Obrazy na stronie

GoRDoN (rises).
The Rhinegrave's still far off. Give but the orders,
This citadel shall close its gates upon him.
If then he will besiege us, let him try it.
But this I say ; he'll find his own destruction
With his whole force before these ramparts, sooner
Than weary down the valor of our spirit.
He shall experience what a band of heroes,
Inspirited by an heroic leader,
Is able to perform. And if indeed
It be thy serious wish to make amend
For that which thou hast done amiss, this, this
Will touch and reconcile the Emperor
Who gladly turns his heart to thoughts of mercy,
And Friedland, who returns repentant to him,
Will stand yet higher in his Emperor's favor,
Than e'er he stood when he had never fallen.

wall:NstEIN (contemplates him with surprise, remains
silent awhile, betraying strong emotion).
Gordon—your zeal and fervor lead you far.
Well, well—an old friend has a privilege.
Blood, Gordon, has been slowing. Never, never
Can the Emperor pardon me: and if he could,
Yet I—I ne'er could let myself be pardon'd.
Had I foreknown what now has taken place,
That he, my dearest friend, would fall for me,
My first death-offering; and had the heart
Spoken to me, as now it has done—Gordon,
It may be, I might have bethought myself.
It may be too, I might not. Might or might not,
Is now an idle question. All too seriously
Has it begun, to end in nothing, Gordon!
Let it then have its course. -
[Stepping to the window.
All dark and silent—at the Castle too
All is now hush'd—Light me, Chamberlain!
[The GRoom of the Chamber, who had entered
during the last dialogue, and had been stand-
ing at a distance and listening to it with
visible erpressions of the deepest interest, ad-
vances in ertreme agitation, and throws him-
self at the Duke's feet.
And thou too! But I know why thou dost wish
My reconcilement with the Emperor.
Poor man! he hath a small estate in Caernthen,
And fears it will be forfeited because
He's in my service. Am I then so poor,
That I no longer can indemnify
My servants Well! to no one I employ
Means of compulsion. If 'tis thy belief
That Fortune has fled from me, go! forsake me.
This night for the last time mayst thou unrobe me,
And then go over to thy Emperor.
Gordon, good night! I think to make a long
Sleep of it: for the struggle and the turmoil
Of this last day or two was great. May't please you!
Take care that they awake me not too early.
[Erit WALLENstEIN, the GRoom of the Chamber
lighting him. SENI follows, Gordon remains
on the darkened stage, following the Duke
with his eye, till he disappears at the farther
end of the gallery: then by his gestures the old
man erpresses the depth of his anguish, and
stands leaning against a pillar.


GoRDoN, BUTLER (at first behind the Scenes).

BUTLER (not yet come into view of the stage). Here stand in silence till I give the signal.

Gordon (starts up).
"Tis he, he has already brought the murderers.
BUT i.er.
The lights are out. All lies in profound sleep.
What shall I do? Shall I attempt to save him?
Shall I call up the house? Alarm the guards?

Butler (appears, but scarcely on the stage).
A light gleams hither from the corridor.
It leads directly to the Duke's bed-chamber.
But then I break my oath to the Emperor;
If he escape and strengthen the enemy,
Do I not hereby call down upon my head
All the dread consequences?
BUTLER (stepping forward).
Hark! Who speaks there!
"Tis better, I resign it to the hands
Of Providence. For what am I, that I
Should take upon myself so great a deed
I have not murder'd him, if he be murder'd;
But all his rescue were my act and deed ;
Mine—and whatever be the consequences,
I must sustain them.
Butler (advances).
I should know that voice.
"Tis Gordon. What do you want here!
Was it so late then, when the Duke dismiss'd you!
Your hand bound up and in a scarf?
"Tis wounded
That Illo fought as he were frantic, till
At last we threw him on the ground.
Gordon (shuddering).
Both dead?
Is he in bed
Ah, Butler!
but Ler.
Is he? Speak.
He shall not perish' Not through you." The Heaven
Refuses your arm. See—'tis wounded!—
But LeR.
There is no need of my arm.
GoR do N.
The most guilty
Have perish'd, and enough is given to justice.
[The Groom of the Chamber advances fro
the gallery with his finger on his mouth, co-
manding silence.
He sleeps! O murder not the holy sleep!
No! he shall die awake. [Is gorg

GoRDON. His heart still cleaves To earthly things: he's not prepared to step Into the presence of his God! BUTLER (going). God's merciful! GoRDoN (holds him). Grant him but this night's respite. BUTLER (hurrying off). The next moment May ruin all. GoRDoN (holds him still). One hour ! but LER.

