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How wrought it?—Say—this moment will she fly
Success in this, and all shall be our own.
Isab. Silent she paus’d—and read it o'er and o'er.
Then lifting up her eyes—Forgive him, Heaven
Was all she said. But soon her rising fear
Resolv’d on quick escape. Suspicion too,
That all her servants are by thee corrupted,
Prompts her to fly alone, save with her child,
The young Sifroy, whom clasping to her breast,
And bathing with a flood of tears, she means,
Safe from thy snares, to shelter with her father.
Glan. Just as I hop’d—Beneath the friendly gloom
Of Baden wood, whose unfrequented shades
They needs must pass to reach her father's house,
I have contriv'd, and now ordain their fall.
Kindly she plans her scheme, as tho' herself
Were my accomplice.
Isab. As we parted, tears
Gush'd from her eyes—she closely press'd my hand,
And hesitating cry’d—O Isabella
If 'tis not now too late, beware of Glanville.
I scarce could hold from weeping.
Glan. Fool root out
That weakness, which unfits th'aspiring soul
For great designs. But hush! who's here *
Glan. Say, quickly— Is our first work achiev’d Rag. Successfully.
With two bold ruffians, whose assisting hands
Were hir'd to make the business sure, I trac'd
His steps with care; and in the darksome path
Which leads beside the ruin’d abby's wall,
With furious onset suddenly attack'd him.
Instant he drew, and in my arm oblique
Fix'd a slight wound; but my associates soon
Perform'd their office; and betwixt them borne,
I left him to an hasty burial, where
Glan. We are then secure
From his detection; and may now advance
With greater safety. O my Ragozin,
But one step more remains, to plant our feet
On this Sifroy's possessions; and methinks
Kind opportunity now points the path
Which leads us to our wish.
Rag, Propose the means.
Glan. This hour Cleone with her infant boy,
Borrowing faint courage from the moon's pale beam,
Prepares to seek the mansion of her father.
Thou know'st the neighbouring wood through which
they pass. r
Rag. I know each path and every brake.
Glan. There hid
In secret ambush, thou must intercept
Rag. And direct her to the world
Glan. Thou read'st my meaning right. Go thou
To hasten her departure, and to keep [7% Isabella.
Her fears awake. - -
Isab. Already she believes
Her life depends upon her instant flight.
Glan. And haply ours. Each moment that she lives
Grows dangerous now ; and should she reach her
All may be lost. Let therefore no delay
Hong on thy foot-steps: terror wings her flight:
Our danger calls at least for equal speed.
Rag. They 'scape me not. I know the private path
They needs must tread thro’ Baden's lonesome wood,
And death shall meet them in the dreary gloom.
Glan. Meantime, soon as she leaves her house, I raise,
From whispering tongues, a probable report,
That she with Paulet seeks some foreign shore.
This will confirm her guilt, and shelter us
From all suspicion. -
Rag. True; both gone at once
Will give an air of truth so plausible—
Glan. Hark! hush!
Rag. Who is it?
Glan. 'Tis Cleone’s voice 1
This way she comes—we must not now be seen.
Fly to thy post, and think on thy reward. [Exeunt.
Enter CLEoNE with her Child.
Cle. No Paulet to be found ! Misfortune sure Prevents his friendship; and I dare not wait
For his assistance. Friendless and alone
I wander forth, Heaven my sole guide, and truth
My sole support. But come, my little love,
Thou wilt not leave me. -
Child. No, indeed I won’t
I'll love you, and go with you every where,
If you will let me.
Cle. My sweet innocent
Thou shalt go with me. I’ve no comfort left
But thee. I had—I had a husband once,
And thou a father.—But we’re now cast out
From his protection, banish’d from his love.
Child. Why won't he love us Sure I’ve heard you - say, You lov’d him dearly.
Cle. O my bursting heart |
His innocence will kill me. So I do,
My angel, and I hope you’ll love him too.
Child. Yes, so I will, if he’ll love you : and can't
I make him love you ?
Cle. Yes, my dear; for how -
Could he withstand that sweet persuasive look
Of infant innocence
Child. O then he shall,
If ever I do see him, he shall love you.
Cle. My best, my only friend l and wilt thou plead Thy poor wrong'd mother's cause :
Isab. Dear Madam, haste why thus delay your
When dangers rise around
Cle. Indeed, my steps
Will linger, Isabella.-O 'tis hard—
Alas, thou canst not tell how hard it is—
To leave a husband's house so dearly lov’d 1
Yet go I must—my life is here unsafe.
Pardon, good Heaven, the guilt of those who seek it!
I fear not death : yet fain methinks would live
To clear my truth to my unkind Sifroy.
Isab. O doubt not, Madam, he will find the truth, And banish from his breast this strange suspicion. But haste, dear lady, wing your steps with haste, Lest death should intercept—
Cle. And must I go Adieu, dear mansion of my happiest years Adieu, sweet shades! each well-known bower, adieu: Where I have hung whole days upon his words, And never thought the tender moments long All, all my hopes of future peace, farewell
[Throws herself on her knees.
But, O great Power! who bending from thy throne
Look'st down with pitying eyes on erring man,
Whom weakness blinds, and passions lead astray,
Impute not to Sifroy this cruel wrong !
O heal his bosom, wounded by the darts
Of lying slander, and restore to him