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Through which all eyes seem gazing. Every face
Expresses some suspicion of my shame,
And in derision seems to smile at me!

HYPOLITO.

Did I not caution thee? Did I not tell thee
I was but half persuaded of her virtue ?

VICTORIAN.

And yet, Hypolito, we may be wrong,
We may be over-hasty in condemning!
The Count of Lara is a cursed villain.

HYPOLITO.

And therefore is she cursed, loving him.

VICTORIAN.

She does not love bim! 'Tis for gold ! for gold !

HYPOLITO.

Ay, but remember, in the public streets
He shews a golden ring the Gipsy gave him,-
A serpent with a ruby in its mouth.

VICTORIAN.

She had that ring from me! God ! she is false! But I will be revenged! The hour is passed. Where stays the coward ?

HYPOLITO.

Nay, he is no coward ;

A villain, if thou wilt, but not a coward.
I've seen him play with swords ; it is his pastime.
And therefore be not over-confident ;
He'll task thy skill anon. Look, here he comes.

(Enter LARA, followed by Francisco.)

LARA.

Good evening, gentlemen.

HYPOLITO.

Good evening, Count.

LARA.

I trust I have not kept you long in waiting.

VICTORIAN.

Not long, and yet too long. Are you prepared ?

LARA.

I am.

HYPOLITO.

It grieves me much to see this quarrel
Between you, gentlemen. Is there no way
Left open to accord this difference,
But

you must make one with your swords?

VICTORIAN.

No! none ! I do entreat thee, dear Hypolito, Stand not between me and my foe. Too long Our tongues have spoken. Let these tongues of steel End our debate. Upon your guard, Sir Count !

(They fight. VICTORIAN disarms the Count.) Your life is mine ; and what shall now withhold me From sending your vile soul to its account?

LARA.

Strike! strike !

VICTORIAN.

You are disarmed. I will not kill you. I will not murder you. Take up your sword.

(Francisco hands the Count his sword, and

HYPOLITO interposes.)

HYPOLITO.

Enough! Let it end here! The Count of Lara
Has shewn himself a brave man, and Victorian
A generous one, as ever. Now be friends.
Put up your swords ; for, to speak frankly to you,
Your cause of quarrel is too slight a thing
To nove you to extremes.

LARA.

I am content.
I sought no quarrel. A few hasty words,
Spoken in the heat of blood, have led to this.

VICTORIAN. Nay, something more than that.

LARA.

I understand you.

Therein I did not mean to cross your path.
To me the door stood open, as to others.
But had I known the girl belonged to you,
Never would I have sought to win her from you.
The truth stands now revealed; she has been false
To both of us.

VICTORIAN.

Ay, false as hell itself !

LARA,

In truth, I did not seek her; she sought me;
And told me how to win her, telling me
The hours when she was oftenest left alone.

VICTORIAN.

Say, can you prove this to me? Oh, pluck out These awful doubts, that goad me into madness ! Let me know all ! all ! all !

LARA.

You shall know all. Here is my page, who was the messenger Between us.

Question him. Was it not so, Francisco ?

FRANCISCO.

Ay, my lord.

LARA.

If further proof Is needful, I have here a ring she gave me.

VICTORIAN.

Pray let me see that ring! It is the same!

(Throws it upon the ground, and tramples upon it.) Thus may she perish who once wore that ring! Thus do I spurn her from me; do thus trample Her memory

in the dust! O Count of Lara, We both have been abused, been much abused ! I thank you for your courtesy and frankness. Though, like the surgeon's hand, yours gave me pain, Yet it has cured my blindness, and I thank you. I now can see the folly I have done, Though 'tis, alas ! too late. So fare you well! To-night I leave this hateful town for ever. Regard me as your friend. Once more, farewell !

HYPOLITO.

Farewell, Sir Count.

[Exeunt VICTORIAN and HYPOLITO.

LARA.

Farewell ! farewell! Thus have I cleared the field of my worst foe! I have none else to fear; the fight is done, The citadel is stormed, the victory won !

[Exit with FRANCISCO.

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