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She has any more jewels; no, no, she gave me
all. (Aside.)
Lal. What didst thou say, Jacinta? Now, I
bethink me,
Thou hast not spoken lately of thy wedding.
How fares good Ugo—and when is it to be?
Can I do aught? Is there no further aid
Thou needest, Jacinta?

Jac. Is there no further aid 9

That's meant for me. (Aside.) I 'm sure, madam, you

need not Be always throwing those jewels in my teeth.

Lal. Jewels, Jacinta! Now, indeed, Jacinta, I thought not of the jewels.

Jac. Oh, perhaps not!

But then I might have sworn it. After all,
There's Ugo says the ring is only paste,
For he's sure the Count Castiglione never
Would have given a real diamond to such as you;
And, at the best, I 'm certain, madam, you cannot
Have use for jewels now. But I might have sworn
it. [Exit.

[lalage bursts into tears, and leans her head
upon the table; after a short pause raises it.
Lal. Poor Lalage !—and is it come to this?
Thy servant-maid !—but courage !— 'tis but a viper
Whom thou hast cherished to sting thee to the soul!

(Taking up the mirror.)

[graphic]

Ha! here at least's a friend—too much a friend
In earlier days — a friend will not deceive thee.
Fair mirror and true! now tell me (for thou canst)
A tale—a pretty tale—and heed thou not,
Though it be rife with woe. It answers me.
It speaks of sunken eyes, and wasted cheeks,
And Beauty long deceased; remembers me
Of Joy departed—Hope, the Seraph Hope,
Inurned and entombed; now, in a tone
Low, sad, and solemn, but most audible,
Whispers of early grave untimely yawning
For ruined maid. Fair mirror and true! — thou

liest not!
Thou hast no end to gain, no heart to break;

Castiglione lied who said he loved

Thou true, he false !—false !—false!

[While she speaks, a Monk enters her apartment, and approaches unobserved.

Monk. Refuge thou hast, Sweet daughter, in heaven! Think of eternal things! Give up thy soul to penitence, and pray!

Lat. (arising hurriedly). I cannot pray !—My soul is at war with God! The frightful sounds of merriment below Disturb my senses. Go, I cannot pray! The sweet airs from the garden worry me! Thy presence grieves me — go! thy priestly raiment

a

Fills me with dread, thy ebony crucifix
With horror and awe!

Monk. Think of thy precious soul!

Lal. Think of my early days !—think of my father And mother in heaven !—think of our quiet home, And the rivulet that ran before the door !— Think of my little sisters—think of them! And think of me !—think of my trusting love And confidence—his vows—my ruin !—think, think

Of my unspeakable misery! Begone!

Yet, stay !—yet, stay! What was it thou saidst of

prayer And penitence? Didst thou not speak of faith And vows before the throne?

Monk. I did.

Lal. Tis well.

There is a vow were fitting should be made—
A sacred vow, imperative and urgent,—
A solemn vow!

Monk. Daughter, this zeal is well!

Lal. Father, this zeal is anything but well!
Hast thou a crucifix fit for this thing ?—
A crucifix whereon to register

This sacred vow? [He hands her his own.

Not that! Oh, no! no! no!— {Shuddering)
Not that!—not that! I tell thee, holy man,
Thy raiments and thy ebony cross affright me!
Stand back! I have a crucifix myself—
I have a crucifix! Methinks 'twere fitting
The deed—the vow—the symbol of the deed,
And the deed's register, should tally, father!

[Draws a cross-handled dagger, and raises it
on high.
Behold the cross wherewith a vow like mine
Is written in heaven!

Monk. Thy words are madness, daughter, And speak a purpose unholy; thy lips are livid— Thine eyes are wild; tempt not the wrath divine! Pause, ere too late! Oh, be not—be not rash! Swear not the oath—oh, swear it not!

Lal. Tis sworn!

III.

An Apartment in a Palace.—Politian and Baldazzar.

Baldazzar. Arouse thee now, Politian! Thou must not—nay, indeed, indeed, thou shalt not Give way unto these humours. Be thyself! Shake off the idle fancies that beset thee, And live, for now thou diest!

Politian. Not so, Baldazzar!

Surely I live.

Bal. Politian, it doth grieve me

To see thee thus.

Pol. Baldazzar, it doth grieve me

To give thee cause for grief, my honoured friend.
Command me, sir! What wouldst thou have me do?
At thy behest I will shake off that nature
Which from my forefathers I did inherit,
Which with my mother's milk I did imbibe,
And be no more Politian, but some other.
Command me, sir!

Bal. To the field, then—to the field;

To the senate or the field.

Pol. Alas! alas!

There is an imp would follow me even there!
There is an imp hath followed me even there!
There is what voice was that?

Bal. I heard it not.

I heard not any voice except thine own,
And the echo of thine own.

Pol. Then I but dreamed.

Bal. Give not thy soul to dreams: the camp— the court Befit thee—Fame awaits thee—Glory calls; And her, the trumpet-tongued, thou wilt not hear In hearkening to imaginary sounds And phantom voices.

Pol. It is a phantom voice!

Didst thou not hear it then?

Bal. I heard it not.

Pol. Thou heardst it not! Baldazzar, speak no more

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