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THE DYNASTS                     ACT v
NAPOLEON (after silently reading)
Ha-ha!    It never rains unless it pours : Now I can have the other readily. The proverb hits me aptly : " Well they do Who doff the old love ere they don the new!"
(He glances again over the letter,)
Yes, Caulaincourt now writes he has every hope Of quick success in settling the alliance! The Tsar is willing—even is anxious for it, His sister's youth the single obstacle. The Empress-mother, hitherto against me, Ambition-fired, verges on suave consent, Likewise the whole Imperial family. What irony is all this to me now! Time lately was when I had leapt thereat.
You might, of course, sire, give th' Archduchess up, Seeing she looms uncertainly as yet, While this does so no longer.
No—not I.
My sense of my own dignity forbids My watching the slow clocks of Muscovy! Why have they dallied with my tentatives In pompous silence since the Erfurt day? —And Austria, too, affords a safer hope. The young Archduchess is much less a child Than is the other, who, Caulaincourt says, Will be incapable of motherhood For six months yet or more—a grave delay.
Your Majesty "appears to have trimmed your sail For Austria; and no more is to be said!