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Josephine (abruptly). My son-our sonour Ulric,
Been clasp'd again in these long empty arms,
He was, and beautiful he must be now.
Werner. I have been full oft
The chase of fortune; now she hath o'ertaken My spirit where it cannot turn at bay,— Sick, poor, and lonely.
Josephine. Lonely! my dear husband? Werner. Or worse-involving all I love,
And forfeited them by my father's wrath, In my o'er-fervent youth; but for the abuse Long sufferings have atoned. My father's death
Left the path open, yet not without snares. This cold and creeping kinsman, who so long
Kept his eye on me, as the snake upon The fluttering bird, hath ere this time outstept me,
Become the master of my rights, and lord Of that which lifts him up to princes in Dominion and domain.
Josephine. Who knows? our son
May have return'd back to his grandsire, and Even now uphold thy rights for thee? Werner. 'Tis hopeless.
Since his strange disappearance from my father's,
Entailing, as it were, my sins upon
Baffled the long pursuit of Stralenheim. Werner. We should have done, but for this fatal sickness,
More fatal than a mortal malady,
Who so long watch'd thee, have been left at Hamburgh.
Our unexpected journey, and this change Of name, leaves all discovery far behind: None hold us here for aught save what we
Werner. Save what we seem! save what we are—sick beggars, Even to our very hopes.-Ha! ha! Josephine. Alas!
That bitter laugh!
Werner. Who would read in this form The high soul of the son of a long line? Who, in this garb, the heir of princely lands? Who, in this sunken, sickly eye, the pride Of rank and ancestry? in this worn cheek, And famine-hollow'd brow, the lord of halls, Which daily feast a thousand vassals? Josephine. You
Ponder'd not thus upon these worldly things, My Werner! when you deign'd to choose for bride
The foreign daughter of a wandering exile. Werner. An exile's daughter with an
Were a fit marriage; but I still had hopes To lift thee to the state we both were born for. Your father's house was noble, though decay'd,
And worthy by its birth to match with ours. Josephine. Your father did not think so,
though 'twas noble; But had my birth been all my claim to match With thee, I should have deem'd it what it is. Werner. And what is that in thine eyes? Josephine. All which it Has done in our behalf,-nothing. Werner. How,- nothing? Josephine. Or worse; for it has been a
Thy heart from the beginning: but for this,
We had not felt our poverty, or as
Or, if that seem too humble, tried by
Or other civic means, to amend thy fortunes. Werner (ironically). And been an Hanseatic burgher? Excellent! Josephine. Whate'er thou mightst have been, to me thou art,
What no state, high or low, can ever change, My heart's first choice;-which chose thee, knowing neither
Thy birth, thy hopes, thy pride; nought, save thy sorrows:
While they last, let me comfort or divide
When they end, let mine end with them, or thee!
Werner. My better angel! such I have
This rashness, or this weakness of my temper,
In youth was such as to unmake an empire,
Myself, to lose this for our son and thee!
My father barr'd me from my father's house,
As e'er was gilt upon a trader's board;
Josephine. Oh, yes; we are, but distantly.
Idenst. Well, I'm glad of that;
Play'd round my heart-blood is not water,
And so let's have some wine, and drink unto
Werner. You appear to have drank enough
And if you had not, I've no wine to offer,
You see I am poor and sick, and will not see
Werner. A knocking!
Werner. And poverty hath none,
Save those who come to make it poorer still.
[Werner puts his hand into his bosom
Idenst. A fair good evening to my fairer
And worthy-what's your name, my friend?
Not afraid to demand it?
Idenst. Why, what should bring me here?
That which will send you hence.
Josephine. How should we?
Idenst. But what you don't know is,
Is drown'd below the ford, with five posthorses.
A monkey, and a mastiff, and a valet.
Keep up the stove- I will myself to the cellar
AndMadame Idenstein(my consort,stranger,) Shall furnish forth the bed - apparel; for, To say the truth, they are marvellous scant
Josephine. Poor creatures! are you sure? Idenst. Yes, of the monkey, And the valet, and the cattle; but as yet We know not if his Excellency 's dead Or no; your noblemen are hard to drown, As it is fit that men in office should be; But, what is certain, is, that he has swallow'd | Within the palace - precincts, since his Enough of the Oder to have burst two
And now a Saxon and Hungarian traveller,
If we can be of service-say the word. Idenst. Here? no; but in the Prince's own apartment,
As fits a noble guest: 'tis damp, no doubt, Not having been inhabited these twelve years;
But then he comes from a much damper place,
I have order'd fire and all appliances
Josephine. Poor gentleman!
I hope he will, with all my heart.
Have you not learn'd his name? My Jo[Aside to his wife. Retire, I'll sift this fool. [Exit Josephine. Idenst. His name? oh Lord! Who knows if he hath now a name or no; 'Tis time enough to ask it when he's able To give an answer, or if not, to put His heir's upon his epitaph. Methought Just now you chid me for demanding names? Werner. True, true, I did so; you say well and wisely.
Gabor. If I intrude, I craveIdenst. Oh, no intrusion! This is the palace; this a stranger like Yourself; I pray you make yourself at home: But where's hisExcellency, and how fares he? Gabor. Wetly and wearily, but out of peril;
He paused to change his garments in a cottage (Where I doff'd mine for these, and came on hither),
And has almost recover'd from his drenching. He will be here anon.
Idenst. What ho, there! bustle! Without there, Herman, Weilburg, Peter, Conrad!
[Gives directions to different servants who enter.
A nobleman sleeps here to night-see that All is in order in the damask-chamber
Left it some dozen years ago.
I cannot tell ; but I should think the pillow
Idenst. But are you sure
His Excellency-but his name, what is it?
