Act 2

Act II

Scene I.—An Ante-chamber in the Castle.

Enter Ludolph and Sigifred

Ludolph. No more advices, no more cautioning;
I leave it all to fate—to anything!
I cannot square my conduct to time, place,
Or circumstance; to me ’tis all a mist!

Sigifred. I say no more.

Ludolph. It seems I am to wait
Here in the ante-room;—that may be a trifle.
You see now how I dance attendance here,
Without that tyrant temper, you so blame,
Snapping the rein. You have medicined me
With good advices; and I here remain,
In this most honourable ante-room,
Your patient scholar.

Sigifred, Do not wrong me, Prince.
By heavens, I’d rather kiss Duke Conrad’s slipper,
When in the morning he doth yawn with pride,
Than see you humbled but a half-degree!
Truth is, the Emperor would fain dismiss
The nobles ere he sees you.

Enter Gonfrid, from the Council-room

Ludolph. Well, sir! what?

Gonfrid. Great honour to the Prince! The Emperor,
Hearing that his brave son had re-appeared,
Instant dismissed the Council from his sight,
As Jove fans off the clouds. Even now they pass.


Enter the Nobles from the Council-room. They cross the stage, bowing with respect to Ludolph, he frowning on them. Conrad follows. Exeunt.

Ludolph. Not the discoloured poisons of a fen,
Which he who breathes feels warning of his death,
Could taste so nauseous to the bodily sense,
As these prodigious sycophants disgust
The soul’s fine palate.

Conrad. Princely Ludolph, hail!
Welcome, thou younger sceptre to the realm!
Strength to thy virgin crownet’s golden buds,
That they, against the winter of thy sire,
May burst, and swell, and flourish round thy brows,
Maturing to a weighty diadem!
Yet be that hour far off! and may he live,
Who waits for thee, as the chapped earth for rain.
Set my life’s star! I have lived long enough,
Since under my glad roof, propitiously,
Father and son each other repossess.

Ludolph. Fine wording, Duke! but words could never yet
Forestall the fates; have you not learnt that yet?
Let me look well: your features are the same;
Your gait the same: your hair of the same shade;
As one I knew some passed weeks ago,
Who sung far different notes into mine ears.
I have mine own particular comments on ’t;
You have your own, perhaps.

Conrad. My gracious Prince,
All men may err. In truth I was deceived
In your great father’s nature, as you were.
Had I known that of him I have since known,
And what you soon will learn, I would have turned
My sword to my own throat, rather than held
Its threatening edge against a good King’s quiet:
Or with one word fevered you, gentle Prince,
Who seemed to me, as rugged times then went,
Indeed too much oppressed. May I be bold
To tell the Emperor you will haste to him?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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