Act II

Scene I.—A Bank surrounded by a wild wood and rocks.

Cora is discovered playing with her Child; Alonzo hanging over them with delight.

Cora. Now confess, does he resemble thee, or not?

Alon. Indeed, he is liker thee—thy rosy softness, thy smiling gentleness.

Cora. But his auburn hair, the colour of his eyes, Alonzo.—Oh, my lord’s image, and my heart’s adored!

[Presses the Child to her bosom.

Alon. The little darling urchin robs me, I doubt, of some portion of thy love, my Cora. At least he shares caresses, which till his birth were only mine.

Cora. Oh no, Alonzo! a mother’s love for her sweet babe is not a stealth from the dear father’s store; it is a new delight that turns with quickened gratitude to him, the author of her augmented bliss.

Alon. Could Cora think me serious?

Cora. I am sure he will speak soon: then will be the last of the three holidays allowed by Nature’s sanction to the fond, anxious mother’s heart.

Alon. What are those three?

Cora. The ecstacy of his birth I pass; that in part is selfish: but when the first white blossoms of his teeth appear, breaking the crimson beds that did encase them, that is a day of joy; next, when from his father’s arms he runs without support, and clings, laughing and delighted, to his mother’s knees, that is the mother’s heart’s next holiday; and sweeter still the third, whene’er his little stammering tongue shall utter the grateful sound of father! mother!—Oh, that’s the dearest joy of all!

Alon. Beloved Cora!

Cora. Oh, my Alonzo! daily, hourly, do I pour thanks to Heaven for the dear blessing I possess in him and thee!

Alon. To Heaven and Rolla!

Cora. Yes, to Heaven and Rolla: and art thou not grateful to them too, Alonzo? art thou not happy?

Alon. Can Cora ask that question?

Cora. Why then of late so restless on thy couch? Why to my waking, watching ear so often does the stillness of the night betray thy struggling sighs?

Alon. Must not I fight against my country, against my brethren?

Cora. Do they not seek our destruction?—and are not all men brethren?

Alon. Should they prove victorious?

Cora. I will fly, and meet thee in the mountains.

Alon. Fly with thy infant, Cora?

Cora. What! think you a mother, when she flies from danger, can feel the weight of her child?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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