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Por. She sees us, and advances

Marc. I'll withdraw, And leave you for a while. Remember, Portius, Thy brother's life depends upon thy tongue. [Exit.

Enter LUCIA.
Luc. Did I not see your brother Marcus here?
Why did he fly the place, and shun my presence ?

Por. Oh, Lucia, language is too faint to shew
His

rage of love; it preys upon his life ; He pines, he sickens, he despairs, he dies : “ His passions, and his virtues lie confus'd, « And mixt together in so wild a tumult, “ That the whole man is quite disfigur'd in him. “ Heav'ns, would one think ’twere possible for love “ To make such ravage in a noble soul!" Oh, Lucia, I'm distress'd; my heart bleeds for him: Ev'n now,

while thus I stand blest in thy presence, A secret damp of grief comes o'er my thoughts, And I'm unhappy, though thou smil'st upon me.

Luc. How wilt thou guard thy honour, in the shock
Of love and friendships Think betimes, my Portius,
Think how the muptial tie, that might ensure
Our mutual bliss, would raise to such height
Thy brother's griefs, as might perhaps destroy him.
Por. Alas, poor youth! What dost thou think, my

Lucia ?
His gen'rous, open, undesigning heart
Has begg'd his rival to solicit for him ;
Then do not strike him dead with a denial;

But hold him up in life, and cheer his soul
With the faint glimm'ring of a doubtful hope ;
Perhaps when we have pass'd these gloomy hours,
And weather'd out the storm that beats upon us-

Luc. No, Portius, no ; I see thy sister's tears,
Thy father's anguish, and thy brother's death,
In the pursuit of our ill-fated loves :
And, Portius, here I swear, to Heav'n I swear,
To Heav'n and all the powers that judge mankind,
Never to mix my plighted hands with thine,
While such a cloud of mischief hangs upon us,
But to forget our loves, and drive thee out
From all my thoughts as far-as I am able.
Por. What hast thou said ! I'm thunderstruck

recall Those hasty words, or I am lost for ever.

Luc. Has not the vow already pass’d my lips? The gods have heard it, and 'tis seal'd in Heav’n. May all the vengeance that was ever pour'd On perjur'd heads o'erwhelm me, if I break it.

Por. Fix'd in astonishment, I gaze upon thee, Like one just blasted by a stroke from Heav'n, Who pants for breath, and stiffens, yet alive, In dreadful looks; a monument of wrath!

Luc. At length I've acted my severest part, “ I feel the woman breaking in upon me, “ And melt about my heart; my tears will flow. “ But, oh, I'll think no more! the hand of fate “ Has torn thee from me, and I must forget thee. Per. Hard-hearted, cruel maid !

Luc. Oh, stop those sounds, “ Those killing sounds! Why dost thou frown upon

me ? “ My blood runs cold, my heart forgets to heave, “ And life itself goes out at thy displeasure. “ The gods forbid us to indulge our loves; “ But, oh! I cannot bear thy hate, and live. Por. Talk not of love, thou never knew'st its

force. “ I've been deluded, led into a dream “ Of fancy'd bliss. Oh, Lucia, cruel maid ! Thy dreadful vow, loaden with death, still sounds “ In my stunn'd ears. What shall I say or do? " Quick let us part! Perdition's in thy presence, " And horror dwells about thee! Ha! she faints ! Wretch that I am, what has my rashness done!

Lucia, thou injur'd innocence! thou best “ And loveliest of thy sex. I awake, my Lucia, “ Or Portius rushes on his sword to join thee. “-Her imprecations reach not to the tomb, “ They shut not out society in death“ But ah! she moves, life wanders up and down “ Through all her face, and lights up ev'ry charm.

Luc. Oh, Portius was this well--to frown on her " that lives upon thy smiles? To call in doubt os The faith of one expiring at thy feet, '«. That loves thee more than ever woman lov'd ? "—What do I say? My half-recover'd sense Forgets the vow in which my soul was bound. " Destruction stands betwixt us; we must part.

Por. Name not the word, my frighted thoughts

run back, “ And startle into madness at the sound. Luc. " What wouldst thou have me do? Consider

well " The train of ills our love would draw behind it." Think, Portius, think thou seest thy dying brother Stabb'd at his heart, and all besmear'd with blood, Storming at Heav'n and thee! Thy awful sire Sternly demands the cause, th' accursed cause That robs him of his son: poor Marcia trembles, Then tears her hair, and frantic in her griefs, Calls out on Lucia. What could Lucia answer, Or how stand up in such a scene of sorrow?

Por. To my confusion, and eternal grief, I must approve the sentence that destroys me. " The mist that hung upon my mind, clears up; “ And now, athwart the terrors that thy vow “ Has planted round thee, thou appear'st most fair, “ More amiable, and risest in thy charms. “ Loveliest of women! Heav'n is in thy soul; “ Beauty and virtue shine for ever round thee, “ Bright’ning each other: thou art all divine." Luc. Portius, no more; thy words shoot thro' my

heart, Melt my resolves, and turn me all to love. Why are those tears of fondness in thy eyes? Why heaves thy heart? Why swells thy soul with sorrow?

It softens me too much-farewell, my Portius;
Farewell, though death is in the word for ever.

Por. Stay, Lucia, stay? What dost thỏu say? Forever?

Luc. Have I not sworn? If, Portius, thy success
Must throw thy brother on his fate, farewell-
Oh, how shall I repeat the word! for ever.

Por. “ Thus o'er the dying lamp th’unsteady flame “ Hangs quiv’ring on a point, leaps off by fits, “ And falls again, as loth to quit its hold." - Thou must not go, my soul still hovers o'er thee, And can't get loose.

Luc. If the firm Portius shake
To hear of parting, think what Lucia suffers !

Por. 'Tis true, unruffled and serene, I've met
The common accidents of life, but here
Such an unlook'd-for storm of ills falls on me,
It beats down all my strength. I cannot bear it.
We must not part.

Luc. What dost thou say? Not part!
Hast thou forgot the vow that I have made ?
Are not there heav'ns, and gods, that thunder o'er us?

But see, thy brother Marcus bends this way : I sicken at the sight. Once more, farewell, Farewell, and know thou wrong'st me, if thou think'st Ever was love, or ever grief like mine. [Exit Lucia.

Enter MARCUS.
Marc. Portius, what hopes? How stands she? Am

I doom'd
To life or death?

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