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ACT 1.

SCENE I.-A Room in Catherine's House.

Enter Nicholas and Chistina, R. Chris. As thou lovest thine ease, Nicholas, restrais. curiosity. It is a steed that runs away with a man, without his knowing it, until it has thrown him. The danger is never found out until the mischief is done. Besides, it is a woman's palfrey, which it befits not a man to ride. What signifies it to thee who comes into the house, whatsoever be the hour, so it is I that let him in ?

Nich. Doubtless, Mistress Christina; yet a knock at the door, at two o'clock in the morning-and the door opening at that hour, to let a man into the house and that man a gay young spark-may make a body wonder, though he have no more than the ordinary stock of curiosity.

Chris. Propriety, Nicholas, belongs to no one hour of the twenty-four, more than 10 any other hour. It was fit that the young spark should come into the house, or I should not have let him in. And now mark what I say to you: Play not the house-dog any more. Do you

mind? Let not your watchfulness interfere with your sleep, else, besides your sleep, it may peril your bed and board; but if thou hearest a knock when thou liest on the weary side of thee, and wakest, draw thy night-cap over thine ears, and turn on the other side ; and so to sleep again-yea, though it be four o'clock in the morning, good Nicholas !

Nich. I shall mind.

Chris. Do so, and thou shalt be wise. Duty, that becomes a busy-body, ever turns itself at last out of doors. Hast thou a good place, friend Nicholas ?


are !

Nich. Not a better in all Germany.
Chris. Then take my advice and keep it.
Nich. I will.

Chris. Do! (Nicholas goes out, L.) My mistress will be discovered at last, well as she disguises herself and plays the man. I wish she had not taken this fancy into her head-it may bring her into trouble. (Catherine sings without, R.) Ha! here she is; returned to her proper Who would believe that this was the spark I let into the house at two o'clock in the morning ?

Cath. Speaking as she enters.) Christina !
Chris. Madam!
Cath. Oh,


Was not Nicholas with you just now?

Chris. Yes, he is only this moment gone. I have just been giving him a lesson. He saw you when you came home last night.

Cath. Hush! secrets should be dumb to very walls ! A chink may change a nation's destinies, “ And where are walls without one-that have doors ? · Voice hath a giant's might, not a dwarf's bulk; “ It passeth where a tiny fly must stop; “Conspiracy that does not lock it out, “Fastens the door in vain." Let's talk in whispers, And then, with mouth to ear. 'T'is strange, Christina, So long I practice this deceit, and still Pass for a thing I am not-ne'er suspected The thing I am—'mongst those who know me best, too. Yet would that all dissemblers meant as fair! I play the cheat for very honesty, To find a worthy heart out, and reward it. “ Far as the poles asunder are two things, "Self-interest and undesigning love : Yet no two things more like, to see them smile. “He is a conjurer, Christina, then, “ Can tell you which is which !” Shall I be won, Because I'm valued as a money-bag, For that I bring to him who winneth me? No!--sooner matins in a cloister, than Marriage like that in open church! 'Tis hard

To find men out; they are such simple things !
Heaven help you : they are mostly bird-catchers,
That hold aloof until you're in their nets,
And then they are down upon you, and you're caged,
No more your wings your own.

I have scarcely slept !
Chris. You run great risk, methinks, for doubtful gain.
I wonder oft, when thus you play the man,
You should escape offence; for men they are,
By nature brawlers, and of stalwart limb,
Who of their fellows take advantage, when
Of slight and stinted frame; and you do make
But, at the best, a green and osier man !

Cath. And there's a little airy, fairy thing,
Called spirit; equalises statures,
Ekes my dimensions out, beyond what, else,
Might suffer those o’erbear, that do o'ertower me.
Besides, I have full pockets! That's enough!
They call me “ The Young Stranger," and forbear
All question, since admonished 'twas my mood
To see the world incognito.

Chris. And think you, none did e'er suspect your sex ?
Cath. Sure on't; for once suspected, 'twere found out.
Chris. How do you hide the woman ?

