Double Falsehood, or, The Distrest Lovers
By Lewis Theobald (1688-1744)
Act  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

Act V. Scene I.

Scene, The Prospect of the Mountains continued.

Enter Roderick, Leonora veil’d, Henriquez, Attendants as Mourners.

Rod. Rest certain, Lady, Nothing shall betide you,
But fair, and noble Usage. Pardon me,
That hitherto a Course of Violence
Has snatch’d you from that Seat of Contemplation
To which you gave your After-Life.

Leon.                                                Where am I?

Rod. Not in the Nunnery; never blush, nor tremble;
Your Honour has as fair a Guard, as when
Within a Cloyster. Know then, what is done,
(Which, I presume, you understand not truly,)
Has this Use, to preserve the Life of One
Dying for Love of You: my Brother, and your Friend:
Under which Colour we desir’d to rest
Our Herse one Night within your hallow’d Walls,
Where we surpriz’d you.

Leon.                         Are you that Lord Roderick,
So spoken of for Virtue, and fair Life,
And dare you lose these to be Advocate
For such a Brother, such a sinful Brother,
Such an unfaithful, treacherous, brutal Brother?

Rod. This is a fearful Charge. —

[Looks at Henriquez.

Leon.                                     If you would have me
Think, you still bear Respect for Virtue’s Name;
As you would wish, your Daughters, thus distress’d,
Might find a Guard, protect me from Henriquez;
And I am happy.

Rod.                   Come, Sir, make your Answer;
For as I have a Soul, I am asham’d on’t.

Henr. O Leonora, see! thus self-condemn’d,
I throw me at your Feet, and sue for Mercy.
If I have err’d, impute it to my Love;
The Tyrant God that bows us to his Sway,
Rebellious to the Laws of reas’ning Men;
That will not have his Votaries Actions scann’d,
But calls it Justice, when we most obey him.
He but commanded, what your Eyes inspir’d;
Whose sacred Beams, darted into my Soul,
Have purg’d the Mansion from impure Desires,
And kindled in my Heart a Vestal’s Flame.

Leon. Rise, rise, my Lord; this well-dissembled Passion
Has gain’d you nothing but a deeper Hate.
Should I imagine, he can truly love me,
That, like a Villain, murthers my Desires?
Or should I drink that Wine, and think it Cordial,
When I see Poyson in’t?

Rod.                          Draw this way, Lady;
I am not perfect in your Story yet;
But see you’ve had some Wrongs, that want Redress.
Only you must have Patience to go with us
To yon small Lodge, which meets the Sight from hence,
Where your Distress shall find the due Respect:
’Till when, your Griefs shall govern me as much,
As Nearness and Affection to my Brother.
Call my Attendants yours; and use them freely;
For as I am a Gentleman, no Pow’r,
Above your own Will, shall come near your Person.

[As they are going out, Violante enters, and plucks Roderick by the Sleeve; the rest go out.]

Viol. Your Ear a Moment: Scorn not my tender Youth.

Roder. Look to the Lady there. — I follow strait.
What ails this Boy? Why dost thou single me?

Viol. The due Observance of your noble Virtue,
Vow’d to this mourning Virgin, makes me bold
To give it more Employment.

Rod.                                 Art not Thou
The surly Shepherd’s Boy, that, when I call’d
To know the Way, ran crying by me?

Viol.                                             Yes, Sir.
And I thank Heav’n and you for helping me.

Rod. How did I help thee, Boy?

Viol. I do but seem so, Sir; and am indeed
A Woman; one your Brother once has lov’d;
Or, Heav’n forgive him else, he ly’d extremely.

Rod. Weep not, good Maid; O this licentious Brother!
But how came you a Wand’rer on these Mountains?

Viol. That, as we pass, an’t please you, I’ll discover.
I will assure you, Sir, these barren Mountains
Hold many Wonders of your Brother’s making.
Here wanders hapless Julio, worthy Man!
Besides himself with Wrongs —

Rod.                                       That once again —

Viol. Sir, I said, Julio. — Sleep weigh’d down his Eyelids,
Oppress’d with Watching, just as you approach’d us.

