Page images
PDF
EPUB

And has done miracles i' the way of business. .
Perhaps you are related to my relative?

WERNER.

To yours?

JOSEPHINE.

Oh, yes; we are, but distantly.

(Aside to WERNER. Cannot you humour the dull gossip till We learn his purpose?

IDENSTEIN.

And if you

Well, I 'm glad of that;
I thought so all along; such natural yearnings
Play'd round my heart—blood is not water, cousin;
And so let's have some wine, and drink unto
Our better acquaintance: relatives should be
Friends.

WERNER.
You appear to have drank enough already,

had not, I've no wine to offer,
Else it were yours; but this you know, or should know:
You see I'm poor, and sick, and will not see
That I would be alone; but to

your

business! What brings you here?

IDENSTEIN.

Why, what should bring me here?

WERNER.
I know not, though I think that I could guess
That which will send you hence.

JOSEPHINE Aside.)

Patience, dear Werner!

IDENSTEIN.

You don't know what has happen'd, then?

VOL. y.

11

JOSEPHINE.

How should we?

IDENSTEIN. The river has o'erflow'd.

JOSEPHINE.

Alas! we have known
That to our sorrow, for these five days; since
It keeps us here.

IDENSTEIN.

But what you don't know is,
That a great personage, who fain would cross
Against the stream, and three postilions' wishes,
Is drown'd below the ford, with post-horses,
A monkey, and a mastiff, and a valet.

JOSEPHINE.
Poor creatures! are you sure?

IDENSTEIN.

Yes, of the monkey,
And the valet, and the cattle; but as yet
We know not if his excellency 's dead
Or no; your noblemen are hard to drown,
As it is fit that men in office should be;
But, what is certain is, that he has swallow'd
Enough of the Oder to have burst two peasants;
And now a Saxon and Hungarian traveller,
Who, at their proper peril, snatch'd him from
The whirling river, have sent on to crave
A lodging, or a grave, according as
It may turn out with the live or dead body.

JOSEPHINE.

And where will you receive him? here, I hope ;
If we can be of service—say the word.

IDENSTEIN.
Here? no; but in the prince's own apartment,
As fits a noble guest:—'t is damp, no doubt,
Not having been inhabited these twelve years;
But then he comes from a much damper place,
So scarcely will catch cold in 't, if he be
Still liable to cold—and if not, why
He'll be worse lodged to-morrow: ne'ertheless,
I have order'd fire and all appliances
To be got ready for the worst—that is,
In case he should survive.

JOSEPHINE.

Poor gentleman! I hope he will with all my heart.

WERNER.

Intendant, Have you not learn'd his name?

(Aside to his wife.

My Josephine, Retire, I'll sift this fool.

(Exit JOSEPHINE.

IDENSTEIN.

His name? oh Lord!
Who knows if he hath now a name or no;
'Tis time enough to ask it when he's able
To give an answer, or if not, to put
His heir's upon his epitaph. Methought
Just now you chid me for demanding names?

WERNER

True, true, I did so; you say well and wisely.

Enter GABOR.

GABOR

If I intrude, I crave

IDENSTEIN.

Oh, no intrusion! This is the palace; this a stranger like Yourself; I pray you make yourself at home: But where's his excellency, and how fares he?

GABOR.

Wetly and wearily, but out of peril;
He paused to change his garments in a cottage
(Where I doff*d mine for these, and came on hither),
And has almost recover'd from his drenching.
He will be here anon.

IDENSTEIN.

What ho, there! bustle! Without there, Herman, Weilburg, Peter, Conrad !

(Gives directions to different servants who enter,
A nobleman sleeps here to-night-see that
All is in order in the damask chamber-
Keep up the stove—I will myself to the cellar-
And Madam Idenstein (my consort, stranger)
Shall furnish forth the bed-apparel; for

the truth, they are marvellous scant of this
Within the palace precincts, since his highness
Left it some dozen years ago. And then
His excellency will sup, doubtless?

To say

GABOR.

Faith! I cannot tell, but I should think the pillow Would please him better than the table after

His soaking in your river: but for fear
Your viands should be thrown away, I mean
To sup myself, and have a friend without
Who will do honour to your good cheer with
A traveller's appetite.

IDENSTEIN.

But are you sure His excellency--but his name, what is it?

GABOR

I do not know.

IDENSTEIN.
And yet you saved his life.

GABOR.

I help'd my friend to do so.

IDENSTEIN.

Well, that 's strange, To man's life whom

you

do not know.

GABOR.
Not so; for there are some I know so well,
I scarce should give myself the trouble.

saye a

[blocks in formation]

GABOR

It matters little.
IDENSTEIN (Aside.)

I think that all the world are grown anonymous,

« PreviousContinue »