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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;
Apd need inquire no more-Pray let me have
Pen, ink, and paper; I must write awhile,
And then I'll try to rest to rest for ever!
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 distract me too.
ob, any corse but this might be remov'd!
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 beav'u, or fate?
They are all innocent of driving us
Into despair; they have not urg'd my doom;
My father and my brother are my fates, That drive me to my ruin. They knew well I was alive. Too well they knew how dear My Isabella -Oh, my wife no more! How dear her love was to me-Yet they stood, With a malicious, silent joy, stood by, And saw her give up all my happiness, The treasure of her beauty lo another; Oh, cruel father! and unnatral brother! . I have but to aconse you of my wrongs, And then to fall forgotten-Sleep or death Sits heavy on me, and benumbs my pains: Either is welcome; but the hand of death Works always sure, and best can close my eyes. [Exit.
Re-enter Nurse and SAMPSON. Nurse. Here's strange things towards, Sampson : what will be the end of 'em, do you think?
Sam. Nay, marry, nurse, I can'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.
Sam. 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 altogether seven years.
Sam. Why then, nurse, mark my words, and say ! told you so : the man must have his wife again, and all will do well.
Nurse. But if our master, Villeroy, comes back again
Sam. 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 bim to come as soon as he can; there may be mischief, and he is able to prevent it.
Sam. 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.
SCENE II. BIRON is discovered asleep on a Couch.
Isa. Asleep so soon! Oh, bappy! 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,
To-morrow must be doomsday to thy peace.
-The sight of hiun disarms ev'n death itself;
And pleasure grows again
With looking on bim -Let me look my last-
But is a look enough for parting love?
Sure I may take a kiss -Where am I going!
Help, help me, Villeroy ! -Mountains and seas
Divide your love, never to meet my sbame.
[Throws herself upon the Floor; after a short Pause,
she raises herself upon hér Elbow.
What will this battle of the brain do with me?
This little ball, this ravag'd province, long
What noise was that? A knocking at the gate!
It may be Villeroy -No matter who.
Biron. Come, Isabella, come.
Isa. Hark! I'm call'd!
Biron. You stay too long from me.
Isa. A man's voice! in my bed! How came be there?
Nothing but villany in this bad world; (Rises.
Here's physic for your fever.
[Draws a Dagger, and goes backward to the Couch.
If husbands' go to heav'n,
Where do they go that send 'em?--This to try
[As she is going to stab him he rises; she knows
him, and shrieks.
What do I see!
Biron. Isabella, arm'd!
Isa. Against my husband's life!
Biron. Thou didst not think it,
Isa. Madness has brought me to the gales of hell,
And there has left si-.
Biron. Why dost thou fly me so?
Isa. I cannot bear his sight; distraction, come,
Possess me all, and take me to thyself!
Shake off thy chains, and hasten to my aid ;-
Thou art my only cure
Biron. Poor Isabella, she's not in a condition
To give me any comfort, if she could :
Lost to hersel! -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! Oh, heav'n!
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'erwlielm'd with miseries, sink before the tempest,
Pardou those crimes despair may bring upon me.
Nurse. Sir, there's somebody at the door must needs
speak with you; he won't tell his name.
Biron. I'll come to bim.
"Tis Belford, I suppose ; he little knows
Of what has happen'd here; I wanted him;
I must employ his friendship, and then
SCENE III. The Street.
Enter Carlos, with three Ruffians.
Car. A younger brother! 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 thein-Bow, and retiro,
To make more room for the unwieldy heir
To play the fool in? Now
But how shall I prevent it?--Birou comos
To take possession of my father's love-
Would that were all; there's a birthright too
That lie will seize. Besides, if Biron lives,
He will unfold some practices, 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.
Biron. Ha! am I beset? I live but to revenge ine.
[They surround him, fighting. Enter VILLEROY, with two Servants; they rescue him;
CARLOS and his Party fly.
Vil. How are you, sir? Mortally hurt, I fear.
Take care, and lead him in.
Biron. I thank you for the goodness, sir; thougb'tis
Beslow'd upon a very wretch; and death,
Though from a villain's band, bad beeu to me
An act of kindness, and the height of mercy-
But I thank
[He is led in.
SCENE IV. The Inside of the House.
Isa. Murder my husband! Oh! I must not dare
To think of living on: my desperate band
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.
[Going to stab herself ; Villeroy runs in and prevents
her, by taking the Dagger from her.
Vil. Angels defend and save thee!
Attempt thy precious life!
Lay violent hands ìpon 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