Rod. O Brother! We shall sound the Depths of Falshood.
If this be true, no more but guide me to him:
I hope, a fair End will succeed all yet.
If it be He, by your Leave, gentle Brother,
I’ll see him serv’d first. — Maid, you have o’erjoy’d me.
Thou shalt have Right too: Make thy fair Appeal
To the good Duke, and doubt not but thy Tears
Shall be repaid with Interest from his Justice.
Lead me to Julio.          [Exeunt.

Scene II. An Apartment in the Lodge.

Enter Duke, Don Bernard, and Camillo.

Cam. Ay, then your Grace had had a Son more; He, a Daughter; and I, an Heir: But let it be as ’tis, I cannot mend it; one way or other, I shall rub it over, with rubbing to my Grave, and there’s an End on’t.

Duke. Our Sorrows cannot help us, Gentlemen.

Cam. Hang me, Sir, if I shed one Tear more. By Jove, I’ve wept so long, I’m as blind as Justice. When I come to see my Hawks (which I held a Toy next to my Son;) if they be but House-high, I must stand aiming at them like a Gunner.

Duke. Why, he mourns like a Man. Don Bernard, you
Are still like April, full of Show’rs and Dews:
And yet I blame you not: for I myself
Feel the self-same Affections. — Let them go;
They’re disobedient Children.

D. Bern.                            Ay, my Lord;
Yet they may turn again.

Cam. Let them e’en have their Swing: they’re young and wanton; the next Storm we shall have them gallop homeward, whining as Pigs do in the Wind.

D. Bern. Would I had my Daughter any way.

Cam. Would’st thou have her with Bearn, Man, tell me that?

D. Bern. I care not, if an honest Father got it.

Cam. You might have had her so in this good Time, Had my Son had her: Now you may go seek Your Fool to stop a Gap with.

Duke. You say, that Rod’rick charg’d you here should wait him:
He has o’erslip’ed the Time, at which his Letters
Of Speed request that I should also meet him.
I fear, some bad Event is usher’d in
By this Delay: — How now?

Enters Gentleman.

Gent.                               So please your Grace,
Lord Rod’rick makes Approach.

Duke.                                     I thank thee, Fellow,
For thy so timely News: Comes he alone?

Gent. No, Sir, attended well; and in his Train
Follows a Herse with all due Rites of Mourning.

[Exit Gent.

Duke. Heav’n send, Henriquez live!

Cam.                                                ’Tis my poor Julio.—

Enters Roderick, hastily.

Duke. O welcome, welcome,
Welcome, good Rod’rick! Say, what News?

Cam. Do you bring Joy or Grief, my Lord? For me,
Come what can come, I’ll live a Month or two
If the Gout please; curse my Physician once more,
And then, — —
     Under this Stone
     Lies Sev’nty One.

Rod. Signior, you do express a manly Patience.
My noble Father, something I have brought
To ease your Sorrows: My Endeavours have not
Been altogether barren in my Journey.

Duke. It comes at need, Boy; but I hop’d it from thee.

Enter Leonora veil’d, Henriquez behind, and Attendants.

Rod. The Company I bring, will bear me Witness
The busiest of my Time has been employ’d
On this good Task. Don Bernard finds beneath
This Veil his Daughter: You, my Royal Father,
Behind that Lady find a wand’ring Son.
How I met with them, and how brought them hither,
More Leisure must unfold.

Henr.                           My Father here!
And Julio’s! O Confusion! — Low as Earth
I bow me for your Pardon.          [To the Duke.

D. Bern.                             O my Girl!
Thou bring’st new Life. —          [Embraces Leonora.

Duke.                            And you, my Son, restore me          [To Roderick.
One Comfort here that has been missing long.
I hope, thy Follies thou hast left abroad.          [To Henriq.

Cam. Ay, ay; you’ve all Comforts but I; you have ruin’d me, kill’d my poor Boy; cheated and ruin’d him; and I have no Comfort.

Rod. Be patient, Signior; Time may guide my Hand
To work you Comfort too.

