The Magnificent Lovers. Жан-Батист Мольер
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      The Magnificent Lovers (Les Amants magnifiques)


      The King, who will have nothing but what is magnificent in all he undertakes, wished to give his court an entertainment which should comprise all that the stage can furnish. To facilitate the execution of so vast an idea, and to link together so many different things, his Majesty chose for the subject two rival princes, who, in the lovely vale of Tempe, where the Pythian Games were to be celebrated, vie with each other in fêting a young princess and her mother with all imaginable gallantries.

PERSONS REPRESENTEDSostratus, a general, also in love with EriphyleAnaxarchus, an astrologerCleon, his sonChorœbus, in the suit of AristioneClitidas, a court jester, one of the attendants of EriphyleAristione, a princess, mother to EriphyleEriphyle, a princess, daughter to AristioneCleonice, confidante to Eriphyle A sham Venus, acting in concert with AnaxarchusFIRST INTERLUDE

      The scene opens with the pleasant sound of a great many instruments, and represents a vast sea, bordered on each side by four large rocks. On the summit of each is a river god, leaning on the insignia usual to those deities. At the foot of these rocks are twelve Tritons on each side, and in the middle of the sea four Cupids on dolphins; behind them the god Æolus floating on a small cloud above the waves. Æolus commands the winds to withdraw; and whilst four Cupids, twelve Tritons, and eight river gods answer him, the sea becomes calm, and an island rises from the waves. Eight fishermen come out of the sea with mother-of-pearl and branches of coral in their hands, and after a charming dance seat themselves each on a rock above one of the river gods. The music announces the advent of Neptune, and while this god is dancing with his suite, the fishermen, Tritons, and river gods accompany his steps with various movements and the clattering of the pearl shells. The spectacle is a magnificent compliment paid by one of the princes to the princesses during their maritime excursion.


      Ye winds that cloud the fairest skies,

        Retire within your darkest caves,

        And leave the realm of waves

      To Zephyr, Love, and sighs.

A Triton

      What lovely eyes these moist abodes have pierced?

      Ye mighty Tritons, come; ye Nereids, hide.

All the Tritons

      Then rise we all these deities fair to meet;

      With softest strains and homage let us greet

      Their beauty rare.

A Cupid

      How dazzling are these ladies' charms!

Another Cupid

      What heart but seeing them must yield?

Another Cupid

      The fairest of th' Immortals – arms

      So keen hath none to wield.


      Then rise we all these deities fair to meet;

      With softest strains and homage let us greet

      Their beauty rare.

A Triton

      What would this noble train that meets our view?

      'Tis Neptune! He and all his mighty crew!

      He comes to honour, with his presence fair,

      These lovely scenes, and charm the silent air.


      Then strike again,

      And raise your strain,

      And let your homes around

      With joyous songs resound!


      I rank among the gods of greatest might;

      'Tis Jove himself hath placed me on this height!

      Alone, as king, I sway the azure wave;

      In all this world there's none my power to brave.

      There are no lands on earth my might that know

      But trembling dread that o'er their meads I flow;

      No states, o'er which the boisterous waves I tread

      In one short moment's space I cannot spread.

      There's nought the raging billows' force can stay,

      No triple dike, but e'en it easily

      My waves can crush,

      When rolls along their mass with wildest rush.

      And yet these billows fierce I force to yield,

      Beneath the wisdom of the power I wield;

      And everywhere I let the sailors bold

      Where'er they list their trading courses hold.

      Yet rocks sometimes are found within my states,

      Where ships do perish, so doomed by fates;

      Yet 'gainst my power none murmurs aye,

      For Virtue knows no wreck where'er I sway.

A Sea God

      Within this realm are many treasures bright;

        All mortals crowd its pleasant shores to view.

      And would you climb of fame the dazzling height,

        Then seek nought else, but Neptune's countenance sue.

Second Sea God

      Then trust the god of this vast billowy realm,

      And shielded from all storms, you'll guide the helm;

      The waves would fain inconstant often be,

      But ever constant Neptune you will see.

Third Sea God

      Launch then with dauntless zeal, and plough the deep;

      Thus shall you Neptune's kindly favour reap.

      ACT I


      Cli. (aside). He is buried in thought.

      Sos. (believing himself alone). No, Sostratus, I do not see where you can look for help, and your troubles are of a kind to leave you no hope.

      Cli. (aside). He is talking to himself.

      Sos. (believing himself alone). Alas!

      Cli. These sighs must mean something, and my surmise will prove correct.

      Sos. (believing himself alone). Upon what fancies can you build any hope? And what else can you expect but the protracted length of a miserable existence, and sorrow to end only with life itself.

      Cli. (aside). His head is more perplexed than mine.

      Sos. (believing himself alone). My heart! my heart! to what have you brought me?

      Cli. Your servant, my Lord Sostratus!

      Sos. Where are you going, Clitidas?

      Cli. Rather tell me what you are doing here? And what secret melancholy, what gloomy sorrow, can keep you in these woods when all are gone in crowds to the magnificent festival which the Prince Iphicrates has just given upon the sea to the princesses. There they are treated to wonderful СКАЧАТЬ