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Hero or natural coward, shall have guidance Wouldst thou have pilfer'd from our school-boys' Of a free people's destiny; should fall out
themes In the mere lottery of a reckless nature,
These shallow sophisms of a popular choice? Where few the prizes and the blanks are countless ? What people ? How convened? or, if convened, Or haply that a nation's fate should hang
Must not the magic power that charms together On the bald accident of a midwife's handling Millions of men in council, needs have power The unclosed sutures of an infant's skull ?
To win or wield them? Better, O far better
Shout forth thy titles to yon circling mountains, What better claim can sovereign wish or need,
And with a thousand-fold reverberation Than the free voice of men who love their country? Make the rocks flatter thee, and the volleying air, Those chiefly who have fought for 't? Who, by right, Unbribed, shout back to thee, King Emerick! Claim for their monarch one, who having obey'd
By wholesome laws to embank the sovereign power, So hath best learnt to govern; who, having suffer'd, To deepen by restraint, and by prevention Can feel for each brave sufferer and reward him ?
Of lawless will to amass and guide the flood Whence sprang the name of Emperor ? Was it not
In its majestic channel, is man's task By Nature's fiat? In the storm of triumph,
And the true patriot's glory! In all else 'Mid warriors' shouts, did her oracular voice
Men safelier trust to Heaven, than to themselves Make itself heard: Let the commanding spirit
When least themselves in the mad whirl of crowds Possess the station of command !
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.
Is’t thus, thou scoff'st the people! most of all,
The soldiers, the defenders of the people?
RAAB KIUPRILI (aloud).
[Then aloud. O most of all, most miserable nation, Leave us awhile, my Lord!—Your friend, Ragozzi, For whom th' Imperial power, enormous bubble! Whom you have not yet seen since his return,
Is blown and kept aloft, or burst and shatter'd Commands the guard to-day.
By the bribed breath of a lewd soldiery!
In rank licentious idleness beleaguer
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 meriis The unquiet silence of a stern Resolve,
Which many a liegeman may not plead as well, Throttling the impatient voice. I have heard thee, Brave though I grant thee? If a life outlabor'd
Head, heart, and fortunate arm, in watch and war, Prince! And I have watch'd thee, too; but have small faith in For the land's fame and weal; if large acquests, A plausible tale told with a fitting eye.
Made honest by th' aggression of the foe
And whose best praise is, that they bring us safety ; [EMERICK turns as about to call for the Guard. If victory, doubly-wreathed, whose under-garland In the next moment I am in thy power,
of laurel-leaves looks greener and more sparkling In this thou art in mine. Stir but a step,
Through the gray olive-branch; if these, Prince Eme Or make one sign-I swear by this good sword,
rick! Thou diest that instant.
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!
I have faith
That thou both think'st and hopest it. Fair Zapolya, The Queen mew'd up--this too from anxious care
A provident lady-
Wretch, beneath all answer! hood,
To be a kingdom's bulwark, a king's glory,
Yet loved by both, and trusted, and trust-worthy, RAAB KIUPRILI (aloud): (he and EMERICK stand- Is more than to be king; but see! thy rage
ing at equi-distance from the Palace and Fights with thy fear. I will relieve thee! Ho!
[To the Guard.
Thus long I have listen'd-Guard-ho! from the And let this darkness-
Be as the shadow of thy outspread wings
CHEF Ragozz at their head, and then a Thou canst not dream of savage Emerick. Hush!
Thy wicked uncle's lie. Ha! what? A soldier ? CASIMIR. O agony! (To EMERICK). Sire, hear me!
[She starts back—and enter Chef Ragozzi.
Sure Heaven befriends us. Well! he hath escaped !
That can enchant the serpent treachery
From forth its lurking-hole in the heart. " Ragozzi! RAAB KIUPRILI.
And all this too for nothing! a poor nothing ! As the co-regent of the realm, 1 stand
Merely to play the underling in the murder Amenable to none save to the States,
Of my best friend Kiuprili! Ilis own son—monstrous! Met in due course of law. But ye are bond-slaves, Tyrant ! I owe thee thanks, and in good hour Yet witness ye that before God and man
Will I repay thee, for that thou thought'st me too
Heaven bless and guard her!
ZAPOLYA (coming fearfully forward).
Art thou not Ragozzi!
Your Queen's murder, The Queen! Now then the miracle is full! The royal orphan's murder: and to the death I see Heaven's wisdom in an over-match Defy him, as a tyrant and usurper.
For the devil's cunning. This way, madam, haste ! [Hurried off by Ragozzi and the Guard. EMERICK.
Stay! Oh, no! Forgive me if I wrong thee ! Ere twice the sun hath risen, by my sceptro
This is thy sovereign's child : Oh, pity us, This insolence shall be avenged.
And be not treacherous!
CHEF RAGOZZI (raising her).
O banish him! Madam! For mercy's sake! This infamy will crush me. O for my sake,
But tyrants have a hundred eyes and arms!
There is not time to tell it. Dips down at midnight, to be seen no more.
The tyrant call'd me to him, praised my zeal With her shall sink the enemies of Emerick,
|(And be assured I overtopt his cunning Cursed by the last look of the waning moon ;
And seem'd right zealous). But time wastes: in fine, And my bright destiny, with sharpen'd horns,
Bids me dispatch my trustiest friends, as couriers Shall greet me fearless in the new-born crescent.
