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WERNER.

ACT I.

SCENE I.—THE HALL OF A DECAYED PALACE NEAR A SMALL TOWN ON THE NORTHERN FRONTIER OF SILESIA- THE NIGHT TEMPESTUOUS.

WERNER, and JOSEPHINE his wife.

JOSEPHINE.

My love, be calmer!

WERNER.
I am calm.

JOSEPHINE.

Tome
Yes, but not to thyself: thy pace is hurried,
And no one walks a chamber like to ours
With steps like thine when his heart is at rest.
Were it a garden, I should deem thee happy,
And stepping with the bee from flower to flower;
But here!

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WERNER. 'Tis chill; the tapestry lets through The wind to which it waves: my blood is frozen.

JOSEPHINE.
Ah, no!

WERNER (Smiling.)
Why! wouldst thou have it so?
JOSEPHINE.

I would
Have it a healthful current.

WERNER.

Let it flow
Until 't is spilt or check'd-how soon, I care not.

.
JOSEPHINE.
And am I nothing in thy heart?

WERNER.

All—all.

JOSEPHINE. Then canst thou wish for that which must break mine?

WERNER (Approaching her slowly.) But for thee I had been—no matter what, But much of good and evil; what I am, Thou knowest; what I might or should have been, Thou knowest not: but still I love thee, nor Shall aught divide us. (WERNER walks on abruptly, and then approaches JOSEPHINE,

The storm of the night, Perhaps, affects me; I'm a thing of feelings, And have of late been sickly, as, alas! Thou know'st by sufferings more than mine, my love! In watching me.

JOSEPHINE.

To see thee well is much To see thee happy

WERNER.

Where hast thou seen such? Let me be wretched with the rest!

JOSEPHINE.

But think
How many in this hour of tempest shiver
Beneath the biting wind and heavy rain,
Whose every drop bows them down nearer earth,
Which hath no chamber for them save beneath
Her surface.

WERNER.

And that's not the worst: who cares For chambers ? rest is all. The wretches whom Thou namest-ay,

the wind howls round them, and The dull and dropping rain saps in their bones The creeping marrow.

I have been a soldier,
A hunter, and a traveller, and am
A beggar, and should know the thing thou talk'st of.

JOSEPHINE.
And art thou not now shelter'd from them all?

WERNER.

Yes. And from these alone.

JOSEPHINE.

And that is something.

WERNER.

True—to a peasant.

JOSEPHINE.

Should the nobly born Be thankless for that refuge which their habits

Of early delicacy render more
Needful than to the peasant, when the ebb
Of fortune leaves them on the shoals of life?

WERNER.
It is not that, thou know'st it is not; we
Have borne all this, I 'll not say patiently,
Except in thee—but we have borne it.

JOSEPHINE.

Well?

WERNER.

Something beyond our outward sufferings (though
These were enough to gnaw into our souls)
Hath stung me oft, and, more than ever, now,
When, but for this untoward sickness, which
Seized me upon this desolate frontier, and
Hath wasted, not alone my strength, but means,
And leaves us--no! this is beyond me!-but
For this I had been happythou been happy_
The splendour of my rank sustain'd—my name
My father's name—been still upheld; and, more
Than those

JOSEPHINE (Abruptly.)

My son-our sonour Ulric, Been clasp'd again in these long empty arms, And all a mother's hunger satisfied. Twelve years! he was but eight then :--beautiful He was, and beautiful he must be now. My Ulric! my adored!

WERNER.

I have been full oft The chase of fortune; now she hath o'ertaken

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My spirit where it cannot turn at bay,–
Sick, poor, and lonely.

JOSEPHINE.

Lonely! my dear husband?

WERNER
Or worse-involving all I love, in this
Far worse than solitude. Alone, I had died,
And all been over in a nameless grave.

JOSEPHINE.

And I had not outlived thee; but pray take
Comfort! We have struggled long; and they who strive
With fortune win or weary her at last,
So that they find the goal, or cease to feel
Further. Take comfort, -we shall find our boy.

WERNER.

We were in sight of him, of every thing
Which could bring compensation for past sorrow.
And to be baffled thus !

JOSEPHINE.

We are not baffled.

WERNER.
Are we not pennyless?

JOSEPHINE.

We ne'er were wealthy.

WERNER
But I was born to wealth, and rank, and power;
Enjoy'd them, loved them, and, alas! abused them,
And forfeited them by my father's wrath,
In my o'er-fervent youth; but for the abuse
Long sufferings have atoned. My father's death
Left the path open, yet not without snares.

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