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PROCIDA (exultingly).

Why, this is joy! After long conflict with the doubts and fears, And the poor subtleties of meaner minds, To meet a spirit, whose bold elastic wing Oppression hath not crush’d.—High-hearted youth! Thy father, should his footsteps e'er again Visit these shores

RAIMOND.

My father! what of him? Speak! was he known to thee?

PROCIDA.

In distant lands
With him I've traversed many a wild, and look'd
On many a danger; and the thought that thou
Wert smiling then in peace, a happy boy,
Oft through the storm hath cheer'd him.

RAIMOND,

Dost thou deem
That still he lives ?-Oh! if it be in chains,
In woe, in poverty's obscurest cell,
Say but he lives—and I will track his steps
E'en to the earth's verge!

PROCIDA,

It may be that he lives : Though long his name hath ceased to be a word Familiar in man's dwellings. But its sound May yet be heard !-Raimond di Procida, -Rememberest thou thy father ?

RAIMOND.

From my mind His form hath faded long, for years have pass'd Since he went forth to exile : but a vague, Yet powerful, image of deep majesty, Still dimly gathering round each thought of him, Doth claim instinctive reverence; and my

love For his inspiring name hath long become Part of my being.

PORCIDA.

Raimond ! doth no voice Speak to thy soul, and tell thee whose the arms That would enfold thee now ?-My son! my son !

RAIMOND.

Father !-Oh God S-my father ! Now I know
Why my heart woke before thee!

PROCIDA.

Oh! this hour

Makes hope, reality ; for thou art all
My dreams bad pictured thee!

RAIMOND.

Yet why so long, Ev'n as a stranger, hast thou cross'd my paths, One nameless and unknown ?--and yet I felt Each pulse within me thrilling to thy voice.

PROCIDA.

Because I would not link thy fate with mine,
Till I could hail the day-spring of that hope
Which now is gathering round us.—Listen, youth !
Thou hast told me of a subdued, and scorn'd,
And trampled land, whose very soul is bow'd
And fashion'd to her chains : but I tell thee
Of a most generous and devoted land,
A land of kindling energies; a land
Of glorious recollections !-proudly true
To the high memory of her ancient kings,
And rising, in majestic scorn, to cast
Her alien bondage off!

RAIMOND.

And where is this?

PROCIDA. Here, in our isle, our own fair Sicily!

Her spirit is awake, and moving on,
In its deep silence mightier, to regain
Her place amongst the nations; and the hour
Of that tremendous effort is at hand.

RAIMOND.

Can it be thus indeed ?--Thou pour’st new life
Through all my burning veins -I am as one
Awakening from a chill and death-like sleep
To the full glorious day.

PROCIDA.

Thou shalt hear more! Thou shalt hear things which would,—which will arouse The proud, free spirits of our ancestors E'en from their marble rest. Yet mark me well ! Be secret !—for along my destin’d path I yet must darkly move. Now, follow me; And join a band of men, in whose high hearts There lies a nation's strength.

RAIMOND.

My noble father! Thy words have given me all for which I pinedAn aim, a hope, a purpose ! - And the blood Doth rush in warmer currents through my veins,

As a bright fountain from its icy bonds
By the quick sun-stroke freed.

PROCIDA.

Aye, this is well ! Such natures burst men's chains !-Now, follow me.

[Exeunt.

END OF ACT THE FIRST.

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