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But hold him up in life, and cheer his soul
Luc. No, Portius, no; I see thy sister's tears,
recall Those hasty words, or I am lost for ever.
Luc. Has not the vow already pass'd my lips ? The gods have heard it, and 'tis seal'd in Heav’n. May all the vengeance that was ever pour'd On perjur'd heads o'erwhelm me, if I break it.
Por. Fix'd in astonishment, I gaze upon thee, Like one just blasted by a stroke from Heav'n, Who pants for breath, and stiffens, yet alive, In dreadful looks; a monument of wrath!
“ Luc. At length I've acted my severest part, “ I feel the woman breaking in upon me, “ And melt about my heart; my tears will flow. “ But, oh, I'll think no more! the hand of fate “ Has torn thee from me, and I must forget thee. " Por. Hard-hearted, cruel maid I
“ Luc. Oh, stop those sounds, “ Those killing sounds! Why dost thou frown upon
me? “ My blood runs cold, my heart forgets to heave, “ And life itself goes out at thy displeasure. “ The gods forbid us to indulge our loves; “ But, oh! I cannot bear thy hate, and live. " Por. Talk not of love, thou never knew'st its
"force. “ I've been deluded, led into a dream « Of fancy'd bliss. Oh, Lucia, cruel maid ! “ Thy dreadful vow, loaden with death, still sounds “ In my stunn'd ears. What shall I say or do? " Quick let us part! Perdition's in thy presence, “ And horror dwells about thee! Hal she faints ! “ Wretch that I am, what has my rashness done! “ Lucia, thou injur'd innocence! thou best « And loveliest of thy sex. I awake, my Lucia, “ Or Portius rushes on his sword to join thee. “-Her imprecations reach not to the tomb, “ They shut not out society in death6 But ah! she moves, life wanders up and down “ Through all her face, and lights up ev'ry charm.
“ Luc. Oh, Portius was this well--to frown on her " that lives upon thy smiles ? To call in doubt 's The faith of one expiring at thy feet, '" That loves thee more than ever woman lov'd ? “ – What do I say? My half-recover'd sense " Forgets the vow in which my soul was bound. “ Destruction stands betwixt us; we must part.
“ Por. Name not the word, my frighted thoughts
run back, “ And startle into madness at the sound. Luc. “ What wouldst thou have me do? Consider
well " The train of ills our love would draw behind it.” Think, Portius, think thou seest thy dying brother Stabb'd at his heart, and all besmear'd with blood, Storming at Heav'n and thee! Thy awful sire Sternly demands the cause, th' accursed cause That robs him of his son : poor Marcia trembles, Then tears her hair, and frantic in her griefs, Calls out on Lucia. What could Lucia answer, Or how stand up in such a scene of sorrow?
Por. To my confusion, and eternal grief, I must approve the sentence that destroys me. “ The mist that hung upon my mind, clears up; " And now, athwart the terrors that thy vow “ Has planted round thee, thou appear'st most fair, " More amiable, and risest in thy charms. “ Loveliest of women! Heav'n is in thy soul; “ Beauty and virtue shine for ever round thee, “ Bright’ning each other: thou art all divine." Luc. Portius, no more; thy words shoot thro' my
• heart, Melt my resolves, and turn me all to love. Why are those tears of fondness in thy eyes? Why heaves thy heart? Why swells thy soul with sorrow?
It softens me too much- farewell, my Portius;
Por. Stay, Lucia, stay? What dost thou say? Forever?
Luc. Have I not sworn? If, Portius, thy success
Por. “ Thus o'er the dying lamp th’unsteady flame “ Hangs quiv'ring on a point, leaps oft by fits, “ And falls again, as loth to quit its hold." - Thou must not go, my soul still hovers o'er thee, And can't get loose.
Luc. If the firm Portius shake
Por. 'Tis true, unruffled and serene, I've met
Luc. What dost thou say? Not part!
But see, thy brother Marcus bends this way : I sicken at the sight. Once more, farewell, Farewell, and know thou wrong'st me, if thou think'st Ever was love, or ever grief like mine. [Exit Lucia.
Por. What wouldst thou have me say ?
Por. I've reason.
Por. I'm griev'd I undertook it.
Por. Away, you're too suspicious in your griefs; Lucia, though sworn never to think of love, Compassionates your pains, and pities you.
Marc. Compassionates my pains, and pities me! What is compassion, when 'tis void of love ? Fool that I was to choose so cold a friend To urge my cause? - Compassionates my pains ! Prythee, what art, what rhet’ric didst thou use To gain this mighty boon ?-She pities me! To one that asks the warm returns of love, Compassion's cruelty, 'tis scorn, 'tis death Por. Marcus, no more; have I desery'd this treat
ment? Marc. What have I said! Oh, Portius, oh forgive
me! A soul exasperated in ills fall out