Base betrayer passage in The Fair Penitent.

Title

Base betrayer passage in The Fair Penitent.

Subject

Base betrayer

Description

Lothario's speech in act I, scene i, in which he tells his friend Rossano how he seduced Calista yet refused to marry her. In the passage, Lothario tells how Calista berates him when she realizes he will not marry her.

LOTH.  [ . . . ] I would still retain her in my heart,
My ever gentle mistress and my friend!
But for those other names of wife and husband,
They only meant ill nature, cares, and quarrels.

ROS. How bore she this reply?

LOTH. Ev'n as the earth,
When (winds pent up, or eating fires beneath,
Shaking the mass) she labours with destruction.
At first her rage was dumb, and wanted words;
But when the storm found way, 'twas wild and loud.
Mad as the priestess of the Delphic god,
Enthusiastic passion swell'd her breast,
Enlarged her voice, and ruffled all her form.
Proud and disdainful of the love I proffer'd,
She call'd me Villain! Monster! Base Betrayer!
At last, in very bitterness of soul,
With deadly imprecations on herself,
She vow'd severely ne'er to see me more;
Then bid me fly that minute: I obey'd,
And, bowing, left her to grow cool at leisure.  

Creator

Nicholas Rowe

Date

1703

Contributor

Posted by Joseph Lennon

Format

book; jpeg

Text

Again I saw her. Straight with tears and sighs,
With swelling breasts, with swooning, with distraction,
With all the subtleties and powerful arts
Of wilful woman lab'ring for her purpose,
Again she told the same dull nauseous tale.
Unmov'd, I begg'd her spare th' ungrateful subject,
Since I resolv'd, that love and peace of mind
Might flourish long inviolate betwixt us,
Never to load it with the marriage chain; 200
That I would still retain her in my heart,
My ever gentle mistress and my friend!
But for those other names of wife and husband,
They only meant ill nature, cares, and quarrels.

ROS. How bore she this reply?

LOTH. "Ev'n as the earth,
"When, winds pent up, or eating fires beneath,
"Shaking the mass, she labours with destruction."
At first her rage was dumb, and wanted words;
But when the storm found way, 'twas wild and loud.
Mad as the priestess of the Delphic god,
Enthusiastic passion swell'd her breast,
Enlarged her voice, and ruffled all her form.
Proud and disdainful of the love I proffer'd,
She call'd me Villain! Monster! Base Betrayer!
At last, in very bitterness of soul,
With deadly imprecations on herself,
She vow'd severely ne'er to see me more;
Then bid me fly that minute: I obey'd,
And, bowing, left her to grow cool at leisure. 220

ROS. She has relented since, else why this message,
To meet the keeper of her secrets here
This morning?

LOTH. See the person whom you nam'd!

Enter LUCILLA.

Well, my ambassadress, what must we treat of?
Come you to menace war, and proud defiance,
Or does the peaceful olive grace your message?
Is your fair mistress calmer? Does she soften?
And must we love again? Perhaps she means
To treat injuncture with her new ally,
And make her husband party to th' agreement.

LUC. Is this well done, my lord? Have you put off
All sense of human nature? Keep a little,
A little pity, to distinguish manhood,
Lest other men, tho' cruel, should disclaim you,
And judge you to be number'd with the brutes.

Original Format

Book

Files

fairpenitenttrag00rowe_0009.jpg

Citation

Nicholas Rowe, “Base betrayer passage in The Fair Penitent.,” James Joyce Digital Interpretations, accessed November 21, 2019, https://jamesjoyce.omeka.net/items/show/4.