« PoprzedniaDalej »
CAIN (interrupting her).
A dreary, and an early doom, my brother,
I alone must not weep. My office is
Henceforth to dry up tears, and not to shed them;
But yet, of all who mourn, none mourn like me,
Not only for thyself, but him who slew thee.
Now, Cain! I will divide thy burden with thee.
Eastward from Eden will we take our way;
Lead! thou shalt be my guide, and may our God
Which miglit have graced his recent marriage conch,
And might bave temper'd this stern blood of mine,
Peace be with him!
But with me!
Werner, or the Jnheritance ;
See Medwin, 1.130; to the illustRIOUS GOETHE,
ante , p. 290.
BY ONE OF HIS HUMBLEST ADMIRERS,
This Tragedy is Dedicated.
conception, rather than execution ; for the story might, perhaps, have been more developed with greater advantage. Amongst those whose opinions agreed with mine
upon this story, I could mention some very high names; Tue following drama is taken entirely from the « Ger- but it is not necessary, nor indeed of any use ; for every man's Tale, Kruitiner,» published many years ago in
one must judge according to their own feelings. I merely « Lee's Canterbury Tales;» written (I believe) by two
rcfer the reader to the original story, that he may sisters, of whom one furnished only this story and
see to what extent I bave borrowed from it; and am another, both of which are considered superior to the not unwilling that he should tind much greater pleasure remainder of the collection. I have adopted die chain perusing it than the drama which is founded upon racters, plan, and even the languayc, of many parts
its contents. this story. Some of the characters are modified or altered, a few of the names changed, and one character I had begun a drama upon this tale so far back as (Ida of Stralenheim) added by myself : but in the rest 1815 (the first I ever attempted, except one at thirteen the original is chietly followed. When I was young years old, called « Ulric and Ilvina,» which I had sense (about fourteen, I think) I first read this tale, which enough to burn), and had nearly completed an ach, made a deep impression upon me; and may, indeed, be when I was interrupted by circumstances. This is somesaid to contain the germ of much thai I have since where amongst my papers in England; but as it has written. I am not sure that it ever was very popular; or
not been found, I have re-written the first, and added at any rate its popularity has since been eclipsed by that the subsequent acts. of other great writers in the same department. But I The whole is neither intended, nor in any shape have generally found that those who had read it, agreed adapted, for the stage. with me in their estimate of the singular power of mind and conception which is developes. I should also add
Thou knowest ; what I might or should have been, DRAMATIS PERSONE.
Thou knowest not : but still I love thee, nor
Shall aught divide us.
(WERNER walks on abruptly, and then ap-
The storm of the night,
Perhaps, affects me: I'm a thing of feelings,
And have of late been sickly, as alas !
Thou know'st by sufferings more than mine, my love!
To see thee well is much-
To see thee happy--
Where hast thou seen such ?
Whose every drop bows them down nearer earth,
Which hath no chamber for them save beneach
And that's not the worst : who cares ACT Í.
For chambers ? rest is all. The wretches whom SCENE J.
Thou namest-ay, the wind howls round them, and
The dull and dropping rain saps in their bones The Hallof a decayed Palace near a small Town on the The creeping marrow. I have been a soldier, northern Frontier of Silesia--the Night tempestuous. A hunter, and a traveller, and am
A beggar, and should know the thing thou talk'st of.
And art thou not now shelter'd from them all?
Yes. And from these alone.
And that is something.
True-to a peasant.
Should the nobly born
Be thankless for that refuge which their habits And stepping with the bee from flower to flower ;
Of early delicacy render more
Needful than to the peasant, when the ebb
Of fortune leaves them on the shoals of life?
Have borne all this, I 'll not say patiently,
Except in thee-but we have borne it.
I would Something beyond our outward sufferings (though llave it a healthful current.
These were enough to gnaw into our souls)
Hath stung me oft, and, more than ever, nowe, Let it flow
When, but for this untoward sickness, which Until 't is spilt or check d-how soon, I care not. Seized me upon this desolate frontier, and JOSEPHINE
Hath wasted, not alone my strength, but means, And am I nothing in thy heart?
And leaves us,-no! this is beyond me! but
For this I had been happy-thou been happy-
The splendour of my rauk sustain'd-my nameJOSEPHINE,
My father's name-been still upheld ; and, more Then canst thou wish for that which must break mine? Than those--WERNER (approaching her slowly).
