearful rage ; 

When clouds are sweeping on the tempest's wing, 

And ocean monstrous surges in his foam, 

'Tis then she rules the spirit of the storm, 

Defies the fury of the yawning deep. 

And like a vision speeds on danger's sail, 

On keel triumphant, and in safety on. 


My own Lisette ! 


'Tis in her depth of woe, 
When pleasure shrinks, when hope is over-awed. 
That she in glory and in triumph shines. 
'Tis then she seems descended from the skies 
And shows her title to celestial spheres. 
Behold her standing in her streagth of soul, 
Unawed by danger and by toil unworn, 
Beseeching mercy or conferring aid — 
Some Florence Nightingale in Russian war. 
Behold her kneeling by her lover's form 
As he with life exhales his latest sigh j 
'Tis there that woman proves her bright estate 
And flings her halo o'er a gloomy world ', 
'Tis there that charity reveals her form 
With eye uplifted in the prayer for woe, 
And like a seraph drops the tear of love. 


Be thou my angel in such trying hours, {Exeunt.) 


[JSnter a General and Lady.) 


— Yes, yes, 'tis sad — 'tis mournful to the soul, 
Yet death and wedlock have especial ends, 
Though few can comprehend their mystic aims. 


But they are antipodal in design 

And each begins the work the other ends. 


Yes, both though fearful in their dark domains. 
Yet work for bliss eternal in their kind. 
In one, men find a present breathing tomb. 
And in the other pulseless future homes. 
Yet both in course of life must be endured. 


But all postpone them to the latest hour, 
And seem to think, at least, one truth is clear : 
One doubles pleasure in a single lot : 
The other, trouble in a double bed. 

{Enter Author and Lady.) 


— Cupid, at best, is but a childish god 
Leading his votaries by a treacherous path ; 
And after vexing them with stings of bees. 
Or fangs of serpents folded 'neath his flowers, 
He laughing dooms them to hy menial graves. 


But pleasure has a horror of all shades ; 
Contemning wedlock and deploring death 

78 VOtENTIA. [act 

She flies from sorrow, sips life's blooming joys, 
And seeks for freedom in an endless round, 


To die with grace requires the noblest heart, 
To wed with taste a fortitude more rare : 
But say, what mortal 'dow'd with soul sublime, 
Has braved both dangers in their rage combined ; 
Who coolly triumphed o'er a nuptial bier 
And snatched a laurel from the grave of love ? ' 


O, 'tis a victory, uncommon, rare. 


A man may fight or dance exceeding well, 
Dine or converse, or dress with taste extreme ; 
But keen observers, with a searching eye 
Can spy some trembling in a conqueror. 
Cassius in Caesar saw some signs of fear 
When he was sighing in a fever's thirst. 
In spite of his " quid times,''^ Csesar sighed ! 
The God-like Csesar ! noblest of his race ! 
Yet boldly buckled with a wife or two. 


And yet, Mark Anthony, the stout and brave, 
Fled from Octavia's glorious, nuptial bed, 
And seeking freedom in Egyptian chains. 
Found death in Cleopatra's royal arms. 


But what example, 'midst all Csesars shines. 
That like Lewmarin in his double doom. 


Braved death and wedlock with heroic soul 
And met his fate with decency and grace 1 

( Other visitors pass over the stage,) 
{^Enter Merchant and Lady.") 


— It has no trace of sensible respect, 
At most a triumph of her vanity : 
A sickly fancy, a presumptuous whim. 


Ah, sir ! ah, sir, you are too, too practical. 
Where uses end, all ornaments begin ; 
The world will sigh with poor Volentia's woe, 
Her pure devotion consecrates her tears. 



A nuptial Chamber. Tableau, 

Lewmarin composed upon a bed with taste ; Volentia 
kneeling by his side, serenely resigned, and superior 
to her grief ; company in attendance with funeral 
faces aud postures ; Dorval heaves a sigh and beck- 
ons Volentia away ; she regards him with compla- 
cent composure, casts a look upon Lewmarin full of 
tenderness and sorrow, rises from her position and 
falls insensible upon the floor ; she is then solemnly 
borne off. 

[Scene closes. 

80 VOLENTI A. [act V. 

Another Apartment. 
Volentia on a divan, fainted ; the company stand- 
ing silent around her. The Doctor bathes her beauty 
in a sea of sweets, chafes her temples with vinai- 
grettes and bares her arms and breast. 


More air ! — more air ! This syncope of heart 
Requires ventilation, time and care. 

( Volentia slowly recovers and stares upon 
the crowd.) 


