Robert Browning.

The complete poetic and dramatic works of Robert Browning online

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Hakeem hath appeared, and the Prefect ia
dead, and we retam to Lebanon 1 My manu-
facture of gloats* fleece must, I duubt, soon fall
away there. Come, old Nasif — link thine arm
in mine — we flight, if needs be. Come, what
is a great fight-word ? — '' Lebanon ? '* (My
daughter — my daughter!) — But is Khalil to
have the office of Hamxa ? — Nay, rather, if he
be wise, the monopoly of henna and cloves.
Where is Hakeem ? — The only prophet I ever
saw, prophesied at Cairo once, in my youth : a
little black Copht, dressed all in bhMsk too,
wiUi a great stripe of yellow cloth flapping
down behind him like the back-fin of a water-
serpent. Is this he? Biamrallah! Biamrehl


{Enter the Numao, with Onuds.)

Nuncio. [To hit Attendants.] Hold both, the
sorcerer and this aooompiioe
Ye talk of, that aocuseth him I And tell
Sir Loys he is mine, the Church's ho|>e :
Bid him approve himself our Knight indeed I
Lo, this black disembosraing of the Isle !
[To the Druses.] Ah, children, what a sight for

these old eyes
That kept themselves alive this vcrage through
To smile their very last on yon I 1 came
To gather one and all yon wandering sheep
Into my fold, as though a father came . . .
As though, in coming, a father should . . .

r To hi9 Guards.] (Ten, twelve
— Twelve gnaids of you, and not an outlet?

The wizards stop each avenue ? Keep dose I)
[To the Druses.] As if one came toason*s house,

I say,
So did loome — no guard with me — to find . . .
Alas— alasl

A Druse, Who is the old man?

Another, Oh, ye are to shout !

Children, he styles you.

l)ru$e$. At, the Prefect 's slain I

Glory to the Khalif , our Father I

Nuncio, Even so!

I find (ye prompt aright) your father slain !
While most he plotted for your good, that father
(Alas, how kind, ye never knew) — lies slain !
[Asiae,] (And hell's worm gnaw the glozing

knave — with me.
For being duped by his cajoleries I
Are Uiese the Christians? These the docile

My bezants went to make me Bishop o'er?)
[To his Attendants, who whimfr.] What say ye

does this wizard style himself ?
Hakeem? Biamrallah? The third Fatemite ?
What is this jargon ? He — the insane Khalif,
Bead near three hundred years ago, come back
In flesh and blood again ?

Druses, He mutters I Hear ye ?

He is blaspheming Hakeem. The old nuui
Is our dead Prefect's friend. Tear him I

Nuncio, Ye dare not !

I stand here with my five-and-eeventy years.
The Patriarch's power behind me, God's above !
Those years have witnessed sin enough ; ere now
Ikfisguided men arose against their loros.
And found excuse ; but ye, to be enslaved
By sorceries, cheats — alas I the same tricks,

On mv poor children in this nook o' the earth.
Could triumph, that have been successively
Exploded, Uuigned tu scorn, idl nations through :
** Romaioi, loudaioitekai proulutoiy
Cretes aud Arabians," — you are duped the

Said I, refrain from tearing me? I pray ye
Tear me 1 Shall I return to tell the Patriarch
That so much love was wasted —every gift
Rejected, from his benison I brought,
Down to the galley-full of bezants, sunk
An hour since at Uie harbor's moutn, by that . . •
That . . . never will I speak his hated name !
[To his Servants.] What was the name his fc^

low slip-fetter
Called their arch-wizard by? [They whisper,}
Druses, But how a soroerer ? false wherein ?
Nuncio. (At, PjabalD

How false? Te know not, Djabal has con-
fessed . . .
Nay, that by tokens found on him we learn . . .
What I sailed hither solely to divulge —
How by his spells the demons were allured
To seize you : not that these be aught save lies
And mere illusions. Is this clear ? I say.
By measures such as these, he would have led

Into a monstrous ruin : follow ye ?

r, shall yeperish for his sake, my sons ?

Hark ye I

— Bee . ^

No I Infimte the Patriarch's mercies are I


of one privile^re amerced ?

