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Remitted to this confessor, whose office
Is all that's left.
Fer. Is he not merciful to Fernando yet?
No talk of me?
Phy. I find he takes no pleasure
To hear you named: Francisco to us all.
He did confirm his heir, with many blessings.
Fer. And not one left for me? Oh take me in,
Thou gentle earth, and let me creep through all
Thy dark and hollow crannies, till I find
Another way to come into the world;
For all the air I breathe in here is poison'd.
Fran. We must have patience, brother, it was no
Ambitious thought of mine to supplant you;
He may live yet, and you be reconcil'd.
Fer. That was some kindness yet, Francisco: but
I charge thee by the nearness of our blood,
When I am made this mockery and wonder,
I know not where to find out charity,
If unawares a chance direct my weary
And wither'd feet to some fair house of thine,
Where plenty with full blessings crowns thy table,
If my thin face betray my want of food,
Do not despise me, 'cause I was thy brother.
Fran. Leave these imagin'd horrors, I must not Live when my brother is thus miserable.
Fer. There's something in that face looks comfortably.
Conf. Your father, sir, is dead. His will to make
Francisco the sole master of his fortunes
Is now irrevocable : a small pension
He hath given you for life, which, with his blessing,
Is all the benefit I bring.
Fer. Ha! blessing ! speak it again, good father.
Conf. I did apply some lenitives to soften
His anger, and prevail'd; your father hath
Reversed that heavy censure of his curse,
And in the place bequeath'd his prayer and blessing.
Fer. I am new created by his charity,
Conf. Some ceremonies are behind, he did !
Desire to be interr'd within our convent,
And left bis sepulture to me; I am confident,
Your pieties will give me leave
Fran. His will in all things I obey, and yours,
Most reverend father: order as you please
His body; we may after celebrate
With all due obsequies his funeral.
Fer. Why you alone obey? I am your brother :
My father's eldest son, though not his heir.
Fran. It pleas'd my father, sir, to think me worthy
Of such a title ; you shall find me kind,
If you can look on matters without envy.
Fer. If I can look on matters without envy!
Fran. You may live here still.
Fer. I may live here, Francisco !
Enter a gentleman with a letter.,
Conditions! I would not understand
Fran. With me, from madam
Gent. If you be signior Francisco.
Fer. Slighted! -
I find my father was not dead till now.
Croud not, you jealous thoughts, so thick into
My brain, lest you do tempt me to an act,
Will forfeit all again. -
. Fernando tells Felisarda that his father is dead.
Fer. I have a story to deliver;
A tale, will make thee sad: but I must tell it.
There is one dead, that lov'd thee not.'
Fel. One dead,
That lov'd not me? this carries, sir, in nature
No killing sound :115 I shall he sad to know
I did deserve an enemy, or he want
A charity at death.
Fer. Thy cruel enemy,
And my best friend, hath took eternal leave,
And 's gone, to heaven, I hope : excuse my tears;
It is a tribute I must pay his memory;
For I did love my father.
Fel. Ha! your father?
Fer. Yes, Felisarda, he is gone, that in
The morning promis'd many years, but death
Hath in few hours made him as stiff, as all
The winds and winter had thrown cold upon him,
And whisper'd him to marble.
Francisco offers to restore Fernando his birth-right. Fer-
nando dares not take it.
FRANCISCO. FERNANDO. DON CARLOS.
Fran. What demands
"Fer. My inheritance, wrought from me
By thy sly creeping to supplant my birth,
And cheat our father's easy soul, unworthily
Betraying to his anger, for thy lust
Of wealth, the love and promise of two hearts.
Poor Felisarda and Fernando now
Wither at soul, and robb’d by thee of that
Should cherish virtue, like to rifled pilgrims
Met on the way, and having told their story,
And dropt their even tears for both their loss,
Wander from one another.
Fran. "Tis not sure
Fernando, but his passion (that obeys not.
The counsel of his reason) would accuse me :
And if my father now, (since spirits lose not
Intelligence, but more active when they have
Shook off their chains of flesh,) would leave his dwelling, | And visit this coarsello orb again: my innocence
Should dare the appeal, and make Fernando see
His empty accusations.
Fer. He that thrives
By wicked art, has confidence to dress
His action with simplicity and shapes,
To cheat our credulous natures : 'tis my wonder
Thou durst do so much injury, Francisco,
As must provoke my justice to revenge,
Yet wear no sword.
Fran. I need no guard, I know
Thou dar'st not kill me.
Fer. Dare I not?
Fran. And name vi
Thy cause : 'tis thy suspicion, not Francisco,
Hath wrought thee high and passionate. To assure it ;
If you dare violate, I dare possess you
With all my title to your land.
Car. How is that?
Fran. Let him receive it at his peril.
Fran. It was my father's act, not mine: he trembled
To hear his curse alive; what horror will
His conscience feel, when he shall spurn his dust,
And call the reverend shade from his blest seat
To this bad world again, to walk and fright him!
Fer. Can this be more than a dream ?
Fran. (Gives him the will) Sir, you may cancel it. But
How you can answer him that's dead, when he
Shall charge your timorous soul for this contempt
To nature and religion ; to break
His last bequest, and breath, that seald your blessings !
Car. These are fine fancies.
Fer. (Returns the will) Here; and may it prosper, Where my good father meant it: I'm overcome. Forgive me, and enjoy it.
His father Ramires (supposed dead) appears above, with
Felisarda. Ram. Fernando, stay.
Fer. Ha, my father and Felisarda : (Kneels)
Are they both dead! I did not think
To find thee in this pale society
Of ghosts so soon
Fel. I am alive, Fernando :
And don Ramires still thy living father.
Fran. You may believe it, sir, I was of the council.
Car. Men thought you dead.
Ram. It lay within
The knowledge of Francisco, and some few,
By this device to advance my younger son,
To a marriage with Jacinta, sir, and try
Fernando's piety, and his mistress' virtue :
Which I have found worth him, and my acceptance.
With her I give thee what thy birth did challenge :
Receive thy Felisarda.
Fer. 'Tis a joy
So flowing, it drowns all my faculties.
My soul will not contain, I fear, but loose,
And leave me in this extacy.