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TO Wi To En TH Yo In
Be Th Th
I will awake a higher sense, a love
Tan. Siffredi !
Sif. Tancred, thou !
Tan. Manfred my father !-1 the last support
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my Thou shalt direct my inexperienced years, Shalt be the ruling head, and I the hand.
Sif. It is enough for me--to see my sovereign Assert his virtues, and maintain his honour.
Tan. I think, my lord, you said the king committed To you his will. I hope it is not clogg d With
any base conditions, any clause, To tyrannise my heart, and to Constantia Enslave my hand devoted to another. The hint you just now gave of that alliance, You must imagine, wakes my fear. But know, In this alone I will not bear dispute, Not even from thee, Siffredi !-Let the council Be straight assembled, and the will there opened : Thence issue speedy orders to convene, This day, ere noon, the senate; where those barons Who now are in Palermo will attend, To pay their ready homage to the king.
Sif. I go, my liege. But once again permit me To tell you—Now, now is the trying crisis, That must determine of your future reign. 0, with heroic rigour watch your heart! Aud, to the sovereign duties of the king, Th' unequalled pleasures of a god on earth, Submit the common joys, the common passions, Nay, even the virtues of the private man.
Tan. Of that no more. They not oppose, but aid, Invigorate, cherish, and reward each other,
[Exit SIFFREDI. Now, generous Sigismunda, comes my turn To show my love was not of thine unworthy, When fortune bade me blush to look to thee. But what is fortune to the wish of love? A miserable bankrupt ! Quick, let me find her! taste that highest joy, Th’exalted heart can know, the mix'd effusion Of gratitude and love. Behold, she comes.
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My fluttering soul was all on wing to find thee,
Sig. O, my Tancred!
Tan. It means that we are happy!
Sig. You but perplex me more.
Tan. It means, my fairest,
throne. Manfred, who fell by tyrant William's rage, Was my father.
Sig. Royal Tancred,
Tan. I should hate it then !
Sig. Your heart, I know, disdains the little thought
Of circumstance and fortune.
power and interest to your throne, demands Your royal hand-Perhaps Constantia
Tán. She! 0, name her not! Were I this moment free, And disengaged, as he who never sigh'd For matchless worth like thine, I should abhor All thoughts of that alliance. Her fell father Most basely murder'd mine.And canst thou deem me then so poorly tame, So cool a traitor to my father's blood, As from the prudent cowardice of state E'er to submit to such a base proposal ? They, whom just Heaven has to a throne exalted, To guard the rights and liberties of others, What duty binds them to betray their own? For me, my free-born heart shall bear no dictates But those of truth and honour; wear no chains, But the dear chains of love, and Sigismunda !
Sig. Cease, cease to raise my hopes above my duty. Charm me no more, my Tancred !-0, that we In those blest woods, where first you won my soul, Had pass'd our gentle days; far from the toil And pomp of courts ! 'Tis all in vain-you cannot hush a voice That murmurs here-I must not be persuaded Tan. [Kneeling.] Hear me, thou soul of all my
hopes and wishes !
faith to Sigismunda !
Thy delicate objections [Writes his name]-take this
ACT THE SECOND.
Sif. So far 'tis well.—The late king's will proceeds