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My heart at peace; till these dear lips again
Enter Osmo Nd.
Osm. [Snatching her hand from the king.] Madam, this hand, by the most solemn rites,
A little hour ago, was given to me;
Tan. Ha, who art thou?
Sig. [Aside.] Where is my father ? Heavens !
- [Goes out. Osm. One thou should'st better know.—Yes—view me, one
Who can and will maintain his rights and honour Against a faithless prince, an upstart king ! Whose first base deed is what a harden'd tyrant Would blush to act.
Tan. Insolent Osmond know, This upstart king will hurl confusion on thee, And all who shall invade his sacred rights, Prior to thine!—thine, founded on compulsion, On infamous deceit. I will annul, By the high power with which the laws invest me, Those guilty forms, in which you have entrapp'd My queen betroth'd, who has my heart, my hand, And shall partake my throne.—If, haughty lord, If this thou didst not know, then know it now ; And know, besides, as I have told thee this, Should'st thou but think to urge thy treason further, Thy life shall answer for it.
Osm. Ha! my life!— It moves my scorn to hearthy empty threats. When was it that a Norman baron’s life Became so vile, as on the frown of kings To hang 2—Of that, my lord, the law must judge: Or, if the law be weak, my guardian sword—
Tan. Dare not to touch it, traitor, lest my rage Break loose, and do a deed that misbecomes me.
Sis. My gracious lord, what is it I behold !
Tan. My Lord Siffredi,
Osm. Ha! arrogant pretensions! Heaven and earth! What! arrogant pretensions to my wife? My wedded wife!—Where are we? in a land Of civil rule, of liberty, and laws?— Not, on my life, pursue them —Giddy prince My life disdains thy nod. It is the gift
Of parent Heaven, who gave me too an arm,
Sif. Lord Constable,
Osm. He will !—By Heavens, he shall!— You know the king—I wish, my Lord Siffredi, That you had deign'd to tell me all you knew.— And would you have me wait, with duteous patience, Till he return to reason: Ye just powers! When he has planted on our necks his foot, And trod us into slaves; when his vain pride Is cloy'd with our submission. No, no, my lord! there is a nobler way To teach the blind oppressive Fury reason: Oft has the lustre of avenging steel Unseal’d her stupid eyes.—The sword is reason —
Enter Rodolpho, with GUARDs.
Rod. My Lord High Constable of Sicily, In the King's name, and by his special order, I here arrest you prisoner of state. Osm. What king? I know no King of Sicily, Unless he be the husband of Constantia. Rod. Then know him now behold his royal orders, To bear you to the castle of Palermo.
Sif. Let the big torrent foam its madness off. Submit, my lord—No castle long can hold Our wrongs.-This, more than friendship or alliance, Confirms me thine; this binds me to thy fortunes, By the strong tie of common injury, Which nothing can dissolve.—I grieve, Rodolpho, To see the reign in such unhappy sort Begin.
Osm. The reign —The usurpation, call it! This meteor king may blaze a while, but soon Must spend his idle terrors.-Sir, lead on Farewell, my lord—more than my life and fortune, Remember well, is in your hands—my honour!
Sif. Our honouris the same. My son, farewell— We shall not long be parted.—On these eyes Sleep shall not shed his balm, till I behold thee Restored to freedom, or partake thy bonds. [Exeunt.
ACT THE FIFTH.
Sif. The prospect lowers around. I found the king Inexorably fix’d, whate'er the risk, To claim my daughter, and dissolve the marriage.I have embark'd, upon a perilous sea, A mighty treasure; and I only faster rush