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Double Falsehood Scenes

Scene 1

Another part of the prospect of the mountains.

(Roderick; Leonora; Henriquez; Violante)

Roderick and Henriquez lead in Leonora, veiled, whom they have just kidnapped from the nunnery. Roderick introduces himself to her and explains why they have abducted her, and she castigates him for helping out such an unworthy brother. Henriquez woos her, but she rejects him, and Roderick begins to see that there may be more to this story than he thought. He sends Leonora to a lodge to restore herself; as they are leaving, he is taken aside by Violante. He recognizes her as the shepherd’s boy, but she reveals to himself as a woman Henriquez has wronged. She lets him know that Julio is nearby. He suggests that she appeal to the Duke his father, and goes off to find Julio. (90 lines)

Enter Roderick, Leonora veiled, Henriquez, attendants as mourners.


Rest certain, lady, nothing shall betide you,

But fair, and noble usage. Pardon me,

That hitherto a course of violence

Has snatch’d you from that seat of contemplation

To which you gave your afterlife.


Where am I?


Not in the nunnery; never blush, nor tremble;

Your honor has as fair a guard, as when

Within a cloister. Know then, what is done,

(Which, I presume, you understand not truly,)

Has this use, to preserve the life of one

Dying for love of you: my brother, and your friend:

Under which color we desir’d to rest

Our herse one night within your hallow’d walls,

Where we surpriz’d you.


Are you that lord Roderick,

So spoken of for virtue, and fair life,

And dare you lose these to be advocate

For such a brother, such a sinful brother,

Such an unfaithful, treacherous, brutal brother?


This is a fearful charge.

Looks at Henriquez.


If you would have me

Think, you still bear respect for virtue’s name;

As you would wish, your daughters, thus distress’d,

Might find a guard, protect me from Henriquez;

And I am happy.


Come, sir, make your answer;

For as I have a soul, I am asham’d on’t.


O Leonora, see! Thus self-condemn’d,

I throw me at your feet, and sue for mercy.

If I have err’d, impute it to my love;

The tyrant god that bows us to his sway,

Rebellious to the laws of reas’ning men;

That will not have his votaries actions scann’d,

But calls it justice, when we most obey him.

He but commanded, what your eyes inspir’d;

Whose sacred beams, darted into my soul,

Have purg’d the mansion from impure desires,

And kindled in my heart a vestal’s flame.


Rise, rise, my lord; this well-dissembled passion

Has gain’d you nothing but a deeper hate.

Should I imagine, he can truly love me,

That, like a villain, murders my desires?

Or should I drink that wine, and think it cordial,

When I see poison in’t?


Draw this way, lady;

I am not perfect in your story yet;

But see you’ve had some wrongs, that want redress.

Only you must have patience to go with us

To yon small lodge, which meets the sight from hence,

Where your distress shall find the due respect:

’Till when, your griefs shall govern me as much,

As nearness and affection to my brother.

Call my attendants yours; and use them freely;

For as I am a gentleman, no pow’r,

Above your own will, shall come near your person.

As they are going out, Violante enters and plucks Roderick by the sleeve.

The rest go out.


Your ear a moment—scorn not my tender youth.


Look to the lady there.—I follow straight.

What ails this boy? Why dost thou single me?


The due observance of your noble virtue,

Vow’d to this mourning virgin, makes me bold

To give it more employment.


Art not thou

The surly Shepherd’s boy, that, when I call’d

To know the way, ran crying by me?


Yes, sir.

And I thank heav’n and you for helping me.


How did I help thee, boy?


I do but seem so, sir; and am indeed

A woman; one your brother once has lov’d;

Or, heav’n forgive him else, he li’d extremely.


Weep not, good maid; O this licentious brother!

But how came you a wand’rer on these mountains?


That, as we pass, an’t please you, I’ll discover.

I will assure you, sir, these barren mountains

Hold many wonders of your brother’s making.

Here wanders hapless Julio, worthy man!

Besides himself with wrongs—


That once again—


Sir, I said, Julio.—Sleep weigh’d down his eyelids,

Oppress’d with watching, just as you approach’d us.


O brother! We shall sound the depths of falsehood.

If this be true, no more but guide me to him:

I hope, a fair end will succeed all yet.

If it be he, by your leave, gentle brother,

I’ll see him serv’d first.—Maid, you have o’erjoy’d me.

Thou shalt have right too: make thy fair appeal

To the good Duke, and doubt not but thy tears

Shall be repaid with interest from his justice.

Lead me to Julio.



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