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Ah me! (he cry'd) how fitly shall I frame
130 He knew 'twere vain, with cold excuse to send A menial servant, or
nearer friend : Himself in person must return to prove Ilis faith untainted, and her doubts remove. Ile rein'd liis steed, and cry'd, my Faustus, go 135 Tow'rds Pavia’s court with gentle steps and slow, I must again to Rome, but short my stay, Soon shall my speed o’ertake you on the way; No other can supply my wants---He said; Then bade adieu, and turn’d his courser's head : 110 Alone he crossid old Tyber's yellow stream, What time the shade retir'd from Phabus' beam : When, hastening home, he found the darling fair Fast lock'd in sleep (so poignant was her care !) The curtain with a cautious hand he drew,
145 And view'd, what little there he thought to view; For, lo! his chaste, his faithful spouse he found In wanton sheets, with amorous fetters bound, Clasp'd by a youth, in whose adulterous face, He knew the author of his foul disgrace:
150 A low-born hind defil'd his master's bed, Whose hand had reard him, and whose bounty fed. Think what amazement chill'd his curdling blood, As fix'd in stupid gaze he speechless stood : Ne'er may your soul, by sad experience, know 155 The cruel anguish of Jocundo's wue. Rage urg'd him on to draw the sword, and take A just revenge; but love, that still could wake.
For this ingrate, soft feelings in his breast,
All mark'd his change of cheer, his mournful look, That some near anguish at his heart bespoke ; 170 Yet none, amidst so many, e'er divin'd The secret cause that rankled in his mind: All knew he left thein to return to Rome, But he liad made a trip to Cuckoldom. Each deem'd that love lay festering in his thought, 175 But none could tell how love his sorrow wrought. His brother deem'd he mourn'd his consort, left Of comfort and society bereft: But he had different motives to complain, Her too much company had caus'd his pain. 180 IIe sighs, he weeps, while Faustus to his grief (The cause unknown) can yield no kind relief : In vain he seeks the healing balm to pour, What hand can heal, that cannot probe the sore?
Ver. 17+. But he had made a trip to Cuckoldom---] The Italian is,
........gito era a Corneto :....... Corneto, the name of a place near Rome. The word likewise means Cuckoldom; but the humour of the original arising from the double meaning of the word, could not be preserved in the same Linner in the translation,
The healing balın is rankest venom found,
185 Which more inflaines, and wider makes the wound. His consori's once-lov'd name distracts his breast, Ilis appetite is gone, and lost his rest; While those fair features, that so late might claim The prize of beauty, seem'd no more the same: 190 With deep unkces, and large projecting nose, With wishci dilesh, a sheleton he shows; And, bred from grief, a fever on the way At Arbia, a dat irno forc'd lis stay, Till lost these chims that once such fame had won, 195 Like gather'd reses fading in the sun.
Though Faisills, iouchi'd with deep regret, percciv'd Ilis brother's wocful state, no less he griev'd To think the prince, to whom his faith he ow'd, Should doubt his truth for praise so ill bestow’d. 200 He promis'd one of matchless forin and face, And one he brings depriv’d of every grace: Yet with Jocundo, still he journey'd on, Till now they criter'd Pavia's regal town: But, fearful of disgrace, the Roman knight
205 At first decliu'd to meet Astolpho's sight, Till to the hing by letter he reveal'd That dire disease, and some distress conceald, Prey'd on his brother's ruin'd health, desac'd Ilis rosy bloom, and laid each beanty waste. 210 Astolpho, gracious prince, well pleas'd to hear The man he long’d so much to scc was nicar, Resolv'd his noblest welcome to citend, And greet Jocundo as his dearest friend. No envy in his generous breast was known. To find a beauty that excell'd his own;
Since, but for pale disease, full well he knew
In these apartments of the regal dome,
235 With windows ever clos'd, expell’d the light, A chink appear'd, and through the mouldering ilaw, Whence came a feeble ray, he thought he saw What few would hear, and fewer would believe, Nor from another would himself receive.
240 There, through the opening chink, reveal'd was seen The secret chamber of Astolpho's queen; A sacred privacy to all deny’d, But those in whom the fair could well confide: Here oft Astolpho's beauteous consort sate,
245 Forgetful of her lord and regal state; And here he view'd a dwarf of hideous face, And shape uncouth, the wanton fair embrace.
Struck with the sight, yet doubting what he view'd, As in a trance awhile Jocundo stood :
250 But, when convinc'd, no longer could he deem The sight th’ illusion of an idle dream. Ye gods! (he cry’d) can she resign her charms To the rude clasp of such a lover's arms ? A queen, whose lord with every gift is crown'd, 255 In form unrivall’d, as in worth renown'd! Reflection that before so pain’d his heart, Now took, by slow degrees, his consort's part. What though she sought a young gallant to find, Her fault was but the fault of all her kind:
260 Whose favours none could ever singly prove, And if desire of change her breast could move, At least no monster had enjoy'd her love.
Next day, returning at th' accustom'd hour, lle found the lover's busy'd as before :
26.5 Still fearless of surprise, the dwarf and dame The king dishonour'd with the deed of shame. Day following day their mutual vigour proves, And Sunday was no Sabbath to their loves. Yet most he marvell’d that the fair complain'd, And thought th’ ill-shapen cub her charms disdain'd. One morn, when to the friendly chink he came, He found, dissolv’d in tears, the amorous dame : Who twice already, by her trusty maid, Had call'd the dwarf, and still the dwarf delay’d. 27,5 Again she sent: her maid these tidings brought; The dice, my lady, take up all his thought; And rather than forego his gain at play, Ile dares your gracious summons disobey,