No I With the Patriarch's license, still I bid
Tear him to pieces who misled you I Haste I

Druses, The old nuui's beard shakes, and
his eyes are white fire ! After all, I know no-
thing of Diabal beyond what Karshook says ;
he knows but what Khalil says, who knows
just what Diabal says himself. Now, the little
Copht Prophet^ I saw at Cairo in my youths
began by promising each bystander three full
measures of wheat . . .

{Enter Khaul and the initiated DmsoB.)
Kha, Venice and her deliverance are at hand:
Their fleet stands through the harbor I Hath

he slain
The Prefect yet ? Is Diabal's change come yet ?
Nuncio, [To Attendants.] What's this of

Venice? Who'sthisboy?

[Attendants i^Ampct.] One Khalil?
Diabal's accomplice, Loprs called, but now.
The only Druse, save Djabal's self, to fear ?
[To the Druses.] I cannot hear ye with these

aged ears;
Is it so ? Te would have my troops assist ?
Doth he abet him in his sorceries r
Down with the cheat, guards, as my children


IThey spring at KsALSLi as h* beaU them book,

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Stay I No more bloodshed I Spare deluded

youth I
Whom 8eek*8t thou ? (I will teadi him) ~

whom, my child ?
Thoa know'st not what these know, what these

I am an old man, as thou seeet — have done
With life : and what should more me but the

Art thou the onlir fond one of thy tribe ?
*T is I interpret tor thy tribe I

Kha. Oh, this

la the expected Nnnoio I Druses, hear —
Sndure ye this ? Unworthy to partake
The g^ory Hakeem grains yon I While I >P6ak.
The ships touch land : who makes for T<ebanon ?
Thej plant the wineM lion in these halls I
Nuncio. [AgideT] If it be true I Venice?

Oh, nerer true I
Tet Venice would so gladly thwart our Knights.
So Cain get footing here, stand close by Rhodes I
Oh, to M duped tbis way I

Kha, Ere he appear

And lead you ffloriousljN repent, I say I
Nuncio, [Aside.] Nor any way to stretch

the aroh-wixard stark
Ere the Venetians come ? Cut off the head.
The trunk were easily stilled. [7o<Ae Druses.]

He ? Bring him forth I
Since so ^ou needs will hare it, I assent I
Ton *d judge him, say yon, on the spot ? —

The sorcerer in his very circle ? Where 's
Our short black-bearded sallow friend who swore
He M earn the Patriarch's guerdon by one stab ?
Bring D^bal forth at once I

DnucM. Ay, bring him forth I

Tlie Patriarch driyes a trade in oil and silk.
And we're the Patriarch's children — true

men, we !
Where is the glory? Show us all the gloryl
Kka. Ton dare not so insult him I What,

notsee . . .
(I tell thee, Nuncio, these are uninstructed, ^
Untmsted— they know nothing of our Khaiif I)
— Not see that u he lets a doubt arise
'T is but to give yourselyes the chance of

To have some influence in your own return I
That all may say ye would have trusted him
Without the all-couTincing glory — ay.
And did I Embrace the occasion, friends I For,

think —
Wkat wonder when his change takes place ?

But now
For your sakes, he should not rereal himself.
No — could I ask and have, I would not ask
The change yet !

{Enter Djabax. and Lots.)

i>pite of all, reveal thyself I
I had said, pardon them for me — for Anael —
For our sakes pardon these besotted men —
Ay, for thine own — they hurt not thee I Tet

One thought swells in me and keeps down all

Tills Nuncio Connies shame with thee, has called
Impostore thy wnole course, all bitter things

Has said : he is but an old fretful man I
Hakeem — nay, I must call thee Hakeem now -^
Reveal thyself 1 8ee 1 Where is Anael ? Seel

Lo^, [To Dja.] Here are thy peopb ! Keep
thy word to me I

Dja. ^ Who of my people hath accused me ?

Nuncio. So I

So this is EHabal, Hakeem, and what not?
A fit deed, Loys, for thy first Knight's day 1
May it be augury of thy after-life I
Ever prove truncheon ai the Church as now
That, Nuncio of the Patriarch, having charge
Of the Isle hercj I claim thee [turning to DtfA.]

as these bid me.
Forfeit for murder done thy lawful prince.
Thou conjurer that peep^st and mutterest I
Why should I hold thee from their hands?

