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Hostess. The very instant, Madam.
(She goes into the cabinet and shuts the door.)
his arm through, opens the window, enters quickly, and bolts the door
which the Hostess just went out at.)
Antony. Silence !-taking her in his arms and putting a handkerchief to her mouth)-It's 1--Antony.
(He carries her into the cabinet.)
Thus ends Act III.
Some months have passed away. Antony and his mistress are then at Paris, and Col. d'Hervey still (this is again convenient) remains at Frankfort, whither Antony has sent a faithful servant, who is to watch over the movements of the unfortunate husband, and ride to Paris with the news, if he should take it into his head to return.
You are now taken to a ball*—and here Adèle gets insulted by a lady for her supposed weakness in favour of Antony—the weakness, as yet, is only supposed. Antony consoles his mistress for this insult, which one does not quite see why she received, since her friend, the hostess, and queen of the ball, has already changed her lover two or three times during the piece. But misfortunes, says the proverb, never come singly, and hardly can Adèle have gone home, after this insult, when the servant who had been stationed at Frankfort arrives, and announces that Col. d'Hervey will be at Paris almost as soon as himself.
Antony hurries to his mistress's house, and endeavours to persuade her to elope with him immediately.
ACT V. SCENE III.
Antony. Well, thou see'st! remaining here there is no hope in heaven .. Listen, I am free-my fortune will follow me besides, if it failed, I could supply it easily. A carriage is below. Listen and consider, there is no other
If a heart devoted—if the whole existence of a man cast at thy feet, suffice thee, say 'Yes.' Italy, England, Germany, offer us an asylum. I tear thee from thy family, from thy country.-well, I will be to thee family-country. A change of name will disguise us from the world. No one will know who we were till we are dead. We'll live alone-thou shalt be my fortune,
* Act sv.
my God, my life. Pu have no will but thine, no happiness but thine. Come, come, we are enough to each other to enable us to forget the world.
Adèle. Yes, yes_but one word to Clara.
Adèle. My child, my daughter-I must embrace my girl-seest thou—this is a last adieu, an eternal farewell!
Antony. Well, yes !-go, go. He pushes her.)
-leave my daughter!-my daughter, who will be reproached one day with the crime of her mother, who will still live, perhaps, though not for her. My girl! my poor child ! who will expect to be presented to the world as innocent, and who will be presented to it as dishonoured as her mother, and dishonoured by her mother's fault.
Antony. O my God!
Adèle. Is it not so ? A blot once fallen upon a name is not effaced-it eats into it-it preys upon it-it destroys it. Oh my daughter, my daughter!
Antony. Well!-we'll take her with us : let her come with us. But yesterday, 1 should have thought it impossible to love her the daughter of another --of thee. Well! she shall be my daughter, my adopted child. But come take her, then; every instant is death. What dost thou consider about ?-he is coming, he is coming!--he is yonder!
Adèle. Wretch that I am become! Where am I? and where bast thou conducted me? and all this in three months! An honourable man confides his name to me---places his happiness in me-trusts his daughter to me! I adore her. She is his hope, his old age, the being in whom he hopes to survive. Thou comest-it is but three months. My smothered love awakes I dishonour the name intrusted to me--I destroy the happiness reposed on me; and this is not all-no, this is not enough-I carry away from him the daughter of his heart. I disinherit his old days of his child's caresses, and in exchange of his love I give him shame, sorrow, solitude! Tell me, Antony, is not this insamy?
Antony. What wouldst thou do, then ?
Antony proposes they should die together—"Blessed be God," he says,
Blessed be God who made my life for unity! Blessed be God that I can quit life without drawing a tear from eyes that love me! Blessed be God for having allowed me, in the age of hope, to have known and been fatigued with everything . . . One bond alone attached me to this world ... Thou wert that bond-it breaks—I am content to die, but I would die with thee ... I wish the last beatings of our hearts to respond-our last sighs to mingle. Dost thou understand ? ... A death as soft as sleep-a death happier than our life . . . Then—who knows? from pity, perhaps, they'll throw our bodies into the same tomb,
Adèle. Oh! yes! That would be heaven, if my memory could die with mo --but if I die thus, the world will say to my child—“Your mother thought to escape shame by death ... and she died in the arms of the man who had dishonoured her”—and if my poor girl say, “no;" they will lift up the stone that covers our grave, and say “There, see them !"
Antony. Oh! we are indeed damned, neither to live nor die !
Adèle. Yes, yes. I ought to die-I alone—thou seest it—, .. Go then, in the name of heaven-go!
Antony. Go!.. quit thee! when he comes . . . to have had thee, and to have lost thee! ... bell! ... And were he not to kill thee . . . were he to pardon thee ... To have been guilty of rape, violence, adultery-to have possessed thee-and can I hesitate at a new crime, that is, to keep thee? What! lose my soul for so little! Satan would laugh. Thou art foolish. No, no! Thou art mine as man is misfortune's (seizing her in his arms). Thou must live for me . . . I carry thee away.--Evil be on the head of him who would prevent me!
Adèle. Oh! oh!
the street door.) Adèle (bursting from Antony's arms). Oh! it's he.... Oh! my God! my God! Have pity on me! pardon, pardon!
