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To Biron, my first husband; I must blush
To think I have a second. Biron dy’d -
(Still to my loss) at Candy; there's my hope.
Oh, do I live to hope that he dy'd there I
It must be so: he's dead, and this ring left
By his last breath, to some known faithful friend,
To bring me back again;
[Biron introduc’d—Nurse retires.
That's all I have to trust to—
My fears were woman's—I have view’d him all : ...
And let me, let me say it to myself,
I live again, and rise but from his tomb.
Bir. Have you forgot me quite
Isa. Forgot you !
Bir. Then farewell my disguise, and my misfor-
My Isabella I
[He goes to her; she shrieks, and falls in a swoon.
Bir. Oh! come again :
Thy Biron summons thee to life and love;
“Once I had charms to wake thee:”
Thy once lov’d, ever-loving husband calls—
Thy Biron speaks to thee.
Isa. My husband 1 Biron *
Bir. Excess of love and joy, for my return,
Has overpower'd her—I was to blame
To take thy sex’s softness unprepar'd :
But sinking thus, thus dying in my arms,
This ecstasy has made my welcome more
Than words could say: words may be counterfeit,
False-coin'd, and current only from the tongue,
Without the mind; but passion’s in the soul,
And always speaks the heart.
Isa. Where have I been Why do you keep him
I know his voice: my life upon the wing,
Hears the soft lure that brings me back again;
'Tis he himself, my Biron, the dear mani
My true-lov'd husband I Do I hold you fast,
Never to part again “Can I believe it
“Nothing but you could work so great a change,
“There's more than life itself in dying here.”
If I must fall, death's welcome in these arms.
Bir. Live ever in these arms.
Isa. But pardon me,
Excuse the wild disorder of my soul:
The joy, the strange surprising joy of seeing you,
Of seeing you again, distracted me-
Bir. Thou everlasting goodness!
Isa. Answer me :
What hand of Providence has brought you back
To your own home again O, satisfy
Th’ impatience of my heart: I long to know
The story of your sufferings. “You would think
“Your pleasures sufferings, so long remov’d
* From Isabella's love.” But tell me all,
For every thought confounds me.
Bir. My best life; at leisure, all.
Isa. We thought you dead; kill'd at the siege of
Bir. There I fell among the dead; But hopes of life reviving from my wounds, I was preserv’d but to be made a slave : I often writ to my hard father, but never had An answer; I writ to thee too— Isa. What a world of wo Had been prevented but in hearing from you! o Bir. Alas ! thou could'st not help me. Isa. You do not know how much I could ha’ done; At least, I’m sure I could have suffer'd all : * I would have sold myself to slavery, Without redemption; giv'n up my child, The dearest part of me, to basest wants Bir. My little boy Isa. My life, but to have heard You were alive—which now too late I find. [Aside. Bir. No more, my love, complaining of the past, We lose the present joy. 'Tis over price Of all my paids, that thus we meet again I have a thousand things to say to thee— Isa. Wou'd I were past the hearing. [Aside. Bir. How does my child, my boy, my father, too ! I hear he's living still. Isa. Well both, both well; And may he prove a father to your hopes, Though we have found him none. Bir. Come, no more tears.
Isa. Seven long years of sorrow for your loss, Have mourn'd with me— Bir. And all my days behind Shall be employ'd in a kind recompence For thy afflićtions.—Can't I see my boy Isa. He's gone to bed: I’ll have him brought to you. Bir. To-morrow I shall see him; I want rest Myself, after this weary pilgrimage. Isa. Alas! what shall I get for you ? * Bir. Nothing but rest, my love 1 To night I would not Be known, if possible, to your family: I see my Nurse is with you; her welcome Wou’d be tedious at this time ; To-morrow will do better. Isa. I’ll dispose of her, and order every thing
As you wou'd have it. [Exit. Bir. Grant me but life, good Heav'n, and give the means,
To make this wondrous goodness some amends:
And let me then forget her, if I can
O 1 she deserves of me much more, than I
Can lose for her, though I again cou’d venture
A father, and his fortune, for her love 1
You wretched fathers, blind as fortune all !
Not to perceive that such a woman’s worth
Weighs down the portions you provide your sons:
What is your trash, what all your heaps of gold,
Compar'd to this, my heart-felt happiness t
[Bursts into tears.