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“You monitors of mischief! What a change |
“Better and better still ! This is the infant state
“Of innocence, before the birth of care.
“My thoughts are smooth as the Elysian plains,
“Without a rub: the drowsy falling streams
“ Invite me to their slumbers.
“Would I were landed there—” [Sinks into a Chair.
What noise was that A knocking at the gate 1
It may be Villeroy—No matter who.
Bir. Come, Isabella, come.--
Isa. Hark! I’m call’d I
Bir. You stay too long from me.

Isa. A man's voice! in my bed! How came he there *

Nothing but villany in this bad world; [Rises.
“Coveting neighbours goods, or neighbours wives:”
Here’s physic for your fever.
[Draws a dagger, and goes backward to the couch.
“Breathing a vein is the old remedy.”
If husbands go to heav'n,
Where do they go that send 'em —This to try—
[just going to stab him, he rises, she knows him,

and shrieks.] What do I see I

Bir. Isabella, arm’d I

Isa. Against my husband's life “Who, but the wretch, most reprobate to grace, “Despair e'er hardened for damnation,

“Could think of such a deed—Murder my husband I"

Bir. Thou didst not think it.
Isa, Madness has brought me to the gates of hell,

And there has left me. “Oh, the frightful change

“Of my distraćtions! Or is this interval

“Of reason but to aggravate my woes, 3. “To drive the horror back with greater force “Upon my soul, and fix me mad for ever t” -

Bir. Why dost thou fly me so

Isa. I cannot bear his sight; distraćtion, come, Possess me all, and take me to thyself! Shake off thy chains, and hasten to my aid; Thou art my only cure—Like other friends, “He will not come to my necessities; “Then I must go to find the tyrant out; “Which is the nearest way :" [Running out.

Bir. Poor Isabella, she's not in a condition To give me any comfort, if she could : Lost to herself—as quickly I shall be To all the world—Horrors come fast around me; My mind is overcast—the gath'ring clouds Darken the prospect—I approach the brink, And soon must leap the precipice I Oh, Heav'n 1 While yet my senses are my own; thus kneeling, Let me implore thy mercies on my wife : Release her from her pangs; and if my reason, O'erwhelm'd with miseries, sink before the tem

pest,

Pardon those crimes despair may bring upon me.

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Enter Nurse.

Nurse. Sir, there’s somebody at the door must needs speak with you; he won't tell his name.

Bir. I come to him. [Exit Nurse. 'Tis Belford, I suppose; he little knows Of what has happened here; I wanted him, Must employ his friendship, and then— [Exit.

SCENE III.

The Street. Enter Carlos with three Ruffians. ... Car. A younger brother I I was one too long, Not to prevent my being so again. We must be sudden. Younger brothers are But lawful bastards of another name, Thrust out of their nobility of birth And family, and tainted into trades. Shall I be one of them—Bow, and retire, To make more room for the unwieldy heir To play the fool in No But how shall I prevent it?—Biron comes -To take possession of my father's love— Would that were all; there's a birth-right too That he will seize. Besides, if Biron lives, He will unfold some praćtices, which I Cannot well answer—therefore he shall die; . . . This night must be dispos'd of: I have means That will not fail my purpose.--Here he comes.

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Enter BIRoN.

Bir. Ha! am I beset ! I live but to revenge me. [They surround him, fighting; Villeroy enters with two Servants; they rescue him; Carlos and his Party fly. Pil. How are you, sir? Mortally hurt, I fear. Take care, and lead him in. Bir. I thank you for the goodness, sir; tho' 'tis Bestow'd upon a very wretch; and death, Tho' from a villain's hand, had been to me An act of kindness, and the height of mercy— But I thank you, sir. [He is led in.

SCENE IV.

The Inside of the House. Enter Isabells.

Isa. Murder my husband Oh I must not dare

To think of living on; my desperate hand
In a mad rage may offer it again.
Stab me any where but there. Here's room enough
In my own breast, to act the fury in,
The proper scene of mischief. “Willeroy comes;
“Villeroy and Biron come! Oh I hide me from 'em—
“They rack, they tear; let ’em carve out my limbs,
“ Divide my body to their equal claims 1
“My soul is only Biron’s ; that is free,
“And thus I strike for him and liberty.”

[Going to stab herself, Villeroy runs in and prevents

Aer, by taking the Dagger from her.

Pil. Angels defend and save thee Attempt thy precious life “the treasury “Of nature's sweets 1 life of my little world !” Lay violent hands upon thy innocent self! Isa. Swear I am innocent, and I’ll believe you. What would you have with me? Pray let me go. “—Are you there, sir? You are the very man “Have done all this—You would have made “Me believe you married me; but the fool “Was wiser, I thank you : 'tis not all gospel “You men preach upon that subječt.” Wil. Dost thou not know me, love Isa. O yes: very well. [Staring on him. You are the widow’s comforter; “that marries “Any woman when her husband's out of the way: “But I’ll never, never take your word again. Pil. “I am thy loving husband.” 'Tis Pilleroy, thy husband. Isa. I have none; no husband Never had but one, and he dy’d at Candy, “.Did he not I’m sure you told me so; you, “Or somebody, with just such a lying look, “As you have now.” Speak, did he not die there? Pil. He did, my life. Isa. But swear it, quickly swear,

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BIRoN enters bloody, and leaning upon his Sword. Before that screaming evidence appears, In bloody proof against me [She seeing Biron swoons into a Chair; Vil. helps her. G

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