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Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

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THE DYNASTS                     ACT
Sure, he did,
Your gracious Highness ; and he has left me here To break vast news that will make good his calL
MARIA LOUISA Then do.    I'll listen.    News from near or far ?
[She seats herself.
From far—though of such distance-dwarfing might
That far may read as near eventually.
But, dear Archduchess, with your kindly leave
I'll speak straight out.    The Emperor of the French
Has sent to-day to make, through Schwarzenberg,
A formal offer of his heart and hand,
His honours, dignities, imperial throne,
To you, whom he admires above all those
The world can show elsewhere.
MARIA LOUISA (frightened)
My husband—he ? What, an old man like him!
METTERNICH (cautiously)
He's scarcely old,
Dear lady.    True, deeds densely crowd in him ; Turn months to years in calendaring his span ; Yet by Time's common clockwork he's but young.
MARIA LOUISA So wicked, too!