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Our Catherine married Huon then, and fled;
And Huon fled, avoiding Catherine !
Nor since of either tidings-though for him
Almost the world was searched. Strange, loathing him,
As she did, with hate almost unnatural,

How much to heart the Countess took his flight.
She pines for loss of him.

Sir Rup. No, sir; she takes to heart her father's will,
Compelling her to choose a husband, or
Accept of him the tournament may send her.
And so she keeps alone; to all forbidding
Approach to her, except this youth, who sits
In Huon's place, her secretary now,
The forward cousin of fair Catherine.

Sir Con. This secretary is a subtle spark.
He has harped upon our suit to Catherine,
Awakened hopes we had given o'er as dead,
And pledged himself with oaths she would return
Free as she ne'er had plighted troth to Huon,
And yet she comes not. What we take in earnest,
Be sure he only gives in mockery.

Sir O. I'm of your counsel, and will break a lance
To-morrow for the Countess.

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

The Secretary.

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.
Sir Con. Does she not come ?

Cuth. Not till that point is solved.

Now, could you solve it for her, she might come
The sooner.

Sir O. 'Tis an hour.
Sir Con. A day.

Sir O. A week.
Sir Con. A month.

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?
Lovers do miracles :

Try if you can.
'Tis said they do; I never saw them, though,
Nor met with those that did.

Sir O. Where is our mistress?
Cath. Here, .*

Where'er she is; or nowhere, where you are.
Have you a mistress, there your mistress is,
Were she at one end of the world, and you
At the other.

Sir Rup. Ay, were she in another world!
Cath. Why, what's the matter with Sir Rupert?
The gentleman gone mad? I think myself
A sterling lover, but I take no oath,

Except to flesh and blood. Sir Rupert, what's
Your thought of a mistress?

Sir Rup. A vitality,

Precious, peculiar, not to be supplied;
Once with your being joined, a part of it
Forever!

Cath. Humph! and you believe, Sir Rupert,
You have met with such a thing?

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
Design to try our fortune, and lament
Not to find Sir Rupert of our mind.

Cath. That mortifies you, does it? So, Sir Rupert,

Will you make suit again to Catherine,
Say she come back again, released from her
Enforcéd vow?

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
Are in her heart, no fracture warping there.

Sir O. With what a serious face you play the cheat.
Cath. Sir, I look serious at a serious thing.
Sir Con. It is not as you say?

Cath. Believe 'tis not;

But take this with you-1 should be more grieved
Than you would, to disparage Catherine.

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. And hard to hear them, too. Sir Rupert!
Sir Rup. Well.

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!
Isn't he, sir?

Think you 'twill bring him to his senses, sirs,
To tell him she hath squandered all her wealth?

Sir O. Better she halted in her gait than that!
Sir Con. Or cast her white skin for an Ethiop's?
You do not tell us so?

Cath. I'll tell it him.

Sir O. She is ruined utterly.
Sir Con. Undone,

[Retires.

Beyond redemption !-Look, Sir Rupert!
Sir Rup. Well?

Sir Con. Catherine's for hire: she must take service.
All

Her wealth is gone.

Sir Rup. [Cheerfully.[ Is gone?
Sir Con. It makes you glad!

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

Your man.

The simple truth is this-your friend lacks mettle.
Sir Rup. Sir!

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?
Give me a straw, I'll face him. You mistake

Your friend :-his frame's robust enough, but, 'faith,
His spirit is a lean one.

Sir Rup. 'Sdeath, sir!

Cath. Ho!

If

you have sworn men into agues, sir,

Don't try your skill on me. My parrot swears
As well as you, and just as much I heed him.

Sir Rup. [Drawing.] It passeth all endurance-pshaw. a stripling!

Cath. A stripling, sir?—to make an oak afeard!
Sir Rup. [Again drawing.] Indeed!
Cath. As I do live, his sword is out!

But he's a spaniel, as I'll prove to you,
Who thinks he bites, by showing you his teeth.
Here's for you, sir. [Draws.] But hold-what day is thi
Sir Con. Friday.

Cath. I never fight on Fridays, sirs:

My killing days are all the rest of the week,

E'en Sundays not excepted.
Is a coward.

Sirs, your friend
[Coolly puts up her sword.

Sir Rup. Furies!

Cath. Fiends, and all sorts of imps!
Swearing won't save you, sir—I'll prove my words.
I dare you at the tournament, to-morrow,
To break a lance with me.-Observe you, sirs:

I'll wager

My sword to your dagger, he takes flight to-day,
And waits not for to-morrow.

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

Oh !

With chance to win a Countess! I could laugh
To scorn, the man that would believe him!
He shall have satisfaction! I could beat him
With a rush in rest.—He shall have satisfaction!
Sirs, he will cower at the very sight of me!
Fall on his knees, and beg his life of me
With clasped hands. He shall have satisfaction!
[They go out severally.

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

feet

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