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Our Catherine married Huon then, and fled;
How much to heart the Countess took his flight.
Sir Rup. No, sir; she takes to heart her father's will,
Sir Con. This secretary is a subtle spark.
Sir O. I'm of your counsel, and will break a lance
Sir Rup. Do so, sir.
I break no lance except for Catherine.
Enter CATHERINE, disguised as a man, R., and crosses, L
Cath. Who talks of breaking lances ?
Sir O. Ha! our friend
Sir Con. Well, sir, what's your news? Where's Catherine?
Cath. Absorbed in solving, sir,
A knotty point.
Sir Con. A knotty point; what is it?
Cath. The measure of a lover's patience, sir.
Cuth. Not till that point is solved.
Now, could you solve it for her, she might come
Sir O. 'Tis an hour.
Sir O. A week.
Sir O. A year.
Cath. [To Sir Rup.] Will you not make a guess? Sir Rup. [Sighing.] It is a life!
Cath. Can't you go further, sir?
Try if you can.
Sir O. Where is our mistress?
Where'er she is; or nowhere, where you are.
Sir Rup. Ay, were she in another world!
Except to flesh and blood. Sir Rupert, what's
Sir Rup. A vitality,
Precious, peculiar, not to be supplied;
Cath. Humph! and you believe, Sir Rupert,
Sir Rup. I have.
Cath. And where?
Sir Rup. In Catherine.
Cath. Heaven help the man, he speaks As if he thought himself in earnest, sirs. Whom said he now he'd break a lance for?
Sir Con. & Sir O. Her.
Cath. For Catherine, poor man! far better break A lance for the Countess; as the lists, they say, Are open to all challengers that bear The rank of knighthood.
Sir O. So they are, and we
Cath. That mortifies you, does it? So, Sir Rupert,
Will you make suit again to Catherine,
Sir Rup. Will I make suit to her? My heart is ever lying at her feet.
Cath. 'Tis neighbour, then, to an ungainly shoe. She has broken her ancle, and the awkward leech Who set it for her made a botch of it.
Her foot's awry; she limps; her taper waist,
So straight before when she moved, goes zig-zag now. Give your heart joy, sir, of its pleasant seat.
Sir Rup. The gait and shape of gentle Catherine
Sir O. With what a serious face you play the cheat.
Cath. Believe 'tis not;
But take this with you-1 should be more grieved
Sir O. So Catherine doth halt?
Sir Con. My love doth halt.
Sir O. And so doth mine.
Cath. I have not told him all.
'Tis hard to speak unwelcome things of friends.
Sir O. Hear ye?
Sir Rup. I do.
Sir O. And what resolve you?
Sir Rup. What
I did resolve before-to break no lance
Except for Catherine.
Cath. He is mad!
Think you 'twill bring him to his senses, sirs,
Sir O. Better she halted in her gait than that!
Cath. I'll tell it him.
Sir O. She is ruined utterly.
Beyond redemption !-Look, Sir Rupert!
Sir Con. Catherine's for hire: she must take service.
Her wealth is gone.
Sir Rup. [Cheerfully.[ Is gone?
Sir Rup. Now could I woo her with the best of ye! Her match in fortune, I could praise her now, Dreading no charge of venal flattery. Fair sir, take pity on an honest heart, And loving one; and as you know the haunt This gentle fawn hath slunk to, tell it me, That I may straight o'ertake and make her mine.
Sir O. Better you wait to-morrow's tournament, As we shall.
Cath. Gentlemen, you do not know
The simple truth is this-your friend lacks mettle.
Cath. He can bluster, that is evident.
See what a giant!-he would eat me up,
If he could; but think you, sirs, I heed his club?
Your friend :-his frame's robust enough, but, 'faith,
Sir Rup. 'Sdeath, sir!
you have sworn men into agues, sir,
Don't try your skill on me. My parrot swears
Sir Rup. [Drawing.] It passeth all endurance-pshaw. a stripling!
Cath. A stripling, sir?—to make an oak afeard!
But he's a spaniel, as I'll prove to you,
Cath. I never fight on Fridays, sirs:
My killing days are all the rest of the week,
E'en Sundays not excepted.
Sirs, your friend
Sir Rup. Furies!
Cath. Fiends, and all sorts of imps!
My sword to your dagger, he takes flight to-day,
Sir Rup. Will I not?
I will have satisfaction:-I accept
His challenge. I will have satisfaction, sirs!
Cath. You shall, and have it to your heart's content. Take linsey-woolsey with a halt, and the skin Of a negro, rather than essay a tilt
With chance to win a Countess! I could laugh
SCENE III.-A Room in the Castle.
Enter COUNTESS, L. U. E.
Coun. It is confirmed the place he holds beside her, Her every action speaks. Of all her court, He is the only one, whose duties to her She takes as favours, not as things of course. He comes! Who stops him thus untimely ? How changed he is! The fiery hardihood Of the life he hath of late made consort of, Hath given another spirit to his eyes; His face is cast anew, as circumstance Could alter Nature's modelling, and work, Improving on her mould. Is that the man Was once my father's serf, and I did scorn? Fell ever at my wayward frown that brow? Or stooped that knee for me, to kiss the ground? Would they do it now? Fell ever at my