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Did I not overhear them say, last night,
If she o’erheard her own request neglected, As from the crowded ball-room ladies past, Until supported by a name more potent? How gay and handsome, in her costly dress,
Freb. Think'st thou she is a fool, my good TheThe Countess Freberg look'd ?
Didst thou overhear it? Vainly to please herself with childish thoughts Ther. I did, and more than this.
Of matching what is matchless-Jane De Monfort? Lady. Well, all are not so greatly prejudiced ; Think'st thou she is a fool, and cannot see, All do not think me like a May-day queen,
That love and admiration often thrive
Though far apart?
Re-enter Lady, with great violence.
Lady. I am a fool, not to have seen full well, Ther. He said it but in jest. He loves you well. That thy best pleasure in o’errating so
Lady. I know as well as thou he loves me well. This lofty stranger is to humble me, But what of that! he takes in me no pride:
And cast a darkening shadow o'er my head. Elsewhere his praise and admiration go,
Ay, wherefore dost thou stare upon me thus And Jane De Monfort is not mortal woman.
Art thou ashamed that I have thus surprised thee? Ther. The wondrous character this lady bears
Well mayst thou be so ! For worth and excellence: from early youth
True; thou rightly say'st. The friend and mother of her younger sisters,
Well may I be ashamed: not for the praise Now greatly married, as I have been told,
Which I have ever openly bestowed From her most prudent care, may well excuse
On Monfort's noble sister; but that thus, The admiration of so good a man
Like a poor, mean, and jealous listener, As my good master is. And then, dear madam,
She should be found, who is Count Freberg's wife. I must confess, when I myself did hear
Lady. O, I am lost and ruin'd! hated, scorn'd! How she was come through the rough winter's
(Pretending to faint.) storm,
Freb. Alas, I've been too rough! To seek and comfort an unhappy brother,
(Taking her hand and kissing it tenderly.) My heart beat kindly to her.
My gentle love! my own, my only love! Lady. Ay, ay, there is a charm in this I find : See, she revives again. How art thou, love? But wherefore may she not have come as well Support her to her chamber, good Theresa, Through wintry storms to seek a lover, too? I'll sit and watch by her. I've been too rough.
Ther. No, madam, no, I could not think of this. [EXEUNT Lady, supported by Freb. and Ther. Lady. That would reduce her in your eyes, mayhap,
SCENE II.- DE MONFORT DISCOVERED SITTING BY A To woman's level.-Now I see my vengeance!
TABLE READING. AFTER A LITTLE TIME, HE LAYS
DOWN HIS BOOK, AND CONTINUES IN A THOUGHTI'll tell it round that she is hither come,
Enter to him JANE DE MONFORT.
(Pointing to the book.) Lady. How canst thou know that I shall say Thy willing mind has rightly been employ'd: what is not?
Did not thy heart warm at the fair display 'Tis like enough I shall but speak the truth. of peace and concord, and forgiving love? Ther. Ah no! there is
De Mon. I know resentment may to love be Lady. Well, hold thy foolish tongue.
turn'd; (Freberg's voice is heard without. After hesi- Though keen and lasting, into love as strong: tating.)
And fiercest rivals in th’ensanguin'd field I will not see him now.
[Exit. Have cast their brandish'd weapons to the ground;
Joining their mailed breasts in close embrace, Enter Freberg by the opposite side, passing on hastily.
With generous impulse fired. I know right well Ther. Pardon, my lord; I fear you are in haste. The darkest, fellest wrongs have been forgiven Yet must I crave that you will give to me
Seventy times o'er from blessed heavenly love: The books my lady mentioned to you: she I've heard of things like these ; I've heard and Has charged me to remind you.
wept. Freb, I'm in haste.
(Passing on.) But hat is this to me? Ther. Pray you, my lord: your countess wants Jane.
All, all, my brother! them much ;
It bids thee too that noble precept learn, The Lady Jane De Monfort ask'd them of her. To love thine enemy. Freb. (returning instantly.) Are they for her? De Mon. Th’uplifted stroke that would a wretch I knew not this before.
destroy, I will, then, search them out immediately. Gorged with my richest spoil, stain'd with my There is naught good or precious in my keeping,
blood, That is not dearly honour'd by her use.
