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

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THE DYNASTS                    ACT vi
Down the middle of this state-table runs a purling brook crossed by quaint bridges, in which gold and silver fish frisk ^about between banks of moss and flowers. The whole scene is lit with wax candles in chandeliers, and in countless candelabra on the tables. r
The people at the upper tables include the Duchess cf Yorl£r looking tired from having just received as hostess most of the ladies present, except those who have come informally, Louis XVIII. of France, the Duchess of Angouleme, all the English Royal Dukes, nearly all the ordinary Dukes and Duchesses; also the Lore! Chancellor, the Speaker, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and othef Ministers, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, all the more fashionable of the other Peers, Peeresses, and Members of Parliament, Generals, Admirals, and Mayors, with their wives. The ladies of position wear, almost to the extent of a uniform, a nodding head-dress of ostrich feathers with diamonds, and gowns of white satin embroidered in gold or silver, on which, owing to the heat, dribbles of wax from the chandeliers occasionally fall.
The Guards' bands play, and attendants rush about in blue and gold lace.
The Queen, the Regent's mother, sits not here; Wanting, too, are his sisters, I perceive; And it is well.     With the distempered King Immured at Windsor, sore distraught or dying, It borders nigh on an indecency In their regard, that this loud feast is kept, A thought not strange to many, as I read, Even of those gathered here.
My dear phantom and crony, the gloom upon their faces is due rather to their having borrowed those diamonds at eleven per cent than to their loyalty tcr a suffering monarch ! But let us test the feeling, fll spread a report.
He calls up the SPIRIT OF RUMOUR, who scatters whispers through the assemblage.
A GUEST (to his neighbour)
Have you heard  this report—that  the  King is