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Alb. How, sir?

Car. I do not like your visits;


And, to remove the cause, my daughter is
Already, sir, dispos'd to one above

A Room in DoN RAMYRES' House.

Your birth and fortune; so, [sir,] fare you well! Enter RAMYRES reading a paper, FRANCISCO, and You understand; now laugh and pick your

a Notary.

teeth. Daughter

Alb. Did you hear this, Luys?
Luys. Ay, the old man raves.
Alb. Must not frequent his house!

Luys. Would 'twere in a flame, so his money
and I were out on't.

Alb. But thy sister

Luys. Would be refin'd i' the fire; let her burn too.

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Ram. 'Tis most exactly done, and firm.
Nota. I could,

Omitting or inserting but a word,

Or particle, trouble the whole conveyance,
And make work for the law till doomsday; but—
Fran. Is't possible?

Nota. You do not know the quirks of a serivano.
A dash undoes a family,-a point,
An artificial accent i' the wrong place,
Shall poison an estate, translate your land
In Spain now, into either of both Indies,
In less time than our galleons of plate
Are sailing hither; but you are my friend
And noble benefactor.

Ram. There is more

For your reward.

[Gives him money. Nota. I humbly thank you, signior; su criado. Fran. Farewell.

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Enter a Servant.

Thrive in the application.-What now?
Ser. Oh, sir, I am sent for the confessor,
The doctor fears him much. Your brother says
You must have patience, and not enter, sir:
Your father is a going, good old man,

And, having made him heir, is loath your presence
Should interrupt his journey.


Fer. Francisco may be honest, yet, methinks, It would become his love to interpose For my access at such a needful hour, And mediate for my blessing, not assist Unkindly thus my banishment. I'll not Be lost so tamely. Shall my father die And not Fernando take his leave?-I dare not.If thou dost hope I should take off this curse, Do not approach until I send-'twas so, And 'tis a law that binds above my blood.

Re-enter Servant with a Confessor.

Make haste, good father, and if Heaven deny
Him life, let not his charity die too.
One curse may sink us both: say how I kneel
And beg he would bequeath me but his blessing;
Then, though Francisco be his heir, I shall
Live happy, and take comfort in my tears,
When I remember him, so kind a father.
Conf. It is my duty.

Fer. Do your holy office.

Those fond philosophers that magnify
Our human nature, and did boast we had
Such a prerogative in our rational soul,
Convers'd but little with the world; confined
To cells and unfrequented woods, they knew not
The fierce vexation of community,
Else they had taught our reason is our loss,
And but a privilege that exceedeth sense,
By nearer apprehension of what wounds,
To know ourselves most miserable.-My heart


Re-enter Physician and FRANCISCO.

Is teeming with new fears.-Ha! is he dead?
Phys. Not dead, but in a desperate condition;
And so that little breath remains we have
Remitted to his confessor, whose office
Is all that's left.

Fran. Is there no hope of life left, then? Phys. None.

Fer. Is he not merciful to Fernando yet? No talk of me?

Phys. I find he takes no pleasure To hear you nam'd: Francisco, to us all, He did confirm his heir, with many blessings. Fer. And not one left for me! Oh, take me in, Thou gentle earth, and let me creep through all Thy dark and hollow crannies, till I find Another way to come into the world, For all the air I breathe in here is poison'd. Fran. We must have patience, brother; it

was no

Ambitious thought of mine to supplant you:
He may live yet, and you be reconciled.

Fer. That was some kindness yet, Francisco: but

I charge thee by the nearness of our blood,
When I am made this mockery, and wonder,

And know not where to find out charity,
If unawares a chance direct my weary
And wither'd feet to some fair house of thine,
Where plenty with full blessings crowns thy

If my thin face betray my want of food,
Do not despise me, 'cause I was thy brother.-
Fran. Leave these imagined horrors: I must

Live when my brother is thus miserable.

Re-enter Confessor.

Fer. There's something in that face looks comfortably.

