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Nurse. Odso, my master! we must not be seen.
ACT IV. [Exeunt.
SCENE I.-- The Street. En'er VILLEROY, with a letter, and ISABELLA.
Enter BIRON and BELFORD. Vil. I must away this moment--see his letter,
Bir. The longest day will have an end; we are Sign'd by himself. Alas! he could no more;
got home at last. My brother's desperate, and cannot die In peace, but in my arms.
Bel. We have got our legs at liberty; and liberty Isa. So suddenly!
is home, where'er we go; though mine lies most in
Bir. Pray, let me call this yours; for what I can
command in Brussels, you shall find your own. I Thus to be torn from thee, and all those charms, Though cold to me and dead.
have a father here, who, perhaps, after seven years'
absence, and costing him nothing in my travels, Isa. I'm sorry for the cause. Vil. Oh! could I think,
may be glad to see me. You know my story; how
does my disguise become me? Could I persuade myself, that your concern For me, or for my absence, were the spring
Bel. Just as you would have it; 'tis natural, and
will conceal you. The fountain of these melancholy thoughts,
Bir. To-morrow you shall be sure to find me My heart would dance, spite of the sad occasion, And be a gay companion in my journey;
here, as early as you please. This is the house; you
have observed the street. Buit
Bel. I warrant you; your directions will carry Enter CARLOS. me to my lodgings.
Bir. Good night, my friend. My good Carlos, why have you left my friends?
The long-expected moment has arrived; Car. They are departed home.
And if all here is well, my past sorrows They saw some sudden melancholy news
Will only heighten my excess of joy; Had stolen the lively colour from your check
And nothing will remain to wish or hope for. You had withdrawn, the bride, alarm'd, had follow'd ;
(Knocks.) Mere ceremony had been constraint; and this
Sam. Who's there? What would you have ? There, Carlos, is the cause.
Bir. Is your lady at home, friend?
(Gives the letter.) Samp. Why, truly, friend, it is my employment Car. Unlucky accident!
to answer impertinent questions; but for my lady's Th'archbishop of Malines, your worthy brotherm being at home, or no, that's just as my ladý With him to-night! Sister, will you permit it? pleases. Vil. It must be so.
Bir. But how shall I know whether it pleases her Isa. You hear it must be so.
or no? Vil. Oh, that it must.
Samp. Why, if you'll take my word for it, you Car. To leave your bride so soon!
may carry your errand back again; she never Vil. But having the possession of my love, pleases to see anybody at this time of night, that I am the better able to support
she does not know: and by your address and My absence in the hopes of my return.
appearance I am sure you must be a stranger to Car. Your stay will be but short?
ber. Vil. It will seem long,
Bir. But I have business; and you don't know The longer that my Isabella sigbs:
how that may please her. I shall be jealous of this rival grief,
Samp. May, if you have business, she is the best It takes so full possession of thy heart,
judge whether your business will please her or no; There is not room enough for mighty love.
therefore I will proceed in my office, and know of Enter Serrant, bows, and exit.
my lady whether or no, she is pleased to be at
home, or no. (Going.) My horses wait; farewell, my love! You, Carlos,
Nurse. Who's that you are so busy withal? Me.
thinks you might have found an answer in fewer Car. And I receive her as a friend and brother. words; but, Sampson, you love to hear yourself
Vil. Nay, stir not, love, for the night air is cold, prate sometimes, as well as your betters, that I must And the dews fall.--Here be our end of parting; say for you. Let me come to him. Who would Carlos will see me to my horse.
you speak with, stranger? [Exit with Carlos.
Bir With you, mistress, if you could help me to
speak to your lady. Isa. Oh, may thy brother better all thy hopes. Nurse. Yes, sir, I can help you in a civil way; Adieu !
but can nobody do your business but my lady? A sudden melancholy bakes my blood!
Bir. Not so well: but if you carry her this ring, Forgive me, Villeroy; I do not find
she'll know my business better. That cheerful gratitude thy service asks;
Nurse. There's no love-letter in it, I hope; you Yet, if I know my heart, and sure I do,
look like a civil gentleman. In an honest way,
I 'Tis not a verse from honest obligation.
may bring you an answer.