Where am I ? I cannot clutch these phantoms ! 
My memory fails to recollect the past ! — 
Ha ! now I know you all — away ! away ! 

{She rises in frenzy and unbars her way.) 


Give way ! give way ! her agony revives ; 
Make no obstruction to insanity. 
'Tis safer far in passion's storm of woe 
To let grief filter through the eyes in tears 
Than strain affection in a bursting heart. 
Lady, your hand, I'll lead you to his side. 

{She, impatient of restraint, springs forward.) 


Ha ! His side ! — my husband's ! — my adored lord's — 
I go alone ! I'll watch his form alone ! 
I claim the office of the wake alone ! 
Let none intrude upon my sacred woe ! 


'Tis mine alone to decorate his bier, 

To urn his heart and consecrate his love. 

'Tis. meet a bride should deck the nuptial couch, 

And scatter roses o'er the burial pall. 

I go alone, the funeral lamp to trim,' 

To fill love's cup with rosy bridal wine. 

To bathe death's image with hy menial tears. 

And smooth his pillow with devotion's hand. 

I go!- 

Let none profane the worship a heart 

That pays the rites of death with vows of love ! 



You see, my friends, the extremity of grief. 
Bear with affliction in her darkest hour. 
Concede indulgence to her depth of woe. 
And grant a pardon to her blank despair — 
Withdraw we hence and sadly watch afar : 
We'll break her vigils with the morning star. 

{^Exit, company following ,)) 


O, Beauty ! Grace ! O, majesty of Pace ! 
Did you observe Volentia's heavenly face ? 


Did you regard her robes in train profuse ! — 
Her hair dishevelled and her cincture loose ? 


I did ! I never saw in all my life 
So much attraction in a grieving wife ; 

82 VOLENTIA. [act 

Nor shall I, should I live a thousand years, 
Behold such beauty smiling in her tears. 


Nuptial Chamber. 
Lewmarin is concealed behind an arras in a cove; 
Volentia enters, closes the door with caution, and 
glides softly near the couch; she, in the act of kneel- 
ing, discovers it vacant and starts, sweeps the cham^ 
ber with her eye and rests it freezing upon Lewma- 
rin, who has pushed aside the curtain. He is sitting 
in a rocking-chair, a glass of wine in one hand and 
a cigar in the other. 


Lewmarin ! 


Elegant, my dove ! 


No ! — no ! — 
It cannot be ! — a ghost — a phantom ! — dream ! 
My eyes deceive me ! O, I'm mad t — ■ 


Embrace ! 


I freeze in marble 'neath his balanced glance. 
And wonder statued, freeze from life to death ! — 
{She advances and looks upon him with vacant stare.) 


Superb, my love ! Behold what conquest, now, 


Does love achieve ! Come near, my artiste — come ! 
Nay, let perfection fill the role of joy. 

{Flings his cigar hand around her waist with insolent 
grace, whilst with the other he sips the glass.). 
Now, is not this the sum of luxury 1 — 

( Volentia struggles in his folded arms.) 
You see, my dear, — O, angel that you are ! — 
What sweet surprise my love arranges here ; 
What vast delight awaits my weeping bride : 
What glorious pleasure springs from blatk despair. 

{Volentia blenches in his fold.) 
Nay 1 nay ! — my belle — receive my soft embrace ! — 


Away ! Forbear 1 Eelax your grasp ! 


Nay — nay, 
Be not coquettish, my exquisite life ! 


Away ! Release me ! — Ah ! I am betrayed ! — 


Betrayed, my darling ; who has been so base ? 


Ah ! — ah ! — My father has betrayed his child ! 
He never loved me ! — I am sacrificed ! — 


Your father is an able man, my duck! 


He is a traitor ! — Monster ! — False ! 


{Rises perceptibly intoxicated.) Ha ! ha ! — 
Did you demand him, then, a husband — dead 1 — 


I knew he had some intrigue, deeply hid : 
He wrought so strongly in my dearest good ! 
He would have killed me purely out of love ! 


What ! like assassin, would have murdered you ! — 


I say not so — no, no, my gentle one, 

He did much better when he aided him ! 

He was too wise for such a rash conceit, 

And knew the world too well for such rude play. 

He had a fetch of policy, my lamb, 

More worthy of his art than such harsh trade. 


What do you mean 1 — Lewmarin let me go ! — 


I'll prove his wisdom by a stock of drugs 

Selectly invoiced for my special weal ; 

I have it here to speak confirming truth. 

Ha ! ha ! 'twas keen. I love such dext'rous moves. 

