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Is there, kind Heaven, no constancy in man :
Sig. Alas! I am unworthy of that name.
Sis. Thou art indeed to blame; thou hast too rashly Engaged thy heart, without a father's sanction. But this I can forgive; and, if thy heart Will now resume its pride, assert itself, And greatly rise superior to this trial, I to my warmest confidence again Will take thee, and esteem thee more my daughter.
Sig. Oh, you are gentler far than I deserve : It is, it ever was, my darling pride, To bend my soul to your supreme commands, your wisest will; and though by love betrayed— Alas! and punished too—yet I feel A sentiment of tenderness, a source Offilial nature springing in my breast, That, should it kill me, shall control this passion, And make me all submission and obedience To you, my honour'd lord; the best of fathers.
Sis. Come to my arms, thou comfort of my age, Come, let me take thee to a parent's heart;
There, with the dew of these paternal tears,
But above all, thou must root out for ever
Sif. [Aside.] I must rush
Sig. You cannot, oh, my father!
Sif. Come hither, Laura, Come to thy friend. Now show thyself a friend. Combat her weakness; dissipate her tears; Cherish, and reconcile her to her duty.
Laura. Forgive me, madam, if I blame your grief. How can you waste your tears on one so false 2 Unworthy of your tenderness; to whom Nought but contempt is due, and indignation ? Sig. You know not half the horrors of my fate : I might perhaps have learn'd to scorn his falsehood; I might have roused my pride and scorn'd himself— But ’tis too much, this greatest, last misfortune— Oh, whither shall I fly? Where hide me, Laura, From the dire scene my father now prepares 2 Laura. What thus alarms you, madam : Sig. Can it be Can I ah, no My violated heart 2 Oh, dreadful change! for Tancred, haughty Osmond. Laura. Now, on my soul, 'tis what an outraged heart Like yours, should wish l—I should, by Heavens, esteem it Most exquisite revenge! Sig. Revenge on whom * On my own heart, already but too wretched *on him this Tancred who has basely SOld, For the dull form of despicable grandeur, His faith, his love!—At once a slave and tyrant .
at once give to another
Sig. Oh, rail at me, at my believing folly, My vain ill-founded hopes' but spare him, Laura. Laura. Who raised these hopes? who triumphs o'er that weakness Pardon the word—You greatly merit him; Better than him, with all his giddy pomp; You raised him by your smiles, when he was nothing. Where is your woman's pride, that guardian spirit Given us to dash the perfidy of man 2 Ye powers! I cannot bear the thought with patience— Before the public thus, before your father, By an irrevocable solemn deed, With such inhuman scorn, to throw you from him: To give his faithless hand, yet warm from thine, With complicated meanness, to Constantia. And, to complete his crime, when thy weak limbs Could scarce support thee, then, of thee regardless, To lead her off. Sig. That was indeed a sight To poison love, to turn it into rage And keen contempt.—What means this stupid weakneSS That hangs upon me? Hence, unworthy tears, Disgrace my cheek no more | No more, my heart, For one so coolly false or meanly fickle, Dare to suggest The least excuse !—Yes, traitor, I will wring Thy pride, will turn thy triumph to confusion 1 Sicilia's daughters Shall wondering see in me a great example Of one, who punish’d an ill-judging heart, Who made it bow to what it most abhorred 1 Crush'd it to misery ! for having thus So lightly listened to a worthless lover! Laura. At last it mounts, the kindling pride of virtue; Trust me, thy marriage shall embitter his—