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Wherein this afternoon I saw and spoke with

Don Henrique and your bride: by the same token
There was a lady with her in a veil,

And this very room is the anti-chamber

To her apartment.

Don Antonio. I should be finely serv'd, if, after all This negociation, and a tedious journey,

My pains and patience should be cast away
On some such wither'd Sybil for a wife,
As her own brother is asham'd to shew me.

Ernesto. You'll soon be freed from that fear, sir.
[Ernesto goes toward the door.

Don Antonio. How so?

Ernesto. Because I see her in the inner-room, Lying along upon her couch, and reading.

Her face is turn'd the other


but yet

Her shape and cloaths assure me 'tis the same.

Don Antonio. Art certain that 'tis she?

Ernesto. There are not many like her.

Don Antonio. If thou be'st sure 'tis she, I'll venture in,

Without her brother's presence t' introduce me.
Ernesto. She's coming this way, sir.

Enter CAMILLA reading.

Camilla. Y' have reason, Dido, and 'tis well remark'd,-[She shuts her book; after a little pause.

The woman who suffers herself to love,

Ought likewise to prepare herself to suffer.
There was great power in your charms, Eneas,
T' enthrall a lady's heart at first approach,
And make such early and such deep impressions,
That nothing but her death could e'er deface.
Alas, poor Dido!---

Don Antonio. O heavens! what's that I see?-or do
I dream?

[Antonio, seeing her, starts, then stands as if amar'd. Sure I am asleep, and 'tis a vision

Of her who's always present to my thoughts;
Who, fearing my revolt, does now appear
To prove and to confirm my constancy.

When first I saw that miracle, she seem'd
An apparition; here it must be one.

Ernesto. What fit of frenzy's this?-Sir, 'tis Porcia, A lovely, living woman, and your bride.

Don Antonio. The blessing is too mighty for my faith. Ernesto. Faith! ne'er trouble your faith in this occasion;

Approach her boldly, sir, and trust your sense.

Don Antonio. As when we dream of some transporting pleasure,

And, finding that we dream, we fear to wake,
Lest sense should rob us of our fancy's treasure,
And our delightful vision from us take,
Bless'd apparition, so it fares with me.
That very angel, now, once more appears,
To whose divinity, long since, I rais❜d
An altar in my heart; where I have offer'd
The constant sacrifice of sighs and vows.
My eyes are open, yet I dare not trust 'em!
Bliss above faith must pass for an illusion.
If such it be, O let me sleep for ever,
Happily deceiv'd? But, celestial maid,
If this thy glorious presence real be,
O let one word of pity raise my soul
From visionary bliss, and make me die
With real joy instead of extasy.

Speak, speak, my destiny; for the same breath
May warm my heart, or cool it into death.

Ernesto. 'Slife! he's in one of his old fits again-
Why, what d' you mean, sir? 'tis Porcia herself.
Camilla. I am that maid, who to your virtue owes
Her honour then, and her disquiet since;
Yet in my pain, I cannot but be pleas'd
To find a passion, censur'd in our sex,
Justify'd by so great an obligation.
'Tis true, I blush yet I must own the fire,
To which both love and gratitude conspire.

Don Antonio. Incomparable creature! can it be, That having suffer'd all which mighty love Did e'er inflict, I now should be repaid

With as full joys as love could ever give?
Fortune, to make my happiness complete,
Has join'd her power, and made me find a bride
In a lost mistress; but with this allay,

Of leaving me no means my faith to prove,
Since chance anticipates the pains of love.

Camilla. The servant's error has misled the master,
He takes me too for Porcia; blest mistake!
Assist me now, artful dissimulation.


But how can that consist with so much passion? 'Tis possible the sense of my distress'd

Condition might dispose a noble heart

To take impressions then, which afterwards

Time, and your second thoughts, may have defac'd; But can a constant passion be produc'd

From those ideas pity introduc'd?

Let your tongue speak your heart; for, should y'

abuse me,

I shall in time discover the deceit :

You may paint fire, Antonio, but not heat.

Don Antonio. Madam

Camilla. Hold. Be not too scrupulous, Antonio; Let me believe it, though it be not true;

For the chief happiness poor maids receive,

Is when themselves they happily deceive.

Don Antonio. If, since those conquering eyes I first beheld,

You have not reign'd unrival'd in my heart,
May you despise me now you are my own;
Which is to me all curses summ'd in one.
But may your servant, madam, take the boldness
To ask, if you have ever thought of him?

Camilla. A love so founded in a grateful heart,
Has need of no remembrancer, Antonio;

You know yourself too well: those of your trade
Have skill to hold, as well as to invade.

Don Antonio. Fortune has lifted me to such a height
Of happiness, that it may turn my brain,
When I look down upon the world.

What have I now to wish but moderation,

To temper and to fix my joys?

Camilla. I yield as little t' you, noble Antonio, In happiness, as affection; but still

Porcia must do as may become your bride,
And sister to Don Henrique; in whose absence
A longer conference must be excused:
Therefore I take the freedom to withdraw.
Should I have staid until Don Henrique came,
His presence would have marr❜d my whole design. [Aside.
[Exit Camilla.
Don Antonio. Where beauty, virtue, and discretion


Tis heaven, methinks, to find that treasure mine!


Don Henrique. Sure, Don Antonio, having long ere this Found out th' infamous flight of my vile sister, Will be retir'd to meditate revenge

Upon us both-Ah, curse! he is there still. [He sees him. I'll slip away-But it is now too late,

He has perceiv'd me.

Don Antonio. How, Don Henrique! avoid your friend that's come

So long a journey t' embrace you, and cast

Himself at the feet of your fair sister?

Don Henrique. Noble Antonio, you may well imagine The trouble I am in, that you should find

My house in such disorder, so unfit

To receive th' honour of so brave a guest.

Don Antonio. 'Tis true, Don Henrique, I am much surpriz'd

With what I find: I little did expect

Your sister Porcia, should have been

Don Henrique. Oh heavens! I'm lost, he has dis

cover'd all.

'Tis not, Antonio, in a brother's power

To make a sister of a better paste

Than Heav'n has made her.


Don Antonio. In your case 'specially; for, without


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Don Henrique. What means the man?


Don Antonio. I come just now from entertaining her, Whose wit and beauty so excel all those Of her fair sex, whom I have ever known, That my description of her would appear Rather detraction than a just report Of her perfections.

Don Henrique. Certainly he mocks me: he never could Have chosen a worse sufferer of scorn;

But I will yet contain myself a while,

To see how far he'll drive it. [Aside.]-Say you, sir,
That you have seen and entertain'd my sister?

Don Antonio. Yes, Don Henrique; and with such full contentment,

So rais'd above expression, that I think
The pains and care of all my former life
Rewarded with excess, in the delight
Of those few minutes of her conversation.
"Tis true that satisfaction was abridg'd
By her well-weigh'd severity; to give me
A greater pleasure in the contemplation
Of her discreet observance of the rules
Of decency; not suffering me, though now
Her husband, any longer to enjoy

So great a happiness, you not being by.

Don Henrique. I am confounded; but I must dissemble

My astonishment, till I can unfold

The mystery. [Aside.]-She might have spared that caution:

But I suppose you'll easily forgive

An error on the better side.

Don Antonio. Sir, I have seen so much of her perfec


In that short visit, I shall sooner doubt

Our definitions in morality,

Than once suppose her capable of error.

Don Henrique. This exposition makes it more obscure. I must get him away. [Aside.]—Sir, is 't not time To wait on you to your chamber? It 's late,

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