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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84

Enter Florestein

Enter Florestein.

Flo.

It is your lordship's nephew—I, who have been robbed.

Count.

Some folly of yours is for ever compromising my name and that of your family.

Flo.

But I am in this instance the victim—I have been robbed, and there stands the culprit.

Count.

'Tis she, I saw but now in the public square. That girl, so young, so beautiful, commit a robbery ? Impossible !

Flo.

She stole this medallion belonging to me—we found it upon her.

Count

Can this be true ?

Arl.

Heaven only knows I am innocent, and if your lordship knew my heart, you would not deem me guilty.

Count.

Her words sink deep into my breast. Childless myself, I fain would spare the child of another. What proofs have you of this ?

Flo.

My witnesses are here, who all can swear they saw it on her neck.

All.

We can.

Count.

Still does my mind misgive me. I wish to establish your innocence—explain this matter to me and without fear.

Art.

That medallion was given to me by the Queen of the tribe to which I belong—how it came into her possession I know not, but a light breaks in upon me—I see it all. I chanced to incur her displeasure, and to revenge herself upon me, she page 16 has laid for me this shameless snare, into which I have innocently fallen, and of which I have become the victim.

Count.

I believe your tale, and from my heart I pity the inexperience which has led to the ruin of one who seeme above the grade of those she herds with—but in the fulfilment of duty I must compromise the feelings of nature, and I am forced to deliver you into the hands of justice.

Arl.

To you my earthly, to Him my heavenly judge, I reassert my innocence. I may be accused, but will not be degraded; and from the infamy with which I am unjustly threatened, thus I free myself.

[She draws a dagger from beneath her scarf, and is about to stab herself.

Count.

Hold ! Hold !
We cannot give the life we take,
Nor, sad thing—re-unite the heart we break.

]Taking the hand of Arline and suddenly seeing the wound on her arm.

What visions round me rise,
And cloud with mists of the past, mine eyes ?
That mark ! those features, and thy youth !
[Dragging Arline forward, and in great agitation
My very life hangs on thy truth—
How came that mark?

Arl.

Ere on my head
My sixth sun had its radiance shed,
A wild deer who had Ian at bay.
Pursued by hunters, crossed my way;
My tender frame by its antler gored,
A humble youth to my home restored;
The tale he but this day confess'd,
And is near at hand to relate the rest.

[Thaddeus having escaped from those who confined him breaks into the room, and rushes into the arms of Arline.]

Count,

With the force of fear and hope
My feelings have to cope.

Arl.

'Tis he the danger braved !

,Tis he my life who saved,

Solo

Count.

My Own, my long lost child;
Oh, seek not to control
This frantic joy, this wild
Delirium of my soul.
Bound in a father's arms,
And pillowed upon his breast.
Bid all the rude alarms
That assailed thy feelings, rest,

Arl.

Speak—speak; this shaken frame;

This doubt, this torture, see—
My hopes—my very life—my frame
Depend on thee.
page 17

Tha.

Dear as thou long hast been ?

Dear as thou long will be !
Mourned as this passing scene
Will be through life by me—

Though his heart, and no other, like mine can adore thee,

Yet, thou art not deceived—'Tis thy father before thee.

Cho.

Praised be the will of heaven :
Whose light on them smiled,
And whose bounty hath given
A father his child.

Count

Praised be the will of heaven :

Whose light o'er me smiled,
And whose bounty hath given
A father his child.

Arl.

Praised be the will of heaven !

Whose light o'er me smiled.
And whose bounty hath given
A father his child.

Tha.

Though from this bosom riven,

That heart is beguiled;
The bereavement hath given
The father his child.

Dev.

Better to go, ere driven,

Than e'er be reviled :
For the bounty hath given
The father his child.

Cho.

Praised be the will of heaven;

Whose light on them smiled,
And whose bounty hath given.
The father his child.