[Erit. I'll to my chamber, and to bed; my mind,
Bir. My old nurse, only a little older; they say My harass'd mind is weary.
[Exit. the tongue grows always; mercy on me! then hers
is seven years longer since I left her. Yet there is This ecstacy has made my welcome more
Without the mind; but passion's in the soul,
And always speaks the heart.
Isa. Where have I been? Why do you keep him Nurse. I have deliver'd your ring, sir. Pray
from me? heaven, you bring no bad news along with you. I know his voice; my life, upon the wing, Bir. Quite contrary, I hope.
Hears the soft lure that brings me back again; Nurse. Nay, I hope so to; but my lady was very 'Tis he himself, my Biron. much surprised when I gave it her. Sir, I am but Do I hold you fast. a servant, as a body may say; but if you'll walk in, Never to part again ? that I may shut the doors, (for we keep very If I must fall, death's welcome in these arms. orderly hours ;) I can shew you into the parlour, Bir. Live ever in these arms. help you to an answer, perhaps, as soon as those Isa. But pardon me, that are wiser.
[Exit. Excuse the wild disorder of my soul; Bir. I'll follow you.
The joy, the strange surprising joy of seeing you, Now all my spirits hurry to my heart,
Of seeing you again, distracted me. And every sense has taken the alarm
Bir. Thou everlasting goodness! At this approaching interview!
Isa. Answer me: Heavens! how I tremble !
Exit. What hand of Providence has brought you back
To your own home again?
O, tell me all,
For every thought confounds me.
Bir. My best life! at leisure, all.
Isa. We thought you dead; kill'd at the siege of Isa. I've heard of witches, magic spells, and
Bir. There I fell among the dead;
I often writ to my hard father, but never had
An answer; I writ to thee, too. Now I believe all possible. This ring,
Isa. What a world of woe This little ring, with necromantic force,
Had been prevented but in hearing from you! Has rais'd the ghost of pleasure to my fears,
Bir. Alas! thou could'st not help me. Conjur'd the sense of honour, and of love,
Isa. You do not know how much I could have Into such shapes, they fright me from myself!
done; I dare not think of them.
At least, I'm sure I could have suffer'd all;
I would have sold myself to slavery.
Without redemption; giv'n up my child,
The dearest part of me, to basest wants. Isa. I had forgot, pray let me speak with bim; Bir. My little boy!
[Exit Nurse. Isa. My life, but to have heard This ring was the first present of my love
You were alive. To Biron, my first husband; I must blush
Bir. No more, my love; complaining of ho To think I have a second. Biron died
past, (Still to my loss) at Candy; there's my hope. We lose the present joy. 'Tis over price Oh, do I live to hope that he died there?
Of all my pains, that thus we meet again! It must be so; he's dead, and this ring left,
I have a thousand things to say to thee. By his last breath, to some known faithful friend, Isa. 'Would I were past the hearing. To bring me back again;
(Aside.) That's all I have to trust to.
Bir. How does my child, my boy, my father,
too? Enter BIRON. (Isabella looking at him)
I hear he's living still.
And may he prove a father to your hopes,
Though we have found him none. Bir. Have you forgot me quite ? .
Bir. Come, no more tears. Isa. Forgot you!
Isa. Seven long years of sorrow for your loss, Bir. Then farewell my disguise, and my misfor- Have mourn'd with me. tunes !
Bir. And all my days to come My Isabella!
Shall be employ'd in a kind recompense (He goes to her, she shrieks, and faints.) For thy afflictions. Can't I see my boy? Isa. !
181. He's gone to bed ; I'll have him brought to Bir. Oh! come again;
you. Thy Biron summons thee to life and love;
Dir. To-morrow I shall see him; I want rest Thy once-loved, ever-loving husband calls
Myself, after this weary pilgrimage. Thy Biron speaks to thee.
Isa. Alas! what shall i get for you? Excess of love and joy, for my return,
Bir. Nothing but rest, my love! To-night I Has overpower'd her. I was to blame
would not To take thy sex's softness unprepared;
Be known, if possible, to your family: But sinking thus, thus dying in my arms,
I see my nurse is with you; her welcome
Would be tedious at this time;
Nor ever can; believe thyself, thy eyes To-morrow will do better.
