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Beyond redemption !-Look, Sir Rupert!
Sir Rup. Well?
Sir Con. Catherine's for hire: she must take service.
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,
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
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!
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.
Sir Rup. Furies!
Sirs, your friend
Cath. Fiends, and all sorts of imps!
Swearing won't save you, sir—I'll prove my words.
To break a lance with me.-
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
He shall have satisfaction! I could beat him
[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
That form, as prostrate as the hand of death
Had struck it to the floor? 'Twould take that hand
Had done it once! If he confesses hold
Of any other, never shall he learn
His hold of me; but if he strives in love,
[Huon enters and remains standing at a distance, with
Coun. Is Huon here, and does not Huon speak. [Pauses.
To listen to,-exploits she would wonder at,
To find you well.
Coun. You are glad to find me well?
I hope you are!
It were not saying much,
I trust, to say I know you are!
You are glad
To find me well! Is that your news for me?
If 'tis, it is strange news.
Huon. You wished to see me,
And I am here to learn your will.
Coun. More news!
You are a friend worth parting with, you bring
To find me well!—and, as I wished to see you,
Huon. It would have been
Huon. Yes, madam,
In the serf.
Coun. With sudden indignation.] No, sir, not in the favourite
Of the Empress! [She rises.] Huon, this is not the way We ought to meet-it should not be in anger!
Coun. No heed of her. Bring Huon back
They answer for't. [Stephen going.] Stay, sir: a purse of gold
every one of them-of gold, you mark
So that they bring him back; and one for you
In like event. [Stephen going.] A minute hence, observe, I look into the court-yard, and expect
To see them in their saddles, and away !
Upon their lives I charge them bring him back!
[Exeunt, Stephen, L., Countess and Ulrick, R.
END OF ACT III.
SCENE I.-A Room in the Castle.
Ulrick. At length-the day almost arrived that brings The tournament, whose issue brings to her
A consort for her state-she yields me audience.
Should it be so, and he should come along,
How changed she is! Her fiery eye is quenched!
Her head its haughty carriage hath abated,
Enter COUNTESS, R. S. E., with a parchment in her hand.
Either directly or by implication,
Touching the quality of him may win me.
Ulrick. No, none is made; a slight omission only. Coun. Yet space enough to let my will creep through. You say, my lord, you have made proclamation
Of this fair passage far and wide ?
Ulrick. I have.
Coun. And now expect the Empress ?
Coun. And with her?
Ulrick. The noblest of her court; a glorious crowd; Among the rest, her favourite; that youth
With whose exploits the wondering realm resounds,
Has made himself the noblest which the tongue
Coun. That youth! what youth?
Ulrick. A young adventurer, of whom it seems
Coun. I never heard of him before.
Ulrick. So please you, madam, you forget, till now, Since that your father died and Huon fled,
Save your new secretary, you have deigned
Coun. You are right:
I have forgot the world, time, everything!
Ulrick. His titles change
So fast-the former almost new as its
Successor scarce I know now his present style.
Coun. His name, I mean.
Ulrick. His name I know not, madam.
Coun. [Aside.] What moves my heart, so leaden dull
Why did it leap at mention of the stranger?—