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The SCENE continues. *
Enter a SERVANT.
Anna. Let me look on them. Ha! here is a heart,
First Serv. You say so, Sir!
Enter LADY RANDOLPH and ANNA. Anna. Summon your utmost fortitude, before * I have seen this play performed when the Scene in this Act was 3 HALL within the Castle.' It gave a variety, and had, I thought, a pleasing effect.
+ See Jane Sbore, the beginning of Act II. p. 119.
You speak with him. Your dignity, your fame,
Think of the fatal secret,
Lady Rand. Thou shalt behold me with a desperate Hear how my infant perish'd. See he kneels. [heart,
[The Prisoner kneels. Pris. Heav'n bless that countenance, so sweet and A judge like thee makes innocence more bold. (mild! O save me, lady! from these cruel men, Who have attack'd and seiz'd me; who accuse Me of intended murder. As I hope For mercy at the judgment seat of God,* "The tender lamb, that never nipt the grass, Is not more innocent than I of murder. Lady Rand. Of this man's guilt what proof can ye
produce? First Sero. We found him lurking in the hollow glynn. When view'd and call’d upon, amaz’d, he fled. We overtook him, and enquir'd from whence And what he was: he said he came from far, And was upon his journey to the camp. Not satisfied with this, we search'd his cloathes, And found these jewels; whose rich value plead Most powerfully against him. Hard he seems And old in villany. Permit us try His stubbornness against the torture's force.
Pris. O gentle lady! 'gainst your lord's dear life These feeble hands no foul attempt have made. As you do wish
children's welfare, spare My age! tear not with iron my ancient joints, Nor my grey hairs bring to the grave with pain.+
Lady Rand. Account for these: thine own they cannot For these, I say: be stedfast to the truth; [be. Detected falsehood is most certain death.
[Anna removes the Seroants and returns.
* The 12mo. reads Heav'n. * “ Then shall ye bring down my grey bairs with sorrow to the grave.”
Genesis XLII. 38. This scene bears a very strong resemblance to that between Edipus and the Old Shepherd, in the @dipus Tyrannus of Sophocles, A. IV.
Pris., Alas! I'm sore beset! let never man,
Pris. Then, thus adjurd, I'll speak to you as just
Some eighteen years ayo, I rented land
Lady Rand. Was he alive?
Lady Rand. Inhuman that thou art?
Pris. I am not so inhuman. Lady Rand. Didst thou not? Anna. My noble mistress, you are mov'd too much: This man has not the aspect of stern murder; Let him go on, and you, I hope, will hear Good tidings of your kinsman's long lost child.
Pris. The needy man, who has known better days,
their hands and wonder who could do them.
Lady Rand. Ha! dost thou say so? Then, perhaps,
Pris. I did not say he died; I hope he lives. [lately? Not many days ago
Lady Rand. Where is he now?
Lady Rand. Fearful perplexity! Thou riddler, speak Direct and clear; else I will search thy soul.
Anna. Permit me, ever honour'd! Keen impatience, ( Tho' hard to be restrain’d, defeats itself.'
Lady Rand. Pursue thy story, with a faithful tongue, To the last hour that thou didst keep the child.+
Pris. Fear not my faith, tho' I must speak my shame. Within the cradle, where the infant lay, Was stow'd a mighty store of gold and jewels; Tempted by which we did resolve to hide, From all the world, this wonderful event, And like a peasant breed the noble child. That none might mark the change of our estate, We left the country, travellid to the north,
* The 12mo, reads-01 heavenly Pow'r ! + Tbe 8vo, edit, gives these two lines to Anna.
Bought flocks and herds, and gradually brought forth
Ánna. Alas! But human ignorance should speak
Pris. Most true.
Pris. The stranger sole remain'd
Lady Rand. Eternal Providence! What is thy name?
Lady Rand. 'Tis he: 'tis he himself! It is my son! O sovereign mercy! 'Twas my child I saw! No wonder, Anna, that my bosom burn'd.. Anna. Just are your transports: 'ne'er was woman's
heart Prov'd with such high events, such fierce extremes.' But yet remember that you are beheld By servile eyes; your gestures may be seen Impassion'd, strange; perhaps your words o'erheard.
Lady Rand. Well dost thou counsel, Anna: Heaven On me that wisdom which my state requires ! (bestow
* See before, p. 279. Note * + " With the holy thou shalt be holy: and with a perfect man “ thou shalt be perfect. With the clean thou shalt be clean : and “ with the froward thou shalt learn frowardness." Psalm xxv. 25, 26.