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MARGARET. What's this?—what's this?
Sweet nurse !- ha !
(Guitar heard without.) What sounds are these ? That voice !
(Iola runs to the window-—Margaret
closes it.-Singing heard.)
Some minstrels, wandering in their wits.
Then let their wits, good Margaret, wander here!
It is not often they stop near this spot.
Poor wandering fools !
If your wisdom were equal to their folly
I should learn my tasks much quicker
Than I do. Hark!
Hark! No more ;—they're gone !
(lola weeps—enter Grimes.)
Whence these sounds ? Iola—Margaret-
What is all this? These tears !
Dear father, I have no secret from THEE !
I love him !
Love him !-love whom?
Oh, look not thus ! I cannot bear thy frown!
GRIMES. Thou hast deceived me, Iola !
No, no, my father !
GRIMES (violently). I say, again, thou hast deceived me! I, who have watched thee from thy very birth, Have rocked thee in thy cradle, and have fed Thee in my arms! Go to; nor let me hear More of this folly. Thou would’st have him, too!
IOLA (throwing herself on Grimes's neck). Him-before all the world !
GRIMES (very violently-disengaging her). Some lowborn wretch! Some ragged, rusty fool, Who prowls by night, lest his right-tattered garb Should show a tongue in every rag, To tell the world he's beggared to its wealth !
What filthy mongrel whelp has dared to lift
His lowborn voice to tell thee of his love ?
Father, I here declare
He ne'er has spoken word to me. 'Tis I-
'Tis I who love him! He knows not my love.
GRIMES ( kissing her).
And is this true? Poor child! Then listen, dear!
Iola, a noble gentleman has seen thee once,
And, having seen, desires an interview.
To-morrow noon he comes.
There spoke my darling !
To-morrow eve, my love, I am compelled
To leave thee for a time: some week, or so,
May pass away before I can return.
A little bird is whispering in my ear,
That when Sir William's here he'll fill my place
So well, you will not miss your father.
And now, good night!
In love! Well, if 't is so,
Sir William 's not the man to root it out!
At mass-'t is very strange! That music
There may be more in this than first I thought.
'Tis strange! Reciprocal the affection
Cannot be. A sprinkle of live powder
On a slumbering spark has raised this blaze.
Pshaw, how weak am I! There's nought to fear!
To-morrow eve I'm bound for Guernsey ;-
That's unfortunate : yet it must be done,
Or I may lose five thousand pounds hard gold.
(Exit slowly R.)
SCENE I.-An apartment in Grimes's house. Iola discovered.
Violin or guitar up.
WELL, Margaret will not tell me who is
That comes to woo, therefore I'll e'en stay here
Until I see my father. Ha !
(Retires to flat. Enter Grimes L.)
It was for gold !—Oh, yes, it was for gold !
And now I have my glut of it!
But will it cool my burning blood, which bears
The life as lightning through my veins ?
Never till blood answer it!
(Sees Iola.) Girl (agitated), why art thou here?
What dost thou here? For the world to see thee?
For the eye of youth to banquet on thee?
Is't for this ?—for this ? Back to thy chamber !
What dost thou here?
I tell thee, girl, that man is treacherous !
False as the serpent, and as venomous !
Than the wind less true; and full of humours,
Passions, fantasies !
My father !--my dear father!
GRIMES (waving lola away).
Back, girl! This is no place for thee !
To thy chamber !
Th' undaunted gaze of man doth wither all
On which it falls; and virtue melteth
As the snow before it.
(Iola, weeping, retires R.)
Oh, what a task is mine! Upon my head
Am I not heaping fire ? Be still, my heart !
Like to the yeasty trouble of the sea,
After the wild west has burst upon it,
Seeking repose, is my distracted soul!
The deed is terrible, and it will bring
A desolating vengeance on my head !
No matter !
My ruined hopes—my blighted happiness—
Rush like distracted spirits o'er my mind,
And rowel my fainting purpose !
But then to look upon her ;-to behold
The living azure of those dovelike eyes,-
That high and glorious brow, where laughing wit
Sits like a sunbeam on a mountain-top !
To see all this, with more of grace, but less of fear,
Is to behold her mother! What word was that?
Her mother !-distraction! Amy Brandon !
Who calls on Amy Brandon ?
Hence, to the winds of heaven, ye sickening thoughts !
Vengeance, come, ride the tempest of my soul,
That I faint not amid the wreck of life!
(Music outside.) Peace, you vile and ditch-like brawlers ! Oh, how full is this wide world of folly ! Ha! the private signal. No doubt, 't is Stanton.