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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 !

--Is this man guilty ?-Look on him, Montalba !

MONTALBA.

Be firm. Should justice falter at a look ?

PROCIDA.

No, thou say'st well. Her eyes are filleted,
Or should be so. Thou, that dost call thyself-
-But no! I will not breathe a traitor's name-
Speak! thou art arraign'd of treason.

RAIMOND.

I arraign You, before whom I stand, of darker guilt, In the bright face of heaven ; and your own hearts Give echo to the charge. Your very looks Have ta’en the stamp of crime, and seem to shrink, With a perturb’d and haggard wildness, back From the too-searching light.—Why, what hath wrought This change on noble brows?—There is a voice, With a deep answer, rising from the blood Your hands have coldly shed !-Ye are of those From whom just men recoil, with curdling veins, All thrill'd by life's abhorrent consciousness, And sensitive feeling of a murderer's presence. -Away! come down from your tribunal-seat, Put off your robes of state, and let your mien

Be pale and humbled; for ye bear about you
That which repugnant earth doth sicken at,
More than the pestilence.—That I should live
To see my father shrink !

PROCIDA.

Montalba, speak! There's something chokes my voice—but fear me not.

MONTALBA.

If we must plead to vindicate our acts,
Be it when thou hast made thine own look clear !
Most eloquent youth! What answer canst thou make
To this our charge of treason ?

RAIMOND.

I will plead That cause before a mightier judgment-throne, Where mercy is not guilt. But here, I feel Too buoyantly the glory and the joy Of my free spirit's whiteness; for e'en now Th' embodied hideousness of crime doth seem Before me glaring out.—Why, I saw thee, Thy foot upon an aged warrior's breast, Trampling our nature's last convulsive heavings. -And thouthy sword—Oh, valiant chief !—is yet Red from the noble stroke which pierced, at once,

A mother and the babe, whose little life
Was from her bosom drawn !Immortal deeds
For bards to hymn!

GUIDO (aside).

I look upon his mien,
And waver.-Can it be?-My boyish heart
Deem'd him so noble once !-Away, weak thoughts !
Why should I shrink, as if the guilt were mine,
From his proud glance ?

PROCIDA.

Oh, thou dissembler !thou,
So skill'd to clothe with virtue's generous flush
The hollow cheek of cold hypocrisy,
That, with thy guilt made manifest, I can scarce
Believe thee guilty !-look on me, and say
Whose was the secret warning voice, that saved
De Couci with his bands, to join our foes,
And forge new fetters for th' indignant land?
Whose was this treachery? (Shows him papers.)

Who hath promised here,
(Belike to appease the manès of the dead,)
At midnight to unfold Palermo's gates,
And welcome in the foe? Who hath done this.
But thou, a tyrant's friend?

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