Prospect of a village at a distance.
(Roderick; Camillo; Violante; Citizen; Don Bernard; Servant)
Roderick is concerned about things, considering that Julio has left court in secret and Roderick knows that he was friendly with Henriquez. He goes to find Camillo in the hopes of discovering what’s going on. Camillo, however, accuses him of colluding with Henriquez in stealing Leonora from Julio. Roderick insists he knew nothing of all this. Violante comes by and hides to listen to the conversation between the two men. She hears Camillo admit amazement that anyone related to Henriquez should be an honest man and Roderick disclaim his brotherhood. A Citizen arrives to inform them that Julio has left town, apparently insane. Don Bernard arrives as well, distraught over how things have turned out, and Camillo threatens him with his sword. Roderick steps between them, arguing that they have both lost children and therefore should be reconciled by their losses. They agree, and Roderick suggests that they spread out to find those who are missing. They do so. Violante comments on the difference between Roderick and his brother, but finds new hope in her despair: Henriquez is not yet married, and hence all is not yet lost for her. She resolves to follow Henriquez and shame him into marrying her, thus restoring her honor. A faithful servant comes to warn her that her father is having her searched for; she tests his honesty and trustworthiness, and asks him to procure her a shepherd’s clothes. (180 lines)
Julio’s departure thus in secret from me,
With the long doubtful absence of my brother,
(Who cannot suffer, but my father feels it)
Have trusted me with strong suspicions,
And dreams, that will not let me sleep, nor eat,
Nor taste those recreations health demands:
But, like a whirlwind, hither have they snatch’d me,
Perforce, to be resolv’d. I know my brother
Had Julio’s father for his host: from him
Enquiry may befriend me.
Old sir, I’m glad
To ’ve met you thus. What ails the man? Camillo,—
Is’t possible, you should forget your friends?
Friends! What are those?
Why, those that love you, sir.
You’re none of those, sure, if you be lord Roderick.
Yes, I am that lord Roderick, and I lie not,
If I protest, I love you passing well.
You lov’d my son too passing well, I take it:
One, that believ’d too suddenly his court-creed.
All is not well.
—Good old man, do not rail.
My lord, my lord, you’ve dealt dishonorably.
Good sir, I am so far from doing wrongs
Of that base strain, I understand you not.
Indeed! You know not neither, o’ my conscience,
How your most virtuous brother, noble Henriquez,
(You look so like him, lord, you are the worse for’t;
Rots upon such dissemblers!) under color
Of buying coursers, and I know not what,
Bought my poor boy out of possession
Ev’n of his plighted faith. Was not this honor?
And this a constant friend?
I dare not say so.
Now you have robb’d him of his love, take all;
Make up your malice, and dispatch his life too.
If you would hear me, sir,—
Your brave old father
Would have been torn in pieces with wild horses,
E’er he had done this treachery. On my conscience,
Had he but dreamt you two durst have committed
This base, unmanly crime,—
Why, this is madness.—
I’ve done; I’ve eas’d my heart; now you may talk.
Then as I am a gentleman, believe me,
(For I will lie for no man) I’m so far
From being guilty of the least suspicion
Of sin that way, that fearing the long absence
Of Julio and my brother might beget
Something to start at, hither have I travel’d
To know the truth of you.
Enter Violante behind.
My servant loiters; sure, he means me well.
Camillo, and a stranger? These may give me
Some comfort from their talk. I’ll step aside:
And hear what fame is stirring.
Why this wond’ring?
Can there be one so near in blood as you are
To that Henriquez, and an honest man?
While he was good, I do confess my nearness;
But, since his fall from honor, he’s to me
As a strange face I saw but yesterday,
And as soon lost.
I ask your pardon, lord;
I was too rash and bold.
No harm done, sir.
But is it possible, you should not hear
The passage ’twixt Leonora and your brother?
None of all this.
Enter a Citizen.
I bear you tidings, sir, which I could wish
Some other tongue deliver’d.
Whence, I pray you?
From your son, sir.
Prithee, where is he?
That’s more than I know now, sir.
