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The storm of the night,

Perhaps, affects me; I'm a thing of feelings,

And have of late been sickly, as, alas!

Thou know'st by sufferings more than mine, my love!

In watching me.

Jos.

To see thee happy

Wer.

To see thee well is much

Where hast thou seen such?

But think

Let me be wretched with the rest!

Jos.

How many in this hour of tempest shiver
Beneath the biting wind and heavy rain,

Whose every drop bows them down nearer earth,
Which hath no chamber for them save beneath

Her surface.

Wer.

And that 's not the worst: who cares

For chambers? rest is all. The wretches whom
Thou namest - ay, the wind howls round them, and
The dull and dropping rain saps in their bones
The creeping marrow. I have been a soldier,
A hunter, and a traveller, and am

A beggar, and should know the thing thou talk'st of.
Jos. And art thou not now shelter'd from them all?
Wer. Yes. And from these alone.

Jos.

Wer. True—to a peasant.
Jos.

And that is something.

Should the nobly born

Be thankless for that refuge which their habits
Of early delicacy render more

Needful than to the peasant, when the ebb

Of fortune leaves them on the shoals of life?

Wer. It is not that, thou know'st it is not; we Have borne all this, I'll not say patiently,

Except in thee but we have borne it.

Jos.

Well?

Wer. Something beyond our outward sufferings (though These were enough to gnaw into our souls) Hath stung me oft, and, more than ever, now. When, but for this untoward sickness, which Seized me upon this desolate frontier, and Hath wasted, not alone my strength, but means, And leaves us—1 no! this is beyond me! - but For this I had been happy thou been happy The splendour of my rank sustain'd

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my name

My father's name - been still upheld; and, more

Than those

Jos. (abruptly). My son- our son our Ulric,
Been clasp'd again in these long-empty arms,
And all a mother's hunger satisfied.

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Twelve years! he was but eight then: beautiful
He was, and beautiful he must be now,
My Ulric! my adored!

Wer.

I have been full oft

The chase of Fortune; now she hath o'ertaken
My spirit where it cannot turn at bay, —

Sick, poor, and lonely.

Jos.

Lonely! my dear husband?
Wer. Or worse-involving all I love, in this
Far worse than solitude. Alone, I had died,

And all been over in a nameless grave.

Jos. And I had not outlived thee; but pray take Comfort! We have struggled long; and they who strive With Fortune win or weary her at last,

So that they find the goal or cease to feel

Further. Take comfort,

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we shall find our boy. Wer. We were in sight of him, of every thing Which could bring compensation for past sorrow —

And to be baffled thus !

Jos.

We are not baffled.

We ne'er were wealthy.

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Wer. But I was born to wealth, and rank, and power;
Enjoy'd them, loved them, and, alas! abused them,
And forfeited them by my father's wrath,

In my o'er-fervent youth; but for the abuse
Long sufferings have atoned. My father's death
Left the path open, yet not without snares.
This cold and creeping kinsman, who so long
Kept his eye on me, as the snake upon

The fluttering bird, hath ere this time outstept me,
Become the master of my rights, and lord

Of that which lifts him up to princes in

Dominion and domain.

Jos.

Who knows? our son

May have return'd back to his grandsire, and
Even now uphold thy rights for thee?

'T is hopeless.

Wer.
Since his strange disappearance from my father's,
Entailing, as it were, my sins upon

Himself, no tidings have reveal'd his course.
I parted with him to his grandsire, on
The promise that his anger would stop short

Of the third generation; but Heaven seems
To claim her stern prerogative, and visit
Upon my boy his father's faults and follies.

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Jos. I must hope better still, at least we have yet Baffled the long pursuit of Stralenheim.

Wer. We should have done, but for this fatal sickness; More fatal than a mortal malady,

Because it takes not life, but life's sole solace :

Even now I feel my spirit girt about

By the snares of this avaricious fiend ;

How do I know he hath not track'd us here?

Jos. He does not know thy person; and his spies, Who so long watch'd thee, have been left at Hamburgh. Our unexpected journey, and this change

Of name, leaves all discovery far behind:

None hold us here for aught save what we seem.
Wer. Save what we seem! save what we are —

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That bitter laugh!

Alas!

