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CONSTANCE.

Oh! thou wilt yet relent, for woman's heart
Was formed to suffer and to melt.

VITTORIA.

Away! Why should I pity thee?- Thou wilt but prove What I have known before-and yet I live! Nature is strong, and it may all be borneThe sick impatient yearning of the heart For that which is not; and the weary sense Of the dull void, wherewith our homes have been Circled by death ; yes, all things may be borne ! All, save remorse.—But I will not bow down My spirit to that dark power :—there was no guilt! Anselmo ! wherefore didst thou talk of guilt ?

ANSELMO.

Aye, thus doth sensitive conscience quicken thought,
Lending reproachful voices to a breeze,
Keen lightning to a look.

VITTORIA.

Leave me in peace!
Is 't not enough that I should have a sense
Of things thou canst not see, all wild and dark,
And of unearthly whispers, haunting me

With dread suggestions, but that thy cold words,
Old man, should gall me too ?--Must all conspire
Against me ?--Oh! thou beautiful spirit! wont
To shine upon my dreams with looks of love,
Where art thou vanish'd ?-Was it not the thought
Of thee which urged me to the fearful task,
And wilt thou now forsake me?-I must seek
The shadowy woods again, for there, perchance,
Still may thy voice be in my twilight-paths;
-Here I but meet despair!

[Exit VITTORIA. ANSELMO (to CONSTANCE).

Despair not thou,
My daughter !—he that purifies the heart
With grief, will lend it strength.
CONSTANCE (endeavouring to rouse herself).

Did she not say
That some one was to die?

ANSELMO.

I tell thee not
Thy pangs are vain—for nature will have way.
Earth must have tears; yet in a heart like thine,
Faith may not yield its place.

CONSTANCE.

Blood on my

Have I not heard Some fearful tale ?--Who said, that there should rest

soul ?-What blood ?-I never bore Hatred, kind father, urto aught that breathes; Raimond doth know it well.–Raimond !-High heaven, It bursts upon me now!-and he must die ! For my sake-e'en for mine!

ANSELMO.

Her words were strange, And her proud mind seem'd half to frenzy wrought-Perchance this may not be.

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To give their stern and unrelenting hearts
A victim in his stead.

ANSELMO.

Stay! wouldst thou rush

On certain death?

CONSTANCE.

I may not falter now,
-Is not the life of woman all bound up
In her affections - What hath she to do
In this bleak world alone?-It may be well
For man on his triumphal course to move,
Uncumber'd by soft bonds; but we were born
For love and grief.

ANSELMO.

Thou fair and gentle thing,
Unused to meet a glance which doth not speak
Of tenderness or homage! how shouldst thou
Bear the hard aspect of unpitying men,
Or face the king of terrors?

CONSTANCE.

There is strength
Deep bedded in our hearts, of which we reck
But little, till the shafts of Heaven have pierced
Its fragile dwelling.-Must not earth be rent
Before her gems are found ?-Oh! now I feel
Worthy the generous love which hath not shunn'd
To look on death for me !-My heart hath given
Birth to as deep a courage, and a faith
As high in its devotion.

[Exit CONSTANCE.

ANSELMO.

She is gone!
Is it to perish?—God of mercy ! lend
Power to my voice, that so its prayer may save
This

pure and lofty creature !—I will follow-
But her young footstep and heroic heart
Will bear her to destruction faster far
Than I can track her path.

[Exit ANSELMO.

SCENE III.-Hall of a Public Building.

Procida, MONTALBA, Guido, and others, seated as on a

Tribunal.

PROCIDA.

The morn lower'd darkly, but the sun hath now,
With fierce and angry splendour, through the clouds
Burst forth, as if impatient to behold
This, our high triumph.—Lead the prisoner in.

(Raimond is brought in fettered and guarded.)

Why, what a bright and fearless brow is here!

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