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But yet my thoughts will follow this dear object!
(Leaning on his hand, weeping.)
This, which erewhile she (credulous soul)
Gaoler. Your grandfather, sir.
Let him be admitted.
(Young Raymond continues lying, resting his head on his
[Enter OLD RAYMOND.]
Old R. Heav'n behold this youthful sacrifice
To stern and unrelenting justice offer'd,
From thy high throne of mercy, pray look down
His grief, poor boy, hath mark'd him out a grave.
Look ye, and see who comes to visit thee:
(looking at him)
Rise, rise, dear boy, and let me see thy face,
For grief, though strong, cannot disgrace it now!
And see, my old eyes keep thine company (weeps)
Come to my arms whilst I have pow'r to use them,
Ere fate shall rob me of the pow'r to do so.
(Old Raymond assists the other to rise.)
Young R. Oh yes, my dearest, best, and kindest friend, Like a vile serpent I'll hang 'pon thy neck
Just for a moment, till I sting thy ear
With a confession that will strike thee dumb;
Old R. What crime doth hang so heavy on thy soul? Unfold, unfold the dreadful secret to me:
My heart heaves high, and now sinks deeply in me—
Young R. My brother!-Oh my father! how can I My murd'rous treach'ry to thee ever tell!
Old R. What means my son?
Young R. Ha! What art thou? who thus, Like my slain brother, grown from youth to manhood, Dost here obtrude upon my withering sight, Unfolding, without speech, my blackest guilt? A wild confusion plays about my brain, Extends my arteries, thrills o'er my nerves, And drives me to despair.
Del. I am thy brother!
(goes near to him)
Young R. My brother! no, no, it cannot be so,
I am unworthy of so kind a name ;
Thou shouldst have said I was his murderer!-
Young R. Is't possible! and art thou still alive!
(advancing, steadfastly looks at, and touches him)
Thanks, great heaven! a dreadful weight's remov'd:
And my soul feels in death new life and health,
My sickly and despairing heart again
Assumes a vigor lost to it before,
And I may yet repent and be forgiven.
Old R. His senses are disorder'd-grief makes him
Come, look at us, it was thy noble brother
Who did advance the sum I told thee of.
Young R. Alas, dear sir, I dare not call thee brother ; I thank thee with a sore repentant heart,
And wish to beg thy pardon, and so die;
And tell me what doth labor in thy breast?
Young R. Wilt thou believe I caus'd thy wretched exileGave thee to slaves, consented to thy death?
Del. Oh wherefore, brother?What cause did I give Ever to thee for such unkindness to me?
Old R. (aside) My soul is all amazement and surprise! It is impossible, it cannot be so!
Young R. No; all my thoughts are on that single object.
To me thou art an heav'nly messenger,
Arriv'd in time to stop my fleeting soul
For my time's measur'd with a hand severe;
My number'd minutes are, alas, but few!
Old R. (aside) I cannot now disturb his anguish'd
Or I'd inquire into the wond'rous tale,
The subject of his late and strange confession :
But after-time, perchance, may it develope. (turns to him) I do, poor boy, here offer up my prayers,
That with true penitence thy hopes be strengthen'd,
And that assurance to thy soul be given
Of future bliss ere death shall close thine eyes. [Enter GAOLER.]
Gaol. Sir, I have the Sheriff's order that thou prepar❜st Thyself and come with me.-You must leave this place. (to Old Raymond and Delmore)
Old R. Yes, my friend, we will go, but spare a
pray thee, but to take a last farewell ;
Heaven bless, comfort, and support thee!
Farewell! (Old and Young Raymond embrace)
Young R. Dost thou, indeed, pardon thy wretched
Who suffer'd more than death a thousand times,
Gaol. Bring out the prisoner, for his time is past.
A good and kind, a dear forgiving brother.
Old R. Farewell! and may we meet in those blest
Where souls are bathing in eternal bliss.
[Exit Old Raymond and Delmore.
Young R. I trust we shall; Hope hath resum'd her
And as the light doth close upon my eyes,
I feel a comfort rising in my soul
Greater than I expected or deserv❜d.
[Exeunt with Gaolers.
SCENE II. The place of Execution.
[A Scaffold hung with black, at the further end of the Stage. A part of the apparatus of death discovered.Marshalmen, Constables, and Spectators.-Executioner on the Scaffold.]
Enter YOUNG RAYMOND and GAOLERS. (A CLERGYMAN meets them as they enter.)
Cler. Your venerable grandfather requested me
Supply'd the gentle offices of parent.
Needing no other check than their own honor.
Cler. Thou hast thy soul prepar'd with true contrition To meet th' inevitable stroke of death?
Young R. I've ta'en a retrospect of all my vices,
The dismal crisis of my fate is near!
Turning to the scaffold; the bell tolls.) "Tis dreadful! but let Heav'n's high will be done! Oh! were but man from my sad fate to learn, And well remember this great solemn truth, That certain punishment on crimes awaits, I shall not for the world have liv'd in vain.
(Raymond and the Clergyman ascend the scaffold together. The bell continues tolling, and the curtain falls slowly as they ascend.)