I would arrest, and cry,“ Hold! hold! have mer. Ther. My lord, what would your gentle countess say
But when the man most adverse to my nature;
Who e'en from childhood hath, with rude malevo De Mon. His lady too! why comes he not alone ? lence,
Must all the world stare upon our meeting ?
Enter Count FREBERG and his COUNTESS.
Freb. A happy morrow to my noble marquis Would claim the generous feelings of my heart, And his most noble sister! Nature herself doth lift her voice aloud,
Generous Freberg, And cries, “ It is impossible!”
Your face, methinks, forbodes a happy morn, Jane. (shaking her head.)—Ah, Monfort, Mon- Open and cheerful. What of Rezenvelt? fort!
Freb. I left him at his home, prepared to follow : De Mon. I can forgive th' envenomed reptile's He'll soon appear. (To De Monfort.) And now, sting,
my worthy friend, But hate his loathsome self.
Give me your hand; this happy change delights Jane. And canst thou do no more for love of heaven?
(De Monfort gives him his hand coldly, and they De Mon. Alas! I cannot now so school my mind walk to the bottom of the stage together, in As holy men have taught, nor search it truly :
earnest discourse, whilst Jane and the Countess But this, my Jane, I'll do for love of thee:
remain in the front.) And more it is than crowns could win me to, Lady. My dearest madam, will you pardon me ? Or any power but thine. I'll see the man. I know Count Freberg's business with De Monfort, Th'indignant risings of abhorrent nature; And had a strong desire to visit you, The stern contraction of my scowling brows, So much I wish the honour of your friendship; That, like the plant whose closing leaves do shrink For he retains no secret from mine ear. At hostile touch, still knit at his approach ;
Jane. (archly.) Knowing your prudence-You The crooked curving lip, by instinct taught,
are welcome, madam ; In imitation of disgustful things,
So shall Count Freberg's lady ever be. To pout and swell, I strictly will repress;
(De Monfort and Freberg, returning toward the And meet him with a tamed countenance,
front of the stage, still engaged in discourse.) E'en as a townsman, who would live at peace, Freb. He is indeed a man, within whose breast And pay him the respect his station claims. Firm rectitude and honour hold their seat, I'll crave his pardon too for all offence
Though unadorned with that dignity My dark and wayward temper may have done. Which were their fittest garb. Now, on my life! Nay more, I will confess myself his debtor I know no truer heart than Rezenvelt. For the forbearance I have cursed so oft:
De Mon. Well, Freberg, well, there needs not Life spared by him, more horrid than the grave
all this pains With all its dark corruption ! This I'll do. To garnish out his worth: let it suffice ; Will it suffice thee? More than this I cannot. I am resolved I will respect the man,
Jane. No more than this do I require of thee As his fair station and repute demand. In outward act, though in thy heart, my friend, Methinks I see not at your jolly feasts I hoped a better change, and still will hope. The youthful knight, who sung so pleasantly. I told thee Freberg had proposed a meeting.
Freb. A pleasant circumstance detains him De Mon. I know it well.
And Rezenvelt consents. Pleasant to those who love high generous deeds
Yet must I tell it thee.
To whom an old relation, short while dead, 'Tis almost near his time; I came to tell you. A good estate bequeathed, some leagues distant. De Mon. What, comes he here so soon ? shame But Rezenvelt, now rich in fortune's store, on his speed !
Disdaind the sordid love of further gain, It is not decent thus to rush upon me.
And generously the rich bequest resign'd He loves the secret pleasure he will feel
To this young man, blood of the same degree
To the deceased, and low in fortune's gifts,
'Twas right and honourable. Where other men-must I alone receive him? This morning is oppressive, warm, and heavy: Where is your agent, Freberg, and his friends, There hangs a foggy closeness in the air ; That I must meet him here?
Dost thou not feel it? (Walks up and down very much disturbed.) Freb. O no! to think upon a generous deed Now didst thou say?-how goes the hour ?-e'en Expands my soul, and makes me lightly breathe. now!
De Mon. Who gives the feast to-night? His I would some other friend were first arrived.
name escapes me. Jane. See, to thy wish come Freberg and his You say I am invited. dame.
Old Count Waterlan.
In honour of your townsman's generous gift And every wish of yours commands my will.
(To Countess.) Lady, good morning. (To Freb.) De Mon. He is too old to revel with the gay.
