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THE DYNASTS ACT r
And I discern the hour as one to end
A rule that Time no longer lets cohere.
If I abstain, its spoils will go to swell
The power of this same England, our annoy ;
That country which enchains the trade of towns
With such bold reach as to monopolize,
Among the rest, the whole of Petersburg's—
Ay !—through her purse, friend, as the lender there!—
Shutting that purse, she may incite to—what ?
Muscovy's fall, its ruler's murdering.
Her fleet at any minute can encoop
Yours in the Baltic; in the Black Sea, too;
And keep you snug as minnows in a glass !
Hence we, fast-fellowed by our mutual foes, Seaward the British, Germany by land, And having compassed, for our common good, The Turkish Empire's due partitioning, As comrades can conjunctly rule the world To its own gain and our eternal fame!
ALEXANDER (stirred and flushed)
I see vast prospects opened!—yet, in truth,
Ere you, sire, broached these themes, their outlines
Not seldom in my own imaginings ; But with less clear a vision than endows So clear a captain, statesman, philosoph, As centre in yourself; whom had I known Sooner by some few years, months, even weeks, I had been spared full many a fault of rule. —Now as to Austria. Should we call her in ?
NAPOLEON Two in a bed I have slept, but never three.
Ha-ha! Delightful And, then nextly, Spain ?