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Ethelbert. Deluded monarch, 'tis a cruel lie.
Erminia. Almost a dream!
A foolish dream that from my brow hath wrung
So act the lion with this silly gnat ?
But now you have, with such a brazen front,
To dazzle the soft moon, when tenderest clouds
Almost with pleasure. Let them be set free
Insult beyond credence!
We have awaked from!
Otho. Still in extremes. No, they must not be loose.
Otho. Fear'st thou not my fury, monk?
Till we determine some fit punishment.
And question them in private; for perhaps,
[Exeunt OTHо and Nobles, ALBERT following.
Conrad. My guards, ho!
Turn, thou court-Janus! thou forget'st thyself;
To thank thee; here congratulate each other;
Trust! to me!
Conrad (aside). He is the sole one in this mystery.
You, who could do this deed, would ne'er relent,
Manacle them both! Ethelbert. I know it-it must be-I see it all! Albert, thou art the minion!
Ah! too plain
Conrad. Silence! Gag up their mouths! I cannot bear More of this brawling. That the Emperor
Had placed you in some other custody!
Bring them away.
[Exeunt all but ALBERT.
Albert. Though my name perish from the book of honor, Almost before the recent ink is dry, And be no more remember'd after death, Than any drummer's in the muster-roll ; Yet shall I season high my sudden fall With triumph o'er that evil-witted duke! He shall feel what it is to have the hand Of a man drowning, on his hateful throat.
Enter GERSA and SIGIFRED.
Gersa. What discord is at ferment in this house? Sigifred. We are without conjecture; not a soul We met could answer any certainty.
Gersa. Young Ludolph, like a fiery arrow, shot By us.
Sigifred. The Emperor, with cross'd arms, in thought. Gersa. In one room music, in another sadness, Perplexity every where!
A trifle more!
SCENE I.-AURANTHE'S Apartment.
AURANTHE and CONRAD discovered.
Conrad. Well, well, I know what ugly jeopardy
Of remedies with some deliberation.
To crush or save us?
Knowing his mawkish honesty.
Auranthe. Ay, I could almost curse him now myself, Wretched impediment! Evil genius!
A glue upon my wings, that cannot spread,
When they should span the provinces! A snake,
Conrad. You would not hear my counsel, when his life
Entreated, managed! When can you contrive
It must be done as my bribed woman can
See him immediately; why not now?
Auranthe. Do you forget that even the senseless door-posts
Men I have spurn'd, and women I have taunted.
Well, suppose this Albert here;
He should be
What will you do then?
Auranthe. What I shall do, I know not; what I would Cannot be done; for see, this chamber-floor
Will not yield to the pick-axe and the spade,
Here is no quiet depth of hollow ground.
Conrad. Sister, you have grown sensible and wise, Seconding, ere I speak it, what is now,
I hope, resolved between us.
Say, what is 't?
Conrad. You need not be his sexton too; a man May carry that with him shall make him die Elsewhere, give that to him; pretend the while
You will to-morrow succumb to his wishes,
Be what they may, and send him from the Castle
Alas! he must not die!
Conrad. Would you were both hearsed up in stifling lead! Detested
Auranthe. Conrad, hold! I would not bear
So keep your wits at work, for your own sake,
If my domains were emptied of these folk,
Conrad. I leave you to your thoughts.
Auranthe (sola). Down, down, proud temper! down, Auranthe's pride!
Why do I anger him when I should kneel?
Conrad! Albert! help! help! What can I do?
Of a wide empire, like a glowing moon;
And thou, bright sceptre! lustrous in my eyes,—