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The Earl's? Alas, that first pair of the six-
They paw the ground-Ah, Walter! and that brute
Just on his haunches by the wheel!

6th Ret.

Ay-Ay!

You, Philip, are a special hand, I hear,
At soups and sauces- -what's a horse to you?
D'ye mark that beast they 've slid into the midst
So cunningly?—then, Philip, mark this further;
No leg has he to stand on!

1st Ret.

No? That's comfort. 2nd Ret. Peace, Cook! The Earl descends.-Well, Gerard, see

The Earl at least! Come, there's a proper man,
I hope! Why, Ralph, no falcon, Pole or Swede,
Has got a starrier eye—
3rd Ret.

His eyes are blue—

But leave my hawks alone!

4th Ret.

So tall and shapely!

5th Ret.

[blocks in formation]

Here's Lord Tresham's self!
There now-there 's what a nobleman should be!
He's older, graver, loftier, he's more like
A House's Head!

2nd Ret.
But you 'd not have a boy
-And what's the Earl beside ?-possess too soon
That stateliness?

1st Ret.
Our Master takes his hand-
Richard and his white staff are on the move-
Back fall our people-(tsh !-there's Timothy

Sure to get tangled in his ribbon-ties-
And Peter's cursed rosette's a-coming off!)

-At last I see our Lord's back and his friend's-
And the whole beautiful bright company
Close round them-in they go!

[Jumping down from

the window-bench, and making for the table and
its jugs, &c.]
Good health, long life,

Great joy to our Lord Tresham and his House!
6th Ret. My father drove his father first to court,
After his marriage-day-ay, did he !

2nd Ret.

God bless

Lord Tresham, Lady Mildred, and the Earl!
Here, Gerard, reach your beaker!

-drink!

Ger. Drink, my boys: Don't mind me- -all 's not right about me— 2nd Ret. [Aside.] He's vexed, now, that he let the show escape!

[To GER.] Remember that the Earl returns this way— Ger. That way?

2nd Ret.

Ger.

2nd Ret.

Just so.
Then my way 's here. [Goes.
Old Gerard

Will die soon-mind, I said it! He was used
To care about the pitifullest thing

That touched the House's honour, not an eye
But his could see wherein-and on a cause
Of scarce a quarter this importance, Gerard
Fairly had fretted flesh and bone away
In cares that this was right, nor that was wrong,

Such a point decorous, and such by rule

(He knew such niceties, no herald more)

And now-you see his humour: die he will!

2nd Ret. God help him! Who's for the great servants'-hall

To hear what's going on inside? They'd follow
Lord Tresham into the saloon.

3rd Ret.
4th Ret.

I!-
Leave Frank alone for catching, at the door,
Some hint of how the parley goes inside!
Prosperity to the great House once more-
Here's the last drop!
1st Ret.

I!

Have at you! Boys, hurrah!

SCENE II.-A Saloon in the Mansion.

Enter LORD TRESHAM, LORD MERTOUN; AUSTIN and GUENDolen.

Tresh. I welcome you, Lord Mertoun, yet once more,
To this ancestral roof of mine. Your name
-Noble among the noblest in itself,

Yet taking in your person, fame avers,
New price and lustre, (as that gem you wear,
Transmitted from a hundred knightly breasts,
Fresh chased and set and fixed by its last lord,
Seems to re-kindle at the core)—your name
Would win you welcome!—

Mer.

Thanks!

Tresh.

The worthiness and grace and dignity
Of your proposal for uniting both

Our Houses even closer than respect
Unites them now-add these, and you must grant
One favor more, nor that the least,-to think

The welcome I should give ;-'tis given! My lord,
My only brother, Austin-he's the King's.
Our cousin, Lady Guendolen-betrothed

To Austin: all are yours.

-But add to that,

Mer.

I thank you-less

For the expressed commendings which your seal,
And only that, authenticates-forbids

My putting from me.. to my heart I take

Your praise.. but praise less claims my gratitude,
Than the indulgent insight it implies

Of what must needs be uppermost with one
Who comes, like me, with the bare leave to ask,
In weighed and measured unimpassioned words,
A gift, which, if as calmly 'tis denied,
He must withdraw, content upon his cheek,
Despair within his soul :-that I dare ask
Firmly, near boldly, near with confidence
That gift, I have to thank you.-Yes, Lord Tresham,
I love your sister-as you'd have one love

me,

That lady .. oh more, more I love her! Wealth,
Rank, all the world thinks
To hold or part with, at your
My true self, me without a rood of land,

they're yours, you know, choice-but grant

A piece of gold, a name of yesterday,

Grant me that lady, and you . . . Death or life?

Guen. [apart to Aus.] Why, this is loving, Austin ! He's so young!

Aus.

Guen. Young? Old enough, I think, to half surmise He never had obtained an entrance here, Were all this fear and trembling needed.

Aus.

Hush!

He reddens.

Guen.
Ours must begin again.

Tresh.
We'll sit, my lord.
Ever with best desert goes diffidence.
I may speak plainly nor be misconceived.
That I am wholly satisfied with you
On this occasion, when a falcon's eye

Were dull compared with mine to search out faults,
Mildred's hand is hers to give

Is somewhat.

Or to refuse.

Mer.
I have your word if hers?

Tresh.

Mark him, Austin; that's true love!

But you, you grant my suit?

My best of words

If hers encourage you. I trust it will.
Have you seen Lady Mildred, by the way

?

Mer. I.. I.. our two demesnes, remember, touch—

I have been used to wander carelessly
After my stricken game-the heron roused
Deep in my woods, has trailed its broken wing

Thro' thicks and glades a mile in yours,—or else

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