Aless. Heard I aright?
I speak to him—he speaks of Lalage?
(places her hand on his shoulder)
what art thou dreaming?
He’s not well!
What ails thee, sir?
Cas.(starting). Cousin! fair cousin!—madam!
I crave thy pardon—indeed I am not well—
Your hand from off my shoulder, if you please.
This air is most oppressive!—Madam—the Duke!
Enter Di Broglio.
Di Broglio. My son, I’ve news
—what’s the matter?
I’ the pouts? Kiss her, Castiglione! kiss her,
You dog! and make it up, I say, this minute!
I’ve news for you both. Politian is expected
Hourly in Rome—Politian, Earl of Leicester!
We’ll have him at the wedding. ’Tis his first visit
To the imperial city.
Aless. What! Politian
Of Britain, Earl of Leicester?
Di Brog. The same, my love.
We’ll have him at the wedding. A man quite young
In years, but gray in fame. I have not seen him,
But Rumor speaks of him as of a prodigy
Pre-eminent in arts, and arms, and wealth,
And high descent. We’ll have him at the wedding.
Aless. I have heard much of this
Gay, volatile and giddy—is he not,
And little given to thinking?
Di Brog. Far from it, love.
No branch, they say, of all philosophy
So deep abstruse he has not mastered it.
Learned as few are learned.
Aless. ’Tis very strange!
I have known men have seen Politian
And sought his company. They speak of him
As of one who entered madly into life,
Drinking the cup of pleasure to the dregs.
Cas. Ridiculous! Now I
have seen Politian
And know him well—nor learned nor mirthful he.
He is a dreamer, and shut out
From common passions.
Di Brog. Children, we disagree.
Let us go forth and taste the fragrant air
Of the garden. Did I dream, or did I hear
Politian was a melancholy man?