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Of thy pretended meekness? This to me,
Glén. Thy virtue awes me. First of womankind !
Lady R. Reserve these accents for some other ear. To love's apology I listen not.
241 Mark thou my words; for it is meet thou shouldst. His brave deliverer Randolph here retains. Perhaps his presence may not please thee well; But, at thy peril, practice ought against him : Let not thy jealousy attempt to shake And loosen the good root he has in Randolph ; Whose favourites I know thou hast supplanted. Thou look'st at me, as if thou fain would'st pry Into my heart. 'Tis open as my speech. I give this early caution, and put on The curb, before thy temper breaks away.
The friendless stranger my protection claims :
Glen. Child that I was to start at my own shadow,
260 I should conclude there was an arm above That fought against me, and malignant turn'd, To catch myself, the subtle snare I set. Why, rape and murder are not simple means ! Th’imperfect rape to Randolph gave a spouse And the intended murder introduc'd A favourite to hide the sun from me ; And worst of all, a rival. Burning hell! This were thy center, if I thought she lov'd him! 'Tis certain she contemns me; nay, commands ine, And waves the flag of her displeasure o'er me, In his behalf. And shall I thus be bray'd ? Curb’d, as she calls it, by dame Chastity? Infernal fiends, if any fiends there are More fierce than hate, ambition or revenge, Rise up, and fill my bosom with your fires “And policy remorseless ? Chance may spoil " A single aim; but perseverance must
Prosper at last. For chance and fate are words: " Persistive wisdom is the fate of man."
280 Darkly a project peers upon my mind, Like the red moon when rising in the east,
Cross'd and divided by strange-colour'd clouds.
ACT III. SCENE 1.
A Couri, &c. as before. Enter ANNA.
Tuy vassals, grief, great nature's order break,
All knowledge of the crime. But this is not
Anna. Let me look on them. Ha! here is a heart,
Enter Servants with a Prisoner.
ist Ser. You say so, Sir!
Enter Lady RANDOLPH and ANNA. Anna. Summion your utmost fortitude, before You speak with him. Your dignity, your fame, Are now at stake. Think of the fatal secret, Which in a moment from your lips may fly. Lady R. Thou shalt behold me, with a desperate heart,
32 Hear how my infant perish’d. See, he kneels.
[The Prisoner kneels. Pris. Heav'n bless that countenance so sweet and
mild! A judge like thee makes innocence more bold. Oh, save me, lady! from these cruel men,
Who have attack'd and seiz'd me; who accuse
Pris. Oh, gentle lady! by your lord's dear life ; Which these weak hands, I swear, did ne'er assail ; And by your children's welfare spare my age ! Let not the iron tear my ancient joints, And my grey hairs bring to the grave with pain.
Lady R. Account for these; thine own they cannot be: For these, I say : be stedfast to the truth; Detected falshood is most certain death.
[Anna removes the servants and returns.] Pris. Alas! I'm sore beset! let never man, For sake of lucre, sin against his soul ! Eternal justice is in this most just! I, guiltless now, must former guilt reveal.