I trust papa, now fearless of the law, 

Will not dispute or nullify the bill. 


Your illness, then ; your feebleness and death — 


O, only romance — an exquisite farce ! 


You knew me then? — you saw through my disguise? 


As well as I could see, through clouds, the moon. 


That I was rich 1 



Immensely so, my queen ! 


And you have dai'ed — 1 


' 'To win Volentia ! — y es ! — 
Was she not worthy of a hero's toil 1 
A famous heiress'? — and a social prize? — 

(^Volentia turns aside to hide her rorr/e.) 
Ah, now you weep — because I am alive — 
And — would have pirouetted had I died 1 — 
Nay, never answer by such choking sighs ! 
I like your spirit, my excelling bride, 
There's something spicy in posthumous wit. 
Stay — stay — my angel, do not leave me yet. — 
You had exhausted all the joys of wealth ; 
Were sad ; and languished for a new delight. — 
You sought a lover for yourself alone, 
But? discontented with successful search 
You sighed to make him an immortal beau ! 
A holy relic, you 'd have worn his name 
And brooched 't in memory as a funeral gem 
Without one atom of his earthly gold ! 


Is this a demon ? — can it be a man ! — [aside.) 


Nay, never sigh, you have no cause for groans. — 
You could have loved me as a charming corse, 
But cannot brook me as living man. 
But thank my stars ! I am no lovely ghost. — 



Lewniarin ! spare this insult — let me go ! 


I am not quite so dead as you supposed, 
I still have force to spend your father's cash, 
And love his daughter for her herself alone ! 
I had some bills maturing, which, to pay. 
Required an instant sum of large amount. 
I wanted money — and iny last resource — 
(Writing, without consent, your father's name — ) 
Was those vile treasures which you never prized. 


What ! Forgery ! — O, Vil — 


Forbear ! Forbear. — 
A forced exchange to gild my honeymoon ! 


Ha ! ha ! — I shall divorce you ! 0, 'tis well ! — 


Your father '11 pay them, my delighted bride ! 


Never ! never ! I '11 prevent it now. 


Indeed ! — 
Protest my bills ! — His son-in-law ! — No ! no ! 
If he should do so and dishonor you — 
I'd add another chaplet to his fame. 
I'd celebrate a m^irder ! — with his name. 


Ha ! — 



To-morrow, he shall see me, not in lawn, 
Or craped in weeds of dismal funeral form. 
But cushioned softly in your nest of charms. 
Come, come, my beauty, to my girdling arms ! 

{^He attempts to embrace her, she struggles, and gath- 
eritig courage from despair springs from him to- 
wards the door, but he anticipates her.) 
Nay, nay, my bird, you cannot fly just now ! 


Unhand me, or I'll cry for aid ! 


Ha ! ha ! — 
Cry out! cry out! they'll think you've seen my ghost !* 


I am too rash — deplore my zeal — Forgive ! — 
Lewmarin, spare ! I cannot be your wife. 


I think not so ; my sweetest, dearest, duck. 


Never, Lewmarin ! Never as I live ! — 

* This said — Lewmarin drew her to his breast, 
. While she, disgusted, withered in his clasp 
And sunk dejected in his rude embrace. 
Then gathering strength from courage in despair 
She tore away from his engirdling arms, 
Sprang to the door with one elastic bound 
But fell exhausted in the vain attempt. 
" Let go, I'll cry ! " Cry out ! he said — a ghost ! — 
Volentia paused as if to calm her thoughts; 

^S VOLENTIA. [act V. 


The law assures a husband of his rights. — 


— Then let us fly and seek a world unknown. 

Leave, instant leave! — now ! — leave the world, unknown! 


Your head is turned. To-morrow we shall meet 
A world of ton and you shall shine, my love, 
Triumphant, brilliant in your father's halls ! 
We '11 revel deeply in his wealth profound. 


And this ! — the -summit of Lewmarin's pride ? — 


No, no, my belle — your beauty is its peak: 
I would display it in ambition's blaze. 
'Tis not enough to own your beauty's gem, 
I'd make it glitter in my social crown 
And dazzle all the world, my courtly queen. 
But come, my dove, the night approaches morn, 
The world shall envy. Let us live for love. — 

A light infernal flashed before her eyes, 

A sense of fury ran through every nerve, 

Her blood, in torrent, rushed through every vein, 

And, mounting, dyed the marble of her cheek. 

She neither screamed nor cried aloud for aid, 

But turned her features from his balanced gaze 

And hid the demon in an angel's grace. 

She smiled, deplored her zeal and seemed resigned, 

And yielding, sighed — in softest accents spoke: 

Lewmarin, spare! <fec., &c. 



