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The Eagle Otho to beat off assault.
Fie! Fie! But I will be her guard myself ;
I’ the Emperor's name.

I here demand
Herself, and all her sisterhood. She false !
Gersa. Peace ! peace, old man! I cannot think

she is.
Ethelbert. Whom I have known from her first

infancy,
Baptised her in the bosom of the Church,
Watch'd her, as anxious husbandmen the grain,
From the first shoot till the unripe mid-May,
Then to the tender ear of her June days,
Which, lifting sweet abroad its timid green,
Is blighted by the touch of calumny;
You cannot credit such a monstrous tale.

Gersa. I cannot. Take her. Fair Erminia,
I follow you to Friedburg,-is 't not so ?

Erminia. Ay, so we purpose.
Ethelbert.

Daughter, do you so ? How's this? I marvel! Yet you look not mad. Erminia. I have good news to tell you, Ethel

bert.
Gersa. Ho! ho, there! Guards !
Your blessing, father! Sweet Erminia,
Believe me, I am well nigh sure-
Erminia.

Farewell!
Short time will show.

Enter Chiefs.

Yes, father Ethelbert,
I have news precious as we pass along.

Ethelbert. Dear daughter, you shall guide me.
Erminia.

To no ill. Gersa. Command an escort to the Friedburg lines.

[Exeunt Chiefs. Pray let me lead. Fair lady, forget not Gersa, how he believed

you

innocent. I follow you to Friedburg with all speed.

[Exeunt.

ACT III.

SCENE I.-The Country.

Enter ALBERT.

Albert. O that the earth were empty, as when Cain Had no perplexity to hide his head ! Or that the sword of some brave enemy Had put a sudden stop to my hot breath, And hurl’d me down the illimitable gulph Of times past, unremember'd! Better so Than thus fast-limed in a cursed snare, The white limbs of a wanton. This the end

Of an aspiring life! My boyhood past
In feud with wolves and bears, when no eye saw
The solitary warfare, fought for love
Of honour 'mid the growling wilderness.
My sturdier youth, maturing to the sword,
Won by the syren-trumpets, and the ring
Of shields

upon the pavement, when bright mail'd
Henry the Fowler pass'd the streets of Prague.
Was 't to this end I louted and became
The menial of Mars, and held a spear
Sway'd by command, as corn is by the wind ?
Is it for this, I now am lifted up
By Europe's throned Emperor, to see
My honour be my executioner,-
My love of fame, my prided honesty
Put to the torture for confessional ?
Then the damn'd crime of blurting to the world
A woman's secret !—Though a fiend she be,
Too tender of my ignominious life;
But then to wrong the generous Emperor
In such a searching point, were to give up
My soul for foot-ball at Hell's holiday !
I must confess,--and cut my throat, -to-day?
To-morrow? Ho! some wine !

Enter SIGIFRED. Sigifred. A fine humourAlbert. Who goes there? Count Sigifred ? Ha! ha! Sigifred. What, man, do you mistake the hollow sky For a throng'd tavern,—and these stubbed trees For old serge hangings,—me, your humble friend, For a poor waiter? Why, man, how you stare ! What gipsies have you been carousing with ? No, no more wine ; methinks you ’ve had enough.

Albert. You well may laugh and banter. What a fool An injury may make of a staid man ! You shall know all anon. Sigifred.

Some tavern brawl? Albert. 'Twas with some people out of common reach; Revenge is difficult. Sigifred.

I am your friend; We meet again to-day, and can confer Upon it. For the present I'm in haste.

Albert. Whither?

Sigifred. To fetch King Gersa to the feast. The Emperor on this marriage is so hot, Pray Heaven it end not in apoplexy! The very porters, as I pass'd the doors, Heard his loud laugh, and answer'd in full choir. I marvel, Albert, you delay so long From these bright revelries; go, show yourself, You may be made a duke. Albert.

Ay, very like: Pray, what day has his Highness fix'd upon ?

Sigifred. For what?

Albert.

The marriage. What else can
I mean?
Sigifred. To-day. O, I forgot, you could not know;
The news is scarce a minute old with me.

Albert. Married to-day! To-day! You did not say so?
Sigifred. Now, while I speak to you, their comely

heads
Are bowed before the mitre.
Albert.

O! monstrous !
Sigifred. What is this?
Albert.

Nothing, Sigifred. Farewell! We 'll meet upon our subject. Farewell, count!

[Exit. Sigifred. To this clear-headed Albert ? He brain

turn'd! 'Tis as portentous as a meteor.

[Exit.

SCENE II.-An Apartment in the Castle.

[Enter as from the Marriage, Otho, LUDOLPH, AURANTHE,

CONRAD, Nobles, Knights, Ladies, &c., &c., &c. Music.

Otho. Now, Ludolph! Now, Auranthe! Daughter

fair! What can I find to grace your nuptial day More than my love, and these wide realms in fee?

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