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There's our life!

Which of the group of loiterers that stared
From the lime-avenue, divines that I-
About to figure presently, he thinks,
In face of all assembled-am the one
Who knows precisely least about it?

D'Ormea's contrivance!



Ay-how otherwise

Should the young Prince serve for the old King's foil? -So that the simplest courtier may remark,

'Twere idle raising parties for a Prince

Content to linger D'Ormea's laughing-stock!
Something, 'tis like, about that weary business

[Pointing to papers he has laid down, and which POLYXENA

-Not that I comprehend three words, of course,
After all last night's study.


The faint heart!

Why, as we rode and you rehearsed just now

Its substance.. (that's the folded speech I mean,
Concerning the Reduction of the Fiefs..)

-What would you have?-I fancied while you spoke,
Some tones were just your father's.



Pol. I fancied so :- -and here lurks, sure enough, My note upon the Spanish Claims! You've mastered The fief-speech thoroughly-this other, mind,

Is an opinion you deliver,-stay,

Best read it slowly over once to me;

Read there's bare time; you read it firmly-loud
-Rather loud-looking in his face,—don't sink

Your eye once-ay, thus! "If Spain claims . . ." begin
-Just as you look at me!

At you! Oh, truly,
You have I seen, say, marshalling your troops-
Dismissing councils-or, through doors ajar,
Head sunk on hand, devoured by slow chagrins
-Then radiant, for a crown had all at once
Seemed possible again! I can behold

Him, whose least whisper ties my spirit fast,
In this sweet brow, nought could divert me from,
Save objects like Sebastian's shameless lip,
Or, worse, the clipt grey hair and dead white face,
And dwindling eye as if it ached with guile,
Which D'Ormea wears

[As he kisses her, enter from the KING's apartment D'Ormea.]
I said he would divert

My kisses from your brow!

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D'O. [Aside.] Here! So King Victor

Spoke truth for once; and who 's ordained, but I,
To make that memorable? Both in call,

As he declared! Were 't better gnash the teeth,

Or laugh outright now?

Cha. [to Pol.]

What's his visit for?

D'O. [Aside.] I question if they'll even speak to me. Pol. [to Cha.] Face D'Ormea, he 'll suppose you fear

him, else.

[Aloud.] The Marquis bears the King's command, no doubt.


D'O. [Aside.] Precisely! If I threatened him,


Well, this at least is punishment enough!

Men used to promise punishment would come.
Cha. Deliver the King's message, Marquis!
D'O [Aside.]


So anxious for his fate? [Aloud.] A word, my Prince,
Before you see your father-just one word

[blocks in formation]

As much as I ?-preceded me, most like,

In knowledge? So! ('Tis in his eye, beside-
His voice-he knows it and his heart's on flame
Already!) You surmise why you, myself,
Del Borgo, Spava, fifty nobles more,

Are summoned thus?


Is the Prince used to know,

At any time, the pleasure of the King,

Before his minister ?-Polyxena,

Stay here till I conclude my task-I feel

Your presence (smile not) thro' the walls, and take
Fresh heart. The King's within that chamber?

D'O. [Passing the table whereon a paper lies, exclaims, as he

glances at it,]


Spain !"
Pol. [Aside to Cha.] Tarry awhile: what ails the


D'O. Madam, I do not often trouble you.

The Prince loathes, and you loathe me let that pass;

But since it touches him and you, not me,

Bid the Prince listen!

Pol. [to CHA.]

Surely you will listen!

-Deceit ?—Those fingers crumpling up his vest?

Cha. Deceitful to the very fingers' ends!

D'O. [who has approached them, overlooks the other paper
CHARLES continues to hold]

My project for the Fiefs! As I supposed!

Sir, I must give you light upon those measures
-For this is mine, and that I spied of Spain,
Mine too!


Release me! Do you gloze on me Who bear in the world's face (that is, the world You've made for me at Turin) your contempt? -Your measures ?-When was any hateful task Not D'Ormea's imposition? Leave my robe! What post can I bestow, what grant concede? Or do you take me for the King?

Not I!

Not yet for King,-not for, as yet, thank God,
One, who in.. shall I say a year-a month?
Ay!-shall be wretcheder than e'er was slave
In his Sardinia,-Europe's spectacle,

And the world's bye-word! What? The Prince aggrieved

That I've excluded him our counsels?


[Touching the paper in CHARLES's hand.

Accept a method of extorting gold


From Savoy's nobles, who must wring its worth
In silver first from tillers of the soil,
Whose hinds again have to contribute brass
To make up the amount-there's counsel, sir!
My counsel, one year old; and the fruit, this-
Savoy's become a mass of misery

And wrath, which one man has to meet the King:
You're not the King! Another counsel, sir!
Spain entertains a project (here it lies)

Which, guessed, makes Austria offer that same King
Thus much to baffle Spain; he promises;

Then comes Spain, breathless lest she be forestalled.
Her offer follows; and he promises...

Cha.-Promises, sir, when he before agreed

To Austria's offer?


That's a counsel, Prince!

But past our foresight, Spain and Austria (choosing
To make their quarrel up between themselves
Without the intervention of a friend)

Produce both treaties, and both promises...
Cha. How?


Prince, a counsel!-And the fruit of that?

Both parties covenant afresh, to fall

Together on their friend, blot out his name,
Abolish him from Europe. So take note,
Here's Austria and here's Spain to fight against,
And what sustains the King but Savoy here,
A miserable people mad with wrongs?

You're not the King!

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