תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

My fears were woman's—I have viewed him all:
And let me, let me say it to myself,;
I live again, and rise but from his tomb.

Biron. Have you forgot me quite ?
Isa. Forgot you!
Bir. Then farewell my disguise, and my mis-

fortunes !
My Isabella!
[He goes to her; she shrieks, und falls in a swoon.]
Isa. Ha!

Bir. Oh come again!
Thy Biron summons thee to life and love;
Once I had charms to wake thee:
Thy once-loved, ever-loving husband calls-
Thy Biron speaks to thee.

Isa. My husband ! Biron !

Bir. Excess of love and joy, for my return,
Has overpowered her. I was to blame
To take thy sex's softness unprepar'd:
But sinking thus, thus dying in my arms,
This ecstacy has made my welcome more
Than words could say: words may be counterfeit,
False-coined, and current only from the tongue,
Without the mind; but passion's in the soul,
And always speaks the heart.
Isa. Where have I been? Why do you keep him

from me?
I know his voice: my life upon the wing,
Here's the soft lure that brings me back again ;
'Tis he himself, my Biron, the dear man!

My true-loved husband! Do I hold you fast,
Never to part again? Can I believe it?
Nothing but you could work so great a change:
There's more than life itself in dying here;
If I must fall, death's welcome in these arms.

Bir. Live ever in these arms!

Isa. But pardon meExcuse the wild disorder of my soul: The joy, the strange surprising joy of seeing you, Of seeing you again, distracted me

Bir. Thou everlasting goodness!

Isa. Answer me:
What hand of Providence has brought you back
To your own home again? 0, satisfy
The impatience of my heart! I long to know
The story of your sufferings. You would think
Your pleasures sufferings, so long removed
From Isabella's love. But tell me all,
For every thought confounds me.

Bir. My best life! at leisure, all.
Isa. We thought you dead; killed at the siege of

Candy-
Bir. There I fell among the dead;
But hopes of life reviving from my wounds,
I was preserved but to be made a slave:
I often writ to my hard father, but never had
An answer; I writ to thee too-

Isa. What a world of woe
Had been prevented, but in hearing from you!

Bir. Alas! thou couldst not help me!

Isa. You do not know how much I could have

done ;

At least, I'm sure I could have suffered all :
I would have sold myself to slavery,
Without redemption; given up my child,
The dearest part of me, to basest wants

Bir. My little boy !

Isa. My life, but to have heard
You were alive-which now, too late, I find.

[Aside.
Bir. 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.

Bir. How does my child, my boy, my father too ? I hear he's living still.

Isu. Well both, both well;
And may he prove a father to your hopes,
Though we have found him none !

Bir. Come, no more tears.

Isa. Seven long years of sorrow for your Have mourned with me

Bir. And all my days behind Shall be employed in a kind recompense For thy afflictions.—Can't I see my boy? Isa. He's gone to bed: I'll have him brought to

you. Bir, To-morrow I shall see him: I want rest ! Myself, after this weary pilgrimage.

loss,

Isa. Alas! what shall I get for you?
Bir. Nothing but rest, my love! To-night I would

not
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.

[Exit. Bir. Grant me but life, good Heaven, and give

the means To make this wondrous goodness some amends, And let me then forget her, if I can! O! 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, Compared to this, my heart-felt happiness ?

[Bursts into tears. What has she, in my absence, undergone ? I must not think of that; it drives me back Upon myself, the fatal cause of all.

ISABELLA returns. Isa. I have obeyed your pleasure ; Every thing is ready for you.

Bir. I can want nothing here; possessing thee,

All my desires are carried 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?

Bir. 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

[Goes in.
Isa. I'll but say my prayers, and follow you-
My prayers! no, I must never pray again.
Prayers have their blessings to reward our hopes,
But I have nothing left to hope for more.
What Heaven could give, I have enjoyed; 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 promised him to follow-him!
Is he without a name? Biron, my husband,
To follow him to bed my husband ! ha!
What then is Villeroy? But yesterday

bed received him for its lord, Yet a warm witness of my broken vows. Oh, Biron, hadst thou come but one day sooner, I would have followed thee through beggary, Through all the chances of this weary life; Wandered the many ways of wretchedness With thee, to find a hospitable grave; For that's the only bed that's left me now !

[Weeping

That very

« הקודםהמשך »