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Lady T. Support me-save me hide me from the world!
[Falling on LADY GRACE's neck. Lord T. [Returning. I had forgot me.You have no share in my resentment ; therefore, as you have lived in friendship with her, your parting may admit of gentler terms, than suit the honour of an injured husband.
[Offers to go out. Manly. [Interposing.) My lord, you must not, shall not, leave her thus ! One moment's stay can do your cause no wrong. If looks can speak the anguish of her heart, I'll answer, with my life, there's something labouring in her mind, that, would you bear the hearing, might deserve it.
Lord T. Consider-since we no more can meet, press not my staying to insult her. Lady T. Yet stay, my lord—the little I would
say will not deserve an insult; and, undeserved, I know your nature gives it not. But as you've called in friends to witness your resentment, let them be equal hearers of my last reply.
Lord T. I shan't refuse you that, madam-be it so.
Lady T. My lord, you ever have complained I wanted love; but as you kindly have allowed I never gave it to another, so, when you hear the story of my heart, though you may still complain, you will not wonder, at my
coldness. Manly. This, my lord, you are concerned to hear. Lord T. Proceed-I am attentive.
Lady T. Before I was your bride, my lord, the flattering world had talked me into beauty; which, at my glass, miy youthful vanity confirmed. Wild with that fame, I thought mankind my slaves I triumphed over hearts, while all my pleasure was their pain: yet was my own so equally insensible to all, that, when a father's. firm commands enjoined me to make choice of one, I even there declined the liberty he gave, and, to his own election, yielded up my youth-his tender
care, my lord, directed him to you—Our hands were joined, but still my heart was wedded to its folly : My only joy was. power, command, society, profuseness, and to lead in pleasures.—The husband's right to rule, I thought a vulgar law, which only the deformed or meanly spirited obeyed.--I knew no directors, but my passions; no master, but my will.—Even you, my lord, sometime o'ercome by love, were pleased with my delights; nor then foresaw this mad misuse of your indalgence.-And, though I call myself ungrateful while I own it, yet as a truth, it cannot be denied, that, kind indulgence has undone me; it added strength to my habitual failings, and, in a heart thus warm in wild, unthinking life, no wonder if the gentler sense of love
Lord T. Oh, Manly! where has this creature's heart been buried ?
Apart. Manly. If yet recoverable, how vast the treasure !
[ Apart Lady T. What I have said, my lord, is not my excuse, but my confession ; my errors, (give them, if you please, a harder name) cannot be defended-No, what's in its nature wrong, no words can palliate-no plea can alter! What then remains in my condition, but resignation to your pleasure? Time only can convince you of my future conduct: therefore, till I have lived an object of forgiveness, I dare not hope for pardon-The penance of a lonely, contrite life, were little to the innocent; but, to have deserved this separation, will strew perpetual thorns upon my pillow.--Sister, farewell! (Kissing her.] Your virtue needs no warning from the shame that falls on me; but when
think I have atoned my follies past, persuade your injured brother to forgive them.
Lord T. No, madam! your errors, thus renounced, this instant are forgotten !--Long parted friends, that pass through easy voyages of life, receive but common
gladness in their meeting; but, from a shipwreck saved, we mingle tears with our embraces.
[Embracing LADY TOWNLY. Lady T. What words what love
what duty can repay such obligations ?
Lord T. Preserve but this desire to please, your power is endless.
Lady T. Oh! till this moment, never did I know, my lord, I had a heart to give you!
Lord T. By heaven! this yielding hand, when first it gave you to my wishes, presented not a treasure more desirable !—Oh, Manly! sister! as you have often shared in my disquiet, partake of my felicity-my new-born joy! See here, the bride of my
desires! This may be called my wedding-day.
Lady G. Sister, (for now, methinks, that name is dearer to me than ever) let me congratulate the happiness that
opens you. Manly. Long, long, and mutual, may it flow!
Lord T. To make our happiness complete, my dear, join here with me to give a hand, that amply will repay the obligation.
Lady T. Sister, a day like this
[Gives her hand to Manly. Manly. A joy, like mine-despairs of words to speak it.
Lord T. Oh, Manly, how the name of friend endears the brother!
[Embracing him. Manly. Your words, my lord, will warm me to deserve them.
Lady T. Sister, to your unerring virtue, I now commit the guidance of my future days.
Never the paths of pleasure more to tread,
For, in the marriage state, the world must own,