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PROCIDA.

Was 't you, Montalba?-Now rejoice! I say.
There is no name so near you that its stains
Should call the fever'd and indignant blood
To your dark cheek !-But I will dash to earth
The weight that presses on my heart, and then
Be glad as thou art.

MONTALBA.

What means this, my lord ? Who hath seen gladness on Montalba's mien ?

PROCIDA.

Why, should not all be glad who have no sons
To tarnish their bright name?

MONTALBA.

I am not used

To bear with mockery.

PROCIDA.

Friend! By yon high heaven, I mock thee not !—'tis a proud fate, to live Alone and unallied.—Why, what 's alone? A word whose sense is—free !—Aye, free from all The venom'd stings implanted in the heart By those it loves.-Oh! I could laugh to think O'th' joy that riots in baronial halls,

When the word comes_"A son is born !”-A son !

- They should say thus—“ He that shall knit your brow
To furrows, not of years; and bid your eye
Quail its proud glance; to tell the earth its shame,
Is born, and so, rejoice!”Then might we feast,
And know the cause :- - Were it not excellent ?

MONTALBA.

This is all idle. There are deeds to do ;
Arouse thee, Procida!

PROCIDA.

Why, am I not
Calm as immortal justice ?-She can strike,
And
yet

be passionless—and thus will I.
I know thy meaning.--Deeds to do !—'tis well.
They shall be done ere thought on.-Go ye forth;
There is a youth who calls himself my son,
His name is Raimond—in his eye is light
That shows like truth—but be not ye deceived !
Bear him in chains before us. We will sit
To-day in judgment, and the skies shall see
The strength which girds our nature.—Will not this
Be glorious, brave Montalba ?-Linger not,
Ye tardy messengers ! for there are things

Which ask the speed of storms.

[Exeunt GUIDO and others.

Is not this well ?

MONTALBA.

'Tis noble. Keep thy spirit to this proud height,

(Aside.) And then-be desolate like me!--my woes Will at the thought grow light.

PROCIDA.

What now remains
To be prepared ?-There should be solemn pomp
To grace a day like this.—Aye, breaking hearts
Require a drapery to conceal their throbs
From cold inquiring eyes; and it must be
Ample and rich, that so their gaze may not
Explore what lies beneath.

[Exit PROCIDA.

MONTALBA.

Now this is well ! -I hate this Procida ; for he hath won In all our councils that ascendancy And mastery o'er bold hearts, which should have been Mine by a thousand claims.—Had he the strength Of wrongs like mine?-No! for that name-his country

He strikes-my vengeance hath a deeper fount :
But there's dark joy in this - And fate hath barr'd
My soul from every other.

[Exit MONTALBA.

Scene JI.—A Hermitage, surrounded by the Ruins of

an ancient Temple.

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'Tis strange he comes not !-Is not this the still
And sultry hour of noon ?-He should have been
Here by the day-break.-Was there not a voice ?

“No! 'tis the shrill Cicada, with glad life
Peopling these marble ruins, as it sports
Amidst them, in the sun.-Hark! yet again!"
No! no !-Forgive me, father! that I bring
Earth’s restless griefs and passions to disturb
The stillness of thy holy solitude;
My heart is full of care.

ANSELMO.
There is no place

So hallow'd, as to be unvisited
By mortal cares. Nay, whither should we go,
With our deep griefs and passions, but to scenes
Lonely and still ; where he that made our hearts
Will speak to them in whispers ? I have known
Affliction too, my daughter.

CONSTANCE.

Hark! his step! I know it well—he comes—my Raimond, welcome!

VITTORIA enters, CONSTANCE shrinks back on per

ceiving her.

Oh heaven! that aspect tells a fearful tale.

VITTORIA (not observing her).
There is a cloud of horror on my soul;
And on thy words, Anselmo, peace doth wait,
Even as an echo, following the sweet close
Of some divine and solemn harmony :
Therefore I sought thee now. Oh! speak to me
Of holy things, and names, in whose deep sound
Is power to bid the tempests of the heart
Sink, like a storm rebuked.

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