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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,
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!

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.

Sir Rup. Furies!

Sirs, your friend
[Coolly puts up her sword.

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.-
e.-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

With chance to win a Countess! I could laugh
To scorn, the man that would believe him!

Oh !

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

That form, as prostrate as the hand of death

Had struck it to the floor? 'Twould take that hand
To lay it now there-and a waive of mine

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,
I bless my stars I have the 'vantage ground.

[Huon enters and remains standing at a distance, with
his eyes on the ground.

Coun. Is Huon here, and does not Huon speak. [Pauses.
Absent so long, no greeting for a friend?--
A woman, too! [Pauses.] No salutation kind,
Prelude of happy news she'd joy to hear,-
Relation of adventures she would thrill

To listen to,-exploits she would wonder at,
And the next moment at her wonder blush,
Knowing whose arm achieved them!
Huon. I am glad

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
Such marvels home with you! Some time, methinks,
Since last we met together, and you are glad

To find me well!—and, as I wished to see you,
You are here to learn my will! You were not here,
Had not I sent for you.

Huon. It would have been


Coun. Presumptuous?

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
By fair means or by foul-persuasion lost,
Let them resort to force-but not to harm
A hair of his head. So be their numbers such
As makes resistance idle. They are sure
To track him, so they lose not time—and see
They do not! If they waste a moment only,

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.



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.
Is it for loss of Huon she has pined,
And kept herself forbiddingly alone?
If so, why give his hand to Catherine?
This is a mystery, the which the more
I try to sound, the deeper doth it grow;
While surmise after surmise rises, as
Report succeeds report of high exploits
Achieved by this unknown adventurer.
Who now stands next the Empress chief in place,
That even he and Huon are the same!

Should it be so, and he should come along,
What then the issue of her meeting with him?
This I revolve, and with a troubled heart,
That sees no end to its perplexity.

[Looks out.

How changed she is! Her fiery eye is quenched!

Her head its haughty carriage hath abated,
Her cheek is beggared of its prideful blush.

Enter COUNTESS, R. S. E., with a parchment in her hand.
Coun. I have perused the testament, my lord,
Carefully, word for word, and see no mention,

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 ?
Ulrick. Yes.

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,
Who, in so brief a space, without a name,

Has made himself the noblest which the tongue
Of high renown rings out.

Coun. That youth! what youth?

Ulrick. A young adventurer, of whom it seems
Fair fortune is enamoured-gives him all
He asks!

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
With none vouchsafe communing.

Coun. You are right:

I have forgot the world, time, everything!
What is this favourite called?

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?—

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