Well, my gentle friend,
Freb. No, thou art sooner than I look'd for thee. For, on my honest faith, of living men
Rez. A willing heart adds feather to the heel, I know not one, for talents, honour, worth, And makes the clown a winged Mercury. That I should rank superior to Rezenvelt.
De Mon. Then let me say, that with a grateful De Mon. How virtuous he hath been in three
mind, short days!
I do receive these tokens of good will; Freb. Nay, longer, marquis; but my friendship And must regret, that, in my wayward moods, rests
I have too oft forgot the due regard Upon the good report of other men,
Your rank and talents claim. And that has told me much.
No, no, De Monfort, (De Monfort aside, going some steps hastily from You have but rightly curb’d a wanton spirit,
Freberg, and rending his cloak with agitation which makes me too neglectful of respect. as he goes.)
Let us be friends, and think of this no more. Would he were come! by heaven I would he Freb. Ay, let it rest with the departed shades were!
Of things which are no more; whilst lovely conThis fool besets me so.
cord, (Suddenly correcting himself, and joining the Follow'd by friendship sweet, and firm esteem,
Ladies, who have retired to the bottom of the Your future days enrich. O heavenly friendship! stage, he speaks to Countess Freberg with Thou dost exalt the sluggish souls of men, affected cheerfulness.)
By tbee conjoin'd, to great and glorious deeds; The sprightly dames of Amberg rise by times, As two dark clouds, when mix'd in middle air, Untarnish'd with the vigils of the night.
The vivid lightning's flash, and roar sublime. Lady. Praise us not rashly, 'tis not always so. Talk not of what is past, but future love. De Mon. He does not rashly praise who praises De Mon. (with dignity.) No, Freberg, no, it you;
must not. (To Rezenvelt.) No, my lord, For he were dull indeed
I will not offer you a hand of concord, Stopping short, as if he heard something.) And poorly hide the motives which constrain me. Lady.
How dull indeed? I would that, not alone, these present friends, De Mon. I should have said-It has escaped me But every soul in Amberg were assembled,
That I, before them all, might here declare Listening again, as if he heard something.) I owe my spared life to your forbearance. Jane. (to De Mon.) What, hear you aught? (Holding out his hand.) Take this from one who De Mon. (hastily.)
boasts no feeling warmth, Lady. (to De Mon.) Nay, do not let me lose it But never will deceive. so, my lord.
(Jane smiles upon De Monfort with great approSome fair one has bewitch'd your memory,
bation, and Rezenvelt runs up to him witk And robs me of the half-form'd compliment.
open arms.) Jane. Half-utter'd praise is to the curious mind Rez. Away with hands! I'll have thee to my As to the eye half-veiled beauty is,
breast. More precious than the whole. Pray pardon him. Thou art, upon my faith, a noble spirit! Some one approaches.
(Listening.) De Mon. (shrinking back from him.) Nay, if you Freb. No, no, it is a servant who ascends;
please, I am not so prepared He will not come so soon.
My nature is of temperature too coldDe Mon. (off his guard.) 'Tis Rezenvelt: II pray you pardon me. (Jane's countenance heard his well-known foot,
changes.) From the first staircase, mounting step by step. But take this hand, the token of respect; Freb. How quick an ear thou hast for distant The token of a will inclined to concord; sound!
The token of a mind, that bears within I heard him not.
A sense impressive of the debt it owes you: (De Monfort looks embarrassed, and is silent.) And cursed be its power, unnerved its strength,
If e'er again it shall be listed up
To do you any harm. (De Monfort, recovering himself, goes up to Rez. Well, be it so, De Monfort, I'm conreceive Rezenvelt, who meets him with a cheer
tented; ful countenance.)
I'll take thy hand, since I can have no more. De Mon. (to Rez.) I am, my lord, beholden to (Carelessly.) I take of worthy men whate'er they you greatly.
give. This ready visit makes me much your debtor. Their heart I gladly take, if not, their hand! Rez. Then may such debts between us, noble If that too is withheld, a courteous word, marquis,
Or the civility of placid looks: Be oft incurred, and often paid again!
And, if e'en these are too great favours deemd, (To Jane.) Madam, I am devoted to your service, l 'Faith, I can set me down contentedly
With plain and homely greeting, or “God save Rez. 'Faith! so he did, and so did I receive it;
When, with spread arms, and heart e'en moved to De Mon. (aside, starting away from him some
I frankly proffer'd him a friend's embrace : By the good light, he makes a jest of it!
