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For thy lofty rank and fashion: much depends
Cos. I '11 see to it.
Alm. Then see to it! Pay more attention, sir, To a becoming carriage: much thou wantest In dignity.
Cos. Much, much—oh, much I want In proper dignity!
Aless. (haughtily). Thou mockest me, sir!
Cos. (abstractedly). Sweet, gentle Lalage!
Aless. Heard I aright?
I speak to him—he speaks of Lalage! Sir Count! (places her hand on his shoulder) what
art thou dreaming? He's not well! What ails thee, sir?
Cos. (starting). Cousin !—fair cousin !—madam! I crave thy pardon—indeed, I am not well! Your hand from off my shoulder, if you please. This air is most oppressive !—Madam—the Duke! Enter Di Broglio.
Di Broglio. My son, I 've news for thee ! —Hey! what's the matter? (Observing Alessandra.) F the pouts? Kiss her, Castiglione !—kiss her, You dog! and make it up, I say, this minute! I 've news for you both. Politian is expected Hourly in Rome — Politian, Earl of Leicester! We 'll have him at the wedding. 'T is his first visit To the imperial city.
AUss. What! Politian
Of Britain, Earl of Leicester?
Di Brog. The same, my love.
We 'll have him at the wedding. A man quite young
Aless. I have heard much of this Politian.
Di Brog. Far from it, love.
No branch, they say, of all philosophy
Aless. T is very strange!
I have known men have seen Politian,
Cas. Ridiculous! Now I have seen Politian
Di Brog. Children, we disagree. Let us go forth and taste the fragrant air Of the garden. Did I dream, or did I hear Politian was a melancholy man' ! [Exeunt.
ROME.—A Lady's apartment, with a window open, and looking into a garden. Lalage, in deep mourning reading at a table, on which lie some books and a hand-mirror. In the back-ground, Jacinta (a servant-maid) leans carelessly upon a chair.
Lal. Jacinta! is it thou?
Jac. (partly). Yes, ma'am, I 'm here.
Lal. I did not know, Jacinta, you were in waiting.
Sit down !—let not my presence trouble you.
Jac. (aside). Tis time.
[jacinta seats herself in a side-long manner upon the chair, resting her elbows upon the back, and regarding her mistress with a contemptuous look. Lalage continues to read. Lal. '" It in another climate, so he said, Bore a bright golden flower, but not i' this soil!"
[Pauses, turns over some leaves, and resumes. "No lingering winters there, nor snow, nor shower; But Ocean ever to refresh mankind Breathes the shrill spirit of the western wind." Oh, beautiful!—most beautiful!—how like To what my fevered soul doth dream of heaven! 0 happy land ! (Pauses.) She died !—the maiden died! 0 still more happy maiden who couldst die! Jacinta!
[jacinta returns no answer, and Lalage presently resumes. Again ! — a similar tale Told of a beauteous dame beyond the sea. Thus speaketh one Ferdinand, in the words of the
"She died full young "—one Bossola answers him—
"I think not so; her infelicity
Seemed to have years too many."—Ah, luckless lady!
Jacinta! (Still no answer.)
Here's a far sterner story, But like — oh, very like, in its despair, Of that Egyptian queen, winning so easily A thousand hearts—losing, at length, her own. She died. Thus endeth the history, and her maids Lean over her and weep,—two gentle maids With gentle names—Eiros and Charmion! Rainbow and Dove! Jacinta!
Jae. (pettishly). Madam, what is it?
Lal. Wilt thou, my good Jacinta, be so kind
Jac. Pshaw! [Exit.
Lal. If there be balm
For the wounded spirit in Gilead, it is there!
Jac. There, ma'am, 's the book. Indeed, she is very troublesome. (Aside.)
Lal. (astonished.) What didst thou say, Jacinta? Have I done aught To grieve thee or to vex thee ?—I am sorry; For thou hast served me long, and ever been Trustworthy and respectful. [Resumes her reading.
Jac. I can't believe