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Thou knowest more of science than the duel;
For, when two men of honour take the field,
No counsel nor respect can make them friends,
But one must die in the pursuit.

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That you depart hence with your people, and
Leave us to finish what we have begun,

Without advantage.


Though you may imagine

That I know little of the laws of duel,
Which vanity and valour instituted,

You are in error. By my birth I am

Held no less than yourselves to know the limits
Of honour and of infamy, nor has study
Quenched the free spirit which first ordered them.
And thus to me, as to one well experienced
In the false quicksands of the sea of honour,
You may refer the merits of the case;
And, if I should perceive in your relation
That either has the right to satisfaction

From the other, I give you my word of honour
To leave you.


Under this condition then
I will relate the cause, and you will cede
And must confess the impossibility
Of compromise; for the same lady is
Beloved by Floro and myself.


It seems

Much to me that the light of day should look

Upon that idol of my heart-but he !—

Leave us to fight, according to thy word.

Cyprian. Permit one question further: is the lady Impossible to hope or not?

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So excellent that, if the light of day

Should excite Floro's jealousy, it were

Without just cause, for even the light of day

Trembles to gaze on her.


Part marry her?


Would you for your

Such is my confidence.

Cyprian. And you?


Oh would that I could lift my hope

So high! for, though she is extremely poor,

Her virtue is her dowry.


And, if you both

Would marry her, is it not weak and vain,

Culpable and unworthy, thus beforehand

To slur her honour? What would the world say

If one should slay the other, and if she

Should afterwards espouse the murderer?

[The Rivals agree to refer their quarrel to CYPRIAN; who, in consequence, visits JUSTINA, and becomes enamoured of her: she disdains him, and he retires to a solitary sea-shore.



O memory! permit it not
That the tyrant of my thought
Be another soul that still

Holds dominion o'er the will;

That would refuse, but can no more,

To bend, and tremble, to adore.

Vain idolatry!-I saw,

And gazing became blind with error.

Weak ambition, which the awe

Of her presence bound to terror!
So beautiful she was-and I,

Between my love and jealousy,

Am so convulsed with hope and fear,
Unworthy as it may appear,—

So bitter is the life I live,

That, hear me, Hell! I now would give

To thy most detested spirit

My soul, for ever to inherit,

To suffer punishment and pine,

So this woman may be mine.

Hear'st thou, Hell! dost thou reject it?

My soul is offered!

Demon (unseen.) I accept it.

[Tempest with thunder and lightning.


What is this! ye heavens for ever pure,

At once intensely radiant and obscure!

Athwart the etherial halls

The lightning's arrow and the thunder-balls
The day affright,

As from the horizon round

Burst with earthquake sound

In mighty torrents the electric fountains:Clouds quench the sun, and thunder-smoke Strangles the air, and fire eclipses heaven. Philosophy, thou canst not even

Compel their causes underneath thy yoke! From yonder clouds even to the waves below The fragments of a single ruin choke

Imagination's flight;

For on flakes of surge, like feathers light, The ashes of the desolation cast

Upon the gloomy blast

Tell of the footsteps of the storm;
And nearer see the melancholy form
Of a great ship, the outcast of the sea,
Drives miserably!

And it must fly the pity of the port,
Or perish, and its last and sole resort
Is its own raging enemy.

The terror of the thrilling cry
Was a fatal prophecy

Of coming Death, who hovers now

Upon that shattered prow,

That they who die not may be dying still.
And not alone the insane elements

Are populous with wild portents,

But that sad ship is as a miracle
Of sudden ruin, for it drives so fast
It seems as if it had arrayed its form
With the headlong storm.

It strikes-I almost feel the shock!-
It stumbles on a jagged rock!—
Sparkles of blood on the white foam are cast!

A tempest-All exclaim within,

We are all lost!

Demon (within.) Now from this plank will I Pass to the land, and thus fulfil my scheme.


As in contempt of the elemental rage,

A man comes forth in safety; while the ship's
Great form is in a watery eclipse

Obliterated from the ocean's page.

And round its wreck the huge sea-monsters sit,
A horrid conclave, and the whistling wave
Is heaped over its carcase, like a grave.

The DEMON enters, as escaped from the sea.
Demon (aside.) It was essential to my purposes
To wake a tumult on the sapphire ocean;
That in this unknown form I might at length
Wipe out the blot of the discomfiture
Sustained upon the mountain, and assail
With a new war the soul of Cyprian,
Forging the instruments of his destruction

Even from his love and from his wisdom.-[Aloud]—O
Beloved Earth, dear mother, in thy bosom

I seek a refuge from the monster who

Precipitates himself upon me!

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Collect thyself; and be the memory

Of thy late suffering and thy greatest sorrow
But as a shadow of the past,-for nothing
Beneath the circle of the moon but flows

And changes, and can never know repose.

Demon. And who art thou before whose feet my fate Has prostrated me?


One who, moved with pity,

Oh! that can never be!

Would soothe its stings.


No solace can my lasting sorrows find!

Cyprian. Wherefore?


Because my happiness is lost.

Yet I lament what has long ceased to be

The object of desire or memory,

And my life is not life.


Now, since the fury

Of this earthquaking hurricane is still,
And the crystalline heaven has re-assumed
Its windless calm so quickly that it seems

As if its heavy wrath had been awakened
Only to overwhelm that vessel,-speak,
Who art thou, and whence comest thou?

Far more

My coming hither cost than thou hast seen,
Or I can tell. Among my misadventures
This shipwreck is the least. Wilt thou hear?


Demon. Since thou desirest, I will then unveil Myself to thee; for in myself I am

A world of happiness and misery;

This I have lost, and that I must lament
For ever. In my attributes I stood
So high and so heroically great,

In lineage so supreme, and with a genius
Which penetrated with a glance the world
Beneath my feet, that, won by my high merit,
A king-whom I may call the King of kings,
Because all others tremble in their pride
Before the terrors of his countenance-
In his high palace roofed with brightest gems
Of living light-call them the stars of heaven-
Named me his counsellor. But the high praise
Stung me with pride and envy; and I rose
In mighty competition, to ascend
His seat, and place my foot triumphantly
Upon his subject thrones. Chastised, I know
The depth to which ambition falls. Too mad
Was the attempt; and yet more mad were now
Repentance of the irrevocable deed.
Therefore I chose this ruin with the glory
Of not to be subdued, before the shame
Of reconciling me with him who reigns,
By coward cession.-Nor was I alone,
Nor am I now, nor shall I be, alone.

And there was hope, and there may still be hope;
For many suffrages among his vassals

Hailed me their lord and king, and many still
Are mine, and many more perchance shall be.
Thus vanquished, though in fact victorious,
I left his seat of empire, from mine eye
Shooting forth poisonous lightning, while my words

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