And, I declare, had he as such received it, (Jane seems greatly distressed, and Freberg I from that very moment had forborne endeavours to cheer her.)
All opposition, pride-provoking jest, Freb. (to Jane.) Cheer up, my noble friend; all Contemning carelessness, and all offence; will go well;
And had caress'd him as a worthy heart, For friendship is no plant of hasty growth. From native weakness such indulgence claiming. Though rooted in esteem's deep soil, the slow But since he proudly thinks that cold respect, And gradual culture of kind intercourse
The formal tokens of his lordly favour, Must bring it to perfection.
So precious are, that I would sue for them (To the Countess.) My love, the morning, now, is As fair distinction in the public eye, far advanced ;
Forgetting former wrongs, I spurn it all. Our friends elsewhere expect us; take your leave. And but that I do bear that noble woman, Lady. (to Jane.) Farewell, dear madam, till the His worthy, his incomparable sister, evening hour.
Such fix'd profound regard, I would expose him; Freb. (to De Mon.) Good day, De Monfort. (To And as a mighty bull, in senseless rage, Jane.) Most devoutly yours.
Roused at the baiter's will, with wretched rags Rez. (to Freb.) Go not too fast, for I will follow Of ire-provoking scarlet, chafes and bellows,
you. [EXEUNT Freberg and his Lady. I'd make him at small cost of paltry wit, (To Jane.) The Lady Jane is yet a stranger here: With all his deep and manly faculties, She might, perhaps, in this your ancient city The scorn and laugh of fools. Find somewhat worth her notice.
Freb. For heaven's sake, my friend, restrain Jane I thank you, marquis, I am much engaged ;
your wrath! I go not out to-day.
For what has Monfort done of wrong to you, Rez. Then fare ye well! I see I cannot now Or you to him, bating one foolish quarrel, Be the proud man who shall escort you forth, Which you confess from slight occasion rose, And show to all the world my proudest boast, That in your breasts such dark resentment dwells, The notice and respect of Jane De Monfort. So fix'd, so hopeless ? De Mon. (aside impatiently.) He says farewell, Rez. O! from our youth he has distinguished me
With every mark of hatred and disgust. Jane. (to Rez.) You do me honour.
For e'en in boyish sports I still opposed Rez. Madam, adieu! (To Jane.) Good morning, His proud pretensions to pre-eminence; noble marquis.
(Exır. Nor would I to his ripen'd greatness give (Jane and De Monfort look expressively to one That fulsome adulation of applause
another without speaking, and then EXEUNT A senseless crowd bestow'd. Though poor in forseverally.)
But when unlook'd-for fate on me bestow'd
Riches and splendour equal to his own,
Though I, in truth, despise such poor distinction, SCENE I.-A HALL OR ANTE-CHAMBER, WITH THE Feeling inclined to be at peace with him,
FOLDING DOORS OF AN INNER APARTMENT OPEN, And with all men besides, I curb'd my spirit, WHICH DISCOVERS THE GUESTS RISING FROM A And sought to soothe him. Then, with spiteful BANQUET.
rage, They enter and pass over the stage and EXEUNT; and From small offence he rear'd a quarrel with me, after them enter REZENVELT and FREBERG.
And dared me to the field. The rest you know Freb. Alas, my Rezenvelt!
In short, I still have been th' opposing rock, I vainly hoped the hand of gentle peace,
O’er which the stream of his o’erflowing pride From this day's reconciliation sprung,
Hath foam'd and fretted. See'st thou how it is ? These rude unseemly jarrings had subdued ;
Freb. Too well I see, and warn thee to beware. But I have mark'd, e'en at the social board, Such streams have oft, by swelling floods surSuch looks, such words, such tones, such untold charged, things,
Borne down, with sudden and impetuous force, Too plainly told, 'twixt you and Monfort pass, The yet unshaken stone of opposition, That I must now despair.
Which had for ages stopp'd their flowing course. Yet who could think, two minds so much refined, I pray thee, friend, beware. So near in excellence, should be removed,
Rez. Thou canst not mean-he will not murder So far removed, in generous sympathy?
me ? Rez. Ay, far removed indeed!