(Spells, children ?
But hear how I dispose of all his spells !)
Thou art a prophet ? — wooldst entice thy

From me ? — thou workest miracles ? (Attend I
Let him but move me with his spells I) I,
Nuncio . . .

Dja. . . . Which how thou earnest to be, I
say not now,
Though I have also been at Stamboul, Luke I
Ply thee with spells, forsooth ! What need of

If Vemce, in her Admiral's person, stoop
To rati:^ thy compact with her foe.
The Hospitallers, for this Isle — withdraw
Her warrant of the deed which reinstates
My people in their freedom, tricked away
By him I slew, — refuse to convoy us
To Lebanon and keep the Isle we leave —
Then will be time to try what spells can do t
Dost thou dispute the Kepublic's power ?

Nuncio. Lo ye I

He tempts me too, the wily exorcist I
No I Tlie renowned Republic was and is
The Patriarch's friend: 'tis not for courting

That I ~ that these implore thyblood of me I
Lo ye, the subtle miscreant ! Ha, so subtle ?
Te Druses, hear him 1 Will ye be deceived ?
How he evades me 1 Where 's the miracle
He works ? I bid him to the proof — fish up
Tour galley full of bezants that he sank 1
That were a miracle ! One miracle !
Enough of trifling^or it chafes my years.
I am the Nuncio, Druses ! I stand forth
To save you from the good Republic's rage
When she shall find her fleet was summoned here
To aid the mummeries of a knave like this !

[As the DniMt keei/nte, hie Attandanto wMeper.
Ah, well suggested I Why, we hold the while
One who, his close confederate till now.
Confesses Djabal at the last a cheat.
And every miracle a cheat I Who throws me
His head? I make three offers, once I offer, —
And twice . . .

Dja. Let who moves perish at my foot t

EAa. Thanks, Hakeem, thanks I Oh, Anael,

Why tarry they ?
Druses. [To each other.'] He can I He can t
Live fire —

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[To the NmfdO.I I say he can, old man !

Thoo know 8t him not.
Liye fire like that thon seest now in his eyee.
Flays fawnine roond him. See I The change

AH the brow lightens as he lifts his arm I
Look not at me I It was not I !

Dja. What Dmse

Accused me, as he saith ? I bid each bone
Grumble within that Druse I None, Loys, none
(H my own people, as thou said^st, have raised
A Toioe against me.
Nuncio, [A side. "^ Venice to come I Death I
Did. [Continuing.} Confess and go unscathed,
however false I
Seest thou my Druses, Luke ? I would submit
To thy pure maUoe did one Druse confess !
How said I. Lovs?
Nuncio. [ 7b Ais Attendants toAoioAMpa^.] Ah,
TO counsel so?
[AUma.) Bring in the witness, then, who, first

ot all,
Disdoeed the treason I Now I have thee,

Ye hear that? If one speaks, he bids yon tear

Joint after joint: well then, one does speak I

Befooled by Djabal, even as yourselves.
But who hath volnntarily proposed
To expiate, by confessing tons, the fault
Of having trusted him.

IThey bring In a veiled Dniie.
Lops. , Now, Djabal, now !

Nuncio. Friend, Djabal fronts thee I Make
a ring^ns. Speak I
Expose this Djabal~ what he was, and how ;
The wUes he used, the aims he cherished ; all.
Explicitly as late *t was spoken to these
My servants: I absolve and pardon thee.
lAtf/s, Thou hast the dagger ready, Djabal ?

Druses. Stand back, fool I farther! Sud-
You shall see some huge serpent g^de from

The empty vest, or down will thunder crash !
Back, ^baUlI

Kha. I go back? Thus go I back!

[To Ak.] Unveil ! Nay, thou shalt face the

Khalif! Thus!
IHetemr* atoay Ahasl's veil ; Djabal fcUd* Ms armt
and bow* Ma head ; the Draaes fau back ; Lotb
apringtSrom the tide of Djabal and the Nomcio.
Logs. Then she was true — she only of them

True to her eyes — may keep those glorious

And now be mine, once again mine! Oh,

Dared I think thee a partner in his crime —
That blood could soil that hand? nay, 'tis

mine — Anael,
— Not mine ? — Who o£Per thee before all these
My heart, my sword, my name — so thou wilt

Diat Djabal, who affirms thou art his bride.

