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To such a wretch as I am, yet in justice
To those whom I have injur'd; Noble Duke—
Alas, he's gone! living, I own, his hate
[the Duke goes out.
I richly have deserv'd, but now, in death,
Hast been more injur'd, canst thou pardon me ?
So thou repent thy injuries. Great Heaven
Dor. Kind, generous Theodora! 'tis too late
O heavens! methinks I hear her curses still.
Theo. Ah, Doricourt, forget the dreadful past.
And after this frail being is shook off,
What horrors worse than death I may encounter
But O! I feel 'tis vain, the blow is struck,
Eternal justice must be satisfied.
[appears to faint.
Theo. Help, Clara, help, is there no hope to save him!
Dor. [recovering.] All help is useless, and all hope is
Death's harbinger, a momentary calm,
Heaven grants in mercy: be ye witness all :I solemnly declare my wife is innocent. O he I rashly slew deserv'd not death: "Tis I alone am guilty; pardon, pardon, All ye whom I have wrong'd-but chiefly thou To whom atonement cannot now be made,Blest spirit of the murder'd noble Beaufort! When we shall meet before the throne of heaven, O witness not against the soul of Doricourt! My Theodora! injur'd saint, farewell! My child too! but 'tis past, I can no more— Theo. Alas! he's gone! [She hides her face on his shoulder; the door his shoulder; the door opens, and the Duke enters leaving Beaufort, who with a pale countenance and slow pace advances towards Theodora. All start-Clara screams, which rouses her mistress, who lifting up her head sees Beaufort leaning on her father, she clasps her hands in an agony of surprise, on which Doricourt, who had only fainted, opens his eyes and sees Beaufort and the Duke.]
Dor. Image of horror! wherefore art thou come?
Ah! shield me, save me from him!
Theo. Sure 'tis some vision of my sickly brain,
No real form
Thy husband's sword fail'd to perform the deed
Yes, Theodora, 'tis the living Beaufort.
That perfidy had plann'd.
Now heaven be prais'd!
O cheer thee, Doricourt,-look up my husband,
Behold he lives, and thou art not a murderer.
Dor. Let him not approach, he comes for vengeance: His face is ghastly, and his eyeballs glare :
Too sure I murder'd him! O mercy, mercy!
Theo. Canst thou not speak, or art thou but a phantom? O answer me!
Beau. I am no phantom, but thy living friend,
Deceiv'd, he sought my life, but truth has reach'd him.
And the mock funeral was contriv'd by Carlos,
Who fear'd some new attempt against his master.
I heard not of the trial till 'twas past.
Dor. The trial, aye!—that brings to my remembrance A doubt I would remove; yet 'tis a small one,
Unworthy me to speak or her to answer.
Beau. O I conjure thee speak it.
Dor. [to his wife.]
On the trial,
How to asperse thy fame couldst thou be tempted?
Of Doricourt, so ill prepar'd to die,
Could I, who thought his oul was sunk in vice,
To the dire fall of an immortal soul!
Beau. O most heroic woman!
How few thy faults, how numerous thy virtues,
Dor. It is enough, and now I yield to fate.
Beau. O Doricourt, 'tis not thy death I wish.
Dor. Cheer then my parting moments with the promise That thou wilt take my child to thy protection.
Beau. Behold to heaven thus solemnly I swear!— Dor. Thou shalt not swear-I know thy noble heart: Thine too, my Theodora :-now 'tis past-
The bitterness of death! the earth recedes!
May heaven accept my late though true repentance!
NOTE ON THEODORA.
As our publication becomes known, the stock of our materials is augmented, and the probability is enlarged that every new number shall be better than the preceding. In the present we are enabled to introduce to the public a female writer of no ordinary genius. Less philosophical than Miss Baillie, and perhaps less endowed with imagination, she has evinced, in the tragedy of THEO DORA, the possession of, at least, equal elegance of feeling, and of the power of exciting pathetic commiseration. We do not assert that she is a woman of equal talents, because we have not yet the means of instituting any comparison between them. Miss Baillie has published volumes, and this tragedy is, we understand, the first which this lady has presented to the public. But we do not hesitate to say that no single piece, either in "The Series of Plays on the Passions," or in the "Miscellaneous Dramas," of Miss Baillie, however much they may excel THEODORA in flights of fancy, is superior to it in interest. If we could bring forward no other play than this pathetic tragedy, we would consider the object of our publication attained, and assert that we had demonstrated, beyond contradiction, that it is not the dramatic genius of the nation which is to blame, for the inferiority of the new exhibitions on the stage, but something in the system of management at the theatres. This piece has been fifteen years in the hands of the players!