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Auranthe. Harm him not E’en for his highness Ludolph's sceptry hand, I would not Albert suffer any wrong.

Conrad. Have I not labored, plotted— ?

Auranthe. See you spare him:
Nor be pathetic, my kind benefactors
On all the many bounties of your hand,—
'Twas for yourself you labored—not for me!
Do you not count, when I am queen, to take
Advantage of your chance discoveries
Of my poor secrets, and so hold a rod
Over my life 2

Conrad. Let not this slave—this villain—
Because of feud between us. See he comes |
Look, woman, look, your Albert is quite safe
In haste it seems. Now shall I be in the way,
And wish’d with silent curses in my grave,
Or side by side with 'whelmed mariners.

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.

Auranthe. Noble Albert'

Conrad (aside). Noble!

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

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—

Conrad. To me! What of me, ha!

Albert. What pleased your grace to say ?

Conrad. Your message, sir!

Albert. You mean not this to me !

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

[Ereunt 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!— 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 leveling bluster of my licensed 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 ! [Erit.

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.

Otho. Where is my noble Herald 2

[Enter CoNRAD, from the Castle, attended by two Knights and Serrants. ALBERT following.

Well, hast told Auranthe our intent imperial 2

Lest our rent banners, too o' the sudden shown,
Should fright her silken casements, and dismay
Her household to our lack of entertainment.
A victory !

Conrad. God save illustrious Otho'

Otho. Aye, Conrad, it will pluck out all gray 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.

[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,
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.
Auranthe. My lord, I was a vassal to your frown,
And now your favor makes me but more humble ;
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.
Otho. What need of this 2 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 returned, my gracious liege.
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 honored gates,

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

Otho. More thanks, good Conrad; for, except my son's,
There is no face I rather would behold
Than that same quick-eyed 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,
In my first cup, that Arab

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.

Otho. 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.

Otho. And my son too, pity he is not here. Lady Auranthe, I would not make you blush, But can you give a guess where Ludolph is ? Know you not of him

Auranthe. Indeed, my liege, no secret—

Otho. Nay, nay, without more words, dost know of him

Auranthe. I would I were so over-fortunate, Both for his sake and mine, and to make glad A father’s ears with tidings of his son.

Otho. I see 'tis like to be a tedious day. Were Theodore and Gonfrid and the rest Sent forth with my commands !

Albert. Aye, my lord. Otho. And no news | No news! 'Faith ! 'tis very strange He thus avoids us. Lady, is't not strange 2 Will he be truant to you too? It is a shame. Conrad. Wilt please your highness enter, and accept The unworthy welcome of your servant's house ! Leaving your cares to one whose diligence May in few hours make pleasures of them all. Otho. Not so tedious, Conrad. No, no, no, I must see Ludolph or the—What's that shout 2 Voices without. Huzza huzza! Long live the Emperor Other voices. Fall back' Away there ! Otho. Say what noise is that ?

[ALBERT advancing from the back of the Stage, whither he had hastened on hearing the cheers of the soldiery.

Albert. It is young Gersa, the Hungarian prince,
Pick'd like a red stag from the fallow herd
Of prisoners. Poor prince, forlorn he steps,
Slow, and demure, and proud in his despair.
If I may judge by his so tragic bearing,
His eye not downcast, and his folded arm,
He doth this moment wish himself asleep
Among his fallen captains on yon plains.

Enter GERSA, in chains, and guarded.

Otho. Well said, Sir Albert.

Gersa. Not a word of greeting,
No welcome to a princely visitor,
Most mighty Otho Will not my great host
Vouchsafe a syllable, before he bids
His gentlemen conduct me with all care
To some securest lodging—cold perhaps'

Otho. What mood is this 7 Hath fortune touch'd thy

brain Ż

Gersa. O kings and princes of this fev'rous world,
What abject things, what mockeries must ye be,
What nerveless minions of safe palaces !
When here, a monarch, whose proud foot is used
To fallen princes' necks, as to his stirrup,

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