(Violante; Maid; Gerald)
Shamed and feeling unable to tell anyone about what has happened to her, Violante receives a letter from Henriquez announcing his departure for court and his suggestion that they forget what has occurred. Utterly betrayed, she decides to leave her father’s house and wander the world at random. (46 lines)
Enter Violante alone.
Whom shall I look upon without a blush?
There’s not a maid, whose eye with virgin gaze
Pierces not to my guilt. What will’t avail me,
To say I was not willing;
Nothing; but that I publish my dishonor,
And wound my fame anew.—O misery,
To seem to all one’s neighbors rich, yet know
One’s self necessitous and wretched.
Enter maid, and afterwards Gerald with a letter.
Madam, here’s Gerald, Lord Henriquez’ servant;
He brings a letter to you.
A letter to me! How I tremble now!
Your lord’s for court, good Gerald, is he not?
Not so, lady.
O my presaging heart! When goes he then?
His business now steers him some other course.
Whither, I pray you? How my fears torment me!
Some two months progress.
Whither, whither, sir,
I do beseech you? Good heav’ns, I lose all patience.
Did he deliberate this? Or was the business
But then conceiv’d, when it was born?
Lady, I know not that; nor is it in the command I have to wait your answer. For the perusing the letter I commend you to your leisure.
To hearts like mine suspense is misery.
Wax, render up thy trust: be the contents
Prosp’rous, or fatal, they are all my due.
Our prudence should now teach us to forget,
What our indiscretion has committed. I
Have already made one step towards this
Wisdom, by prevailing on myself to bid you
O, wretched and betray’d! Lost Violante!
Heart-wounded with a thousand perjur’d vows,
Poison’d with studied language, and bequeath’d
To desperation. I am now become
The tomb of my own honor: a dark mansion,
For death alone to dwell in. I invite thee,
Consuming desolation, to this temple,
Now fit to be thy spoil: the ruin’d fabric,
Which cannot be repair’d, at once o’erthrow.
What must I do? But that’s not worth my thought:
I will commend to hazard all the time
That I shall spend hereafter: farewel, my father,
Whom I’ll no more offend: and men, adieu,
Whom I’ll no more believe: and maids, adieu,
Whom I’ll no longer shame. The way I go,
As yet I know not. Sorrow be my guide.