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Pau. He dares not wrong you with the least surmise,

The slightest imputation on your fame !
Nor would the world believe him. Your fair deeds,
The constant tenor of your virtuous life,
Would triumph o'er th’ audacious tale.

Cle. Ah, Paulet
The sting of slander strikes her venom deep.
An envious world with joy devours the tale,
That stains with infamy a spotless name. --
Yet what's the vain opinion of the world !
To keep one voice, one single heart's esteem,
Is all my wish. If my Sifroy but think

Pau. Wound not your peace with vain ungrounded

fears.

My friend is noble, knows your virtues well;
Nor will he suffer jealousy to shake
His generous mind with doubt. And for that wretch,
This arm shall give him chastisement.

Cle. Ah! no ;
I fear the chastisement of Glanville's guilt
May loose the tongue of censure on my innocence.
And can I bear, now, in my husband's absence,
The whisper’d falsehood of malicious tales,
That cast a doubt on his Cleone’s truth
O rather leave his punishment to Heaven 1
At least defer it till my lord's return.

Pau. And shall the man I love return, and find A villain unchastis'd, who in my sight

Presumptuous dar'd to wound his honour !
It must not, shall not be.

Re-enter GLAN ville with RAGoz IN.

Glan. Mark me, young Sir, 'Tis with authority that I forbid Your entrance in this house. Sifroy, convinc'd Of all your secret crimes with that vile wanton, Spurns from his door the falsehood he disdains. Cle. Let me not hear it ! I am I a wanton : Does my dear lord think his Cleone vile Glan. He knows it well. Pau. Villain, 'tis false ! He scorns So mean a thought. Glan. To silence every doubt, See his own hand. Pau. [Shewing the letter to Ragozin.] Say, whence is this who brought it Rag. I brought it from my master. Glan. Look upon it. - [Cleone and Paulet look over it. Cle. Am I then banish’d from my husband’s house * Branded with infamy!—was once his wife Unkind Sifroy I am I not still thy wife Indeed thy faithful wife and when thou know'st, As know thou wilt, how falsely I’m accus’d, This cruel sentence sure will pierce thy heart. Pau. Amazement strikes me dumb l—This impious scroll Is forg'd. Sifroy, tho' rash, is noble, just,

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And good. Too good, too noble to permit
So mean a thought to harbour in his breast.
Cle. No : ’tis his hand—his seal. And can I bear
Suspicion 1 Ah! Sifroy, didst thou not know
My heart incapable
Pau. Licentious wretch 1
At what feli mischief has thy malice aim'd :
Glan. At thine and her detection, which at length
I have accomplish’d.
Pau. Impudent and vain
Think'st thou Cleone's virtue, her fair truth,
Can suffer taint from thy unhallow'd breath

Were they not proof but now against thy arts

Glan. Mistaken man To gain one personal proof Of her incontinence, that feign'd attempt Was made; all other proof I had before. And why I fail'd thou know'st; Who in her private chamber close conceal’d, Mad'st it imprudent she should then comply. Cle. Detested slanderer! I despise thy baseness; Disdain reply; and trust in Heaven's high hand

To dash thy bold designs. [Exit Cleone,

Pau. [Whispering.] Observe me, Sir–
This insult on the honour of my friend
Must be chastis'd. At morning's earliest dawn,
In the close vale, behind the castle's wall,
Prepare to meet me arm'd.

Glan. Be well assur’d I will not fail. [Exit Paulet. Yet stay—let Prudence guide me—

Courage, what is't —'tis folly's boisterous rashness, And draws its owner into hourly dangers.

I hold it safer he were met to-night. [Aside. '

Thou see'st, my Ragozin, we are embark’d
Upon a troubled sea : our safeties now
Depend on boldly stemming every wave,
That might o'erwhelm our hopes. Paulet must die—
He's dangerous, and not only may defeat
Our enterprise, but bring our lives in hazard.
Rag. Shall we not frustrate thus your first design,
To make the law subservient to your aims
Against the life and fortunes of Sifroy -
Glan. Leave that to me. Sifroy, full well I know,
Will soon arrive. Thou, when the gloom of night
Shall cast a veil upon the deeds of men,
Trace Paulet's steps, and in his bosom plunge
Thy dagger's point: thus shall thy care prevent
His future babbling; and to prove the deed
Upon Sifroy, be mine.
Rag. He dies this night.
Glan. Let thy first blow make sure his death,
So shall no noise detect thee. Hither strait
Convey his corpse, which secretly interr'd
Within the garden's bound, prevents discovery,
*Till I shall spring the mine of their destrućtion.
Rag. He shall not live an hour. [Exit Ragozin.
Glan. Hence, hence remorse!
I must not, will not feel thy scorpion sting.
Yet hell is in my breast, and all its fiends
Distract my resolutions.—I am plung’d

In blood, and must wade thro’: no safety now
But on the farther shore. Come then, revenge,
Ambition come, and disappointed love;
Be you my dread companions: steel, O steel
My heart with triple firmness, nerve my arm
With tenfold strength, and guide it to achieve
The deeds of terror which yourselves inspir’d.

ACT II. SCENE I.

A Room in SIF Roy’s House. GLAN VILLE and ISABELLA.

Glanville. Sure the dark hand of deathere this hath clos'd The prying eyes of Paulet, and secur'd Our bold attempt from danger. But hast thou, Free from suspicion, to Cleone's hand Convey'd the letter, forg’d against myself, Pressing her instant flight, and branding me With black designs against her life Isab. I have ; Pretending 'twas receiv'd from hands unknown. But lurks no danger here ! Will not this letter, Discover'd after death, thy guilt betray : Glan. There am I guarded too. The deed once done, A deep enormous cavern in the wood Receives her body, and for ever hides. But she perus'd, thou say'st, the letter—Well—

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