Obrazy na stronie

Hero or natural coward, shall have guidance
Of a free people's destiny; should fall out
In the mere lottery of a reckless nature,
Where sew the prizes and the blanks are countless?
Or haply that a nation's fate should hang
On the bald accident of a midwife's handling
The unclosed sutures of an infant's skull!

What better claim can sovereign wish or need,
Than the free voice of men who love their country?
Those chiefly who have fought for't; Who, by right,
Claim for their monarch one, who having obey'd
So hath best learnt to govern; who, having suffer'd,
Can feel for each brave sufferer and reward him
Whence sprang the name of Emperor Was it not
By Nature's fiat? In the storm of triumph,
"Mid warriors' shouts, did her oracular voice
Make itself heard: Let the commanding spirit
Possess the station of command'

KAAB KICPRILI. Prince Emerick, Your cause will prosper best in your own pleading.

EMERick (aside to CasimiR). Ragozzi was thy school-mate—a bold spirit! Bind him to us!—Thy father thaws apace! [Then aloud. Leave us awhile, my Lord!—Your friend, Ragozzi, Whom you have not yet seen since his return, Commands the guard to-day. [CasimiR retires to the Guard-House; and after a time appears before it with Chef RAGozzi. We are alone. What further pledge or proof desires Kiuprilit Then, with your assent— RAAB KIUpril.I. Mistake not for assent The unquiet silence of a stern Resolve, Throttling the impatient voice. I have heard thee, Prince : And I have watch'd thee, too; but have small faith in A plausible tale told with a flitting eye. [EMERIck turns as about to call for the Guard. In the next moment I am in thy power, In this thou art in mine. Stir but a step, Or make one sign—I swear by this good sword, Thou diest that instant. EMErick. Ha, ha!—Well, Sir!—Conclude your homily. RAAB KIUPRILI (in a somewhat suppressed voice.) A tale which, whether true or false, comes guarded Against all means of proof, detects itself. The Queen mew'd up—this too from anxious care And love brought forth of a sudden, a twin birth With the discovery of her plot to rob thee Of a rightful throne!—Mark how the scorpion, Falsehood, Coils round in its own perplexity, and fixes Its sting in its own head! EMErick. Ay! to the mark! RAAB KIUPRILI (aloud); she and EMERICK standing at equi-distance from the Palace and the Guard-House. Hadst thou believed thine own tale, hadst thoufancied Thyself the rightful successor of Andreas,

Wouldst thou have pilfer'd from our school-boys'
These shallow sophisms of a popular choice?
What people How convened 2 or, if convened,
Must not the magic power that charms together
Millions of men in council, needs have power
To win or wield them : Better, O far better
Shout forth thy titles to yon circling mountains,
And with a thousand-fold reverberation'
Make the rocks flatter thee, and the volleying air,
Unbribed, shout back to thee, King Emerick :
By wholesome laws to embank the sovereign power,
To deepen by restraint, and by prevention
Of lawless will to amass and guide the flood
In its majestic channel, is man's task
And the true patriot's glory! In all else
Men safelier trust to Heaven, than to themselves
When least themselves in the mad whirl of crowds
Where folly is contagious, and too oft
Even wise men leave their better sense at home,
To chide and wonder at them when return'd.

EMERick (aloud). Is’t thus, thou scoff'st the people' most of all, The soldiers, the defenders of the people?

RAAB KiupRILI (aloud). O most of all, most miserable nation, For whom th’ Imperial power, enormous bubble: Is blown and kept aloft, or burst and shatter'd By the bribed breath of a lewd soldiery! Chiefly of such, as from the frontiers far (Which is the noblest station of true warriors), In rank licentious idleness beleaguer City and court, a venom'd thorn i' the side Of virtuous kings, the tyrant's slave and tyrant, Still ravening for fresh largess' but with such What title claim'st thou, save thy birth What merits Which many a liegeman may not plead as well, Brave though I grant thee? If a life outlabor'd Head, heart, and fortunate arm, in watch and war, For the land's same and weal; if large acquests, Made honest by th’ aggression of the foe And whose best praise is, that they bring us safety; If victory, doubly-wreathed, whose under-garland Of laurel-leaves looks greener and more sparkling Through the gray olive-branch; if these, Prince Eme


Give the true title to the throne, not thou–
No! (let Illyria, let the infidel enemy
Be judge and arbiter between us!) I,
I were the rightful sovereign!