JOSEPHINE (abruptly). But for thee I had been-no matter what,
My son-our son--our Ulric, But much of good and evil; what I am,
Been clasp'd again in these long-empty arms,
And all a mother's hunger satisfied.
By the snares of this avaricious fiend;Twelve years ! he was but eight then : beautiful How do I know he hath not track'd us here? He was, and beautiful be must be now.
He does not know thy person ; and his spies,
Who so long watch'd thee, have been left at Hamburgh.
Our unexpected journey, and this change
Of The chase of fortune; now she hath o'ertaken
name, leaves all discovery far behind : My spirit where it cannot turn at bay,
None hold us here for aught save what we seem.
Save what we seem! save what we are-sick beggars,
Even to our very hopes.--Ha! ha!
JOSEPHINE. Or worse-involving all love, in this
Alas! Far worse than solitude. Alone, I had died,
That bitter laugh!
Who would read in this form
The high soul of the son of a long line? Comfort! We have struggled long; and they who strive who, in this garb, the heir of princely lands? With fortune win or weary her at last,
Who, in this sunken sickly eye, the pride So that they find the goal, or cease to feel
Of rank and ancestry? in this worn cheek,
Which daily feast a thousand vassals ?
Ponder'd not thus upon these worldly things,
My Werner! when you deign'd to chuse for bride We are not baffled.
The foreign daughter of a wandering exile.
WERNER Are we not pennyless?
An exile's daughter with an outcast son
Were a fit marriage ; but I still had hopes
To lift thee to the state we both were born for.
Your father's house was noble, though decay'd; But I was born to wealth, and rank, and power; And worthy by its birth to match with ours. Enjoy'd them, loved them, and, alas! abused them,
JOSEPHINE. And forfeited them by my father's wrath,
Your father did not think so, though 't was noble; In my o'er-fervent youth; but for the abuse
But had my birth been all my claim to match Long sufferings have atoned. My father's death With thee, I should have deem'd it what it is. Left the path open, yet not without snares.
WERNER This cold and creeping kinsman, who so long
And what is that in thine eyes ? Kept his eye on me, as the snake upou
JOSEPHINE. The fluttering bird, hath ere this time outstept me,
All which it
Has done in our behalf, -nothing.
Or worse; for it has been a canker in
Thy heart from the beginning: but for this, Even now uphold thy rights for thee!
We had not felt our poverty, but as
Millions of myriads feel it, cheerfully;
'T is hopeless. But for these phantoms of thy feudal fathers, Since his strange disappearance from my father's, Thou mightst have earn'd thy bread as thousands earn it; Entailing, as it were, my sins upon
Or, if that seem too humble, tried by commerce, Himself, no tidings have reveald his course.
Or other civic means, to amend thy fortunes. I parted with him to his grandsire, on
And been an Hanseatic burgher? Excellent!
Whate'er thou mightst have been, to me thou art, Upon my boy his father's faults and follies.
What no state, high or low, can ever change,
My heari's first choice ;-which chose thee, knowing I must hope better still, ,-at least we have yet
neither Baffled the long pursuit of Stralenheim,
Thy birth, thy hopes, thy pride; nought, save thy sorrows:
While they last, let me comfort or divide them; We should have done, but for this fatal sickness, When they end, let mine end with them, or thee! More fatal than a mortal malady,
WERNER. Because it takes not life, but life's sole solace:
My better angel! such I have ever found thee; Even now I feel my spirit girt about
This rashness, or this weakness of my temper,
Ne'er raised a thought to injure thee or thine. Surgeon's assistant (hoping to be surgeon),
Perhaps you are related to my relative?
Oh, yes, we are, but distantly
(A side to WERNER The last sole scion of a thousand sires
Cannot you humour the dull gossip till (For I was then the last), it hurt me less
We learn his purpose ? Than to behold my boy and my boy's mother
IDENSTEIN. Excluded in their innocence from what
Well, I 'm glad of that; My faults deserved exclusion; although then
I thought so all along; such natural yearnings My passions were all living serpents, and
Play'd round my heart-blood is not water, cousin ; Twined like the gorgon's round me.
And so let's have some wine, and driok unto
You appear to have drunk enough already,
Else it were yours; but this you know, or should know : Who can it be at this lone hour? we have
You see I am poor and sick, and will not see Few visitors.
That I would be alone; but to your business !
What brings you here?
Why, what should bring me here? Well, I am prepared.