But this I can assure you, he has left
The city raging mad; heav’n comfort him!
He came to that curst marriage—the fiends take it!
Prithee, be gone, and bid the bell knoll for me:
I have had one foot in the grave some time.
Nay, go, good friend; thy news deserve no thanks.
How does your lordship?
That’s well said, old man.
I hope, all shall be well yet.
It had need;
For ’tis a crooked world. Farewell, poor boy!
Enter Don Bernard.
This comes of forcing women where they hate:
It was my own sin; and I am rewarded.
Now I am like an aged oak, alone,
Left for all tempests. I would cry, but cannot:
I’m dried to death almost with these vexations.
Lord! What a heavy load I have within me!
My heart,—my heart,—my heart—
Has this ill weather
Met with thee too?
O wench, that I were with thee!
You do not come to mock at me now?
Do not dissemble; thou may’st find a knave
As bad as thou art, to undo thee too:
I hope to see that day before I die yet.
It needeth not, Camillo; I am knave
Sufficient to myself. If thou wilt rail,
Do it as bitterly as thou canst think of;
For I deserve it. Draw thy sword, and strike me;
And I will thank thee for’t. I’ve lost my daughter;
She’s stol’n away; and whither gone, I know not.
She has a fair blessing in being from you, sir.
I was too poor a brother for your greatness;
You must be grafted into noble stocks,
And have your titles rais’d. My state was laugh’d at:
And my alliance scorn’d. I’ve lost a son too;
Which must not be put up so.
Offers to draw.
Hold; be counsel’d.
You’ve equal losses; urge no farther anger.
Heav’n, pleas’d now at your love, may bring again,
And, no doubt, will, your children to your comforts:
In which adventure my foot shall be foremost.
And one more will I add, my honor’d father;
Who has a son to grieve for too, though tainted.
Let your joint sorrow be as balm to heal
These wounds of adverse fortune.
Do not deny your love, for charity;
I ask it of you. Let this noble lord
Make brothers of us, whom our own cross fates
Could never join. What I have been, forget;
What I intend to be, believe and nourish:
I do confess my wrongs; give me your hand.
Heav’n make thee honest—there.
’Tis done like good men.
Now there rests nought, but that we part, and each
Take sev’ral ways in quest of our lost friends:
Some of my train o’er the wild rocks shall wait you.
Our best search ended, here we’ll meet again,
And tell the fortunes of our separate travels.
Violante comes forward.
I would, your brother had but half your virtue!
Yet there remains a little spark of hope
That lights me to some comfort. The match is cross’d;
The parties separate; and I again
May come to see this man that has betray’d me;
And wound his conscience for it: home again
I will not go, whatever fortune guides me;
Though ev’ry step I went, I trod upon
Dangers as fearful and as pale as death.
No, no, Henriquez; I will follow thee
Where there is day. Time may beget a wonder.
Enter a servant.
O, are you come? What news?
None, but the worst. Your father makes mighty offers yonder by a cryer, to any one can bring you home again.
Art thou corrupted?
Wilt thou be honest?
I hope, you do not fear me.
Indeed, I do not. Thou hast an honest face;
And such a face, when it deceives, take heed,
Is curst of all heav’n’s creatures.
I’ll hang first.
Heav’n bless thee from that end! I’ve heard a man
Say more than this; and yet that man was false.
Thou’lt not be so, I hope.
By my life, mistress,—
Swear not; I credit thee. But prithee though,
Take heed, thou dost not fail: I do not doubt thee:
Yet I have trusted such a serious face,
And been abused too.
If I fail your trust,—
I do thee wrong to hold thy honesty
At distance thus: thou shalt know all my fortunes.
Get me a shepherd’s habit.
Well; what else?
And wait me in the evening, where I told thee;
There thou shalt know my farther ends. Take heed—
D’ye fear me still?
No; this is only counsel:
My life and death I have put equally
Into thy hand: let not rewards, nor hopes,
Be cast into the scale to turn thy faith.
Be honest but for virtue’s sake, that’s all;
He, that has such a treasure, cannot fall.