Now then away with my proposals to the father, and then lose no time with the daughter. [Exeunt on different sides.
LOUISA and FERDINAND.
LOUISA. Cease, I implore you!--I expect no more days of happiness. All my hopes are levelled with the dust.
FERD. All mine are exalted to heaven!--My father's passions are roused!--he will direct his whole artillery against us!--he will force me to become an unnatural son!--I will not answer for my filial duty.--Rage and despair will wring from me the dark secret, that my father is an assassin!--The son will deliver the parent into the hands of the executioner.-- This is a moment of extreme danger--and extreme danger alone could prompt my love to take so daring a leap! Hear me, Louisa!--A thought, vast and immeasurable as my love, has arisen in my soul--Thou, Louisa, and I, and Love! --Lies not a whole heaven within this circle?--Or dost thou feel that there is still something wanting?
LOUISA. Oh! cease! No more! I tremble to think what you would say!
FERD. If we have no longer a claim upon the world, why should we seek its approbation? Why venture where nothing can be gained, and all may be lost?--Will thine eye sparkle less brightly reflected by the Baltic waves than by the waters of the Rhine or the Elbe? Where Louisa loves me, there is my native land! Thy footsteps will make the wild and sandy desert far more attractive than the marble halls of my ancestors.--Shall we miss the pomp of cities? Be we where we may, Louisa, a sun will rise and a sun will set--scenes before which the most glorious achievements of art grow pale and dim! Though we serve God no more in his consecrated churches, yet the night shall spread her solemn shadows round us; the changing moon shall hear our confession, and a glorious congregation of stars join in our prayers!--Think you, our talk of love can ever be exhausted?--Oh! no! one smile from Louisa were a theme for centuries--the dream of life will be over ere I can exhaust the charms of a single tear.
LOUISA. And hast thou no duty save that of love?