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That peace, which I must never more regain. [Rises.
Come, my dear love, Heaven will, I trust, protećt
And guide our wandering steps! Yet stay—who knows,
Perhaps my father too, if slander's voice
Hath reach’d his ear, may chide me from his door,
Or spurn me from his feet l—My sickening heart
Dies in me at that thought ! Yet surely he
Will hear me speak! A parent sure, will not
Reject his child unheard |
Isab. He surely will not. Whence these groundless
Cle. Indeed I am to blame, to doubt his goodness.
Farewell, my friend l—And oh, when thou shalt see
My still belov'd Sifroy ; say, I forgive him—
Say I but live to clear my truth to him;
Then hope to lay my sorrows in the grave,
And that my wrongs, lest they should wound his peace,
May be forgotten. [Exit Cleone, with her Child.
Isab. Gracious Heaven l her grief
Strikes thro’ my heart! Her truth, her innocence
Are surely wrong’d.—O wherefore did I yield
My virtue to this man Unhappy bour !
But 'tis too late 1–Nor dare I now relent.
Glan. The gate is clos'd against her, never more (If right I read her doom) to give her entrance. Thus far, my Isabella, our designs Glide smoothly on. The hand of prudence is To me the hand of Providence.
Isab. Alas ! How blind, how impotent is human prudence 1 I wish, and hope indeed, that screen’d beneath The shades of night, which hide these darker deeds, We too may lie conceal’d : but ah, my hopes Are dash'd with fear, lest Heaven's all-piercing eye,’ That marks our covert guilt, should flash detection.
Glan. [Sternly.] If thy vain fears betray us not,
Observe me well.—Had I the least surmise,
That struck by conscience, or by phantoms awed,
Thou now would'st shrink--and leave me, or betray--
By all the terrors that would shake my soul
To perpetrate the deed, thou too should'st fall !
Isab. And canst thou then suspect, that after all
I’ve done to prove my love, I should betray thee
O Glanville ! thou art yet, it seems, to learn,
That in her fears tho’ weak, a woman’s love
Inspires her soul to dare beyond her sex.
Glan. Forgive me, Isabella, 1 suspect Thee not ; this raging fever in my brain Distraćts my reason. But no more—I know Thee faithful, and will hence be calm.
Isab. Indeed my heart has been so wholly thine, That ev’n its springs are temper'd to thy wish.
Glan. Think on my warmth no more. I was to
blame. But come, my love, our chief, our earliest care Must be to give loud rumour instant voice, That both detected in their loose amour 2
Are fled together. Whisper thou the tale
First to the servants, in whose listening ears
Suspicions are already sown ; while I
Th' unwelcome tidings to her sire convey.
[Exit Isabella one way, and as Glanville is
going out the other, he meets a Servant.
Serv. My lady's brother, Sir, young Beaufort, just Arriv'd, enquires for you, or for his sister.
Glan. Attend him in.—The letters of Sifroy Have reach'd their hands. My story of her flight Will, like a closing witness well prepar’d, Confirm her guilt.
Enter Be AU for T junior.
Beauf jun. What strange suspicion, Glanville, has possess'd
The bosom of Sifroy Whence had it birth :
Or on what ground could malice fix her stand,
To throw the darts of slander on a name
So guarded as Cleone's
Glan. I could wish
It gives me pain to speak—but I could wish
The condućt of Cleone had not given
So fair a mark.
Beaufjun. So fair a mark —What! who
Cleone, say'st thou !—Hath my sister given
So fair a mark to slander —Have a care
The breath that blasts her fame may raise a storm
Not easily appeas'd.
Glan. It grieves me, Sir,
That you compel me to disclose, what you
In bitterness of soul must hear. But she
And prudence have of late been much estrang'd.
Beaus: jun. Defame her not—Discretion crowns
And in her modest eye sweet innocence
Smiles on detraction. Where, where is my sister?
She shall confront thy words—her look alone
Shall prove her truth, and calumny confound.
Glan. You surely know not, Sir, that she is fled—
Beauf, jun. What say'st thou ? Fled !—Surprise
choaks up my words !
It cannot be 1 Fled! whither ?–Gone with whom
Glan. With Paulet, Sir, Sifroy's young friend. .
Beauf. jun. Impossible !
I’m on the rack 1 Tell, I conjure thee, tell
The whole mysterious tale. Where are they gone *
Glan. That they conceal. I only know, that both,
Soon as they found their impious love disclos'd,
With instant speed withdrew ; and 'tis suppos'd
Will seek for shelter on some foreign shore.
Beauf. jun. Where then is truth, and where is
Ere while her dear companions?—How, my sister,
How art thou fallen —Thy father too—O parricide"
Had'st thou no pity on his bending age 2
On his fond heart i–too feeble now to bear
So rude a shock.
Glan. Can it not be conceal’d
Beauf. jun. That hope were vain. Himself impa-
From his lov’d daughter to enquire the cause
Of this opprobrious charge. And see, he's here.
Enter BEAU for T senior. Beauf. sen. Where is my daughter? where my injur’d child O bring me to her she hath yet a father, (Thanks to the gracious powers who spar'd my life For her protećtion) ready to receive With tender arms his child, tho' rudely cast From her rash husband's door. What mean these tears
That trickle down thy cheek? she is not dead Î
Beauf jun. Good Heaven what shall I say —No,
She is not dead but oh!—
Beauf. sen. But what Wound not
My heart 1 where is she lead me to my child—
'Tis from herself alone that I will hear
The story of her wrongs.
Beauf. jun. Alas! dear Sir,
She is not here.
Beauf. sen. Not here t
Beauf. jun. O fortify
Your heart, my dearest father, to support,
If possible, this unexpected stroke
My sister, Sir—why must I speak her shame?
My wretched sister, yielding to the lure
Of Paulet’s arts, hath left her husband’s house.