That first inflamed, and light me to my love, Isa. I'll dispose of her, and order every thing Those stars, that still must guide me to my joys. As you would have it.
[Exit. Isa. And me to my undoing: I look round, Bir. Grant me but life, good Heav'n, and give And find no path, but leading to the grave. the means
Bir. I cannot understand thee.
Are made in heav n, they should be happier: O! she deserves of me much more than I
Why was I made this wretch ?
Isa. Miserable, beyond the reach of comfort You wretched fathers, blind as fortune all!
Bir. Do I live to hear thee say so ? Not to perceive, that such a woman's worth
Isa. Why, what did I say? Weighs down the portions you provide your sons. Bir. That I have made thee miserable. What is your trash, what all your heaps of gold, Isa. No; you are my only earthly happiness; Compared to this, my heartfeit happiness?
And my false tongue belied my honest heart, What has she, in my absence, undergone!
If it said otherwise. I must not think of that; it drives me back
Bir. And yet you said, Upon myself, the fatal cause of all.
Your marriage made you miserable.
Isa. I know not what I said;
I've said too much, unless I could speak all.
Bir. Thy words are wild; my eyes, my ears, my Everything is ready for you.
heart, Bir. I can want nothing here; possessing thee, Were all so full of thee, so much employ'd All my desires are carry'd to their aim
In wonder of thy charms, I could not find it; Of happiness; there's no room for a wish,
Now I perceive it plainBut to continue still this blessing to me;
Isa. You'll tell nobodyI know the way, my love. I shall sleep sound.
Bir. Thou art not weli. Isa. Shall I attend you?
Isa. Indeed I am not; I knew that before; Bir. By no means;
But where's the remedy? I've been so long a slave to others' pride,
Bir. Rest will relieve thy cares; come, come, no To learn, at least, to wait upon seli;
more; You'll make baste after?
I'll banish sorrow from thee. Isa. I'll but say my prayers, and follow you.
Isa. Banish first the cause.
[Exit Biron. Bir. Heaven knows how willingly. My prayers ! no, I must never pray again.
Isa. You are the only cause. Prayers have their blessings, to reward our hopes, Bir. Am I the cause ? the cause of thy misforBut I have nothing left to hope for more.
tunes ? What Heav'n could give I have enjoy'd; but now Isa. The fatal innocent cause of all my woes. The baneful planet rises on my fate,
Bir. Is this my welcome home? This the re And what's to come is a long life of woe;
ward Yet I may shorten it
Of all my miseries, long labours, pains,
And pining wants of wretched slavery,
What then is Villeroy ? Am I thus paid at last for deathless love,
(Weepinc.) Isa. Inquire no more; 'twill be explain'd too What's to be done? for something must be done.
(Going off.) Two husbands! married to both,
Bir. What! canst thou leave me too? And yet a wife to neither. Hold, my brain
Isa. Pray let me go: Ha! a lucky thought
For both our sakes, permit me. Works the right way to rid me of them all;
Bir. Rack me not with imaginations All the reproaches, infamies, and scorns,
Of things impossible. Thou canst not mean That every tongue and finger will find for me. What thou hast said. Yet something she must Let the just horror of my apprehensions
mean. But keep me warm; no matter what can come. 'Twas madness all; compose thyself, my love! "Tis but a blow, yet I will see him first,
The fit is past;
all may be well again: Have a last look, to heighten my despair,
Let us to bed.
Isa. To bed! You've raised the storm
Will sever us for ever.
Bir. Nothing shall ever part us. Bir. Despair, and rest for ever? Isabella!
Isa. Oh! there's a fatal story to be told; These words are far from thy condition;
Be deaf to that, as heaven has been to me! And be they ever so. I heard thy voice,
When thou shalt hear how much thou hast been And could not bear thy absence; come, my love!
wrong'd, You hare stay'd long: there's nothing, nothing How wilt thou curse thy fond believing heart, sure
Tear me from the warm bosom of thy love, Now to despair of in succeeding fate.
And throw me like a poisonous weed away!
All things bave their end.
[E.tit Bir, Look up, my love, I never did deceive thee, Bir. Stay, my Isabella !