EMERICK. I have faith That thou both think'st and hopest it. Fair Zapolya, A provident lady— RAAB klupril.r. Wretch, beneath all answer!

- EMERick. Offers at once the royal bed and throne!

RAAB Ritirrill.
To be a kingdom's bulwark, a king's glory,
Yet loved by both, and trusted, and trust-worthy,
Is more than to be king; but see! thy rage
Fights with thy fear. I will relieve thee! Ho!

[To the Guard.
Not for thy sword, but to entrap thee, ruffian!

Thus long I have listen’d—Guard—ho! from the Palace. The Guard post from the Guard-House with CHEF Ragozzi at their head, and then a number from the Palace—CHEF RAGozzi demands KIUPRILI's sword, and apprehends him.

casion in. 0 agony! (To Exterick). Sire, hear me! [To KIUPRILI, who turns from him. Hear me, Father! Eyserick. Take in arrest that traitor and assassin! Who pleads for his life, strikes at mine, his sovereign's.

RAAB KIUPRILI. As the co-regent of the realm, I stand Amenable to none save to the States, Met in due course of law. But ye are bond-slaves, Yet witness ye that before God and man I here impeach Lord Emerick of foul treason, And on strong grounds attaint him with suspicion Of murder— remerick. • Hence with the madman!

RAAd kiupril.I. Your Queen's murder, The royal orphan's murder: and to the death Defy him, as a tyrant and usurper. [Hurried off by RAGozzi and the Guard. rmerick. Fre twice the sun hath risen, by my sceptro This insolence shall be avenged. casiniirt. O banish him ' This infamy will crush me. O for my sake, Banish him, my liege lord' EMERICK (scornfully). What! to the army? Be calm, young friend! Nought shall be done in anger. The child o'erpowers the man. In this emergence I must take counsel for us both. Retire. [Erit CAsimir in agitation. rMERick (alone, looks at a Calendar). The changeful planet, now in her decay, Lips down at midnight, to be seen no more. With her shall sink the enemies of Emerick, Cursed by the last look of the waning moon; And my bright destiny, with sharpen'd horns, Shall greet me fearless in the new-born crescent. [Erit. Scene changes to another view, namely, the back of the Palace—a Wooded Park, and Mountains.

Enter ZApolyA, with an Infant in her arms. ZApolyA. Hush, dear one! hush! My trembling arm disturbs thee! Thou, the Protector of the helpless! thou, The widow's Husband and the orphan's Father, Direct my steps! Ah whither O send down Thy angel to a houseless babe and mother, Driven forth into the cruel widerness! Hush, sweet one! Thou art no Hagar's offspring: thou art The rightful heir of an anointed king ! What sounds are those It is the vesper chant Of laboring men returning to their home! Their queen has no home! Hear me, heavenly Father!

And let this darkness—
Be as the shadow of thy outspread wings
To hide and shield us! Start'st thou in thy slumbers?
Thou canst not dream of savage Emerick. Hush!
Betray not thy poor mother! For if they seize thee,
I shall grow mad indeed, and they'll believe
Thy wicked uncle's lie. Ha! what? A soldier?
[She starts back—and enter CHEF RAGozzi.
Chry RAGozzi.
Sure Heaven befriends us. Well! he hath escaped!
O rare tune of a tyrant's promises
That can enchant the serpent treachery
From forth its lurking-hole in the heart. “Ragozzi
“O brave Ragozzi! Count! Commander! What not?”
And all this too for nothing! a poor nothing!
Merely to play the underling in the murder
Of my best friend Kiuprili. His own son—monstrous!
Tyrant! I owe thee thanks, and in good hour
Will I repay thee, for that thou thought'st me too
A serviceable villain. Could I now
But gain some sure intelligence of the queen:
Heaven bless and guard her!
zApolyA (coming fearfully forward).
- Art thou not Ragozzi ?
Curf RAGozzi.
The Queen! Now then the miracle is full!
I see Heaven's wisdom in an over-match
For the devil's cunning. This way, madam, haste!
z A polya.
Stay! Oh, no! Forgive me if I wrong thee!
This is thy sovereign's child: Oh, pity us,
And be not treacherous! [Kneeling.
chEf RAGozzi (raising her).
Madam! For mercy's sake!
But tyrants have a hundred eyes and arms!
cher r Agozzi.
Take courage, madam ' 'T' were too horrible,
(I can not do 't) to swear I'm not a monster!—
Scarce had I barr'd the door on Raab Kiuprili—

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To escort me. Oh, thrice happy when he finds The treasure which I convoy!

