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In such a mood as now you listen to me:
Conrad. I saw my moment. The Hungarians, Collected silently in holes and corners, Appear'd, a sudden host, in the open day. I should have perish'd in our empire's wreck, But, calling interest loyalty, swore faith To most believing Otho; and so help'd His blood-stain'd ensigns to the victory In yesterday's hard fight, that it has turn'd The edge of his sharp wrath to eager kindness..
Auranthe. So far yourself. But what is this to me More than that I am glad ? I gratulate you.
Conrad. Yes, sister, but it does regard you greatly,
Auranthe. Concerning whom or what?
Auranthe. I would inquire somewhat of him.
Conrad. At one pernicious charge of the enemy, I, for a moment-whiles, was prisoner ta'en And rifled,-stuff! the horses' hoofs have minced it!
Auranthe. He is alive?
Conrad. He is! but here make oath
from your solitary thoughts,
.moun your sont
Auranthe. I'll not be perjured.
No, nor great, nor mighty;
What means this ? Conrad. You'll not be perjured! Go to Albert then, That camp-mushroom - dishonour of our house. Go, page his dusty heels upon a march, Furbish his jingling baldric while he sleeps, And share his mouldy ration in a siege. Yet stay,—perhaps a charm may call you back, And make the widening circlets of your eyes Sparkle with healthy fevers.— The Emperor Hath given consent that you should marry Ludolph!
Auranthe. Can it be, brother? Fora golden crown With a queen's awful lips I doubly thank you! This is to wake in Paradise! Farewell, Thou clod of yesterday !-'twas not myself! Not till this moment did I ever feel My spirit's faculties! I'll flatter you For this, and be you ever proud of it; Thou, Jove-like, struck'dst thy forehead,
And from the teeming marrow of thy brain
I know not
That I heard Among the midnight rumours from the camp.
Conrad. You give up Albert to me?
Harm him not!
Conrad. Have I not laboured, plotted —?
See you spare him:
Conrad. Lét not this slave — this villain Be cause of feud between us. See! he comes! Look, woman, look, your Albert is quite safe! In haste it seems. Now shall I be in the way, And wish'd with silent curses in my grave, Or side by side with 'whelmed mariners.
Noble Albert !
Auranthe. Such salutation argues a glad heart
Lady O, would to Heaven your poor servant Could do you better service than mere words ! But I have other greeting than mine own,From no less man than Otho, who has sent This ring as pledge of dearest amity; 'Tis chosen, I hear, from Hymen's jewelry, And you will prize it, lady, I doubt not, Beyond all pleasures past, and all to come. To you, great duke Conrad.
To me! What of me, ha ?
Your message, sir !
Sister, this way; For there shall be no “gentle Alberts” now, (Aside. No “sweet Auranthes !”
[Exeunt CONRAD and AURANTHE. Albert (solus). The duke is out of temper; if he
Is in the heady, proud, ambitious vein ;
SCENE II.— The Court-yard of the Castle.
Martial Music Enter, from the outer gate, Otho,
Nobles, Knights, and Attendants. The Soldiers halt at the gate, with Banners in sight.
Otho. Where is my noble herald ?
Enter CONRAD, from the Castle, attended by two Knights and Servants. ALBERT following.
Well, hast told Auranthe our intent imperial ? Lest our rent banners, too o' the sudden shown, Should fright her silken casements, and dismay Her household to our lack of entertainment. A victory!
Conrad. God save illustrious Otho!
Otho. Aye, Conrad, it will pluck out all grey hairs; It is the best physician for the spleen;