FERD. (hastily reading the letter, at one moment seeming petrified with astonishment, at the next pacing the room with fury) Impossible!--quite impossible! A form so heavenly cannot hide so devilish a heart.-----And yet!--and yet! Though all the angels of heaven should descend on earth and proclaim her innocence--though heaven and earth, the creator and the created, should, with one accord, vouch for her innocence--it is her hand, her own hand!-----Treachery, monstrous infernal treachery, such as humanity never before witnessed!--This, then, was the reason she so resolutely opposed our flight!--This it was--Oh, God!--Now I awake from my dream!--Now the veil is lifted!--This, then, is why she surrendered with so much seeming heroism her claims on my affection, and all but cheated me with her saint- like demeanour! (He traverses the chamber rapidly, and then remains for some moments in deep thought.) To fathom my heart to its very core!--To reciprocate every lofty sentiment. every gentle emotion, every fiery ebullition!--To sympathize with every secret breathing of my soul!--To study me even in her tears!--To mount with me to the sublimest heights of passion--to brave with me, undaunted, each fearful precipice!--God of heaven!--And was all this deceit? mere grimace?--Oh! If Falsehood can assume so lovely an appearance of truth, why has no devil yet lied himself back into heaven?
When I unfolded to her the dangers which threatened our affection, with what convincing artifice did the false-one turn pale!--With what overpowering dignity did she repulse my father's licentious scoffs! yet at that very moment the deceiver was conscious of her guilt!--Nay, did she not even undergo the fiery ordeal of truth?--Forsooth, the hypocrite fainted!--What must now be thy language, Sensibility, since coquettes faint?--How wilt thou vindicate thy. self, Innocence?--for even strumpets faint?
She knows her power over me--she has seen through my very heart!--My soul shone conspicuous in my eyes at the blush of her first kiss--And that she should have felt nothing! or perhaps felt only the triumph of her art!-- Whilst my happy delirium fancied that in her I embraced a