ZAPOLY.A. - One brief moment, That, praying for strength I may have strength. This babe, - Heaven's eye is on it, and its innocence Is, as a prophet's prayer, strong and prevailing! Through thee, dear babe! the inspiring thought possess'd me, When the loud clamor rose, and all the palace Emptied itself—(They sought my life, Ragozzi!) Like a swift shadow gliding, I made way To the deserted chamber of my Lord.— [Then to the infant. And thou didst kiss thy father's hseless lips, And in thy helpless hand, sweet slumberer! Still clasp'st the signet of thy royalty. As I removed the seal, the heavy arm Dropt from the couch aslant, and the stiff finger Seem'd pointing at my feet. Provident Heaven! Lo, I was standing on the secret door, Which, through a long descent where all sound perishes, Let out beyond the palace. Well I knew it— But Andreas framed it not! He was no tyrant!

CHEF RAGozzi. Haste, madam! Let me take this precious burden! [He kneels as he takes the child.

ZAPOLY.A. Take him ' And if we be pursued, I charge thee, Flee thou and leave me! Flee and save thy king! [Then as going off, she looks back on the palace. Thou tyrant's den, be call'd no more a palace : The orphan's angel at the throne of Heaven Stands up against thee, and there hover o'er thee A Queen's, a Mother's, and a Widow's curse. Henceforth a dragon's haunt, fear and suspicion. Stand sentry at thy portals! Faith and honor, Driven from the throne, shall leave the attainted nation: And, for the iniquity that houses in thee, False glory, thirst of blood, and lust of rapine (Fateful conjunction of malignant planets), Shall shoot their blastments on the land. Tho fathers Henceforth shall have no joy in their young men, And when they cry: Lo! a male child is born ? The mother shall make answer with a groan. For bloody usurpation, like a vulture, Shall clog its beak within Illyria's heart. Remorseless slaves of a remorseless tyrant! They shall be mock'd with sounds of liberty, And liberty shall be proclaim'd alone To thee, O Fire! O Pestilence! O Sword : Till Vengeance hath her fill.—And thou, snatch'd hence, (Again to the infant.) poor friendless fugitive! with Mother's wailing, Offspring of Royal Andreas, shalt return With trump and timbrel clang, and popular shout In triumph to the palace of thy fathers! [Ereunt.

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Yea, e'en in thy simplicity, Glycine,
A fine and seminine grace, that makes me feel
More as a mother than a mistress to thee!
Thou art a soldier's orphan' that—the courage,
Which rising in thine eye, seems ost to give
A new soul to its gentleness, doth prove thee!
Thou art sprung too of no ignoble blood,
Or there's no faith in instinct!
[Angry voices and clamor within, re-enter GlycINE.

GLYCINE. Oh, madam! there's a party of your servants, And my Lord's steward, Laska, at their head, Have come to search for old Bathory's son, Bethlen, that brave young man' 'I was he, my lady, That took our parts, and beat off the intruders; And in mere spite and malice, now they charge him With bad words of Lord Casimir and the king. Pray don't believe them, madam . This way! This way ! Lady Sarolta's here. [Calling without. sarco Lt.A. Be calm, Glycine. Enter LAskA and Servants with OLD BATHoRy.

LAsk A (to BAthony). We have no concern with you! What needs your presence 2 old eation Y. What! Do you think I'll suffer my brave boy To be slander'd by a set of coward-ruffians, And leave it to their malice,—yes, mere malice!— To tell its own tale 2 (LASKA and Servants bow to LADY SARolta. SAROLt.A. Laska! What may this mean? LAsKA (pompously, as commencing a set speech). Madam' and may it please your ladyship! This old man's son, by name Bethlen Bathory, Stands charged, on weighty evidence, that he, On yester-eve, being his lordship's birth-day, Did traitorously defame Lord Casimir: The lord high-steward of the realm, moreover— sar®1*A. Be brief! We know his titles!

And moreover

Raved like a traitor at our liege King Emerick.
And furthermore, said witnesses make oath,
Led on the assault upon his lordship's servants;
Yea, insolently tore, from this, your huntsman.
His badge of livery of your noble house,
And trampled it in scorn.

sakolta (to the Servants who offer to speak). You have had your spokesman! Where is the young man thus accused?

old pathony. I know not : But if no ill betide him on the mountains, He will not long be absent! SAROLTA. Thou art his father 7 old pathon Y. None ever with more reason prized a son: Yet I hate falsehood more than I love him. But more than one, now in my lady's presence, Witness'd the affray, besides these men of malice; And if I swerve from truth— 3 11:

Yes! good old man!

