SCENE I.

A part of the Forest.
Enter CONRAD and AURANTHE.
Auranthe. Go no further; not a step more; thou art
A master-plague in the midst of miseries.
Go I fear thee. I tremble every limb,
Who never shook before. There's moody death
In thy resolved looks Yes, I could kneel
To pray thee far away. Conrad, go, go
There! yonder underneath the boughs I see
Our horses!
Conrad. Aye, and the man.
Auranthe. Yes, he is there.
Go, go, no blood, no blood; go, gentle Conrad!
Conrad. Farewell!
Auranthe. Farewell, for this Heaven pardon you.
[Exit AURANTHE,
Conrad. If he survive one hour, then may I die
In unimagined tortures or breathe through
A long life in the foulest sink of the world!
He dies 'tis well she do not advertise
The caitiff of the cold steel at his back.
[Exit CONRAD.
Enter LUDOLPH and PAGE.
Ludolph. Miss'd the way, boy, say not that on your peril!
Page. Indeed, indeed I cannot trace them further.
Ludolph. Must I stop here? Here solitary die?
Stifled beneath the thick oppressive shade
Of these dull boughs, this oven of dark thickets,
Silent, without revenge? pshaw! bitter end,
A bitter death, a suffocating death,
A gnawing silent deadly, quiet death!
Escaped? fled? vanish'd? melted into air?
She's gone! I cannot clutch her! no revenge!
A muffled death, ensnar'd in horrid silence!
Suck'd to my grave amid a dreamy calm!
O, where is that illustrious noise of war,
To smother up this sound of labouring breath,
This rustle of the trees!
[AURANTHE shrieks at a distance.
Page. My Lord, a noise!
This way hark!
Ludolph. Yes, yes! A hope! A music!
A glorious clamour! How I live again! [Exeunt.

SCENE II. Another part of the Forest,
Enter ALBERT (wounded).
Albert. O for enough life to support me on
To Otho's feet
Enter LUDOLPH.
Ludolph. Thrice villainous, stay there
Tell me where that detested woman is
Or this is through thee!
Albert. My good Prince, with me
The sword has done its worst; not without worst
Done to another Conrad has it home
I see you know it all
Ludolph. Where is his sister?
AURANTHE rushes in.
Auranthe. Albert!
Ludolph. Ha! There! there! He is the paramour I
There hug him dying! O, thou innocence,
Shrine him and comfort him at his last gasp,
Kiss down his eyelids! Was he not thy love?
Wilt thou forsake him at his latest hour?
Keep fearful and aloof from his last gaze,
His most uneasy moments, when cold death
Stands with the door ajar to let him in?
Albert. O that that door with hollow slam would close
Upon me sudden, for I cannot meet,
In all the unknown chambers of the dead,
Such horrors
Ludolph. Auranthe! what can he mean?
What horrors? Is it not a joyous time?
Am I not married to a paragon
'Of personal beauty and untainted soul'?
A blushing fair-eyed Purity! A Sylph,
Whose snowy timid hand has never sin'd
Beyond a flower pluck'd, white as itself?
Albert, you do insult my Bride your Mistress
To talk of horrors on our wedding night.
Albert. Alas! poor Prince, I would you knew my heart.
'Tis not so guilty
Ludolph. Hear you he pleads not guilty
You are not? or if so what matters it?
You have escap'd me, free as the dusk air
Hid in the forest safe from my revenge;
I cannot catch you--You should laugh at me,
Poor cheated Ludolph, make the forest hiss
With jeers at me You tremble; faint at once,
You will come to again. O Cockatrice,
I have you. Whither wander those fair eyes
To entice the Devil to your help, that he
May change you to a Spider, so to crawl
Into some cranny to escape my wrath?
Albert. Sometimes the counsel of a dying man
Doth operate quietly when his breath is gone
Disjoin those hands part--part, do not destroy
Each other forget her our miseries
Are equal shar'd, and mercy is
Ludolph. A boon
When one can compass it. Auranthe, try
Your oratory your breath is not so hitch'd
Aye, stare for help
[ALBERT groans and dies.
There goes a spotted soul
Howling in vain along the hollow night
Hear him he calls you Sweet Auranthe, come!
Auranthe. Kill me.
Ludolph. No! What? upon our Marriage-night!
The earth would shudder at so foul a deed
A fair Bride, a sweet Bride, an innocent Bride!
No, we must revel it, as 'tis in use
In times of delicate brilliant ceremony:
Come, let me lead you to our halls again
Nay, linger not make no resistance sweet
Will you Ah wretch, thou canst not, for I have
The strength of twenty lions 'gainst a lamb
Now one adieu for Albert come away.
[Exeunt.


SCENE III. An inner Court of the Castle.
Enter SIGIFRED, GONFRED, and THEODORE meeting.
Theodore. Was ever such a night?
Sigifred. What horrors more?
Things unbeliev'd one hour, so strange they are,
The next hour stamps with credit.
Theodore. Your last news ?
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.
Theodore. 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?
Thedore. I ache to think on't.
Gonfred. —Tis with fate.
Theodore. 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 the Medicine
Either of heaven or earth can 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 sav'd 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 is 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. O, 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
This silence whisper me that he is dead!
It is so. Gersa?
Enter GERSA.
Physician. Say, how fares the prince?
Gersa. More calm his features are less wild and flushed
Once he complain'd of weariness
Physician. Indeed!
'Tis good 'tis good let him but fall asleep,
That saves him.
Otho. Gersa, watch h