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“ die by my own hand: that righteous vengeance must “ be mine. Mean time, forbid the villain's entrance “to my house. As to her who was once my wife, let “her go to her father's, to whom I have written; “ leaving it to him to vindicate her virtue, or conceal
“ her shame. I am in too much confusion to add more.
This is enough—by Heaven!. I sought no more.
It is the point at which my wishes aim'd.
The death of Paulet must include his own,
Justice will take that life my injuries seek,
Nor shall suspicion cast one glance on me.
But does he purpose soon to leave the army,
Or let his vengeance sleep
Rag. All wild he raves,
That honour should forbid to quit his charge.
Yet what resolves the tumult in his breast
May urge, is hard to say.
Glan. We must prepare
For his arrival ; well I know his rage
Will burst all bounds of prudence. Thou, my friend,
(For from the hour which shall complete our business,
Thy servitude shall cease) be diligent
To watch all accidents, and well improve
Whatever chance may rise.
Rag. Trust to my care. - [Exit.
Glan. Now, Isabella I now th’ important hour
To prove my truth, arises to my wish.
No longer shalt thou live the humble friend
Of this Cleone, but, her equal born, |
Shalt rise by me to grace an equal sphere.
Isab. Her equal born I am—nor can my heart |
A keener pang than base dependence feel.
Yet weak by nature, and in fear for thee,
I tremble for th' event.—O shouldst thou fail—
Glan. To me, my Isabella, trust the proof
Of her conceal’d amour. I know full well
Her modesty is mere disguise, assum’d
To cheat the world; but it deceives not me.
I shall unveil her latent wickedness,
And on her midnight revels pour the day.
Isab. Scarce can my heart give credit—
Glan. Thou, alas,
Art blinded by the semblance she displays
Of truth and innocence; but I explore
Her inmost soul, and in her secret thoughts
Read wantonness. Believe me, this gay youth,
Mask'd in the guise of friendship to Sifroy,
Is her vile paramour. But I forget;
Tell Ragozin, my love, to wait without;
This business asks dispatch, and I'nay want
His useful aid.
Isab. I go ; but still my heart
Beats anxious, lest the truth of thy suspicions
Should fail of proof. [Exit Isabella.
Glan. Fear nothing, I’m secure.—
Fond, easy fool! whom for my use alone,
Not pleasure, I’ve ensnar'd ; thou little dream'st, -
That fir’d with fair Cleone’s heaven of charms,
I burn for their enjoyment. There, there too,
Did this Sifroy, this happy hated rival,
Defeat the first warm hopes that fir'd my bosom.
I mark'd her beauties rising in their bloom,
And purpos'd for myself the rip'ning sweetness;
But ere my hand could reach the tempting fruit,
'Twas ravish'd from its eager grasp. And, oh!
Would fate at last permit me to prevail,
Wengeance were satisfy'd. I will attend her;
And urge my suit, tho' oft repuls'd, once more.
If she's obdurate still, my slighted love
Converts to hatred: I will then exert
The power which her deluded lord hath given,
Drive her this instant hence, and in her flight,
To glut my great revenge, she too shall fall. [Exit.
Changes to another Room. Enter CleoNE, and a Servant.
Cle. Paulet I my husband's friend I give him admittance 1 His friendship sympathizes with my love, Cheers me by talking of my absent lord, And sooths my heart with hopes of his return.
Pau. Still do these low'ring clouds of sorrow shade Cleone's brow, and sadden all her hours ? * Ah Paulet I have I not just cause to mourn? C
Three tedious years have past since these sad eyes o
Beheld my dear Sifroy ; and the stern brow
Of horrid war still frowns upon my hopes.
Pau. The fate of war, 'tis true, hath long detain'd
My noble friend from your fond arms and mine :
But his redoubted sword by this last stroke
Must soon reduce the foe to sue for peace. o
The gallant chief who led the barbarous host, o
And was himself their soul, is fallen in battle, -
Slain by the valiant hand of your Sifroy.
Cle. To me, alas, his courage seems no virtue:
Dead to all joy, but what his safety gives,
To every hope, but that of his return,
I dread the danger which his valour seeks,
And tremble at his glory. O good Heaven I o
Restore him soon to these unhappy arms,
Or much I fear, they'll never more enfold him.
Pau. What means Cleone No new danger can ||
Affright you for my friend. I fear your breast
Beats with the dread of some impending ill, !,
Threatening yourself. Now, by the love that binds
My heart to your Sifroy, let me astreat,
If my assistance can avail you aught,
That, to the utmost hazard of my life,
You will command my service. -
Cle. Kind Heaven, I thank thee! My Sifroy hath yet
One faithful friend. O Paulet—but to thee,
The many virtues that adorn the mind
Of my lov'd lord, and made me once so blest,
*Twere needless to display. In mine alone
His happiness was plac'd; no grief, no care Came ever near my bosom; not a pain But what his tenderness partaking, sooth'd. All day with fondness would he gaze upon me, And to my listening heart repeat such things, As only love like his knew how to feel. O my Sifroy when, when wilt thou return ? Alas, thou know'st not to what bold attempts Thy unsuspecting virtue has betray’d me ! Pau. What danger thus alarms Cleone's fear Cle. I am asham'd to think, and blush to say, | That in my husband's absence this poor form, These eyes, or any feature should retain The power to please—but Glanville well you know— Pau. Sure you suspect not him of base designs ! He wears the semblance of much worth and honour. Cle. So to the eye the speckled serpent wears | A shining beauteous form; but deep within, Foul stings and deadly poisons lurk unseen. O Paulet, this smooth serpent hath so crept o Into the bosom of Sifroy, so wound Himself about my love's unguarded heart, That he believes him harmless as a dove. Pau. Good Heaven, if thou abhorr'st deceit, why suffer o A villain's face to wear the look of virtue who would have thought his loose desires had flown So high a pitch —Have you imparted aught of his attempts to Isabella | Cle. No.