Unhold me! What Can that short respite profit him Gondon. O—Time Works miracles. In one hour many thousands Of grains of sand run out; and quick as they, Thought follows thought within the human soul. Only one hour ! Your heart may change its purpose, His heart may change its purpose—some new tidings May come; some fortunate event, decisive, May fall from Heaven and rescue him. O what May not one hour achieve! but LER. You but remind me, How precious every minute is! [He stamps on the floor.


To these enter MacDon ALD, and DEVEREUx, with the
goRDoN (throwing himself between him and them).
No, monster!
Yirst over my dead body thou shalt tread.
V will not live to see the accursed deed!
ButleR (forcing him out of the way).
Weak-hearted dotard'
[Trumpets are heard in the distance.
Hark! The Swedish trumpets!
The Swedes before the ramparts! Let us hasten!
GoRDoN (rushes out).
0, God of Mercy! -
BUTLER (calling after him).
Governor, to your post!
groom of the CHAMBER (hurries in).
Who dares make larum here? Hush! The Duke sleeps.
DEveREux (with a loud harsh voice).
Friend, it is time now to make larum.
Down with him '
GBoom of THE CHAMBER (run through the body by
DEveREUx, falls at the entrance of the gallery).
Jesus Maria'
Burst the doors open.
[They rush over the body into the gallery—two
doors are heard to crash one after the other—

Voices deadened by the distance—Clash of

arms—then all at once a profound silence.


countess tertsky (with a light). Her bed-chamber is empty; she herself Is nowhere to be sound ! The Neubrunn too, Who watch'd by her, is missing. If she should Be flown But whither flown We must call up Every soul in the house. How will the Duke Bear up against these worst bad tidings O If that my husband now were but return'd Home from the banquet!—Hark! I wonder whether The Duke is still awake! I thought I heard Voices and tread of feet here! I will go And listen at the door. Hark! what is that? "Tis hastening up the steps!

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Countess. What is it, Senio PAGE (from the Gallery). Opiteous sight! [Other Servants hasten in with torches. COUNTESS. What is it ! For God's sake! SENI. And do you ask? Within the Duke lies murder'd—and your husband Assassinated at the Castle. [The Countess stands motionless. FEMALE servaNt (rushing across the stage). Help! Help! the Duchess! BURGomastER (enters). What mean these confused Loud cries, that wake the sleepers of this house ! Gordon. Your house is cursed to all eternity. In your house doth the Duke lie murder'd : BURGoMAstER (rushing out). Heaven forbid! First servant. Fly! fly! they murder us all ! second servaNT (carrying silver plate). That way! the lower Passages are block'd up. voice (from behind the Scene). Make room for the Lieutenant-General! [At these words the Countess starts from her stupor, collects herself, and retires suddenly. voice (from behind the Scene). Keep back the people! Guard the door!


To these enters Octavio PiccoloysiN1 with all his Train. At the same time DEveREux and MAcDonAld enter from the Corridor with the Halberdiers. —WALLENsterN's dead body is carried over the back part of the Stage, wrapped in a piece of crimson tapestry. octavio (entering abruptly). It must not be ' It is not possible! Butler! Gordon : I'll not believe it. Say, No! [Gordon, without answering, points with his hand to the Body of WALLENstEIN as it is carried over phe back of the Stage. Octavio looks that way, and stands overpowered with horror.

DEveREUx (to BUTLER). Here is the golden fleece—the Duke's sword— MacDonal, D. Is it your order— but LER (pointing to Octavio). - Here stands he who now Hath the sole power to issue orders. [DevEREux and Macdonald retire with marks of obeisance. One drops away after the other, till only BUTLER, Octavio, and Gordon remain on the Stage. octavio (turning to Butler). Was that my purpose, Butler, when we parted? o of Justice' othee I list my hand! I am not guil of this foul j guilty

Your hand is pure. You have

Avail'd yourself of mine.


Merciless man!
Thus to abuse the orders of thy Lord—
And stain thy Emperor's holy name with murder,
With bloody, most accursed assassination!
Butler (calmly).