Cath. With the man !
It was my girlhood's study. Bless thee, child,
When I have dressed my brows, my upper lip
And chin en cavalier, I take an oath,
From such a time to such, I am a man.
And so I am! One quarreled with me once
'Twas when I first began this masquerade.
His fire I quenched,
As water turneth iron cinder black,
In a white heat ducked sudden into it!

Chris. But of your lovers ?

Cath. Tell me who they are !
Alas, to have a rival in one's gown!
For 'tis the same thing—'tis your property.
The fabric of the sempstress supercedes
Heaven's fashioning-your body and your face;
Yet so it is with dames of noble birth,
And how much more, then, with a wretched serf,
For, though ten times enfranchised, such I am.

But what my betters stoop to, day by day,
I spurn, Christina, spurn! nor deign to wed,
Except a man that loves me for myself! (Crosses, ...

Chris. And such a man, methinks, Sir Rupert seems.
Cath. Ah! he is poor!

Chris. And what of that? He's proud, And seems as jealous of his poverty Almost as you are.

Cath. Yes! He makes no suit : He ever follows me, yet stands aloof, While others lay close siege.

Chris. And of his rivals

you any ?
Cath. No. Have I not said,
When taxed with paying court to me, the rest-
Yea, one and all-instead of boasting me,
My person, or my mind, for their excuse,
Set forth my wealth; and ask if there's a man,
Who would not wed a serf, with such a mine?

Chris. Sir Rupert sins not thus.
Cath. Sir Rupert ? No!
Chris. I am sure Sir Rupert loves you: he has all
The signs of a lover.

Cath. What are they?
Chris. He sighs!
Cath. Sighs! Listen to me! (Drawing a deep sigh

There, girl! what think you now
Of that, for a sigh! and say you, I'm in love ?
I will coin sighs

for you, fast as the mint
Coins ducats. Shows are all uncertain things,
Unless the cheek, indeed, grows lank and pale-
Yet that may be with frequent lack of dinner.
Oh, for a sign would be infallible,
And him to show it, I would see it on!

Chris. Sir Rupert ?

Cath. What is that to you? Doar girl, Whoe'er it be, I pray

that I

love him! The Countess flies her hawk to-day : I'll make Essay of mine.

Chris. A most strange lady, she ! A form of flesh and a heart of ice.

Cath. Not so.

A heart, Christina, all possessed of pride-
That hath no place for any passion else.

Chris. Will she ever love?
Her heart is scarce the soil to root love's flower!

Cath. No telling how love thrives ! to what it comes !
Whence grows! 'Tis e’en of as mysterious root,
As the pine that makes its lodging of the rock ;
Yet there it lives, a huge tree, flourishing,
Where you'd think a blade of grass would die !
What is love's poison, if it be not hate ?
Yet in that poison oft is found love's food.
Frowns that are clouds to us, are sun to him !
He finds a music in a scornful tongue,
That melts him more than softest melody.-
But come, we must attire us for the field-
The field—the field-Christina, wer't to take
The field in love !-a fair and honest fight !
I wonder, be there one true man on the earth ?
But if there be, I one true woman know
To match him--were he true as native gold.

[They go out, R. SCENE II.-- An Apartment in the Duke's Castle. The COUNTEss discovered, L. C-HUON reading to her, R.

Coun. Give o'er! I hate the poet's argument !
'Tis falsehood—'tis offence. A noble maid
Stoop to a peasant !-Ancestry, sire, dam,
Kindred and all, of perfect blood, despised
For love!

Huon. The peasant, though of humble stock,
High nature did ennoble-

Coun. What was that ?
Mean you to justify it? But go on.

Huon. Not to offend- Rises and comes forward.

Coun. Offend !-No fear of that,
I hope, 'twixt thee and me! I pray you, sir,
l'o recollect yourself, and be at ease,
And as I bid you, do. Go on.

Huon. Descent,

is not alone nobility, Will you not ? Never yet was line so long,

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