Idenst. And yet you saved his life.
To save a man's life whom you do not know. Gabor. Not so; for there are some I know so well
I scarce should give myself the trouble.
Good friend, and who may you be?
Which is call'd? Gabor. It matters little.
Idenst. (aside) I think that all the world
are grown anonymous,
Since no one cares to tell me what he's call'd! Pray, has his Excellency a large suite? Gabor. Sufficient.
Idenst. Now, how much do you reckon on? Gabor. I have not yet put up myself to sale: In the mean time, my best reward would be A glass of your Hockheimer, a green glass, Wreathed with rich grapes and Bacchanal devices,
O'erflowing with the oldest of your vintage; For which I promise you, in case you e'er Run hazard of being drown'd (although I own
It seems, of all deaths, the least likely for you),
I'll pull you out for nothing. Quick, my friend,
And think, for every bumper I shall quaff, A wave the less may roll above your head.
Idenst. (aside) I don't much like this fellow-close and dry
He seems, two things which suit me not;
Wine he shall have; if that unlocks him not,
The intendant of the palace, I presume?
W'erner. The apartment
Design'd for him you rescued will be found
Gabor. I wonder then you occupied it not,
Excuse me have I said aught to offend you?
Gabor. And that's the reason I would have us less so :
I thought our bustling host without had said
You were a chance- and passing-guest, the counterpart
Of me and my companions.
W'erner. Very true.
Gabor. Then, as we never met before,
It may be, may again encounter, why,
I have been a soldier, and perhaps am blunt
Werner. I have also served, and can
Gabor. In what service?
Werner. And I—nothing.
Gabor. That's harder still. You say you
Gabor. You look one still. All soldiers are
(While levell'd) at each other's hearts;
A truce, a peace, or what you will, remits
You are poor and sickly — I am not rich
I want for nothing which I cannot want;
Gabor. You yourself,
In saying you were a soldier during peacetime.
Werner (looking at him with suspicion). You know me not?
Gabor. I know no man, not even Myself: how should I then know one I ne'er Beheld till half an hour since?
Werner. Sir, I thank you.
Your offer 's noble were it to a friend,
I am a beggar in all save his trade,
Gabor (solus). A goodly fellow by his
As most good fellows are,by pain or pleasure,
Werner (quickly, and then interrupting | I scarce know which most quickly; but
himself). I commanded-no-I mean
Gabor. Well, that's over now, and peace
To have seen better days, as who has not Who has seen yesterday? But here approaches
Our sage intendant, with the wine; however,
Idenst. Fair!-Well, I trust your taste in | Some days ago that look'd the likeliest
wine is equal
To that you shew for beauty;but I pledge you For Werner.
Gabor. Is not the lovely woman
I met in the adjacent hall, who, with
Beseem'd this palace in its brightest days
Idenst. I would she were!
Gabor. And by her aspect she might be a prince's:
Though time hath touch'd her too, she still retains
Much beauty, and more majesty.
Idenst. And that
Is more than I can say for Madame Idenstein,
Gabor. I don't. But who
Idenst. There I differ.
He's poor as Job, and not so patient; but Who he may be, or what, or aught of him, Except his name (and that I only learn'd To-night), I know not.
Gabor. But how came he here?
Idenst. In a most miserable old caleche, About a month since, and immediately Fell sick, almost to death. He should have died.
Gabor. Tender and true!—but why? Idenst. Why, what is life Without a living? He has not a stiver. Gabor. In that case, I much wonder that a person
Of your apparent prudence should admit Guests so forlorn into this noble mansion. Idenst. That's true; but pity, as you know, does make
One's heart commit these follies; and besides, They had some valuables left at that time, Which paid their way up to the present hour,
And so I thought they might as well be lodged
Here as at the small tavern, and I gave
The run of some of the oldest palace-rooms. They served to air them, at the least as long As they could pay for fire-wood.
Gabor. Poor souls! Idenst. Ay, Exceeding poor.
Gabor. And yet unused to poverty, If I mistake not. Whither were they going? Idenst. O! Heaven knows where, unless to Heaven itself.
Gabor. Werner! I have heard the name,
Bat hark! a noise of wheels and voices, and
Gabor. I dragg'd him
From out that carriage when he would have given
His barony or county to repel
Shaking their dripping ears upon the shore, All roaring, " Help!" but offering none; and as
For duty (as you call it) I did mine then, Now do yours. Hence, and bow and cringe him here!
Idenst. I cringe!—but I shall lose the opportunity
Plague take it! he'll be here, and I not there! [Exit Idenstein, hastily. Re-enter WERNER.
Werner (to himself). I heard a noise of wheels and voices. How
All sounds now jar me!
(Perceiving Gabor) Still here! Is he not A spy of my pursuer's? His frank offer, So suddenly, and to a stranger, wore The aspect of a secret enemy; For friends are slow at such.
Gabor. You seem rapt,
And yet the time is not akin to thought.
Or Count (or whatsoe'er this half-drown'd
May be), for whom this desolate village, and Its lone inhabitants, show more respect Than did the elements, is come.
Idenst. (without) This wayThis way, your Excellency: - have a care, The staircase is a little gloomy, and Somewhat decay'd; but if we had expected So high a guest-pray take my arm,my lord! Enter STRALenheim, Idenstein, and Attend
ants, partly his own, and partly retainers of the domain, of which IDENSTEIN is Intendant,
Stralenk. I'll rest me here a moment. Idenst. (to the servants) Ho! a chair! Instantly, knaves!
[Stralenheim sits down. Werner (aside). 'Tis he! Stralenh. I'm better now. Who are these strangers?