I've but fulfill'd the Emperor's own sentence.

oCTAWiO. O curse of kings, Infusing a dread life into their words, And linking to the sudden transient thought The unchangeable irrevocable deed. Was there necessity for such an eager Dispatch? Couldst thou not grant the merciful A time for mercy? Time is man's good Angel To leave no interval between the sentence, And the fulfilment of it, doth beseem God only, the immutable!

For what

Rail you against me? What is my offence!
The Empire from a fearful enemy
Have I deliver'd, and expect reward.
The single difference betwixt you and me
Is this: you placed the arrow in the bow;
I pull'd the string. You sow'd blood, and yet “a”
Astonish'd that blood is come up. I always
Knew what I did, and therefore no result
Hath power to frighten or surprise my spirit
Have you aught else to order? for this instant
I make my best speed to Vienna; place
My bleeding sword before my Emperor's Thro'
And hope to gain the applause which undelaying
And punctual obedience may demand
From a just judge, (Eru Boin


To these enter the Countess Tentsky, poko” ordered. Her utterance is slow and feeble, to " impassioned. octavio (meeting her). O Countess Tertsky! These are the results Of luckless unblest deeds.


They are the fruits Of your contrivances. The duke is dead, My husband too is dead, the Duchess struggle In the pangs of death, my niece has disappeard. This house of splendor, and of princely glory, Doth now stand desolated: the affrighted serva" Rush forth through all its doors. I am the last Therein; I shut it up, and here deliver The keys.

octavio (with a deep anguish). O Countess! my house too is desola”

countess. Who next is to be murder'd 7 Who is next To be maltreated Lo! the Duke is dead. The Emperor's vengeance may be pacified' Spare the old servants; let not their fidelity Be imputed to the faithful as a *I.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][graphic]

The evil destiny surprised my brother
Too suddenly: he could not think on them.
Speak not of vengeance! Speak not of maltreatment!
The Emperor is appeased ; the heavy fault
Hath heavily been expiated—nothing
Descended from the father to the daughter,
Except his glory and his services.
The Empress honors your adversity,
Takes part in your afflictions, opens to you
Her motherly arms! Therefore no farther fears;
Yield yourself up in hope and considence
To the Imperial Grace!
couxTEss (trith her eye raised to heaven)
To the grace and mercy of a greater Master
Do I yield up myself. Where shall the body
Of the Duke have its place of final rest?
In the Chartreuse, which he himself did sound
At Gitschin, rest the Countess Wallenstein;
And by her side, to whom he was indebted
For his first fortunes, gratefully he wish'd
He might sometime repose in death ! O let him
Be buried there. And likewise, for my husband's
Remains, I ask the like grace. The Emperor
is now proprietor of all our Castles.
This sure may well be granted us—one sepulchre
Beside the sepulchres of our forefathers!
o CTAvio.

Countess, you tremble, you turn pale!
cotyTESs (reassembles all her powers, and speaks with

energy and dignity).

You think

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


Accept, as a small testimony of my grateful attachment, the following Dramatic Poem, in which I have “ndeavored to detail, in an interesting form, the fall of a man, whose great bad actions have cast a disastrous lustre on his name. In the execution of the work, as intricacy of plot could not have been attempted without a gross violation of recent facts, it * been my sole aim to imitate the impassioned and highly figurative language of the French Orators, *nd to develop the characters of the chief actors on * vast stage of horrors.

Yours fraternally, S. T. Cole:Ridge. Jesus College, September 22, 1794.


ACT I. SCENE, The Tuilleries.


The tempest gathers—be it mine to seek
A friendly shelter, ere it bursts upon him.
But where 2 and how ! I fear the Tyrant's soul—
Sudden in action, fertile in resource,
And rising awful 'mid impending ruins;
In splendor gloomy, as the midnight meteor,
That searless thwarts the elemental war.
When last in secret conference we met,
He scowl'd upon me with suspicious rage,
Making his eye the inmate of my bosom.
I know he scorns me—and I feel, I hate him—
Yet there is in him that which makes me tremble !


"tal. Life N. It was Barrere, Legendre! didst thou mark him? Abrupt he turn'd, yet linger'd as he went, And towards us cast a look of doubtful meaning.

LEGENDRE. I mark'd him well. I met his eyeo last glance; It menaced not so proudly as of yore. Methought he would have spoke—but that he dared not.— Such agitation darken'd on his brow.