[Werner puts his hand into his bosom as if to I know not, though I think that I could guess
That which will send you hence.
Patience, dear Werner!
You don't know what has happen'd, then ? The very desert saves man from mankind. [She goes to the door.
How should we? Enter IDENSTEIN.
The river has o'erflowd.
JOSEPHINE. A fair good evening to my fairer hostess
Alas! we have known And worthy--what's your name my friend? That to our sorrow, for these five days, since
It keeps us here.
But what you don't know is,
That a great personage, who faio would cross
Against the stream, and three postilions' wishes, Egad! I am afraid. You look as if
Is drown'd below the ford, with five post-horses,
A monkey, and a mastiff, and a valet.
Poor creatures! are you sure?
Yes, of the monkey, Shall I say more? You have been a guest this month
And the valet, and the cattle; Here in the prince's palace-(to be sure
We know not if his excellency's dead His highness had resiga'd it to the ghosts
Or no; your noblemen are hard to drown, And rals these twelve years —but 't is still a palace)
As it is fit that men in office should be; I say you have been our lodger, and as yet
But, what is certain is, that he has swallow'd We do not know your name.
Enough of the Oder to have burst two peasants;
And now a Saxon and Hungarian traveller,
Who, at their proper peril, snatch'd lim from
The whirling river, have sent on to crave
A lodging, or a grave, according as
It may turn out with the live or dead body.
And where will you receive him? here, I hope.
If we can be of service-say the word.
but as yet
IDENSTEIN Here! no; but in the prince's own apartment,
But are you sure
His excellency--but his name, what is it?
I do not know.
IDENSTEIN. Suill liable to cold-and if not, why
yet you saved his life. He 'll be worse lodged to-morrow: ne'ertheless,
GABOR I have order'd fire and all appliances
I help'd my friend to do so. To be got ready for the worst-that is,
Well, that's strange,
To save a man's life whom you do not know.
Not so; for there are some I know so well,
I scarce should give myself the trouble.
Pray, [ Aside to his wife. Good friend, and who may you be? Retire, I 'll sift this fool. [Exit JOSEPHINE.
By my family, His name? oh Lord!
Hungarian. Who knows if he hath now a name or no? "T is time enough to ask it when he's able
Which is callid? To give an answer, or if not, to put llis heir's upon his epitaph. Methought,
It matters little. Just now you chid me for demanding names ?
I think that all the world are grown anonymous, True, true, I did so; you say well and wisely.
Since no one cares to tell me what he's calld!
Pray, has his excellency a large suite ?
If I intrude, I crave-
How many ?
I did not count them,
We came up by mere accident, and just Yourself; I pray you make yourself at home :
In time to drag him through his carriage window, But where 's his excellency, and how fares hie?
Well, what would I give to save a great man! Wetly and wearily, but out of peril;
No doubt you 'll have a swingeing sum as recompense. lle paused to change his garments ia a cottage
GABOR (Where I doffd mine for these, and came on hither), Perhaps. And has almost recover'd from his drenching.
IDENSTEIN. lle will be here anon.
Now, how much do you reckon on?
I have not yet put up myself to sale:
(Gives directions to different servants who enter. A glass of your Hochbeimer, a green glass, A nobleman sleeps here to-night--see that
Wreathed with rich grapes and Bacchanal devices, All is in order in the damask chamber
Oertlowing with the oldest of your vintage; Keep up the stove-I will myself to the cellar
For which I promise you, in case you
e'er And Madame Idenstein (my consort, stranger)
Run hazard of being drowud (although I own Shall furnish forth the bed-apparel; for,
It secins, of all deaths, the least likely for you), To say the truth, they are marvellous scant of this I'll pull you out for nothing. Quick, my friend, Within the palace precincts, since his high pess And think, for every bumper I shall quaff, Left it some dozen years ago. And then
A wave the less may roll above your head. His excellency will sup, doubtless ?
I don't much like this fellow-close and dry
He seems, two things which suit me not; however, I cannot tell; but I should think the pillow
Wine he shall have; if that unlocks him not, Would please him better than the table, after
I shall not sleep 10-night for curiosity. llis soaking in your river: but for fear
[Exit (DENSTEIN Your viands should be thrown away, I mean
GABOR (to WERNER). To sup myself, and have a friend without
This master of the ceremonies is Who will do honour to your good cheer with
The intendant of the palace, I presume? A traveller's appetite.
'T is a fine building, but decay'd.