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Into such shapes, they fright me from myself;
Nurse. Madam, the gentleman's below.
This ring was the first present of my love
It must be so; he's dead, and this ring left,
That's all I have to trust to
Enter BIRON. [ISABELLA looking at him.]
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.
Bir. Have you forgot me quite?
Isa. Forgot you!
Bir. Then farewell my disguise, and my misfortunes: My Isabella! [He goes to her; she shrieks, and faints.
Bir. Oh, come again!
Thy Biron summons thee to life and love;
Isa. My husband! Biron!
Bir. Excess of love and joy, for my return,
-I was to blame
Has overpowered her-
Isa. Where have I been? why do you keep him from me? I know his voice: my life, upon the wing,
Hears the soft lute that brings me back again,
If I must fall, death's welcome in these arms.
Bir. Live ever in these arms.
Isa. But pardon me,
Excuse the wild disorder of my soul;
The joy, the strange, surprising joy, of seeing you,
Of seeing you again, distracted me
What hand of Providence has brought you back
To your own home again?
O, 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
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;
Without redemption; given up my child,
Isa. My life! but to have heard
You were alive
Bir. No more, my love; complaining of the past,
Isa. Would I were past the hearing!
Bir. How does my child, my boy, my father, too? I hear he's living still.
Isa. 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 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.
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.
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
Isa. I have obeyed your pleasure; Every thing is ready for you.
Bir. I can want nothing here: possessing thee, 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;
Isa. I'll but say my prayers, and follow you
My prayers! no, I must never pray again. [Exit BIROn.
O Biron, hadst thou come but one day sooner! [Weeping.
Works the right way to rid me of them all;
But keep me warm-no matter what can come.
BIRON meets her.
Bir. Despair and rest forever! Isabella,
Isa. I am contented to be miserable,
But not this way: I've been too long abused,
And can believe no more.
Let me sleep on, to be deceived no more.
Bir. Look up, my love, I never did deceive thee,
Nor ever can; believe thyself, thy eyes,
Those stars, that still must guide me to my joys.