Cam.                             I thank your Lordship;
’Would Grandsire Time had been so kind to’ve done it;
We might have joy’d together like good Fellows.
But he’s so full of Business, good Old Man,
’Tis Wonder, he could do the Good he has done.

D. Bern. Nay, Child, be comforted. These Tears distract me.

Duke. Hear your good Father, Lady.

Leon.                                                 Willingly.

Duke. The Voice of Parents is the Voice of Gods:
For to their Children they are Heav’n’s Lieutenants:
Made Fathers, not for common Uses meerly
Of Procreation; (Beasts and Birds would be
As noble then as we are) but to steer
The wanton Freight of Youth thro’ Storms and Dangers,
Which with full Sails they bear upon: and streighten
The moral Line of Life, they bend so often.
For these are We made Fathers; and for These,
May challenge Duty on our Children’s Part.
Obedience is the Sacrifice of Angels,
Whose Form you carry.

D. Bern.                     Hear the Duke, good Wench.

Leon. I do most heedfully. My gracious Lord,

[To the Duke.

Let me be so unmanner’d to request,
He would not farther press me with Persuasions
O’th’ instant Hour: but have the gentle Patience
To bury this keen Suit, ’till I shake Hands
With my old Sorrows, —

Cam.                           Why dost look at me?
Alas! I cannot help thee.

Leon.                         And but weep
A Farewell to my murther’d Julio, —

Cam. Blessing be with thy Soul, whene’er it leaves Thee!

Leon. For such sad Rites must be perform’d, my Lord,
E’er I can love again. Maids, that have lov’d,
If they be worth that noble Testimony,
Wear their Loves here, my Lord; here, in their Hearts;
Deep, deep within; not in their Eyes, or Accents;
Such may be slip’d away; or with two Tears
Wash’d out of all Remembrance: Mine, no Physick,
But Time, or Death, can cure.

Henr. You make your own Conditions, and I seal them
Thus on your virtuous Hand.          [Aside.

Cam.                              Well, Wench, thy Equal
Shall not be found in haste; I give thee That:
Thou art a right one, ev’ry Inch. — Thy Father
(For, without Doubt, that Snuff never begot Thee,)
Was some choice Fellow, some true Gentleman;
I give thy Mother Thanks for’t — there’s no Harm done. —
Would I were young again, and had but thee,
A good Horse under me, and a good Sword,
And thus much for Inheritance. —

[Violante offers, once or twice, to shew herself, but goes back.

Duke.                                        What Boy’s That,
Has offer’d twice or thrice to break upon us?
I’ve noted him, and still he falls back fearful.

Rod. A little Boy, Sir, like a Shepherd?

Duke.                                                   Yes.

Rod. ’Tis your Page, Brother; — One that was so, late.

Henr. My Page! What Page?

Rod.                                      Ev’n so he says, your Page;
And more, and worse, you stole him from his Friends,
And promis’d him Preferment.

Henr.                                 I, Preferment!—

Rod. And on some slight Occasion let him slip
Here on these Mountains, where he had been starv’d,
Had not my People found him, as we travell’d.
This was not handsome, Brother.

Henr.                                      You are merry.

Rod. You’ll find it sober Truth.

Duke.                                      If so, ’tis ill.

Henr. ’Tis Fiction all, Sir; — Brother, you must please
To look some other Fool to put these Tricks on;
They are too obvious: — Please your Grace, give Leave
T’ admit the Boy; If he know me, and say,
I stole him from his Friends, and cast him off,
Know me no more. — Brother, pray do not wrong me.

Enters Violante

Rod. Here is the Boy. If he deny this to you,
Then I have wrong’d you.

Duke.                          Hear me; What’s thy Name, Boy?

Viol. Florio, an’t like your Grace.

Duke.                                          A pretty Child.
Where wast thou born?

Viol.                         On t’other Side the Mountains.

Duke. What are thy Friends?

Viol.                                     A Father, Sir; but poor.

Duke. How camest thou hither? how, to leave thy Father?