Conf. Your father, sir, is dead; his will to make

Francisco the sole master of his fortunes
Is now irrevocable; a small pension

He hath given you for life, which, with his blessing,

Is all the benefit I bring.
Fer. Ha! blessing!

Speak it again, good father.

Conf. I did apply some lenitives to soften His anger, and prevail'd; your father hath Revers'd that heavy censure of his curse, And in the place bequeath'd his prayer and


Fer. I am new created by his charity.
Conf. Some ceremonies are behind: he did
Desire to be interr'd within our convent,
And left his sepulture to me; I am confident
Your pieties will give me leave-

Fran. His will in all things I obey, and yours,
Most reverend father; order, as you please,
His body; we may after celebrate,
With all due obsequies, his funeral.

Fer. Why you alone obey? I am your brother, My father's eldest son, though not his heir. Fran. It pleas'd my father, sir, to think me worthy

Of such a title; you shall find me kind,
If you can look on matters without envy.
Fer. If I can look on matters without envy!
Fran. You may live here still.
Fer. I may live here, Francisco!

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Jac. 'Tis strange.

Estef. Your stars smile on you.

Jac. Yet I much pity the poor gentleman. Estef. Busy your thought about your own; Francisco

Jac. Hath promis'd not to fail?

Estef. He waits where he can easily observe How soon the coast is clear, to visit you.

Jac. So, so: thus hooded,

The day cannot distinguish our two faces,
And, for your voice, you know how to disguise it,
By imitation of my cold and hoarseness;
And when you come to church-

Estef. Let me alone; there I'll produce the contract,

Which will surprise Don Pedro and your father To see me challenge him. I have prepar'd the priest, too,

Whose holy eloquence may assist; however, This will give you opportunity to perfect Your wishes with your servant; put the rest To fate, Jacinta.

Jac. I hear some approach;

Retire into my closet.


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Fernando love thee, he is a gentleman, Confirm'd in all that's honourable, and cannot Forget whom his own virtue hath made choice To shine upon.

Fel. Unless my innocence,

Apt to believe a flattering tongue, see not
The serpent couch, and hide his speckled breast
Among the flowers: but it were sin to think
He can dissemble, father; and I know not,
Since I was first the object of his charity,
I find a pious gratitude disperse
Within my soul, and every thought of him
Engenders a warm sigh within me, which,
Like curls of holy incense, overtake
Each other in my bosom, and enlarge
With their embrace his sweet remembrance.
Theo. Cherish

Those thoughts; and where such noble worth Be bold to call it love. [invites,

Fel. It is too much

Ambition to hope he should be just
To me, or keep his honour, when I look on
The pale complexion of my wants; and yet,
Unless he love me dearly, I am lost,
And, if he have but mock'd me into faith,
He might as well have murder'd me, for I
Shall have no heart to live, if his neglect
Deface what my affection printed there.

Theo. There is no fear of his revolt: lose not
His character. I must attend some business;
If Don Fernando visit thee, preserve
His fair opinion, and thou may'st live
Above thy uncle's pity.

Fel. Will you leave me?

Theo. My stay shall not be long. The garden will With smiling flowers encourage thee to walk, And raise thy drooping eyes with hope to see A spring like theirs upon thee. [Exit.

Fel. Why should I

Give any entertainment to my fears?
Suspicions are but like the shape of clouds,
And idle forms i' the air, we make to fright us.
I will admit no jealous thought to wound
Fernando's truth, but with that cheerfulness,
My own first clear intents to honour him
Can arm me with, expect to meet his faith
As noble as he promis'd.-Ha! 'tis he.


My poor heart trembles like a timorous leaf, Which the wind shakes upon his sickly stalk, And frights into a palsy.

Fer. Felisarda!

Fel. Shall I want fortitude to bid him welcome?


