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“Bir. Where will this end ? “Isa. The rugged hand of fate has got between “Our meeting hearts, and thrusts them from their joys:” Since we must part— Bir. Nothing shall ever part us. “Isa. Parting's the least that is set down for me : “Heav'n has decreed, and we must suffer all. “Bir. I know thee innocent: I know myself so: “Indeed we both have been unfortunate ; “But sure misfortunes ne'er were faults in love.” Isa. Oh! there’s a fatal story to be told; Be deaf to that, as heav'n has been to me ! “And rot the tongue that shall reveal my shame:” When thou shalt hear how much thou hast been wrong’d, How wilt thou curse thy fond believing heart, Tear me from the warm bosom of thy love, And throw me like a pois'nous weed away : “Can I bear that Bear to be curst and torn, . “And thrown out of thy family and name, “Like a disease ?” Can I bear this from thee * “I never can :” No, all things have their end. When I am dead, forgive and pity me. [Exit. Bir. Stay, my Isabella— What can she mean These doubtings will distract me: Some hidden mischief soon will burst to light :
I cannot bear it—I must be satisfied–
She shall—if the sad tale at last must come!
ACT W. SCENE I.
Enter BIRoN, Nurse following him,
Biron. I know enough : th’ important question Of life or death, fearful to be resolv’d, Is clear'd to me: I see where it must end; And need enquire no more—Pray, let me have Pen, ink, and paper; I must write a-while, And then I'll try to rest—to rest for ever [Exit Nurse. Poor Isabella! now I know the cause, The cause of thy distress, and cannot wonder That it has turn'd thy brain. If I look back Upon thy loss, it will distraćt me too. Oh, any curse but this might be remov’d 1 But ’twas the rancorous malignity Of all ill stars combin'd, of heav'n and fate— Hold, hold my impious tongue—Alas! I rave : Why do I tax the stars, or heav'n, or fate 3 .They are all innocent of driving us Into despair; they have not urg'd my doom;
My father and my brother are my fates,
Enter Nurse and SAMPson. Nurse. Here’s strange things towards, Sampson: what will be the end of 'em, do you think 2 Samp. Nay, marry, Nurse, I cann’t see so far; but the law, I believe, is on Biron, the first husband's side. Nurse. Yes; no question, he has the law on his side. Samp. For I have heard, the law says, a woman must be a widow, all out seven years, before she can marry again, according to law. Nurse. Ay, so it does; and our lady has not been a widow all together seven years.
Samp. Why then, Nurse, mark my words, and say I told you so : the man must have his wife again, and all will do well. Nurse. But if our master, Villeroy, comes back again Samp. Why, if he does, he is not the first man that has had his wife taken from him. Nurse. For fear of the worst, will you go to the old count, desire him to come as soon as he can; there may be mischief, and he is able to prevent it. Samp. Now you say something; now I take you, Nurse; that will do well, indeed : mischief should be prevented; a little thing will make a quarrel, when there’s a woman in the way. I’ll about it instantly.— [Exeunt.
Draws, shews BIRoN asleep on a Couch. Enter ISABELLA.
Isa. Asleep so soon I Oh, happy I happy thou, Who thus can sleep! I never shall sleep more— If then to sleep be to be happy, he Who sleeps the longest, is the happiest; Death is the longest sleep—Oh, have a care! Mischief will thrive apace. Never wake more.
If thou didst ever love thy Isabella,
—The sight of him disarms ev'n death itself.