What can she mean? These doubtings will dis- can; there may be mischief, and he is able to pretract me;
vent it. Some hidden mischief soon will burst to light; Samp. Now you say something; now I take you, I cannot bear it-I must be satisfied
nurse; that will do well, indeed; mischief should 'Tis she, my wife, must clear this darkness to me. be prevented; a little thing will make a quarrel,
She shall, if the sad tale at last must come, when there's a woman in the way. I'll about it inShe is my fate, and best can speak my doom. stantly.
Isa. Asleep so soon? Oh, happy, 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;
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 him disarms ev'n death itself,
And pleasure grows again And then I'll try to rest-to rest for ever!
With looking on him. Let me look my last;
[Exit Nurse. But is a look enough for parting love ? Poor Isabella! now I know the cause,
Sure I may take a kiss. Where am I going? The cause of thy distress, and cannot wonder Help, help me, Villeroy! Mountains and seas That it has turn'd thy brain. If I look back Divide your love, never to meet my shame. Upon thy loss, it will distract me too.
Hark! Oh, any curse but this might be remov'd!
What noise was that? a knocking at the gate ! But 'twas the rancorous malignity
It may be Villeroy, No matter who. Of all ill stars combin'd, of heav'n and fate
Bir. Come, Isabella, come. Hold, hold my impious tongue. Alas! I rave:
Isa. Hark! I'm call'd. Why do I tax the stars, or heav'n, or fate?
Bir. You stay too long from me. My father and my brother are my fates,
Isa. A man's voice! in my bed! How came he That drive me to my ruin. They knew well
there? I was alive. Too well they knew how dear Nothing but villany in this bad world. My Isabella - Oh! my wife no more!
Here's physic for your fever, How dear her love was to me; yet they stood, (Draws a dagger, and goes backward to the couch.) With a malicious silent joy, stood by,
If husbands go to heaven, And saw her give up all my happiness,
Where do they go that send them? This to tryThe treasure of her beauty to another;
(Going to stab him, he rises, she shrieks.) Stood by, and saw her married to another.
What do I see! Oh, cruel father, and unnatural brother!
Bir. Isabella, arm'd! I have but to accuse you of my wrongs,
Isa. Against my husband's life! And then to fall forgotten. Sleep or death
Bir. Thou didst not think it? Sits heavy on me, and benumbs my pains:
Isa. Madness has brought me to the gates of Either is welcome; but the hand of death
hell, Works always sure, and best can close my eyes. And there has left nie.
[Erit. Bir. Why dost thou fly me so ?
Isa. I cannot bear his sight; distraction, come, Enter Nurse and ŞAMPSON.
Possess me all. Nurse. Here's strange things towards, Sampson; Shake off my chains, and hasten to my aid ! what will be the end of 'em, do you think?
Thou art my only cure.
(Running out.) Samp. Nay, marry, nurse, I can't see so far; but Bir. Poor Isabella! she's not in a condition the law, I believe, is on Biron, the first husband's To give me any comfort, if she could; side.
Lost to herself, as quickly as I shall be Nurse. Yes; no question, he has the law on his To all the world: Horrors come fast around me; side.
My mind is overcast; the gathering clouds
; Samp. For I have heard, the law says, a woman Darken the prospect; I approach the brink, must be a widow, all out seven years, before she And soon must leap the precipice. Oh! heav'n! can marry again, according to law.
(Kneels.) Nurse. Ay, so it does; and our lady has not been while yet my senses are my own, thus kneeling, a widow altogether seven years.
Let me implore thy mercies on my wife: Samp. Why, then, nurse, mark my words, and Release her from her pangs; and if my reason, say I told you so: the man must have his wife O'erwhelm'd with miseries, sink before the tem. again, and all will do well.
pest, Nurse. But if our master, Villeroy, comes back Pardon those crimes despair may bring upon me. again.
(Rises.) Samp. Why, if he does, he is not the first man
Enter Nurse. that has had his wife taken from him.
Nurse. For fear of the worst, will you go to the Nurse. Sir, there's somebody at the door must old Count, and desire him to come as soon as he I needs speak with you; he won't tell his name
Bir. I come to him.