Lies — say but that he lies I
Dja. Thou, Anael?

Logs. Nay, Djabal, nay, one chance for me

— the last !
Thou hast had every other ; thou hast spoken
Days, nights, what falsehood listed thee — let

Speak first now ; I will speak now !

Nuncio. Leys, pause t

Thou art the Duke's son, Bretagne^s choicest

Lo^ of Dreux, €k>d's sepulchre's first sword :
This wilt thou spit on, this degrade, this tram-
To earth?
Logs. [7oAn.] Who had foreseen that one

day, Lovs
Would stake these gifts against some other good
In the whole world? I give them thee! I

My strong will might bestow real shape on them^
That I niight see. with mv own eyes, thy foot
Tread on their very neck 1 'T is not by gifts
Iput aside this Djabal : we will stand —
We do stand, see, two men! Djabal, stand

Who's worth her, I or thon? I — who for

Uprightly, purely kept my way, the long
True way— left thee each by-path, boldly lived
Without the lies and blood, — or thou, or thou ?
Me ! love me, Anael I Leave the blood and

[To Dja.] Now speak— now, quick on thia

that I have said, —
Thou with the blood, speak if thou art a man !
Dja. [To An.] And was it thou betrayedst

me? 'TisweUl
I have deserved this of thecj and submit.
Nor 't is much evil thou inflictest : life
Ends here. The cedars shall not wave for us :
For there was crime, and must be punishment.
See fate I By thee 1 was seduced, oy thee
I perish : yet do I — can I repent ?
I with mv Arab instinct, thwarted ever
By my Frank policy, — and with, in turn,
2^ Frank brain, thwarted bjr my Arab heart —
Wnile these remained in equipoise, I lived
— Nothing ; had either been predominant.
As a Frank schemer or an Arab mjrstic,
I had been something;— now, each has de-
The other — and behold, from out their crash,
A third and better nature rises up —
My mere man's-natnre ! And I yield to it :
I love thee, I who did not love before !
An. Djabal!

Dja. It seemed love, but it was not love :
How could I love while thou adoredst me ?
Now thou despisest, art above me so
Immeasurably ! Thou, no other, doomest
My death now ; this my steel shall execute
Thy judgment ; I shall feel thy hand in it f
Oh, luxurv to worship, to submit,
IVanscenaed, doomed to death by thee !
An. My Djabal f

Dja. Dost hesitate? I force thee thenl


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1 1 for I am out of reach of fate ;
Ko farther eWl waits me. 8peak the doom I
Hear, Dnues, and hear, Nimoio, and hear,

An. iHkbbmI [BU/iOUd^ad.

[Tk» Dmansertam^ffrovMing b^ore kirn,
Dnues. Ah, Hakeem ! — not on me thy
Biararallah, pardon I never doubted 1 1
Ha, dog, how sayeet thon ?

IThey surround and seize the Kuirao and his Onarda.
Lots flings himself up<m the body of Avail, on
which DJAB4L eonHnwes to gaze as stupefied.

Nuncio, Caitifb! Haveyeeyee?

Whips, racks should teach yoal What, his

fools? his dapes?
Leave me I unhand me I
£fta. [Approaching Djasal tiMidly.] Save

her for my sake !
She was already thine ; she would have shared
To-day thine exaltation : think, this day
Her hair was plaited thus because of thee I
Tes, feel the soft bright hair — feel I
Nuncio. IStruagling with those who have seized

him,} What, because
Ksleman dies for him? You think it hard
To die? Oh, would you were at Rhodes, and

Of deaths should suit you I
Kha. [Bendina over Akabl's body."] Just

restore her uf e I
So little does it I there — the eyelids tremble I
'T was not my breath that made them: and the

Move ox themselTes. I could restore her life !
Hftkeem, we have forgotten — have presumed
On our free converse : we are better taught.
See, I kiss — how I kiss thy garment's hem
Forherl Shekiasesit — Oh, take her deed
In mine I Thou dost believe now, Anael ? —

She smiles I Were her lips open o'er the teeth
Thus, when I spoke first? She believes in