Viol. That noble Gentleman pleas’d once to like me,          [Pointing to Henriquez.
And, not to lye, so much to doat upon me,
That with his Promises he won my Youth,
And Duty, from my Father: Him I follow’d.

Rod. How say you now, Brother?

Cam.                                            Ay, my Lord, how say You?

Hen. As I have Life and Soul, ’tis all a Trick, Sir.
I never saw the Boy before.

Viol.                               O Sir,
Call not your Soul to witness in a Wrong:
And ’tis not noble in you, to despise
What you have made thus. If I lye, let Justice
Turn all her Rods upon me.

Duke.                             Fye, Henriquez;
There is no Trace of Cunning in this Boy.

Cam. A good Boy! — Be not fearful: Speak thy Mind, Child.
Nature, sure, meant thou should’st have been a Wench;
And then’t had been no Marvel he had bobb’d thee.

Duke. Why did he put thee from him?

Viol.                                                   That to me
Is yet unknown, Sir; for my Faith, he could not;
I never did deceive him: for my Service,
He had no just Cause; what my Youth was able,
My Will still put in Act, to please my Master:
I cannot steal; therefore that can be nothing
To my Undoing: no, nor lye; my Breeding,
Tho’ it be plain, is honest.

Duke.                              Weep not, Child.

Cam. This Lord has abused Men, Women, and Children already: What farther Plot he has, the Devil knows.

Duke. If thou can’st bring a Witness of thy Wrong,
(Else it would be Injustice to believe thee,
He having sworn against it;) thou shalt have,
I bind it with my Honour, Satisfaction
To thine own Wishes.

Viol.                        I desire no more, Sir.
I have a Witness, and a noble one,
For Truth and Honesty.

Rod.                         Go, bring him hither.          [Exit Violante.

Henr. This lying Boy will take him to his Heels,
And leave me slander’d.

Rod.                          No; I’ll be his Voucher.

Henr. Nay then ’tis plain, this is Confederacy.

Rod. That he has been an Agent in your Service,
Appears from this. Here is a Letter, Brother,
(Produc’d, perforce, to give him Credit with me;)
The Writing, yours; the Matter, Love; for so,
He says, he can explain it.

Cam.                            Then, belike,
A young He-bawd.

Henr.                  This Forgery confounds me!

Duke. Read it, Roderick.

Rod.          Reads.] Our Prudence should now teach us to
                   forget, what our Indiscretion has com­
                   mitted. I have already made one Step
                   towards this Wisdom — —

Henr. Hold, Sir.— My very Words to Violante!

[Aside.

Duke. Go on.

Henr.              My gracious Father, give me Pardon;
I do confess, I some such Letter wrote
(The Purport all too trivial for your Ear,)
But how it reach’d this young Dissembler’s Hands,
Is what I cannot solve. For on my Soul,
And by the Honours of my Birth and House,
The Minion’s Face ’till now I never saw.

Rod. Run not too far in Debt on Protestation.—
Why should you do a Child this Wrong?

Henr.                                                Go to;
Your Friendships past warrant not this Abuse:
If you provoke me thus, I shall forget
What you are to me. This is a meer Practice,
And Villany to draw me into Scandal.

Rod. No more; you are a Boy. — Here comes a Witness,
Shall prove you so: No more.—

Enter Julio, disguis’d; Violante, as a Woman.

Henr.                                      Another Rascal!

Duke. Hold: —

Henr. Ha!          [ Seeing Violante.

Duke. What’s here?

Henr. By all my Sins, the injur’d Violante.          [Aside.

Rod. Now, Sir, whose Practice breaks?

Cam.                                                      Is this a Page?     [To Henr.

Rod. One that has done him Service,
And he has paid her for’t; but broke his Covenant.

Viol. My Lord, I come not now to wound your Spirit.
Your pure Affection dead, which first betray’d me,
My Claim dye with it! Only let me not
Shrink to the Grave with Infamy upon me:
Protect my Virtue, tho’ it hurt your Faith;
And my last Breath shall speak Henriquez noble.