"tallien. "Twas all-distrusting guilt that kept from bursting Th' imprison'd secret struggling in the face: E’en as the sudden breeze upstarting onwards Hurries the thunder-cloud, that poised awhile Hung in mid air, red with its mutinous burthen.

LEGENDRE. Perfidious Traitor!—still afraid to bask In the full blaze of power, the rustling serpent Lurks in the thicket of the Tyrant's greatness, Ever prepared to sting who shelters him. Each thought, each action in himself converges; And love and friendship on his coward heart Shine like the powerless sun on polar ice: To all attach'd, by turns deserting all, Cunning and dark—a necessary villain!

TALLIEN. Yet much depends upon him—well you know With plausible harangue 'tis his to paint Defeat like victory—and blind the mob With truth-mix'd falsehood. They, led on by him, And wild of head to work their own destruction, Support with uproar what he plans in darkness.

LEGENDRE. O what a precious name is Liberty To scare or cheat the simple into slaves! Yes—we must gain him over: by dark hints We'll show enough to rouse his watchful fears, Till the cold coward blaze a patriot. O Danton! murder'd friend! assist my counsels— Hover around me on sad memory's wings, And pour thy daring vengeance in my heart. Tallien' if but to-morrow's fateful sun Beholds the Tyrant living—we are dead!

TALLIEN. Yet his keen eye that flashes mighty meanings—

LEGEN drf.
Fear not—or rather fear th' alternative,
And seek for courage e'en in cowardice.
But see—hither he comes—let us away!
His brother with him, and the bloody Couthon,
And high of haughty spirit, young St-Just.


Enter RobespierRE, Couthon, St-Just, and RobespierRE JUNior.

" Robespirit RE.

What! did La Fayette fall before my power? And did I conquer Roland's spotless virtues 2 The servent eloquence of Vergniaud's tongue? And Brissot's thoughtful soul unbribed and bold Did zealot armies haste in vain to save them What! did th'assassin's dagger aim its point Vain, as a dream of murder, at my bosom

And shall I dread the soft luxurious Tallien?
Th’ Adonis Tallien? banquet-hunting Tallien?
Him, whose heart flutters at the dice-box” Him.
Who ever on the harlots' downy pillow
Resigns his head impure to severish slumbers!

st-JUst. I cannot fear him—yet we must not scorn him. Was it not Antony that conquer’d Brutus, Th' Adonis, banquet-hunting Antony? The state is not yet purified: and though The stream runs clear, yet at the bottom lies The thick black sediment of all the factions— It needs no magic hand to stir it up!

couTHoN. O we did wrong to spare them—fatal error! Why lived Legendre, when that Danton died? And Collot d'Herbois dangerous in crimes? I've fear'd him, since his iron heart endured To make of Lyons one vast human shambles, Compared with which the sun-scorch'd wilderness Of Zara were a smiling paradise.

ST-JUST. Rightly thou judgest, Couthon! He is one, Who flies from silent solitary anguish, Seeking forgetful peace amid the jar Of elements. The howl of maniac uproar Lulls to sad sleep the memory of himself. A calm is fatal to him—then he feels The dire upboilings of the storm within him. A tiger mad with inward wounds. I dread The fierce and restless turbulence of guilt.

Robespier ite. Is not the commune ours ? The stern tribunal? Dumas? and Vivier? Fleuriot? and Louvett And Henriot? We'll denounce a hundred, nor Shall they behold to-morrow's sun roll westward.

Robespier R.E Junion. Nay—I am sick of blood; my aching heart Reviews the long, long train of hideous horrors That still have gloom'd the rise of the republic. I should have died before Toulon, when war Became the patriot! ROBEs PierRF.

Most unworthy wish! He, whose heart sickens at the blood of traitors, Would be himself a traitor, were he not A coward ' "Tis congenial souls alone Shed tears of sorrow for each other's fate. O thou art brave, my brother! and thine eye Full firmly shines amid the groaning battle— Yet in thine heart the woman-form of pity Asserts too large a share, an ill-timed guest! There is unsoundness in the state—To-morrow Shall see it cleansed by wholesome massacre!

RobespierRe JUNiort. Beware! already do the sections murmur— “O the great glorious patriot, Robespierre– The tyrant guardian of the country's freedom" COUThon. Twere folly sure to work great deeds by halves' Much I suspect the darksome fickle heart Of cold Barrere ! ROBEspierRE. I see the villain in him." Robespierre Junior. If he—if all forsake thee—what remains?

« PoprzedniaDalej »