Wer.
Who would read in this form
The high soul of the son of a long line?
Who, in this garb, the heir of princely lands?
Who, in this sunken, sickly eye, the pride
Of rank and ancestry? In this worn cheek
And famine-hollow'd brow, the lord of halls
Which daily feast a thousand vassals?

You

Jos.
Ponder'd not thus upon these worldly things,
My Werner! when you deign'd to choose for bride
The foreign daughter of a wandering exile.

Wer. An exile's daughter with an outcast son
Were a fit marriage; but I still had hopes

To lift thee to the state we both were born for.
Your father's house was noble, though decay'd;

And worthy by its birth to match with ours.

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Jos. Your father did not think so, though 't was noble; But had my birth been all my claim to match With thee, I should have deem'd it what it is. Wer. And what is that in thine eyes? Jos.

Has done in our behalf, — nothing.

Wer.

All which it

How, nothing?

Jos. Or worse; for it has been a canker in Thy heart from the beginning: but for this,

We had not felt our poverty but as
Millions of myriads feel it, cheerfully;

But for these phantoms of thy feudal fathers,

Thou mightst have earn'd thy bread, as thousands earn it; Or, if that seem too humble, tried by commerce,

Or other civic means, to amend thy fortunes.

Wer. (ironically). And been an Hanseatic burgher? Excellent!

Jos. Whate'er thou mightst have been, to me thou art What no state high or low can ever change, [ther My heart's first choice; which chose thee, knowing neiThy birth, thy hopes, thy pride; nought, save thy sorrows: While they last, let me comfort or divide them;

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When they end, let mine end with them, or thee!

Wer. My better angel! such I have ever found thee;
This rashness, or this weakness of my temper,
Ne'er raised a thought to injure thee or thine.
Thou didst not mar my fortunes: my own nature
In youth was such as to unmake an empire,
Had such been my inheritance; but now,
Chasten'd, subdued, out-worn, and taught to know
Myself, to lose this for our son and thee!
Trust me, when, in my two-and-twentieth spring
My father barr'd me from my father's house,
The last sole scion of a thousand sires,
(For I was then the last,) it hurt me less
Than to behold my boy and my boy's mother
Excluded in their innocence from what

My faults deserved — exclusion; although then
My passions were all living serpents, and
Twined like the gorgon's round me.

Jos.

Wer.

[A loud knocking is heard. Hark!

A knocking!

Jos. Who can it be at this lone hour? We have

Few visiters.

Wer.

And poverty hath none,

Save those who come to make it poorer still.

Well, I am prepared.

Jos.

[WERNER puts his hand into his bosom, as if to search for some weapon.

Will to the door.

Oh! do not look so. I

It cannot be of import

In this lone spot of wintry desolation:

The very desert saves man from mankind.

[She goes to the door.

Enter IDENSTEIN.

Iden. A fair good evening to my fairer hostess
What's your name, my friend?

And worthy

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Egad! I am afraid. You look as if

I ask'd for something better than your name,
By the face you put on it.

Wer.

Better, sir!

Are you

Iden. Better or worse, like matrimony: what
Shall I say more? You have been a guest this month
Here in the prince's palace (to be sure,

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His highness had resign'd it to the ghosts

And rats these twelve years but 't is still a palace) —
Ι say you have been our lodger, and as yet
We do not know your name.

Wer.
My name is Werner.
Iden. A goodly name, a very worthy name
As e'er was gilt upon a trader's board:

I have a cousin in the lazaretto

Of Hamburgh, who has got a wife who bore
The same.
He is an officer of trust,
Surgeon's assistant, (hoping to be surgeon),
And has done miracles i' the way of business.
Perhaps you are related to my relative?

Wer. To yours?

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I thought so all along, such natural yearnings

Play'd round my heart: - blood is not water, cousin ;

And so let's have some wine, and drink unto

Our better acquaintance: relatives should be

Friends.

Wer. You appear to have drank enough already;

And if you had not, I 've no wine to offer,

Else it were yours: but this you know, or should know :
You see I am poor, and sick, and will not see

That I would be alone; but to your business!
What brings you here?

Iden.

Why, what should bring me here?

Wer. I know not, though I think that I could guess That which will send you hence.

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