Sir, if you think there is a heart alive
That can be grateful, and with humble thought
And prayers reward your piety, despise not
The offer of it here; you have not cast
Your bounty on a rock: while the seeds thrive
Where you did place your charity, my joy
May seem ill-dress'd to come like sorrow thus;
But you may see through every tear, and find
My eyes meant innocence, and your hearty wel-


Fer. Who did prepare thee, Felisarda, thus To entertain me weeping? Sure our souls Meet and converse, and we not know't; there is Such beauty in that watery circle, I

Am fearful to come near, and breathe a kiss
Upon thy cheek, lest I pollute that crystal;
And yet I must salute thee, and I dare,
With one warm sigh, meet and dry up this

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That should preserve your bosom suffer for
My sake, 'twere better I were dead.
Fer. No, live,

And live for ever happy: thou deservedst it.
It is Fernando doth make haste to sleep
In his forgotten dust.

Fel. Those accents did
Not sound so cheerfully.
Fer. Dost love me?
Fel. Sir?

Fer. Do not, I pr'ythee, do not; I am lost, Alas! I am no more Fernando, there Is nothing but the empty name of him That did betray thee; place a guard about Thy heart betime; I am not worth this sweetness. Fel. Did not Fernando speak all this? Alas, He knew that I was poor before, and needed not Despise me now for that.

Fer. Desert me goodness,

When I upbraid thy wants. 'Tis I am poor, For I have not a stock in all the world

Of so much dust as would contrive one narrow Cabin to shroud a worm: my dying father Hath given away my birthright to Francisco; I'm disinherited, thrown out of all,

But the small earth I borrow, thus to walk on; And having nothing left, I come to kiss thee, And take my everlasting leave of thee too. Farewell! this will persuade thee to consent To my eternal absence.

Fel. I must beseech you stay a little, sir, And clear my faith. Hath your displeased father Depriv'd you then of all, and made Francisco The lord of your inheritance, without hope To be repair'd in fortune?

Fer. "Tis sad truth.'

Fel. This is a happiness I did not look for.
Fer. A happiness!

Fel. Yes, sir, a happiness.

Fer. Can Felisarda take delight to hear What hath undone her servant?

Fel. Heaven avert it.

But 'tis not worth my grief to be assured
That this will bring me nearer now to him
Whom I most honour of the world; and 'tis
My pride, if you exceed me not in fortune,
That I can boast my heart, as high and rich,
With noble flame, and every way your equal.
And if you be as poor as I, Fernando,
I can deserve you now, and love you more
Than when your expectation carried all
The pride and blossoms of the spring upon it.
Fer. Those shadows will not feed more than
your fancies;

Two poverties will keep but a thin table;
And while we dream of this high nourishment,
We do but starve more gloriously.

Fel. 'Tis ease

And wealth first taught us art to surfeit by: Nature is wise, not costly, and will spread A table for us in the wilderness;

And the kind earth keep us alive and healthful,
With what her bosom doth invite us to;
The brooks, not there suspected, as the wine
That sometime princes quaff, are all transparent,
And with their pretty murmurs call to taste them.
In every tree a chorister to sing
Health to our loves; our lives shall there be free
As the first knowledge was from sin, and all
Our dreams as innocent.

Fer. Oh, Felisarda!

If thou didst own less virtue I might prove Unkind, and marry thee: but being so rich

1'Tis sad truth. Had Fernando forgotten that a pension was left him by his father?-See p. 641.

In goodness, it becomes me not to bring
One that is poor in every worth, to waste
So excellent a dower: be free, and meet
One that hath wealth to cherish it; I shall
Undo thee quite; but pray for me, as I,
That thou mayst change for a more happy bride-

I dare as soon be guilty of my death,
As make thee miserable by expecting me.
Farewell! and do not wrong my soul, to think
That any storm could separate us two,
But that I have no fortune now to serve thee.
Fel. This will be no exception, sir, I hope,
When we are both dead, yet our bodies may
Be cold, and strangers in the winding-sheet,"
We shall be married when our spirits meet.


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