Page:Blackwood's Magazine volume 050.djvu/342

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
The Picture of Danäe.



Dramatis Personæ.

Andrea del CalmariDirector of the Painting Academy of St Carlo.
Laura- his Ward.
Salvator Rosa.
Bernardo Ravienna-Surgeon.
The Secretary of the Painting Academy of St Carlo.
Painters—Associates of the Academy of St Carlo.
Spectators at the distribution of the prizes.

The Scene is laid in Florence; about the middle of the seventeenth century.

First Act.

Studio of Salvator Rosa.—Pictures, with and without frames, are leaning here and there against the wall. On the table are scattered paper, pencil, and other implements of the painting art. In the middle of the chamber stands an easel and before it an arm-chair.

Scene I.- Sal Rosa. Ravienna, (advancing out of a side chamber.)

Sal. (taking him by the hand.) Receive my thanks, my hearty thanks, Bernardo.
If ever, in return, I can do ought—
Rav. Pray, do not speak of my small services,
They are not worth a thought.
Sal. Not worth a thought!
Is it not worth a thought, that, when I lay
Sick and disabled for a month and upwards,
You tended me with more than woman's care,
Showering on me, a stranger and unknown,
All the affection of a long-tried friend?
You heal'd me with no mercenary hand,
But, watching every breath I drew; sat bound,
Through the long day and through the dreary night,
Fast to my bed as if chains held you there.
These, my Bernardo, these are offices
One does not easily forget.
Rav. Salvator!
Your language pains me—"Stranger" did you say?
A man "unknown" to me? Wherefore unknown?
Unless it be that, as a surgeon, I
Can nothing know of artists or of art.
By falling from your horse you broke your arm:
My business was to set the limb—no more—
Whether 'twas Rosa or a common man
Who sutfer'd that was no concern of mine—
At least so you appear to think-in short,
What can a surgeon know of art or artists?
Sal. (half in jest.) I'll grant you may have heard of me: I am,
I must confess, a somewhat noted person.
I sing, make verses, play the flute; besides,
I am a painter; and my new profession
Reveals, I fear somewhat too palpably,
The secrets of my former trade: the woods,
They are the haunts of a loose jovial race,
Whose figures, often glimpsing from my canvass,
Attest how well I knew them: the bald rocks,
The very deserts which I draw, bespeak
The hand of one who wielded in his youth
Another weapon than the brush-enroll'd
In Masaniello's sanguinary crew.