Go not without her to the cedars, lord !
Or leave us both —I cannot go alone I
I have obeyed thee, if I dare so speak :
Hath Hakeem thus forgot all Djabal knew f
Thou feelest then my tears faU hot and fast
Upon thy hand, and yet thou speakest not ?
£re the Venetian trumpet sound — ere thon
Szalt thyself, O Hakeem I save thou her I
Nmncio. And the accursed Republic will

And find me in their Uuls — dead, very like.
Under their feet I

What way — not one way yet
To foil them ? None ? [Observing Djaral's

face.) What ails the KhaUf? Ah,
That ghastly face I A way to foil them yet I
[To Me Druses.] Look to your Khalif, Druses I

Is that face ■
God Hakeem's? Where is triumph,— where

is . • • what
Said he of exaltation — hath he promised
Somuehto-day? Why then, exalt thvself I
Cast off that husk, thy form, set free thy soul

In splendor I Now, bear witness I here I

stand —
I flhallenge him exalt himself, and I
Become, for that, a Druse like all of you I
The DrusesTExslt thyself! Exalt thysell,

O Hakeem I
Dja. [Advances.] I can confess now all
from first to last.
There is no longer shame for me. I am . . .
[Here the VeneHtm trumpet sounds: the DnuM shoui,
DaABAL*s eye eatehes the eapressiom of those about
him, and, as the old dream comes Mdc, he is again
comfldent and inspired.
— Am I not Hakeem? And ye would have

But yesterday within these impure courts
Where now ye stand erect I Not grand enough ?

— What more could be conceded to such beasts
As all of you, so sank and base as you.
Than a mere man ? A man among such 1
Was miracle enoagh : vet him vou doubt.
Him you forsake, him tain would you destroy —
With the Venetians at your gate, the Nuncio
Thus— (see the baffled hypocrite I ) and, best,
The Prefect there I

Druses. No, Hakeem, ever thine f

Nuncio. He Ues — and twice he lies— and
thrice he lies I
Exalt thyself, Mahound 1 Exalt thyself I
Dja. Druses I we shall henceforth be far
away —
Out of mere mortal ken — above the cedars —
But we shall see ve go^ hear ye return,
Repeopling the old sohtudes, — through thee,
MyKhiOiri Thouartfullofme: Ifill
Thee full— my hands thus fill theel Tester-

— Nay, but this mom, I deemed thee igno-

Of all to do, requiring word^of mine ^
To teach it : now, thou hast all gifts in one.
With truth and puritjr go other gifts.
All gifts come clnstering to that. Go, lead
My people home whate'er betide I

[Turning to the Dnmee.] Ye take
HikEhalilformydeleffate? To him
Bow as to me ? He leads to Lebanon —
Ye follow?
Druses. WefoUowI Now exalt thyself I
Dja. [Raises Lots.I Then to thee, Loysl
How I wronged thee, Loys I
Yet, wronged, no less thou shalt have full re-
Fit for thy noble self, revenge — and thus.
Thon, loaded with such wrongs, the princely

The first sword of Christ's sepulchre — thou

Guard EJialil and my Druses home again I
Justice, no less, God^s justice and no more.
For those I leave ! — to seeking this, devote
Some few days out of thy fiLuight's brilliant

And, this obtained them, leave their Lebanmu
My Druses' blessing in thine ears — (they shall
Bless thee with blearing sure to have its way)

— One cedar-blossom in thy ducal cap,

One thought of Anael in thy heart, — perchance^

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One thought of him who thus, to bid thee

His last word to the living speaks I This done,
Resnine thy oouise, and, first amidst the first
In Europe, take my heart along with thee I
Go boldly, go serenely, go augustly —
WhAt shall withstand thee then ?

[He bends over Anael.] And last to thee I
Ah, did I dream I was to have, this dav.
Exalted thee ? A vain dream : hast tnou not
Won grei^ter exaltation ? What remains
But press to thee, exalt myself to thee V

Thus I exalt myself, set free my sonl I

iBe aiabt kinuelf, A» he faUt^ mpported by KnAia

and Lots, the VsnxiAMs enitr; the AnimiAi. oA-


Admiral, God and St. Mark for Yenioet
Plant the Lion I
[At the elath of the planted eUtndard^ the DroiM tk&uty
and move tumulHunuiy /onoard. Lots drau4ng hie

