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Gonfred. After the page's story of the death
And the return
No more, save
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
With ghastly ravings.
I do fear his brain.
[Exeunt into the Castle. SCENE IV.-A Cabinet, opening towards a Terrace.
OTHO, ERMINIA, ETHELBERT, and a Physician,
Otho. O, my poor boy! My son! My son! My
'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
He is so full of grief and passionate wrath;
Enough! I hear, I hear. Yet you were about to advise more,—I listen. Ethelbert. This learned doctor will agree with
Physician. There are no other means.
I command !
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 ?
Physician. Say, how fares the prince ? Gersa. More calm ; his features are less wild and
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,
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.
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 ?