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Gonfred. After the page's story of the death
Of Albert and Duke Conrad ?
Sigifred.

And the return
Of Ludolph with the Princess.
Gonfred.

No more, save
Prince Gersa's freeing Abbot Ethelbert,
And the sweet lady, fair Erminia,
From prison.
1st Knight. Where are they now?

Hast yet
heard ?
Gonfred. With the sad Emperor they are closeted;
I saw the three pass slowly up the stairs,
The lady weeping, the old abbot cowl'd.

Sigifred. What next? 1st Knight.

I ache to think on't. Gonfred.

'Tis with fate. 1st Knight. One while these proud towers are

hush'd as death. Gonfred. The next our poor Prince fills the arched

rooms

With ghastly ravings.
Sigifred.

I do fear his brain.
Gonfred. I will see more. Bear you so stout a
heart ?

[Exeunt into the Castle. SCENE IV.-A Cabinet, opening towards a Terrace.

OTHO, ERMINIA, ETHELBERT, and a Physician,

discovered.

Otho. O, my poor boy! My son! My son! My

Ludolph!
Have ye no comfort for me, ye physicians
Of the weak body and soul ?
Ethelbert.

'Tis not in medicine, Either of heaven or earth, to cure, unless Fit time be chosen to administer.

Otho. A kind forbearance, holy abbot. Come, Erminia ; here, sit by me, gentle girl ; Give me thy hand; hast thou forgiven me ? Erminia. Would I were with the saints to pray

for you! Otho. Why will ye keep me from my darling

child ? Physician. Forgive me, but he must not see thy

face. Otho. Is then a father's countenance a Gorgon ? Hath it not comfort in it? Would it not Console my poor boy, cheer him, heal his spirits ? Let me embrace him ; let me speak to him ; I will! Who hinders me? Who 's Emperor ? Physician. You may not, Sire; 'twould overwhelm

him quite,

He is so full of grief and passionate wrath;
Too heavy a sigh would kill him, or do worse.
He must be saved by fine contrivances ;
And, most especially, we must keep clear
Out of his sight a father whom he loves ;
His heart is full, it can contain no more,
And do its ruddy office.
Ethelbert.

Sage advice;
We must endeavour how to ease and slacken
The tight-wound energies of his despair,
Not make them tenser.
Otho.

Enough! I hear, I hear. Yet you were about to advise more,—I listen. Ethelbert. This learned doctor will agree with

me,
That not in the smallest point should he be thwarted,
Or gainsaid by one word ; his very motions,
Nods, becks, and hints, should be obey'd with care,
Even on the moment; so his troubled mind
May cure itself.

Physician. There are no other means.
Otho. Open the door ; let 's hear if all is quiet.
Physician. Beseech you, Sire, forbear.
Erminia.

Do, do.
Otho.

I command !
Open it straight ;-hush !—quiet !-my lost boy!
My miserable child !

Ludolph (indistinctly without). Fill, fill my goblet,

-here's a health ! Erminia.

0, close the door! Otho. Let, let me hear his voice; this cannot last; And fain would I catch up his dying words, , Though my own knell they be! This cannot last ! O let me catch his voice--for lo! I hear A whisper in this silence that he's dead ! It is so ! Gersa ?

Enter GERSA.

Physician. Say, how fares the prince ? Gersa. More calm ; his features are less wild and

flush'd ;
Once he complain'd of weariness.
Physician.

Indeed!
"Tis good,—'tis good; let him but fall asleep,
That saves him.
Otho.

Gersa, watch him like a child ; Ward him from harm,—and bring me better news !

Physician. Humour him to the height. I fear

to go ;

For should he catch a glimpse of my dull garb,
It might affright him, fill him with suspicion
That we believe him sick, which must not be.
Gersa. I will invent what soothing means I can.

[Exit GERSA.

Physician. This should cheer up your Highness;

weariness Is a good symptom, and most favourable ; It gives me pleasant hopes. Please you, walk forth Upon the terrace; the refreshing air Will blow one half of your sad doubts away.

[Eveunt.

SCENE V.-A Banqueting Hall, brilliantly illumi

nated, and set forth with all costly magnificence, with Supper-tables, laden with services of Gold and Silver. A door in the back scene, guarded by two Soldiers. Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, &c., whispering sadly, and ranging themselves ; part entering and part discovered.

1st Knight. Grievously are we tantalised, one

and all ; Sway'd here and there, commanded to and fro, As though we were the shadows of a sleep, And link'd to a dreaming fancy. What do we

here? Gonfred. I am no seer; you know we must obey The prince from A to Z, though it should be To set the place in flames. I pray, hast heard Where the most wicked Princess is ?

VOL. II.

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