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GUARINI, GIOVANNI BATTISTA, an Italian poet, born at Ferrara, December 10, 1537; died at Venice, October 4, 1612. His grandfather and his great-grandfather occupied the chair of Greek and Latin in the University of Ferrara, and published several works in Latin. Guarini studied at Ferrara, Pisa, and Padua, visited Rome, and on his return to Ferrara was appointed Professor of Belles-Lettres in the University. When about thirty years old he entered the service of Duke Alfonso II., and was employed by him in several diplomatic missions. In 1582 he withdrew from court to his country house, where he found leisure for the cultivation of poetry, which his public life had constrained him to neglect. He edited the Gerusalemme and the Rime of Tasso, and then composed his dramatic poem Il Pastor Fido, first printed in 1590. Alfonso, fearing to lose the poet, summoned him again to court, and made him Counsellor of State. He passed twelve years at the courts of Mantua, Ferrara, Florence, and Urbino. Guarini published several other works, among them L'Idropica, a comedy; Il Segretario, a dialogue; Rime, a collection of sonnets and madrigals; and Letters. Il Pastor Fido passed through forty editions during its author's lifetime.

In the following scene from Pastor Fido Mirtillo is introduced by Corisca into the presence of


Amarillis, who, blindfolded, expects to play a game with her female companions. He declares his love; she rejects him because she is the destined wife of Silvio. Corisca, wishing to injure Amarillis, listens to what they say.


[Amarillis, Corisca, Mirtillo.] Amarillis. Indeed, Aglaura, I have caught thee now; Thou fain would'st fly, but I will hold thee fast.

Corisca (aside). --Surely unless I had by violence
Thrust him upon her, I had toil'd in vain
To rouse his courage.

Am.Thou wilt not speak, ah ! art thou she or no ?

Cor.—Here I'll lay down his spear, and to the bush To observe what will ensue.

(She retires.) Am.-I know thee now, I know thee by thy tallness and short hair, Thou art Corisca ; and the very one I wish'd to catch, that I might cuff thee well Just as I please; here then, take this And this ; this also ; this again ; not yet ? Not yet a word ? But since 'twas thou that bound'st

me, Unbind me quickly now, my dearest heart, And thou shalt have the sweetest kiss that e'er Thou had'st before. But wherefore this delay ? Thy hand is trembling; art thou then so weary? Join to thy hands th' assistance of thy teeth ; O silly thing, I shall unbind myself ; What knots on knots are here! Why didst thou tie so hard ? Now 'tis thy turn, thou next must be the buff. So: now 'tis loos’d. (Seeing Mirtillo.) Ah me! whom

see I here! Leave me, thou traitor ! Oh! I shall expire !

Mirtillo.—My life, compose thyself.

Am.—Leave me, I say,
Unhand me; what! make use of force to nymphs !

Aglaura ! here Eliza ! Ah! perfidious!
Where are you

fied ? Unhand me, traitor: Mir.-I obey.

Am.Corisca laid this plot, now go to her,
And tell what thou hast gained. (Going.)

Mir.- Where fly'st thou, cruel ?
Behold at least my death; for lo! I pierce
My bosom with this steel !

Am.-Ah me! I'm well nigh dead.

Mir.And if this action to thy hand be due, Behold the weapon and the breast.

Am.-In truth. Thou hast deserv'd it. What could move thy heart To such presumption ?


Am.-Love should not cause
An act of rudeness.

Mir. Then believe my love,
Because I was not rude ; if in thy arms
Thou first did catch me, then I cannot well
Be charged with rudeness, since with such a fair
Occasion to be bold, and use with thee
The laws of love, I yet preserved respect,
And almost had forgot I was a lover.

Am.-Upbraid me not with what I did when blind.
Mir,--And I in love was blinder far than thou !

Am.- Prayers and fair words respectful lovers use, Not cheats and thefts.

Mir.-As a wild beast when pressed
By hunger, rushes furiously from the wood
Upon the traveller, so if I, who live
Upon the food of thy fair eyes alone,
Since by thy cruelty or my hard fate,
That pleasant food I've been so long denied
If I, a ravenous lover, rushing forth
At last to-day upon thee from my wood,
Where I had long been famished, did attempt
In hopes to save my life, one stratagem
Which the necessity of love did prompt,
Then, cruel, blame not me, but blame thyself.
For is, as thou hast said, prayers and fair words
Respectful lovers use, which never thou

Wouldst deign to hear from me; thou by thy flight
And cruelty hast robbed me of the power
To be discreet.

Am.-If thou hadst quitted her
That fled from thee, then hadst thou been discreet.
But know thou persecutest me in vain.
What wouldst thou have of me?

Mir.—That only once
Thou wouldst vouchsafe to hear me ere I die.

Am.-See thy good fortune ; for as soon as asked Thou hast received the gift. Now then begone.

Mir.-Ah, nymph! all I have uttered yet,
Is scarce a single drop
Out of the boundless ocean of my woes.
If not for pity's sake, ah, cruel maid !
Yet for the pleasure it will give thee, hear
The last sad accents of a dying swain.

Am.To shun more trouble, and to show how false
The hopes thou cherishest, I now consent
To hear thee, but with this condition first :
Say little, quickly part, and come no more.

Mir.— Within too narrow bounds, most cruel nymph, Thy harsh command would limit such desires, So boundless an extent of fervent love, As scarce the thoughts of man can comprehend ! That I have loved, and love thee more than life, If thou shouldst doubt, oh! cruel, ask these woods And all their savage race, for they can tell. Each field, each lonely bush, each aged tree, The rugged rocks of these steep mountains, too, Which have been wont to soften at the sound Of my complaints, can all declare my love. But wherefore need I seek such numerous proofs To show my love, when beauty such as thine Affords, itself, the surest proof of all? Assemble every beauty of the sky Clad in its purest azure, let the earth Show all its excellence, and bring the whole Within one space; they centre all in thee. Such is the cause of this my ardent flame, Necessity and nature give it birth, For, as by nature water downward flows,

As fire ascends, air wanders, earth is fixed,
As roll the spheres, so naturally my thoughts
Still tend to thee as to their chiefest bliss ;
And ever to thy charms by night, by day,
With all its fond affections flies my soul.
And he who should imagine he had power
My constant heart to sever from thy love,
Might hope with as much ease to work a change
In nature's laws; turn from their ancient course
The heavens, or earth, or water, air, or fire,
And from its firm foundation shake the world.
Yet since 'tis thy command my words be few,
I shall obey, and only say—I die-
And shall do less in dying, since I see
How much thou wishest for my death ; but still
I'll do, alas! all that can now remain
For me to do, of every hope bereft.
But, cruel maid, when I am in the dust,
O wilt thou then feel pity for my woes!

Am.-If I had promised I would answer thee
As well as hear thee, then thou wouldst have cause
Thus to lament my silence as thou dost.
Thou call'st me cruel, hoping that to shun
Such charge, I might perchance reclaim my thoughts,
And show thee kindness; nor dost thou perceive,
Those flattering praises lavished by thy tongue,
So little merited, are less approved.
They please me not; the charge of cruelty
Delights me more. To be to others cruel
I grant is well termed vice, but to a lover
'Tis virtue ; and what thou hast given the name
Of harshness, is in woman honesty,
Candor, and truth; but say that cruelty
To lovers is a fault, declare the time
When Amarillis showed thee cruelty.

If thou be
Indeed my lover, Oh respect my fame,
My soul's best jewel, and dearer far than life.
Thou seek'st impossibilities ; thou seek'st
What heaven forbids to grant, what men oppose,
And what, if done, must be atoned by death.
But most of all and with the strongest shield,

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