Dja. [Ijeading them a few gteps between Kha-
UL and LoTs.l On to the Mountain 1
At the Mountain, Druses 1 [/Mm;


Trib play was irritten in 1843 at the request
of Maoready, and very rapidly, in four or five
days. A misunderstanding with Macready,
fully related in Mrs. Orr^s Life and Letters qf
Bobert Browning, 1. 168-184, and in Mr. Gosse^s
Personalia, led to a breach between the two

The play was received with great iqiplaiise.

but ciroumstancee prevented it from being kept
on the boards. It has, however, been repro-
duced both in England and in America, near tlie
dose of Browning's life and after his death.
Helen Fandt, afterward Lady Martin, took the
part of Mildred. The play was printed shortly
after it first appeared, as No. Y. of BeUs and


QvwmDOLMx TmmuuM.

Thoiold, Earl TrMbam.

Anami Tkbbham.

HsNBT, Earl Mertoun.

OsaAftD, and other Betainers of Lord Tkeaham.


L The interior of a lodge in Loan Tuoum^s
park. Many Retainers crotcded at the window, gup-
posed to comnuind a view of the entrance to his man'
sion, Obsabo, the Warrener, his back to a table on
which are flagons, etc*

1st Belainer, Ay, do I push, friends, and
then you '11 push down me !
— What for ? Does any hear a runner's foot
Or a steed's trample or a coach-wheers cry ?
Is the Earl come or his least poursuivant ?
But there 's no breeding in a man of vou
Save Gerard yonder : here 's a half-place yet.
Old Gerard I

Gerard, Save your courtesies, my friend.
Here is my place.

2d Bet, Now, Cterard, out with it I

What makes you sullen, this of all the days
I' the year? To-dav that young rich bountiful
Handsome Earl Mertoun, whom alone they

With our Lord TVesham through the eonntry-

li coming here in utmost bravery

To ask our master's aster's hand ?
Oer, Whatthenf

2dBet. Whatthen? Why, you, she speaks
to, if she meets
Your worship, smiles on as you hold apart
The boughs to let her through her forest walks^
You, always favorite for your no-deserts.
You 've heard, these three days, how Ean Mer-
toun sues
To lay his heart and house and broad lands too
At Lady Mildred's feet : and while we squeeze
Ourselves into a mousehole lest we miss
One congee of the least page in his train.
Yon sit o' one side — there 's the Earl," o^

"Whatthen?" sayyoul

3d Bet, iniwafferhehaslet

Both swans he tamed for Lady Mildred swim
Over the falls and gain the river I

Oer. Ralph,

Is not to-morrow my inspecting-day
For yon and for your hawks ?

ith Bet, Let Gerard be I

He's coarse-grained, like his carved black

cross-bow stock.
Ha, look now, while we squabble with hinu

Well done, now — is not this beginning, now.
To purpose ?

1st Bet. Our retainers look as fine —

That's comfort. Lord, how Richard holda

With his white staff I Will not a knave behind
Prick him upright ?

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4i!^ Ret. He 's only bowiniri fool I

Hie Earl's man bent ni lower by this much.

lai Ret. Thai 's comfort. Here 'a a very cay-

3d het, I don't lee wherefore Richard, and
hti troop
Of silk and aifver yarlets there, shonld find
Their nerfomed selves so indispensable
On hign days, holiday I Would it so disgrace
Our familTt ii I, for mstanoe, stood —
In my right hand a cast of ^^wedish hawks,
A leash of greyhovnds in my left P —

Qtr. — WithHngh

Hie logman for supporter, in his right
Hie bm-hook, in his left the brash wood-shears I

3d Ret. Out on TOO, crab! What next,
what next? The Earl 1

1st Ret. Oh Walter, groom, onr horses, do
they match
TheEarrs? Ahu, that first nur of the six —
They paw the ground — Ah, Walter 1 and that

Just on his ha nnches by the wheel !

tiikRet. Ay —Ay I

Ton, Philip, are a special hand, I hear.
At sonps and sauces : what 's a horse to yon ?
D' ye mark that beast they 'ye slid into the

80 cunningly? — then, Philip, mark this fur-
No ieghas he to stand on I
1st Ret. No ? That 's comfort.

2d Ret. Peace, Gookl The Earl dMcends.
— Well, Gerard, see

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