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[Nina's chamber. Nina lies in a deep trance upon her couch. Adrian rushes in.]
Adrian. Nina! Nina! wake, love, it is I thy husband who doth call thee. Oh, can I not win thee back to life now when I have learned to love with all my heart's faith and fondness. [He kisses her hands and weeps.] Calm and still she lies, all my tender words cannot awake her, and these bitter tears but fall unheeded and in vain. Was it for this I won that warm young heart,—for this short sorrowing life, this lonely death? Ah, couldst thou see this proud heart humbled now, and these repentant tears that wet thy quiet brow. Nina, wife, oh, wake and tell me I am forgiven! [Kneels beside her.]
Nina [rousing]. Adrian!
Adrian [starting up]. She breathes, she lives, my prayer is heard. 'Tis not too late.
Nina [still dreaming]. Methought I was in heaven, for Adrian bent o'er me; the face I loved smiled lovingly upon me, sweet tender words were spoken, and the joy of that short moment well repaid the sorrow I had borne ere that last sleep came. I am happy now for Adrian hath said he loves me.
Adrian. Thy deathlike sleep still hangs about thee, thou art still on earth, and I am here to bring thee joy. Ah, waken and learn thy dream is true. Thy husband loves thee.
Nina. So the sweet vision said, but it hath passed, and this will vanish too. Ah, why hast thou called me back? Life is but a chain that binds me unto sorrow, then let me sleep again and dream that Adrian is true.
Adrian. Nina! Nina! rouse thyself, it is no dream; he hath bent above thee weeping bitter tears and pouring forth his whole heart's love, remorse, and sorrow. His voice hath called thee back to life, and he is here. [Nina rises and looks wildly about her.] Here, love, at thy feet seeking thy pardon for the deep wrong he hath done thee, praying thy forgiveness! [Throws himself at her feet. Nina stretches forth her arms, and they embrace with tears of joy.]
Nina. Adrian, husband, I have naught to pardon. Thou hast won me from the sleep of death, I am thine, thy heart is my home, and I am only happy there.
Adrian. I am unworthy such great happiness. Oh, Nina, thou art the true angel of my life; and thou hast led me on to win a deeper joy than all the wealth of earth could give. I cast thy pure affection by, and sought in selfish sorrow to forget thee; but I could not. Thy dear face shone in all my dreams, and thy voice still lingered in mine ear, imploring me to love thee. Then I returned to find thee drooping like a blighted flower. All loved and honored thee; and I vowed to watch, and, if I found thee true and loving still, to tell thee all, and give my heart to thee forever. I have now won thee, and I love thee, dearest.
Nina. Oh, I am too blest! Life is a flower-strewn path henceforth, where I will gladly journey if thou wilt be my guide; and here upon thy breast, dear love, now smiles the happy wife,—no longer the lonely and unloved one.
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