The Magnificent Lovers

The Magnificent Lovers (tr Charles Heron Wall) [with accents]

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Title: The Magnificent Lovers
Author: Moliere (Poquelin)
Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7067] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 5, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: Latin-1

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The subject of this play was given by Louis XIV. It was acted before him at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on February 4, 1670, but was never represented in Paris, and was only printed after Moli��re's death. It is one of the weakest plays of Moli��re, upon whom unfortunately now rested the whole responsibility of the court entertainments. His attack upon astrology is the most interesting part.
Moli��re acted the part of Clitidas.

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 f��ting a young princess and her mother with all imaginable gallantries.

IPHICRATES & TIMOCLES, princes in love with ERIPHYLE.
SOSTRATUS, _a general, also in love with_ ERIPHYLE.
ANAXARCHUS, an astrologer.
CLEON, his son.
CHOROEBUS, in the suit of ARISTIONE.
CLITIDAS, _a court jester, one of the attendants of_ ERIPHYLE.
ARISTIONE, _a princess, mother to_ ERIPHYLE.
ERIPHYLE, _a princess, daughter to_ ARISTIONE.
CLEONICE, confidante to ERIPHYLE.
A sham VENUS, acting in concert with ANAXARCHUS.


_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 AEOLUS floating on a small cloud above the waves. AEOLUS 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._
AEOLUS. 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.
CHORUS. 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.
CHORUS. Then strike again, And raise your strain, And let your homes around With joyous songs resound!
NEPTUNE. I rank among the gods
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