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Alms to the mendicant friars; in that guise
A band (yourself the leader) shall surround
And seize the despot.

DE MAUPRAT.
But the king ? but Julie?

BARADAS.

The king, infirm in health, in mind more feeble,
Is but the plaything of a minister's will.
Were Richelieu dead, his power were mine ; and Louis
Soon should forget his passion and your crime.
But whither now?

DE MAUPRAT.

I know not; I scarce hear thee;
A little while for thought: anon I'll join thee;
But now, all air seems tainted, and I loathe
The face of man!

[Exit De Mauprat through the gardens,

BARADAS.

Start from the chase, my prey, But as thou speed'st the hell-hounds of revenge Pant in thy track and dog thee down. Enter De Beringhen, his mouth full, a napkin in his hand,

DE BERINGHEN.

Chevalier,
Your cook's a miracle ; what, my host gone ?
Faith, count, my office is a post of danger;
A fiery fellow, Mauprat! touch and go,
Match and saltpetre, pr--r--r-r!

BARADAS.

You
Will be released ere long. The king resolves
To call the bride to court this day.

DE BERINGHEN.

Poor Mauprat!
Yet, since you love the lady, why so careless
Of the king's suit?

BARADAS.

Because the lady's virtuous, And the king timid. Ere he win the suit

He'll lose the crown, the bride will be a widow,
And I-the Richelieu of the Regent Orleans.

DE BERINGHEN.

Is Louis still so chafed against the fox
For snatching yon fair dainty from the lion?

BARADAS.

So chafed, that Richelieu totters. Yes, the king
Is half a conspirator against the cardinal.
Enough of this. I've found the man we wanted ;
The man to head the hands that murder Richelieu ;
The man, whose name the synonyme for daring.

DE BERINGHEN.

BARADAS.

He must mean me! No, count, I am, I own,
A valiant dog; but still
455 5

Whom can I mean
But Mauprat? Mark; to-night we meet at Marion's ;
There shall we sign: thence send this scroll (showing it)

to Bouillon. You're in that secret (affectionately), one of our new

council.

DE BERINGHEN.
But to admit the Spaniard-France's foe-
Into the heart of France, dethrone the king;
It looks like treason, and I smell the headsman.

BARADAS. Oh, sir, too late to falter: when we meet We must arrange the separate, coarser scheme, For Richelieu's death. Of this despatch De Mauprat Must nothing learn. He only bites at vengeance, And he would start from treason. We must post him Without the door at Marion's, as a sentry. (Aside) So, when his head is on the block, his tongue Cannot betray our more august designs !

DE BERINGHEN.

I'll meet you, if the king can spare me. (A side) No!
I am too old a goose to play with foxes ;
I'll roost at home. Meanwhile, in the next room
There's a delicious pâté ; let's discuss it.

BARADAS.
Pshaw! a man fill'd with a sublime ambition
Has no time to discuss your pâtés.

DE BERINGHEN.

Pshaw! and a man filled with as sublime a pâté Has no time to discuss ambition. Gad, I have the best of it! (Enter Julie hastily with first courtier.)

JULIE (to courtier).

A summons, sir, To attend the Louvre ? On this day, too?

COURTIER.

Madame, The royal carriage waits below. Messire (to De Berin

ghen), You will return with us.

JULIE.

What can this mean? Where is my husband ?

BARADAS.

He has left the house
Perhaps till nightfall; so he bade me tell you.
Alas! were I the lord of such fair treasure-

JULIE (impatiently).
Till nightfall! Strange ; my heart misgives me !

COURTIER.

Madame, My orders will not brook delay.

JULIE (to Baradas).

You'll see him, Am you will tell him!

BARADAS.

From the flowers of Hybla
Never more gladly did the bee bear honey,
Than I take sweetness from those rosiest lips,
Though to the hive of others!

COURTIER (to De Beringhen).

Come, messire. DE BERINGHEN (hesitating). One moment, just to

COURTIER.

Come, sir.
DE BERINGHEN.

I shall not
Discuss the pâté after all. 'Ecod,
I'm puzzled now. I don't know who's the best of it!

[Exeunt Julie, De Beringhen, and courtier.

BARADAS.
Now will this fire his fever into madness!
All is made clear; Mauprat must murder Richelieu ;
Die for that crime: I shall console his Julie.
This will reach Bouillon! from the wrecks of France
I shall carve out, who knows, perchance a throne !
All in despite of my

lord cardinal.
Enter De Mauprat from the gardens.

DE MAUPRAT.
Speak! can it be? Methought that from the terrace
I saw the carriage of the king—and Julie !
No! no! my phrensy peoples the void air
With its own phantoms !

ARADAS.

Nay, too true. Alas! Was ever lightning swifter or more blasting, Than Richelieu's forked guile?

DE MAUPRAT.

I'll to the Louvre

BARADAS.
And lose all hope! The Louvre ! the sure gate
To the Bastile !

DE MAUPRAT.
The king-

BARADAS.

Is but the wax,
E

Which Richelieu stamps ! Break the malignant seal,
And I will rase the print! Come, man, take heart !
Her virtue well could brave a sterner trial
Than a few hours of cold imperious courtship,
Were Richelieu dust-no danger!

DE MAUPRAT.

Ghastly Vengeance ! To thee and thine august and solemn sister, The unrelenting Death! I dedicate The blood of Armand Richelieu! When dishonour Reaches our hearths, law dies, and murder takes The angel shape of justice !

BARADAS.

Bravely said !
At midnight-Marion's! Nay, I cannot leave thee
To thoughts that

DE MAUPRAT.

Speak not to me! I am yours! But speak not! There's a voice within my soul, Whose cry could drown the thunder. Oh! if men' Will play dark sorcery with the heart of man, Let them who raise the spell, beware the fiend !

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A room in the Palais Cardinal (as in the First Act).

Richelieu. Joseph.
François, writing at a table.

JOSEPH.

Yes; Huguet, taking his accustom'd round,
Disguised as some plain burgher, heard these rufflers
Quoting your name: he listend: “Pshaw,” said one,
“ We are to seize the cardinal in his palace
To-morrow !" “How ?" the other ask'd. “You'll hear
The whole design to-night; the Duke of Orleans

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