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Biron. My little boy!
Isa. My life, but to have heard
You were alive which now too late I find.
Biron. No more, my love, complaining of the past,
We lose the present joy. 'Tis over price
of all my pains, that thus we meet again
I have a thousand things to say to theem
Isa. Would I were past the hearing.. (Aside.
Biron. How does my child, my boy, my father too?
I hear he's living still.
Isa. Well both, both well;
he prove a father to your hopes,
Though we have found him none.
Biron. Come, no more tears.
Isa. Seven long years of sorrow for your loss,
Have inourn'd with me
Biron. And all my days to come
Shall be employ'd in a kind recomy, nse
For thy afflictions. Can't I see my boy?
to bed: I'll have him brought to you.
Biron. To-morrow I shall see him; I want rest
Myself, after this weary pilgrimage.
Isa. Alas! what shall I get for you?
Biron. Nothing but rest, my love! To-night I would
Be known, if possible, to your family.
I see my nurse is with you; her welcome
Would be tedious at this time;
To-morrow will do better.
Isa. I'll dispose of her, and order every thing
As you would have it.
Biron. Grant me but life, good heav'n, and give the
To make this wondrous goodness some amends:
And let me then forget her, if I can!
0! she deserves of me much more, than I
Can lose for her, though I again could venture
A father, and his fortune, for her love!
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 bappiness?
[Bursts into Tears.
What has she, in my absence, undergone?
I must not think of thal; it drives ine back
Upon myself, the fatal cause of all.
Isa. I have obey'd your pleasure;
Ev'ry thing is ready for you.
Biron. I can want nothing here; possessing thee,
All my desires are carry'd to their aim
of happiness; there's no room for a wish,
But to continue still this blessing to me:
I know the way, my love; I shall sleep sound.
Isa. Shall I attend you?
Biron. By no means;
I've been so long a slave to others' pride,
To learn, at least, to wait upon myself.
You'll make haste after-
Isa. I'll but say my pray’rs, and follow you.
My pray'rs! no, I must never pray again.
Pray’rs have their blessings to reward our hopes ;
But I have nothing left to hope for more.
What heav'n could give, I have enjoy'd; but now
The baneful planet rises on my fate,
And what's to come is a long line of woe.
Yet I may shorten it-
I promis'd him to follow him!
Is he without a name? Biron, my husband,
To follow him to bed my husband! ba!
What then is Villeroy? But yesterday
That very bed receiv'd him for its lord,
Oh, Biron, hadst thou come but one day sooner,
I would have follow'd thee through beggary,
Through all the chances of this weary life;
Wander'd the many ways of wretchedness
With thee, to find a hospitable grave:
For that's the only bed that's left me now. [Weeps.
-What's to be done for something must be done.
Two busbands! yet not one! By both enjoy'd,
And yet a wife to neither! Hold, my brain-
Ha! a lucky thought
Works the right way to rid me of 'em all;
All the reproaches, infamies, and scorns,
That ev'ry longue and finger will find for me.
Let the just borror of my apprehensions
But keep me warm-no matter what can come.
Tis but a blowm-get I will see him first-
Have a last look to beiguten my despair,
And then to rest for ever.
Biron. Despair, and rest for ever! Isabella!
These words are far from thy condition!
And be they ever so. I heard thy voice,
And could not bear thy absence: come, my love!
You have staid long; there's nothing, nothing sure,
Now to despair of in succeeding fate.
Isa. I am contented to be miserable,
But not this way: I've been too long abus'd;
Let me sleep on to be deceiv'd no more.
Biron. Look up, my love, I never did deceive thee,
Nor never can; believe thyself, thy eyes
That first inflam'd, and lit me to my love,
Those stars, that still must guide me to my joys.
Isa. And me to my undoing: I look round
And find no path, but leading to the grave.
Biron. I cannot understand thee.
Isa. If marriages
Are made in hear'n, they should be happier:
Why was I made this wretch?
Biron. Has marriage made thee wretched?
Isa. Miserable, beyond the reach of comfort.
Biron. Do I live to hear thee say so?
Isa. Why, what did I say?
Biron. That I have made thee miserable.
Isa. No: you are my only earthly happiness;
And my false tongue bely'd my honest heart,
If it said otherwise.
Biron. And yet you said
Your marriage made you miserable.
Isa. I know not what I said:
I've said too much, unless I could speak all,
Biron. Thy words are wild; my eyes, my ears, my
Were all so full of thee, so much employ'd
In wonder of thy charms, I could not find it;
Now I perceive it plain-
Isa. You'll tell nobody-
[Distractedly. Biron. Thou art not well.
Isa. Indeed I am not; I knew that before;
But where's the remedy?
Biron. Rest will relieve thy cares: coine, come, n
I'll banish sorrow from thee.
Isa. Banish first the cause.
Biron. Heav'n knows how willingly.
Isa. You are the only cause.
Biron. Ann I the cause? the cause of thy misfortunes?
Isa. The fatal, innocent cause of all my woes.
Biron. Is this my welcome home? This the reward
my miseries, long labours, pains,
And pining wants of wretched slavery,
Which I've out-liv'd, only in hopes of thee;
Am I thus paid at last for deathless love,
Aud call’d the cause of thy misfortunes now?
Isa. Inquire no more; 'twill be explain’d too soon,
Biron. What! caņst thou leave me too?
Isa. Pray let me go:
For both our sakes, permit me
Biron. Rack me not with imaginations
of things impossible-Thou canst not mean
What thou hast said—Yet something she must mean.
'Twas madness all-Compose thyself, my love! The fit is past; all may be well again: Let us to bed.
Isa. To bed! You've rais'd the storm Will sever us for ever,
Biron. Nothing shall ever part us.
Isa. Oh! there's a fatal story to be told;
Be deaf to that, as heav'n has been to me!
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:
All things have their end.
When I am dead, forgive and pity me. [Erit.
Biron. 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-
'Tis she, my wife, must clear this darkness to me.
She shall if the sad tale at last must come!
She is my fate, and best can speak my doom. [Exit.