Antony. Come, it is over now!
Adèle. Somebody's coming up stairs ... somebody rings— It must be remembered this is a French house, and the knock was at the outer door)- It's my husband-fly, fly!
Antony (fastening the door). Not I-I fly not ... Listen!... You said just now that you did not fear death.
Adèle. No, no... Oh! kill me, for pity's sake!
(A voice from without ; “Open, open! break open the door!") Antony." And in thy last breath thou wilt not curse thy assassin ?Adèle. I'll bless him—but be quick ... that door.
Antony. Fear nothing! death shall be here before any one. But reflect on it well-death!
Adèle. I beg it-implore it (throwing herself into his arms)-I come to seek it. Antony (kissing her). Well then, die !
(He stabs her with a poniard.) Adèle (falling into a fauteuil). Ah! (At the same momemt the door is forced open, Col. d'Hervey rushes on
SCENE IV. Col. d'Hervey, Antony, Adèle, and different servants.
(He throws his dagger at the Colonel's feet.)
The merits of M. Dumas."Angèle.”—“Darlington.”
."-"Teresa."-"Tour de Nesle.”—Description of the effect produced by the “Tour de Nesle.”—The characters of a time should be in the character of the time.-M. Dumas dresses up the nineteenth century in a livery of heroism, turned up with assassination and incest.
There is enough, I think, even in the short and imperfect translation I have just given from Antony, to show considerable energy and talent, and that kind of passion and movement which hurries away an audience. Indeed, the productions of M. Dumas, which lose much of their effect in reading, afford, in acting, a thousand proofs of this author's having taken every pains to study and to succeed in the arts of the stage. There is a line in Angèle, wonderful in its exemplification of his knowledge and his study of these arts.
Angèle,* a young lady, unhappily, seduced, is desirous of confessing her misfortune to her mothershe says she has something to say—the mother inquires tenderly what it is
Angèle is a young lady, seduced by an adventurer who intends marrying her on a speculation, but, on finding the mother a better affair, he engages himself to her. Angèle, however, after being confined (which she is, one may say, on the stage), confesses the story to her mamma just before the marriage takes place.
D'Alvimar, the adventurer, is for making off, but is stopped by a Doctor Muller, a young physician, who, having long loved Angèle, had accidentally delivered her of her child, and now delivers her of her false-hearted lover, whom (by a most unmedical mode of destruction) he shoots—then marries Angèle, adopts her child, and (in order to make her quite happy and comfortable, I suppose) assures her he must die within the year of a pulmonary complaint.
Angèle weeps--the mother takes her hand, endeavours to soothe and encourage her; Angèle still weeps. “Is it something
very bad then ?” says the mother, not suspecting her daughter's innocence. The daughter fixes her eyes upon her mother, sobs, struggles to speak the audience is all attention. But how make the confession ?
“Ah, si j'avais mon enfant je le mettrais à vos pieds.” A more enthusiastic burst than followed this exclamation (I saw the piece the first night of the representation) it is impossible to describe. *
M. Dumas has written Henry III., Antony, Angèle, Darlington, t. Teresa, and also claims a share in the Tour de Nesle. S The Tour de Nesle is the most powerful of these performances, and thrown back into a dark century is excusable in its ghastly accumulation of midnight horrors. This tower, the Tour de Nesle,built in the twelfth century, on the site now occupied by the college Mazarin, tall, round, and casting its gloomy shadow on the Seine, was the spot sacred to many of the old popular superstitions,
* I remember another instance, in the “Tour de Nesle : ” immediately after the murder of Philippe Daulnay and all the abominations of Marguerite and her sisters, the guardian of the night is heard chanting without“Il est trois heures; tout est tranquille-Parisiens, dormez !”
+ Darlington is the illegitimate son of a hangman (this is in England), who is determined to make his fortune. To do this, nothing is so easy (N. B. This was in the days of unreformed parliaments) as to be returned M.P. for the County of Northumberland and the Borough of Darlington (both meaning the same thing). Darlington, then, is soon an M.P.; and he now makes a good speech, on which he is instantly sent for by the minister, and offered at once, by the king in person, a secretaryship of state, an earldom, and an immense estate, with the only condition of forsaking his principles and marrying a second wife, his own wise being yet living : this he of course complies with. But his wise is more difficult to be got rid of than his principles—and in his attempt to carry the good lady abroad, he is stopped by his moral, and virtuous, and indignant father, the hangman. Here ends the piece-finis coronat opus.
# Teresa is married to an officer older than herself, and who, indeed, has a daughter, Amelia, of nearly her age. Teresa is in love with a young man, Arthur, who marries Amelia and then intrigues with Teresa. Amelia gets possession of Teresa's letters, without knowing whose letters they are, but, suspecting some intrigue, places them in her father's hands, and her father finds his wife and his son-in-law to be little better than they should be. He satisfies himself, however, with hurrying daughter and son-in-law off on a foreign mission (in all M. Dumas' plays there is a foreign mission-no one bas such interest in the diplomacy), and Teresa thereupon destroys herself, as will be seen in a note a little further on.
See the following note.