[She yields naively to his embraces and in the softest 
accents lohispers the assent of a heart full won.^ 
Ah, dear Lewmarhi ! I'm a wayward girl — 
Forgive the fickle purpose of my will. 
Thou art, indeed, my husband and my lord — 
Nay, stay a moment — I am wholly thine ! — 
Stay, while my care within this casket locks, — 
These gems — that custom nightly here defends. 
Ere I withdraw the curtains of my bed. 


You need not doubt them when your husband 's here. 


'Tis well reminded — but forgive me, love ; 

For 'tis not long that I was thus assured. 

[Leans her cheek to his lips ; he kisses her rap- 
turously. She goes to the casket and takes 
out a crystal flask of perfume adroitly; 
then looks timidly around.^ 

The doors ! — the windows of the corridor ! — 


Child ! — Your fears are groundless, and yet I'll see — 
[He seems to search every nook. She pours the 

flask into a goblet. . Lewmarin returns and 

finds her pale and falling.') 
How ! How ! So pale ! — 


O, I am fainting, dear ! — 


Here, [He pours ivine into the goblet.) 

Here ! Volentia, pray you take some Avine. 



No, no, it makes me worse ! O, throw it out ! — 
Fill me the goblet — water ! — quick — I die ! 


This wine 's too precious for the earth to taste, (drinks.) 
'Twere mad ovation and an impious waste 
To spurn the bouquet of its mellow years. * 

( Volentia views his revel ivith a frown. He seizes 
the eiver with a nervous grasp and instant freezes 
nice a cast of bronze. His eyes expand and set- 
tle on her face.) 

* Volentia viewed this revel with a frown, 
But when she saw the cup replaced, she smiled. 
He seized the ewer with a nervous grasp 
And froze the instant like a cast of bronze 
Quick chilled by artist in its glowing heat ; 
While she exalted by success exclaimed : 
Come, now, Lewmai'in, now Volentia's thine! 
Come take her beauty to thy welcome arms ! 
His limbs were rigid and his face confirmed ; 
A smile of malice mounted to his brow 
And claimed a triumph of the demon still. 
His eyes expanded, settled on her face, 
And scanned her features with a glance of flame. 
At first 'twas dark, unfathoraably deep, 
.But changed in phases with the speed of time ; 
Lighter and brighter, it more glaring grew 
Until it blazed a disc of burning fire. 
Revenge and madness raging in its stare 
Till death extinguished all of mental ire 
And quenched all passion^in oblivious wave 
And reeling, then Lewmarin, statucd, fell 
Baseless and broken, now, a corpse indeed. 



Come ! come ! Lewmarin ! take Volentia's charms ! 
Now ! — take her beauty to thy welcome arms ! 

(^Lewmarin reels in death and falls upon the coucli. 
She disposes him tvith care?) 
Now let the morning break in glorious sheen ! * 
One only cloud shall hang upon the scene, 
Reflect the glory to the opening dawn, 
And cast a rosy shadow on my lawn : 
The world in dews, as sad as world can be, 
Shall rain me tokens of its sympathy. 

* Lady Macbeth, the demon of the stage, 

The woman-wonder of Shakspeavian page, 

"When fancy-piqued by mad ambition's rage, 

Forgot the precepts of a female sage 

And put her conscience in a partner's gage. 

Had she been independent in her plan 

And kept her secret from the ear of man, 

The death of Duncan had not been the fan 

To blow sui'mises in the royal clan 

And flaunt her conduct into general ban. 

What should ambition with confession do, 

When threading mazes of a lightless mew 

Where spirits mingle of the darkest hue ; • 

Where moulting measures with a secret cue ; 

And meshing honors with a treacherous clue? 

But how can mortal malice be confin'd 

When Wisdom whispers in the viewless wind? 

When Justice listens, though her eyes be blind f 

Some witness sees each motive of the mind 

Howe'er envisaged be the end designed. 

92 VOLENTIA. [act V. 

'Tis on the living tomb, not shrouded bier, 
That mourning fashion sheds the feeling tear ; 
Bift in my father's sorrow, depth of gloom, 
One comfort cheers me Avith a hopeful bloom, 
One radiant joy relieves his vast despair : 
His daughter's glory, and her virtues rare 
Shine on the desert of this joyless earth 
And shed their splendor on a father's hearth. 

