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What too would it avail him, if there were
If your heart speak to you,
happen, That the Swedes gain'd the victory, and hasten With such forc'd marches hitherward ? Fain would I Have given him to the Emperor's mercy.—Gordon! I do not wish his blood-But I must ransom The honour of my word—it lies in pledgeAnd he must die, or (passionately grasping Gordon's hand.)
Listen then, and know!
Gor. O! to save such a man-
It is worth
He is a
There does not live on earth the man so station'd,
Gor. I am endeavouring to move a rock.
But. (alone) I treasur’d my good name all my life
long; The Duke has cheated me of life's best jewel, So that I blush before this poor weak Gordon ! He prizes above all his fealty ; His conscious soul accuses him of nothing; In opposition to his own soft heart He subjugates himself to an iron duty; Me in a weaker moment passion warp'd; I stand beside him, and must feel myself The worse man of the two. What, though the world Is ignorant of my purpos'd treason, yet One man does know it, and can prove it tooHigh-minded Piccolomini ! There lives the man who can dishonour me! This ignominy blood alone can cleanse! Duke Friedland, thou or I-Into my own hands Fortune delivers me-The dearest thing a man has is himself.
(The curtain drops.)
Butler, Major, and Geraldin.
But. Find me twelve strong dragoons, arm them with
They'll be here anon.
[Exit Geraldin. But. Here's no room for delay. The citizens Declare for him ; a dizzy drunken spirit Possesses the whole town. They see in the Duke A Prince of peace, a founder of new ages And golden times. Arms too have been given out By the town-council, and a hundred citizens Have volunteer'd themselves to stand on guard. Despatch then be the word. For enemies Threaten us from without and from within.
Butler, Captain Devereux, and Macdonald.
Macd. Here we are, General.
What's to be the watchword ?
Live the House of Austria ! Dev. Have we not sworn fidelity to Friedland ? Macd. Have we not march'd to this place to protect
Dev. Why, yes ! in his name you administer'd
And follow'd him yourself to Egra.
An alter'd case! But. (to Devereux)
Thou wretched man ! So easily leav'st thou thy oath and colours ?
Dev. The devil !-I but follow'd your example, If you could prove a villain, why not we? Macd. We've nought to do with thinking--that's your
But. (appeased) Good then! we know each other.
I should hope so.
'Tis e'en so !
Well, for the present
Dev. We wish no other.
Aye, and make your fortunes.
We at nd.
It runs so in the letter.
But. And he shall be rewarded from the State
Macd. And is that certain ?
You have my word for it.
As poor as we?
We'll desert him ?