PRES. Your sword is already familiar with disgrace-- Away, away! You know my will!
FERD. (wrests LOUISA from the Officer and holds her with one arm, with the other points his sword at her bosom). Father--rather than tamely see my wife branded with infamy, I will plunge this sword into her bosom.--Do you still insist?
PRES. Do it, if the point be sharp enough!
FERD. (releases LOUISA, and looks wildly towards Heaven).
Be thou witness, Almighty God, that I have left no human means untried to save her!--Forgive me now if I have recourse to hellish means--While you are leading her to the pillory (speaking loudly in the PRESIDENT's ear), I will publish throughout the town a pleasant history of how a President's chair may be gained! [Exit.
PRES. (as if thunder-struck). How?--What said he?-- Ferdinand!--Release her instantly!--(Rushes after his son.)
Room at the President's. Enter PRESIDENT and WORM.
PRES. That was an infernal piece of business!
WORM. Just what I feared, your Excellency.--Opposition may inflame the enthusiast, but never converts him.
PRES. I had placed my whole reliance upon the success of this attempt. I made no doubt but, if the girl were once publicly disgraced, he would be obliged, as an officer and a gentleman, to resign her.
WORM An admirable idea! Had you but succeeded in disgracing her!
PRES. And yet--when I reflect on the matter coolly--I ought not to have suffered myself to be overawed.--It was a threat which he never could have meant seriously!
WORM. Be not too certain of that! There is no folly too gross for excited passion! You say that the baron has always looked upon your government with an eye of disapprobation: I can readily believe it. The principles which he