FRANCIS. Your face is averted from me, Amelia? Am I less worthy than he who is accursed of his father?
AMELIA. Away! Oh! what a loving, compassionate father, who abandons his son a prey to wolves and monsters! In his own comfortable home he pampers himself with delicious wines, and stretches his palsied limbs on down, while his noble son is starving. Shame upon you, inhuman wretches! Shame upon you, ye souls of dragons, ye blots on humanity! --his only son!
FRANCIS. I thought he had two.
AMELlA. Yes, he deserves to have such sons as you are. On his death-bed he will in vain stretch out his withered hands for his Charles, and recoil with a shudder when he feels the ice-cold hand of his Francis. Oh, it is sweet, deliciously sweet, to be cursed by such a father! Tell me, Francis, dear brotherly soul,--tell me, what must one do to be cursed by him?
FRANCIS. You are raving, dearest; you are to be pitied.
AMELIA. Oh! indeed. Do you pity your brother?--No, monster, you hate him! I hope you hate me too?
FRANCIS. I love you as dearly as I love myself, Amelia!
AMELIA. If you love me, you will not refuse me one little request?
FRANCIS. None, none! if you ask no more than my life.
AMELIA. Oh, if that is the case! then one request, which you will so easily, so readily grant. (Loftily.) Hate me! I should perforce blush crimson, if, whilst thinking of Charles, it should for a moment enter my mind that you do not hate me. You promise me this?--Now go, and leave me; I so love to be alone!
FRANCIS. Lovely enthusiast! how greatly I admire your gentle, affectionate heart. Here, here, Charles reigned sole monarch, like a god within his temple; he stood before thee waking, he filled your imagination dreaming; the whole creation seemed to thee to center in Charles, and to reflect him alone; it gave thee no other echo but of him.
AMELIA (with emotion). Yes, verily, I own it. Despite