Henr. What a fierce Conflict Shame, and wounded Honour,
Raise in my Breast! — but Honour shall o’ercome.—
She looks as beauteous, and as innocent,
As when I wrong’d her. — Virtuous Violante!
Too good for me! dare you still love a Man,
So faithless as I am?— I know you love me.
Thus, thus, and thus, I print my vow’d Repentance:
Let all Men read it here.— My gracious Father,
Forgive, and make me rich with your Consent,
This is my Wife; no other would I chuse,
Were she a Queen.

Cam. Here’s a new Change. Bernard looks dull upon’t.

Henr. And fair Leonora, from whose Virgin Arms
I forc’d my wrong’d Friend Julio, O forgive me.
Take home your holy Vows, and let him have ’em
That has deserv’d them. O that he were here!
That I might own the Baseness of my Wrong,
And purpos’d Recompence. My Violante,
You must again be widow’d: for I vow
A ceaseless Pilgrimage, ne’er to know Joy,
’Till I can give it to the injur’d Julio.

Cam. This almost melts me: — But my poor lost Boy —

Rod. I’ll stop that Voyage, Brother. — Gentle Lady,
What think you of this honest Man?

Leon.                                          Alas!
My Thoughts, my Lord, were all employ’d within!
He has a Face makes me remember something
I have thought well of; how he looks upon me!
Poor Man, he weeps. — Ha! stay; it cannot be —
He has his Eye, his Features, Shape, and Gesture.—
’Would, he would speak.

Jul.                             Leonora, —          [Throws off his Disguise.

Leon.                                               Yes, ’tis He.
O Ecstacy of Joy! —          [They embrace.

Cam.                     Now, what’s the Matter?

Rod. Let ’em alone; they’re almost starv’d for Kisses.

Cam. Stand forty Foot off; no Man trouble ’em.
Much Good may’t do your Hearts! — What is he, Lord,
What is he?

Rod. A certain Son of yours.

Cam.                                    The Devil he is.

Rod. If he be the Devil, that Devil must call you Father.

Cam. By your Leave a little, ho, — Are you my Julio?

Jul. My Duty tells me so, Sir,
Still on my Knees. — But Love engross’d me all;
O Leonora, do I once more hold thee?

Cam. Nay, to’t again: I will not hinder a Kiss,
’Tis he—          [Leaps.

Leon. The righteous Pow’rs at length have crown’d our Loves.
Think, Julio, from the Storm that’s now o’erblown,
Tho’ sour Affliction combat Hope awhile,
When Lovers swear true Faith, the list’ning Angels
Stand on the golden Battlements of Heav’n,
And waft their Vows to the Eternal Throne.
Such were our Vows, and so are they repaid.

Duke. E’en as you are, we’ll join your Hands together.
A Providence above our Pow’r rules all.
Ask him Forgiveness, Boy.          [To Henriquez.

Jul.                                 He has it, Sir:
The Fault was Love’s, not his.

Henr.                                  Brave, gen’rous Julio!
I knew thy Nobleness of old, and priz’d it,
’Till Passion made me blind — Once more, my Friend,
Share in a Heart, that ne’er shall wrong thee more.
And, Brother, —

Rod.                 This Embrace cuts off Excuses.

Duke. I must, in part, repair my Son’s Offence:
At your best Leisure, Julio, know our Court.
And, Violante, (for I know you now;)
I have a Debt to pay: Your good old Father,
Once, when I chas’d the Boar, preserv’d my Life:
For that good Deed, and for your Virtue’s Sake,
Tho’ your Descent be low, call me your Father.
A Match drawn out of Honesty, and Goodness,
Is Pedigree enough. — Are you all pleas’d?

[Gives her to Henriquez.

Camil. All.

Henr. All, Sir,

D. Bern. All, Sir,

Jul. All.

Duke. And I not least. We’ll now return to Court:
(And that short Travel, and your Loves compleated,
Shall, as I trust, for Life restrain these Wand’rings.)
There, the Solemnity, and Grace, I’ll do
Your sev’ral Nuptials, shall approve my Joy;
     And make griev’d Lovers, that your Story read,
     Wish, true Love’s Wand’rings may like yours succeed.

FINIS.

Act  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5