Pierced even to the depth by a blow unexpected
as well as deadly, pitiable avenger of a just quarrel and unfortunate
object of an unjust severity, I remain motionless, and my dejected
soul yields to the blow which is slaying me. So near seeing my
love requited! O heaven, the strange pang! In this insult my
father is the person aggrieved, and the aggressor is the father
of ChimFne! What fierce conflicts I experience! My love
is engaged against my own honor. I must avenge a father and lose
a mistress. The one stimulates my courage, the other restrains
my arm. Reduced to the sad choice of either betraying my love
or of living as a degraded man, on both sides my situation is
wretched. O heaven, the strange pang! Must I leave an insult
unavenged? Must I punish the father of ChimFne? Father,
mistress, honor, love--noble and severe restraint--a bondage
still to be beloved, all my pleasures are dead, or my glory is
sullied. The one renders me unhappy; the other unworthy of life.
Dear and cruel hope of a soul noble but still enamored, worthy
enemy of my greatest happiness, thou sword which causest my painful
anxiety hast thou been given to me to avenge my honor? Hast thou
been given to me to lose ChimFne? It is better to rush
to death. I owe to my mistress as well as to my father. I draw,
in avenging myself, her hatred and her rage; I draw upon my self
his contempt by not avenging myself. To my sweetest hope the
one renders me unfaithful, and the other renders me unworthy
of her. My misfortune increases by seeking a remedy. Come then,
my soul, and, since I must die, let us die, at least, without
offending ChimFne! To die without obtaining satisfaction!
To seek death so fatal to my fame! To endure that Spain should
impute to my memory of having badly maintained the honor of my
house! To respect a love of which my distracted soul already
sees the certain loss! Let us no more listen to this insidious
thought, which serves only to pain me. Come, mine arm, let us
save honor, at least, since, after all, we must lose ChimFne.
Yes, my spirit was deceived. I owe all to my father before my
mistress. Whether I die in the combat or die of sadness, I shall
yield up my blood pure as I have received it. I already accuse
myself of too much negligence; let us haste to vengeance; and
quite ashamed of having wavered so much, let us no more be in
painful suspense, since to-day my father has been insulted.
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