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Tis certain she contemns me; nay, commands me,
SCENE,—A Court, %c. as before.
Anna. Thy vassals, Grief! great nature's order
And change the noon-tide to the midnight hour.
Serv. One of the vile assassins is secured. We found the villain lurking in the wood:
With dreadful imprecations he denies
The chosen crest of Douglas' valiant name! These are no vulgar jewels.—Guard the wretch.
Enter Servants with a Prisoner.
Pris. I know no more than does the child unborn Of what you charge me with.
1 Serv. You say so, sir!
But torture soon shall make you speak the truth. Behold, the lady of Lord Randolph comes: Prepare yourself to meet her just revenge.
Enter Lady Randolph and Anna.
Anna. Summon your utmost fortitude, before You speak with him. Your dignity, your fame, Are now at stake. Think of the fatal secret, Which in a moment from your lips may fly.
Lady Rand. Thou shalt behold me, with a desperate heart, Hear how my infant perish'd. See, he kneels.
[ The Prisoner kneels. Pris. Heaven bless that countenance so sweet
A judge like thee makes innocence more bold.
Lady Rand. Of this man's guilt what proof can
ye produce? 1 Serv. We found him lurking in the hollow
When view'd and call'd upon, amazed he fled.
And old in villainy. Permit us try
His stubbornness against the torture's force.
Pris. O, gentle lady! by your lord's dear life, Which these weak hands, I swear, did ne'er assail; And by your children's welfare, spare my age! Let not the iron tear my ancient joints, And my grey hairs bring to the grave with pain.
Lady Rand. Account for these; thine own they
For these, I say: be stedfast to the truth;
[ANNA removes the Servants and returns.
Pris. Alas! I'm sore beset! let never man,
Lady Rand. O! Anna, hear !—Once more I
charge thee speak
The truth direct: for these to me foretell
Pris. Then, thus adjured, I'll speak to you as just