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Enter ALBERT.

ALBERT
Fair on your graces fall this early morrow!
So it is like to do, without my prayers,
For your right noble names, like favorite tunes,
Have fallen full frequent from our Emperor's lips,
High commented with smiles.

125

AURANTHE.

Noble Albert !

CONRAD (aside).

Noble !

AURANTHE.
Such salutation argues a glad heart
In our prosperity. We thank you, sir.

130

ALBERT.
Lady! O, would to Heaven your poor servant
Could do you better service than mere words !
But I have other greeting than mine own,
From no less man than Otho, who has sent
This ring as pledge of dearest amity ;
'Tis chosen I hear from Hymen's jewelry,
And you will prize it, lady, I doubt not,
Beyond all pleasures past, and all to come.
To you great duke-

135

CONRAD.
To me! What of me, ha ?

ALBERT.

What pleas'd your grace to say ?

CONRAD.

Your message, sir !

ALBERT

You mean not this to me?

CONRAD.

139

Sister, this way; For there shall be no “gentle Alberts" now, [Aside. No “sweet Auranthes !"

[Exeunt CONRAD and AURANTHE.

ALBERT (solus). The duke is out of temper; if he knows More than a brother of a sister ought, I should not quarrel with his peevishness. Auranthe—Heaven preserve her always fair ! - 145 Is in the heady, proud, ambitious vein; I bicker not with her,-bid her farewell! She has taken flight from me, then let her soar,He is a fool who stands at pining gaze! But for poor Ludolph, he is food for sorrow : No levelling bluster of my licens'd thoughts, , No military swagger of my mind, Can smother from myself the wrong I've done him,Without design, indeed, yet it is so,And opiate for the conscience have I none !

153 [Exit.

150 SCENE II.-The Court-yard of the Castle.

Martial Music. Enter, from the outer gate, Otho, Nobles,

Knights, and Attendants. The Soldiers halt at the gate, with Banners in sight.

Отно. . Where is my noble herald?

Enter CONRAD, froin the Castle, attended by two Knights and Servants. ALBERT following:

Well, hast told
Auranthe our intent imperial ?
Lest our rent banners, too o' the sudden shown,
Should fright her silken casements, and dismay
Her household to our lack of entertainment.

5 A victory!

CONRAD.
God save illustrious Otho!

5

Отно.
Aye, Conrad, it will pluck out all grey hairs;
It is the best physician for the spleen ;
The courtliest inviter to a feast;
The subtlest excuser of small faults;
And a nice judge in the age and smack of wine.

10

Enter, from the Castle, AURANTHE, followed by Pages

holding up her robes, and a train of Women. She

kneels.
Hail my sweet hostess! I do thank the stars,
Or my good soldiers, or their ladies' eyes,
That, after such a merry battle fought,
I can, all safe in body and in soul,

15

Kiss your fair hand and lady fortune's too.
My ring ! now, on my life, it doth rejoice
These lips to feel 't on this soft ivory!
Keep it, my brightest daughter; it may prove
The little prologue to a line of kings.
I strove against thee and my hot-blood son,
Dull blockhead that I was to be so blind,
But now my sight is clear; forgive me, lady.

20

AURANTHE. My lord, I was a vassal to your frown, And now your favour makes me but more humble; 25 In wintry winds the simple snow is safe, But fadeth at the greeting of the sun : Unto thine anger I might well have spoken, Taking on me a woman's privilege, But this so sudden kindness makes me dumb.

30

Отно. .
What need of this ? Enough, if you will be
A potent tutoress to my wayward boy,
And teach him, what it seems his nurse could not,
To say, for once, I thank you. Sigifred!

ALBERT.
He has not yet return'd, my gracious liege.

35

OTHO.
What then! No tidings of my friendly Arab?

CONRAD. None, mighty Otho.

[To one of his Knights, who goes out.

Send forth instantly
An hundred horsemen from my honoured gates,

40

To scour the plains and search the cottages.
Cry a reward, to him who shall first bring
News of that vanished Arabian,
A full-heap'd helmet of the purest gold.

45

Отно.
More thanks, good Conrad; for, except my son's,
There is no face I rather would behold
Than that same quick-ey'd pagan's. By the saints,
This coming night of banquets must not light
Her dazzling torches; nor the music breathe
Smooth, without clashing cymbal, tones of peace
And in-door melodies; nor the ruddy wine
Ebb spouting to the lees; if I pledge not,

first

cup, that Arab!

50

In my

ALBERT.

Mighty Monarch,
I wonder not this stranger's victor-deeds
So hang upon your spirit. Twice in the fight
It was my chance to meet his olive brow,
Triumphant in the enemy's shatter'd rhomb;
And, to say truth, in any Christian arm
I never saw such prowess.

55

Отно. .

60

Did you ever ?
O, 'tis a noble boy !-tut!-what do I say?
I mean a triple Saladin, whose eyes,
When in the glorious scuffle they met mine,
Seem'd to say—"Sleep, old man, in safety sleep;
I am the victory !”

CONRAD.

Pity he's not here. VOL. II.

CC

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