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Ant. Well, my Louisa, any news since I left you ?
Louisa. None-the messenger is not yet returned from my father.
Ant. Well, I confess, I do not perceive what we are to expect from him.
Louisa. I shall be easier, however, in having made the trial. I do not doubt your sincerity, Antonio; but there is a chilling air around poverty, that often kills affection, that was not nursed in it. If we would make love our household god, we had best secure him a comfortable roof.
Nor wit thou the fond boast disown,
To reign the partner of a throne.
And by that hand, I've press'd to mine,
By Heav'ns, I would not part with thine!
Who own what kingdoms could not buy?
In serving thee, a monarch I.
And rich in love's exhaustless mine,
Enter Main with a letter.
Ant. My dearest Louisa, you may be assured, thať it contains nothing but threats and reproaches.
Louisa. Let us see, however.- [Reads.] 'Dearest daughter, make your lover happy: you have my full consent to marry as your whim has chosen; but be
sure come home, and sup with your affectionate father.
Ant. You jest, Louisa !
Ant. 'Tis so, by Heavens! Sure there must be some mistake; but that's none of our business. —Now, Louisa , you have no excuse for delay.
Louisa. Shall we not then return, and thank my father?
Ant. But first let the priest put it out of his power to recall his word.—I'n fly to procure one.
Louisa. Nay, if you part with me again, perhaps you may lose me,
Ant. Come, then-there is a friar of a neighbouring convent who is my friend. You have already been diverted by the manners of a nunnery: let us see whether there is less hypocrisy among the holy fathers.
Louisa. I'm afraid not, Antonio—for in religion, as in friendship, they who profess most are ever the least sincere.
[Exeunt. Enter CLARA.
Clara. So, yonder they go, as happy as a mutual and confessed affection can make them, while I am left in solitude. Heigho! love may perhaps excuse the rashness of an elopement from one's friend, but I am sure, nothing but the presence of the man we love can support it. Ha! What do I see! Ferdinand, as I live! How could he gain admission ? By potent gold, I suppose, as Antonio did. How eager and disturbed he seems! He shall not know me as yet.
(Draws her veil. Enter FERDINAND. Ferd. Yes, those were certainly they: my information was right.
(Going. Clara. (Stops him.] Pray, Signior, what is your business here?
Ferd. No matter-no matter! Oh, they stop. [Looks out.) Yes, that is the perfidious Clara, indeed!
Clara. So, a jealous error. I'm glad to see him so moved.
[ A side. Ferd. Her disguise can't conceal her. No, no; I know her too well.
Clara. Wonderful discernment! But, Signior
Ferd. Be quiet, good nun! don't tease me. By Heavens, she leans upon his arm,-hangs fondly on it! O woman! woman!
Clara. But, Signior, who is it you want?
Ferd. Not you, not you; so pr’ythee don't tease me. Yet, pray stay. Gentle nun, was it not Donna Clara d'Almanza just parted from you?
Clara. Clara d'Almanza, Signior , is not yet out of the garden.
Ferd. Ay, ay; I knew I was right. And pray, is not that gentleman, now at the porch with her, Antonio d'Ercilla?
Clara. It is indeed, Signior.
Ferd. So, so; now but one question more. Can you inform me for what purpose they have gone away?
Clara. They are gone to be married, I believe.
Ferd. Very well:-enough. Now if I don't mar their wedding!
[Exit. Clara. [Unveils.] I thought jealousy had made lovers quick-sighted; but it has made mine blind. Louisa's story accounts to me for this error, and I am glad to find I have power enough over him to make him so unhappy. But why should not I be present at his surprise when undeceived? When he's through the porch, I'll follow him; and, perhaps, Louisa shall not singly be a bride.
Adieu, thou dreary pile, where never dies
SCENE IV.-A Court before the Priory.
Enter Isaac and ANTONIO.
Ant. What, my friend Isaac!
Isaac. What, Antonio! wish me joy! I have Louisa safe.
Ant. Have you?-I wish you joy, with all my soul.
Isaac. Yes, I am come here to procure a priest to marry us.
Ant. So, then we are both on the same errand. I am come to look for Father Paul.
Isaac. Hah! I am glad on't: but, i'faith, he must tack me first,—my love is waiting.
Ant. So is mine: I left her in the porch.
Isaac. Ay, but I am in haste to get back to Don Jerome.
Ant. And so am I, too.
Isaac. Well, perhaps he'll save time, and marry us both together or I'll be your father, and you shall be mine. Come along: but you're obliged to me for all this. Ant. Yes, yes.
[Exeunt. Scene V.-A Room in the Priory-Friars at the
GLEE AND CHORUS.
His beams are rosy wine;
Without his help to shine.
You'll soon grow bright
With borrow'd light,
d shine as he goes round. Paul. Brother Francis, toss the bottle about, and give me your toast.
Francis. Have we drank the abbess of St. Ursuline? Paul. Yes, yes; she was the last.
Francis. Then I'll give you the blue-eyed nun of St. Catharine's.
Paul. With all my heart. [Drinks.] Pray, brother Augustine, were there any benefactions left in
iny absence ?
Francis. Don Juan Corduba has left a hundred ducats, to remember him in our masses.
Paul. Has he? Let them be paid to our winemerchant, and we'll remember him in our cups, which will do just as well. Any thing more?
Aug. Yes; Baptista, the rich miser, who died last week, has bequeathed us a thousand pistoles, and the silver lamp he used in his own chamber, to burn before the image of St. Anthony.
Paul. 'Twas well meant; but we'll employ his money better. Baptista's bounty shall light the living, not the dead. St. Anthony is not afraid to be deft in the dark though he was-See, who's there. [-A knocking, FRANCIS goes to the door
and opens it. Enter Porter.
Porter. Here's one without., in pressing haste to speak with Father Paul. Francis. Brother Paul. [Paul comes from behind a curtain , with a glass
of Wine, and in his hand a piece of cake. Paul. Here! how durst you , fellow, thus abruptly break in upon our devotions?
Porter. I thought they were finished.
Paul. No, they were not were they, Brother Francis ?
Francis. Not by a bottle each.
Paul. But neither you nor your fellows mark how the hours go: no, you mind nothing but the gratifying of your appetites: ye eat, and swill, and sleep, and gormandize, and thrive, while we are wasting in mortification.
Purter. We ask no more than nature craves.