Fred. What a proud heart, with such dark pasFreb. And yet, methought, he made a noble
sion toss'd, effort,
May, in the anguish of its thoughts, conceive, And with a manly plainness bravely told
I will not dare to say.
Full often have I mark'd it in his youth,
behind him, with a timid step. DE MONFORT, hearing And could have almost loved him for the weak
him, lurns suddenly about. ness:
De Mon. (angrily.) Who follows me to this He's form'd with such antipathy, by nature,
sequester'd room? To all infliction of corporeal pain,
Jer. I have presumed, my lord. 'Tis somewhat To wounding life, e'en to the sight of blood,
late: He cannot if he would.
I am inform'd you eat at home to-night;
Here is a list of all the dainty fare
My busy search has found ; please to peruse it. Bụt let us part: we'll talk of this again.
De Mon. Leave me: begone! Put hemlock in Something approaches.-We are here too long.
thy soup, Rez. Well, then, to-morrow I'll attend your call. Or deadly night-shade, or rank hellebore, Here lies my way. Good night.
And I will mess upon it.
Heaven forbid ! Con. Forgive, I pray, my lord, a stranger's bold- Your honour's life is all too precious, sure
De Mon. (sternly.) Did I not say begone? I have presumed to wait your leisure here,
Jer. Pardon, my lord, I'm old, and oft forget. Though at so late an hour.
(Exit. Freb. But who art thou?
De Mon. (looking after him, as if his heart smote Con. My name is Conrad, sir,
him.) Why will they thus mistime their A humble suitor to your honour's goodness,
foolish zeal, Who is the more imbolden'd to presume,
That I must be so stern ? In that De Monfort's brave and noble marquis
O, that I were upon some desert coast! Is so much famed for good and generous deeds.
Where howling tempests and the lashing tide Freb. You are mistaken, I am not the man.
Would stun me into deep and senseless quiet; Con. Then, pardon me: I thought I could not As the storm-beaten traveller droops his head,
In heavy, dull, lethargick weariness, That mien so dignified, that piercing eye
And, midst the roar of jarring elements, Assured me it was he.
Sleeps to awake no more. Freb. My name is not De Monfort, courteous What am I grown ? all things are hateful to me. stranger;
Enter MANUEL. But if you have a favour to request, I may, with him, perhaps, befriend your suit. (Stamping with his foot.) Who bids thee break Con. I thank your honour, but I have a friend
upon my privacy ? Who will commend me to De Monfort's favour; Man. Nay, good my lord! I heard you speak The Marquis Rezenvelt has known me long,
aloud, Who, says report, will soon become his brother.
And dreamt not, surely, that you were alone. Freb. If thou wouldst seek thy ruin from De De Mon. What, dost thou watch, and pin thine Monfort,
ears to holes, The name of Rezenvelt employ, and prosper ; To catch those exclamations of the soul, But, if aught good, use any name but his.
Which heaven alone should hear? Who hired thee, Con. How may this be? Freb.
I cannot now explain. Who basely hired thee for a task like this? Early to-morrow call upon Count Freberg;
Man. My lord, I cannot hold. For fifteen years, So am I call’d, each burgher knows my house, Long troubled years, I have your servant been, And there instruct me how to do you service. Nor hath the proudest lord in all the realm, Good-night.
[Exit. With firmer, with more honourable faith Con. (alone.) Well, this mistake may be of ser- His sovereign served, than I have served you; vice to me:
But if my honesty is doubted pow,
Let him who is more faithful take my place,
De Mon. Well, be it as thou wilt. Away with But if such violent enmity exists
thee! Between De Monfort and this Rezenvelt,
Thy loud-mouth'd boasting is no rule for me
To judge thy merit by.
Enter JEROME hastily, and pulls MANUEL away.
Jer. Come, Manuel, come away; thou art not
wise. SCENE II.-A LOWER APARTMENT
The stranger must depart and come again,
JEROME's HOUSE, WITH A WIDE, FOLDING GLASS DOOR,
For now his honour will not be disturb'd. LOOKING INTO A GARDEN, WHERE THE TREES AND
[Exir Manuel, sulkily.
De Mon. A stranger said'st thou ? Enter DE MONFORT with a thoughtful, frowning aspect,
(Drops his handkerchief.) and paces slowly across the stage, JEROME following
Jer. I did, good sir, but he shall go away ;
SHRUBS ARE BROWN AND LEAFLESS.