My lady! pray believe him :


Hush, Glycine!
[Then to BATHoRy.
Speak! we hear you!
old Bathony.

My tale is brief. During our festive dance,
Your servants, the accusers of my son,
Offer'd gross insults, in unmanly sort,
To our village maidens. He (could he do less?)
Rose in defence of outraged modesty,
And so persuasive did his cudgel prove
(Your hectoring sparks so over brave to women
Are always cowards), that they soon took flight,
And now in mere revenge, like baffled boasters,
Have framed this tale, out of some hasty words
Which their own threats provoked.


Be silent, I command you.

Old man! you talk Too bluntly! Did your son owe no respect To the livery of our house?

OLD eatriott Y. Even such respect As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf That hath begun to worry the poor lambs!


Old insolent rushan :
Pardon' pardon, madam :

I saw the whole affray. The good old man
Means no offence, sweet lady!—You, yourself,
Laska! know well, that these men were the ruffians!
Shame on you!

sARolta (speaks with affected anger).
What! Glycine! Go, retire!
[Erit Glycine, mournfully.

Be it then that these men faulted. Yet yourself,
Or better still belike the maidens' parents,
Might have complain'd to us. Was ever access
Denied you? Or free audience Or are we
Weak and unfit to punish our own servants?

OLD bath or Y. So then! So then! Heaven grant an old man patience! And must the gardener leave his seedling plants, Leave his young roses to the rooting swine, . While he goes ask their master, if perchance . His leisure serve to scourge them from their ravage?

LASKA, Ho! Take the rude clown from your lady's presence! I will report her further will!

Wait, then,

Till thou hast learnt it! Fervent, good old man!
Forgive me that, to try thee, I put on
A face of sternness, alien to my meaning!

[Then speaks to the Servants. Hence! leave my presence! and you, Laska! mark


Those rioters are no longer of my household!
If we but shake a dew-drop from a rose,
In vain would we replace it, and as vainly
Restore the tear of wounded modesty
To a maiden's eye familiarized to license—
But these men, Laska–

LASKA (aside). Yes, now 'tis coming. sARolt.A. Brutal aggressors first, then baffled dastards, That they have sought to piece out their revenge With a tale of words lured from the lips of anger, Stamps them most dangerous; and till I want Fit means for wicked ends, we shall not need Their services. Discharge them! You, Bathory! Are henceforth of my household! I shall place you Near my own person. When your son returns, Present him to us. Old BAThory. Ha! what, strangers" here! What business have they in an old man's eye? Your goodness, lady—and it came so sudden— I cannot—must not—let you be deceived. I have yet another tale, but—[Then to SARolta aside. Not for all ears! sar OLTA. I oft have pass'd your cottage, and still praised Its beauty, and that trim orchard-plot, whose blossoms The gusts of April shower'd aslant its thatch. Come, you shall show it me! And while you bid it Farewell, be not ashamed that I should witness The oil of gladness glittering on the water Of an ebbing grief. [BATHoRy bowing, shows her into his cottage. LASKA (alone). Wexation' baffled! school'd : Ho! Laska' wake! why? what can all this mean? She sent away that cockatrice in anger! Oh the false witch! It is too plain, she loves him. And now, the old man near my lady's person, She'll see this Bethlen hourly! [LASKA flings himself into the seat. GlycINE peeps in timidly. GLYCINE. Laska! Laska! Is my lady gone? LASKA (surlily). Gone. GLYCiNE. Have you yet seen him? Is he return'd? (LASKA starts up from his seat Has the seat stung you, Laskat LASKA. No! serpent! no; 'tis you that sting me; you! What! you would cling to him again! GLYCINE. Whom 7 LASKA. Bethlen Bethlen! Yes; gaze as if your very eyes embraced him! Ha! you forget the scene of yesterday ! Mute ere he came, but then—Out on your screams, And your pretended fears! Glycine. Your fears, at least, Were real, Laska! or your trembling limbs And white cheeks play'd the hypocrites most vilely!

* Refers to the tear, which he feels starting in his eye. The following line was borrowed unconsciously from Mr. Words worth's Ezcursion. 11 4.

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