See Lucy Ashton, Bride of Laramermoor, 
Had she adored her lover, proud but poor, 
He would have triumphed o'er her wealthy boor. 
* Had self-reliance read the contract o'er 

She would have stampt it bravely on the floor. 
Beaumont and Fletcher, in. their skillful play 
Yclept by license "The Maid's Tragedy," 
Leads out a maiden that had gone astray; 
Inspires a brother with a virtuous ray 
To light a sister on her wandering way 
And lead her back from lustful royal sway. 
The maid, howe'er, was satisfied to err. 
Whiles he was restive and ashamed for her 
And urged her, strongly, virtue to prefer 
She slew her lover as her miner 
Amidst the plaudits of a theatre. 
The act was but a sacrifice to shame 
Demanded merely to redeem her name. 
It was a tribute to her brother's blame 
And not the vengeance of a virtuous dame 
That nobly kindles in defence of fame. 
Not so Volentia, in her deep extreme 
The world's opinion was to her, supreme. 
She could not brook exception in esteem 


The world shall kneel around on every side 
The virgin widow, and the widowed bride. 
In widowed love she '11 live, her lover died ! 

{She kneels hy the side of the couch. Dorval and 
company enter, and as they solemnly strew Jiowers over 
the corpse, the scene closes.) 

And sought perfection in her daring scheme. 
Not e'en her father could her deed misdeem. 
She clung to virtue as her ssx's gem , 
The brightest jewel in fame's diadem, 
Or star that glittered on distinction's hem: 
Which when she saw, by life, Lewmarin dim 
She took the traitor off by stratagem. 
She, self-reliant, flew to self-resource, 
He stood between her aim and future course 
The fame that issued from this humble source. 
The world believed Lewmarin was a corse 
And since he lived, she needed death's divorce. 
She could not have a partner in success 
Though she demanded service in distress. 
Her way, 'twas true, required great address. 
Yet she was bold and secret to excess 
And self-will bore ambition's Atlan stress. 


Page 23, line 3d from top, Diagnoses, read, diagDosties. 
" 54, " 12th " bottom, her, read, his. 
" 65, " 5th " " dazzles, read, dazzle. 
" 81, " 10th " top, a heart, read, of a heart. 
" 82j " 3d " bottom, freeze from, read, chills from. 


Is it impossible that things should seem 

In visage outwai'd as they inward are? 

Do not the Heavens, when the sun is there, 

Or bright and blazing in a dome of blue, 

Or dim and glimmering through dark misty clouds, 

"Wrap up great Nature in mysterious veil ? 

Who might believe, unless the night explain^ 

A world of stars in light, were hid beyond? 

A preface is a postscript printed first. 

But like all proems, should be written last. 

Yet, first or last, the office is the same^ 

Useless and imimportant to a work. 

And may be well dispensed with as mere form. . 

As introduction, 'tis of little use. 

Of great pretension, but of little worth, 

A ceremonious, but a vain excuse. 

For, if the wine be good, it "needs no bush,"' 

And being bad, no bush can make it good. 

Exordium, too, is but a false display 

Of wordy homage in a prideful way,. 

To win the favor of the vacant mind 

Before 'tis filled with thoughts prepared and fine;. 

A peroration's also, quite as vain. 

Since it would tell you what you've heard, again. 

But, unlike these, a postscript makes an end,. 

And may advise one of some useful fact 

Unknown, nor yet extraneous to intent.. 



It is, in truth, some duty's proper place. 
Where thanks are given or some debt discharged. 
And 80^ I make, "with pleasure, this last note. 
In the memoirs of a name uncivil 
I've found example and the case in point, 
And taken freely of the incidents 
That wear the aspect of the prohable. 
'Twas my intent to show by proof assumed 
That high refinement, in her artifice, 
Pursuing fame where'er her footsteps lead, 
Has dips as low in dark concealment's crimes 
As low-bred grossness in the common world. 
That wealth should pass the formal for the pure, 
Regard the outward, keep the inward pure, 
Enjoy the graces with the virtues pure ; 
For when desire once gains dominion's hold 
And yields to fancy all of reason's power. 
In spite of virtue, it will onward sway 
Or sweep to ruin or to mastery. 
A great Republic, in the strength of youth, 
With institutions, beautiful and free. 
Should guard her freedom in commercial wealth, 
Lest luxury o'erturn her moral force. 
Commerce, like Dorval, may enrich a State, 
And science, art, with skill to work their way, 
May lend refinement to a government ; 
But then the State should not forget, the while. 
That libertjr, in luxury, may pall, 
And lose all virtues in licentiousness. 
Ambition, like a prodigal, may fall 
In pits of policy when most secure 
And sink defeated in deception's charms. 
* Lewmarin dies in sharp Volentia's arms.