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Sir, sit and eat withm(gd~e~* ta table)—Michael, take the gentleman's cloak and hat.
Alt. He does not remember me. (Aside), fin giving the cloak to Michael, the belt, on which is a large steel clasp, falls from the cloak).
Wandering thro' Normandy to Dieppe, I stop'd at the depot, for the purpose of delivering a letter to the Commandant.
Guil. (aside). That is true.
Alt. It was the petition of the unfortunate Altieri, for the Commandant to interest himself in his behalf, and obtain, if possible, a new trial.
Guil. Good; but why did he not wait his answer from the Commandant? (Aside).
(Here Michael, having laid the hat and cloak on a small table at the side, returns with a jug, and seeing the belt on the? floor, picks it up). Mich. Here, Sir, is your—. Guil. (who has observed him, snatches, the jug with his right hand and the belt with the left, which he conceals). Aye, right, Michael — give me leave, Sir—here is your wine.
Jer. Ay, ay, 'tis right wine, i'faith—your health, Sir.
Alt. Yours, friend, and all (drinks)—so—(tliey offer food).—Nay, I cannot eat—now then to repose.
Guil. At your pleasure, Sir—'tis a homely couch, but with the reflection that you have this day done a kind action, it will as much refresh your aching limbs as tho' 'twere down that pillowed them.
Alt. A heart at ease might find repose, bu£ mine is breaking !—Accept a soldier's gratitude.
Jer. What s the matter ?) * /, -r •- ,
. > 7 At the same time).
Lis. Guiliaume! \ 1'
Guil. Let me reflect—yes, it must be—but sorrow has so changed him—he grasp*d my hand with the warmth of gratitude—tears too were in his eyes—Yes, yes ! —'twas his own petition he delivered—and I knew him not.
Ids. Whom do you mean?
Guil. Enrico Altieri! (a knock). Ha! who's that knocks at such an hour?
Jaq. (without)—Guiliaume! Guiliaume!
Guil. Open the door—make haste (lisettb. opens it)—Ah, Jaques—and the Commandant! To what lucky accident is my poor house indebted for this condescension?
Com. Attend! A person strangely habited has delivered a petition at the prison-gate addressed to me, in behalf of that wretch who killed my dearest friend, the Baron Holstien. A large cloak shrouded his figure, and the shade of his .broad hat in part conceal'd his features—but I suspect—
Com. That 'tis he himself—Altieri.
Jaq. I saw him enter this house, and— '. Guil. This house!
Mich. Oh, father, it must be the stranger.
(jerome pushes Michael to Lisette).
(Here Lisette catches Michael aside .: angrily). .'
Guil. You—you did—you did, Michael.'
Guil. The stranger snatch'd it from me as he fled.
Guil. Ay—but come, pray sit down, Sir, and I'll inform you of the circumstance—There, Sir, there — (they sit on a circular bench before the fire)—i\\c air is sharp, and this old house but ill protects us—Lisette, draw the curtains—quick, quick, and bring some wine.
(Altiesi at this instant appears on the stairs descending, but is prevented by a signal from Lisette—he starts Lack, and is seen listening to the ensuing conversation). Com. Come, your story— >..... • --.
Guil. I obey you, Sir—scarcely had I returned from my duty at the prison, when a man, dress'd as you describe, knock'd at my door, and was admitted—he had a soldier's mien, and you know one's heart warms towards a comrade in distress— but he was hardly seated, when,-fixing my eye Stedfastly upon him, I thought I remeinber'd the features of the. Count Altieri, who eluded my vigilance when I kept guard over him, and— (Here GuiHAUMJS fives his eyes earnestly on Altiebi). Jaq. Well!
Guil. He seemed to read my thoughts—he suspected himself to be in danger, and, from the agitation I betray'd— he knew that to remain here one instant longer might be fatal to him— and, spite of all anxiety—of all fatigue, he darted through that door—T» * _iJaq.: (turning]. What, that door?
Lis. (coming up at the instant, and interrupting the sight q/'J Agues;—Some wine, Sir!
Guil. Ay,—that door, and escaped the very moment he wquld have been taken. «:?. ia
Com. Which way went he? (rising.)
Juq. Ay—did you watch him? ,'.>,"',
Guil. No! The circumstance so ~rnu6h,-disturbed me, that, for a few moments I scarcely knew how to proceed.
Com. He must be pursued instantly; no ddtobt he will take the road to Dieppe—Guillaiiine follow me—You can identity his person; and should it be your fortune to secure him, I will double the reward to you, which is offered by the state for AWieri's apprehension,—On—
Guil. If it be possible to secure him, I will do it—not for your reward, but that my own conscience will afford me. v> A
Jaq. Come, we loiter—.
[Exeunt Com. and Jaqites,
Guil. Michael, my sword (the boy brings it, and his cap). Lisette, my dear Lisette, thou hast done this well—once again we have preserved him—Follow me to Dieppe instantly—he will surely fly that way.—so follow, for without thee, | ap) but half myself. Farewell!
Enter Altieri. (Music). r
Alt. I have outstrip'd my pursuers, and ifi t|»is obscurity I may for a time repose my wearied limbs in safety. O unfortunate Altieri, to what a late has man's oppression, and a just resentment of it reduced thee !—the gratitude of that soldier, the noble-hearted Guillaume, has twice preserved me—but now my only hope is to escape to England. Tne chance is desperate. fAi/rubou starts at the voices of his pursuers).