Isa. But swear it, quickly swear,
[Exit Nurse. 'Tis Belford, I suppose; he little knows
Enter BIRON, Vloody, leaning vpon his sword. Of what has happen'd here; I wanted him, Before that streaming evidence appears, Must employ his friendsbip, and then
In bloody proof against me. [Exit.
(She seeing Biron, swoons; Villeroy helps
her.) SCENE III.-The Street,
Vil. Help there!
(Sees Biron.) Enter CARLOS, PEDRO, and three Rufians. Biron alive?
Bir. The only wretch on earth that must not live Car. A younger brother; I was one too long
Vil. Biron, or Villeroy, must not, that's decreed. Not to prevent my being so again.
Bir. You've saved me from the hands of mur. We must be sudden. Younger brothers are
derers: But lawful bastards of another name,
Would you had not, for life's my greatest plague! Thrust out of their nobility of birth
And then, of all the world, you are the man And family, and tainted into trades.
I would not be obliged to. Isabella! Shall I be one of them ? bow, and retire,
I came to fall before the: I had died
Happy, not to have found your Villeroy here.
(Kisses her) To take possession of my father's love: Would that were all! there's a birthright, too,
Vil. A kiss! confusion! it must be your last. That he will seize. Besides, if Biron lives,
Bir. I know it must. Here I give up that death He will unfold some practices, which I
The work of fate, thus we must finish it. Cannot well answer, therefore he shall die;
Thrust home; be sure.
Vil. Alas! he faints! some help there! This night must be disposed of: I have means
Bir. 'Tis all in vain; my sorrows soon will end. That will not fail my purpose. Here he comes.
Oh, Villeroy! let a dying wretch entreat you
To take this letter to my father. My Isabella! Bir. Ha! am I beset? I live but to revenge me.
Couldst thou but hear me, my last words should
bless thee. (They surround him, fighting; Villeroy enters I cannot, though in death, bequeath her to thee. with turo Servants; they rescue him; Carlos
(To Villeroy.) and his party flyi Vil. How are you, sir ? Mortally hurt, I fear.
But could I hope my boy, my little one,
Might find a father in thee-Oh! I faint;
I can no more. Hear me, heav'n! Oh, support
(Dies.) Bestow'd upon a very wretch; and death,
Vil. He's gone! Though from a villain's hand, had been to me
My care of her is lost in wild amaze. An act of kindness, and the lieight of mercy;
Who waits there?
[Exit. But I thank you, sir.
Isa. (Recorering.) Where have I been?
thinks I stand upon
That lies between me and the realms of rest,
But still detain'd, I cannot pass the strait;
Deny'd to live, and yet. I must not die;
Doom'd to come back, like a complaining ghost, Isa. Murder my husband! Oh! I must not dare
To my unbury'd body. Here it lies:
(Throws herself on Biron's body.) Stab me anywhere but there. Here's room enough My body, soul, and life! A little dust, In my own breast to act the fury in,
To cover our cold limbs in the dark grave; The proper scene of mischief.
There, there we shall sleep safe and sound to(Going to stab herself, Villeroy runs in
gether. and prevents her, by taking the dagger
Enter VILLEROY, with Servants. from her.) Vil. Angels defend and save thee!
Vil. Poor wretch! upon the ground! She's not Attempt thy precious life!
herself : Lay violent hands upon thy innocent self!
Remove her from the body. Isa. Swear I am innocent, and I'll believe you.
(Servants going to raise her.) What would you have with me? Pray let me go. Isa. Never, never! Are you there, sir? You are the very man
You have divorced us once, but shall no more. Have done all this. You would have made
Help! help me, Biron! Ha! bloody, and dead! Me believe you married me; but the fool
O, murder! murder! you have done this deed. Was wiser.
Vengeance and murder! Bury us together: Vil. Dost thou not know me, love?
Do anything but part us. 'Tis Villeroy, thy husband.
Vil. Gently, gently raise her. Isa. I have none; no husband;
She must be forced away. (They carry her off.)
(Weeping.) Isa. Oh, they tear me! Cut off my hands! Never had but one, and he died at Candy.
Let me leave something with him. Speak, did he not die there?
They'll clasp him fast, Vil. He did, my life.
Oh, cruel, cruel men!