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Double Falsehood Scenes

Scene 2

The prospect of the mountains.

(Julio; First Gentleman; Second Gentleman; Violante)

Two gentlemen try to convince Julio that he would be better off if he left the wildness. They hear Violante playing the lute and singing sad love songs. Julio remarks that he often hears her, and that the music brings peace to his soul. Violante comes in, commenting to herself on how preferable nature is to the court. She reflects painfully on her past, leaving Julio deeply sorry for her. She cries out against Henriquez and pities herself by name, and Julio recognizes her. He goes to her, and they decide to go together to a cave to mutually mope. (129 lines)

Enter Julio, and two Gentlemen.

1. GENT.

Good sir, compose yourself.


O Leonora,

That heav’n had made thee stronger than a woman,

How happy had I been!

2. GENT.

He’s calm again:

I’ll take this interval to work upon him.

These wild and solitary places, sir,

But feed your pain; let better reason guide you;

And quit this forlorn state, that yields no comfort.

Lute sounds within.


Ha! Hark, a sound from heav’n! Do you hear nothing?

1. GENT.

Yes, sir; the touch of some sweet instrument:

Here’s no inhabitant.


No, no, the better.

2. GENT.

This is a strange place to hear music in.


I’m often visited with these sweet airs.

The spirit of some hapless man that died,

And left his love hid in a faithless woman,

Sure haunts these mountains.

Violante sings within.

Fond echo! Forego thy light strain,

And heedfully hear a lost maid;

Go, tell the false ear of the swain

How deeply his vows have betray’d.

Go, tell him, what sorrows I bear;

See, yet if his heart feel my woe:

’Tis now he must heal my despair,

Or death will make pity too slow.

2. GENT.

See, how his soul strives in him! This sad strain

Has search’d him to the heart.


Excellent sorrow!

You never lov’d?

1. GENT.



Peace; and learn to grieve then.

Violante sings within.

Go, tell him, what sorrows I bear;

See, yet if his heart feel my woe:

’Tis now he must heal my despair,

Or death will make pity too slow.

Is not this heav’nly?

1. GENT.

I never heard the like, sir.


I’ll tell you, my good friends; but pray, say nothing;

I’m strangely touch’d with this. The heav’nly sound

Diffuses a sweet peace through all my soul.

But yet I wonder, what new, sad, companion

Grief has brought hither to out-bid my sorrows.

Stand off, stand off, stand off—Friends, it appears.

Enter Violante.


How much more grateful are these craggy mountains,

And these wild trees, than things of nobler natures;

For these receive my plaints, and mourn again

In many echoes to me. All good people

Are fall’n asleep forever. None are left,

That have the sense, and touch of tenderness

For virtue’s sake: no, scarce their memory:

From whom I may expect counsel in fears,

Ease to complainings, or redress of wrongs.


This is a moving sorrow, but say nothing.


What dangers have I run, and to what insults

Expos’d this ruin of myself? Oh! Mischief

On that soul-spotted hind, my vicious master!

Who would have thought, that such poor worms as they,

(Whose best feed is coarse bread; whose bev’rage, water)

Should have so much rank blood? I shake all over,

And blush to think what had become of me,

If that good man had not reliev’d me from him.


Since she is not Leonora, she is heav’nly.

When she speaks next, listen as seriously,

As women do that have their loves at sea,

What wind blows ev’ry morning.


I cannot get this false man’s memory

Out of my mind. You maidens, that shall live

To hear my mournful tale, when I am ashes,

Be wise; and to an oath no more give credit,

To tears, to vows, (false both!) or any thing

A man shall promise, than to clouds, that now

Bear such a pleasing shape, and now are nothing.

For they will cozen, (if they may be cozen’d,)

The very gods they worship. Valor, justice,

Discretion, honesty, and all they covet,

To make them seeming saints, are but the wiles

By which these sirens lure us to destruction.


Do not you weep now? I could drop myself

Into a fountain for her.

2. GENT.

She weeps extremely.


Let her weep; ’tis well:

Her heart will break else. Great sorrows live in tears.


O false Henriquez!—




And oh, thou fool,

Forsaken Violante! Whose belief

And childish love have made thee so—go, die;

For there is nothing left thee now to look for,

That can bring comfort, but a quiet grave.

There all the miseries I long have felt,

And those to come, shall sweetly sleep together.

Fortune may guide that false Henriquez hither,

To weep repentance o’er my pale, dead coarse,

And cheer my wand’ring spirit with those lov’d obsequies.



Stay, lady, stay: can it be possible,

That you are Violante?


That lost name,

Spoken by one, that needs must know my fortunes,

Has taken much fear from me. Who are you, sir?

For, sure, I am that hopeless Violante.


And I, as far from any earthly comfort

That I know yet, the much-wrong’d Julio!




I once was thought so. If the curst Henriquez

Had pow’r to change you to a boy, why, lady,

Should not that mischief make me any thing,

That have an equal share in all the miseries

His crimes have flung upon us?


Well I know it:

And pardon me, I could not know your virtues,

Before your griefs. Methought, when last we met,

The accent of your voice struck on my ear

Like something I had known, but floods of sorrow

Drown’d the remembrance. If you’ll please to sit,

(Since I have found a suff’ring true companion,)

And give me hearing, I will tell you something

Of Leonora, that may comfort you.


Blessing upon thee! Henceforth, I protest

Never to leave thee, if heav’n say amen.

But, soft! Let’s shift our ground, guide our sad steps

To some remoter gloom, where, undisturb’d,

We may compare our woes; dwell on the tale

Of mutual injuries, ’till our eyes run o’er,

And we infect each other, with fresh sorrows.

Talk’d you of comfort? ’Tis the food of fools,

And we will none on’t; but indulge despair:

So, worn with griefs, steal to the cave of death,

And in a sigh give up our latest breath.



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