With letters to the army. The thought at onco [Exit.
Flash'd on me. I disguised my prisoner--
What! Raab Kiuprili?
Yes! my noble general ! Hush, dear one! hush! My trembling arm disturbs I sent him off, with Emerick's own packet, thee!
Haste, and post haste-Prepared to follow himThou, the Protector of the helpless! thou,
ZAPOLYA. The widow's Husband and the orphan's Father,
Ah, how? Is it joy or sear? My limbs seem sinking! Direct my steps ! Ah whither? O send down Thy angel to a houseless babe and mother,
CHEF RAGOZZI (supporting her). Driven forth into the cruel widerness!
Heaven still befriends us. I have left my charger, Hush, sweet one! Thou art no Hagar's offspring: A gentle beast and feet, and my boy's mule, thou art
One that can shoot a precipice like a bird, The rightful heir of an anointed king!
Just where the wood begins to climb the mountains. What sounds are those? It is the vesper chant The course we'll thread will mock the tyrant's guesses, Of laboring men returning to their home!
Or scare the followers. Ere we reach the main road, Their queen has no home! Hear me, heavenly Father! The Lord Kiuprili will have sent a troop
To escort me. Oh, thrice happy when he finds
One brief moment, THE SEQUEL, ENTITLED “THE USURPER'S That, praying for strength I may have strength. This
posed Son of ow Bathory. To the deserted chamber of my Lord.
LORD RUDOLPH, a Courtier, but friend to the Queen's [Then to the infant.
LADY SAROLTA, Wife of Lord Casimir.
GLYCINE, Orphan Daughter of Chef Ragozzi.
Between the flight of the Queen, and the civil war Which, through a long descent where all sound which immediately followed, and in which Emerick perishes,
remained the victor, a space of twenty years is sup Let out beyond the palace. Well I knew it- posed to have elapsed. But Andreas framed it not! He was no tyrant!
ACT I. Haste, madam! Let me take this precious burden!
SCENE I. [He kneels as he takes the child.
A Mountainous Country. BATHORY'S Dwelling at
the end of the Stage. Take him! And if we be pursued, I charge thee,
Enter LADY SAROLTA and GLYCINE. Flee thou and leave me! Flee and save thy king !
[Then as going off, she looks back on the palace. Well, then! our round of charity is finish’d. Thou tyrant's den, be callid no more a palace! The orphan's angel at the throne of Heaven
Rest, Madam! You breathe quick. Stands up against thee, and there hover o'er thee
SAROLTA. A Queen's, a Mother's, and a Widow's curse.
What! tired, Glycine ! Henceforth a dragon's haunt, fear and suspicion.
No delicate court dame, but a mountaineer Stand sentry at thy portals! Faith and honor, By choice no less than birth, I gladly use Driven from the throne, shall leave the attainted na- The good strength Nature gave me.
GLYCINE. And, for the iniquity that houses in thee,
That last cottage False glory, thirst of blood, and lust of rapine Is built as if an eagle or a raven (Fateful conjunction of malignant planets),
Had chosen it for her nest. Shall shoot their blastments on the land. The fathers
SAROLTA. Henceforth shall have no joy in their young men,
So many are And when they cry: Lo! a male child is born!
The sufferings which no human aid can reach, The mother shall make answer with a groan. It needs must be a duty doubly sweet For bloody usurpation, like a vulture,
To heal the few we can. Well! let us rest. Shall clog its beak within Illyria's heart.
GLYCINE. Remorseless slaves of a remorseless tyrant !
There? (Pointing to BATHORY's dwelling SAROLTA They shall be mock'd with sounds of liberty,
answering, points to where she then sands. And liberty shall be proclaim'd alone
SAROLTA. To thee, O Fire! O Pestilence! O Sword ! Till Vengeance hath her fill. -- And thou, snatch'd Took his last leave. On yonder mountain ridge
Here! For on this spot Lord Casimir hence, (Again to the infant.) poor friendless fugitive! with I lost the misty image which so long Mother's wailing,
Linger'd or seem'd at least to linger on it. Offspring of Royal Andreas, shalt return
As it clomb downwards, shape itself at last
Yea, e'en in thy simplicity, Glycine, Thou hast hit my thought! A fine and feminine grace, that makes me feel All the long day, from yester-morn to evening, More as a mother than a mistress to thee! The restless hope flutter'd about my heart. Thou art a soldier's orphan! that—the courage, Oh, we are querulous creatures! Little less Which rising in thine eye, seems oft to give Than all things can suffice to make us happy; A new soul 10'its gentleness, doth prove thee! And little more than nothing is enough
Thou art sprung too of no ignoble blood, To discontent us.—Were he come, then should I Or there's no faith in instinct ! Repine he had not arrived just one day earlier [Angry voices and clamor within, re-enter GLYCINE. To keep his birth-day here, in his own birth-place.
Oh, madam! there's a party of your servants, But our best sports belike, and gay processions
And my Lord's steward, Laska, at their head, Would to my Lord have seem'd but work-day sights Have come to search for old Bathory's son, Compared with those the royal court affords.
Bethlen, that brave young man! 'I was he, my lady,
That took our parts, and beat off the intruders; I have small wish to see them. A spring morning, And in mere spite and malice, now they charge him With its wild gladsome minstrelsy of birds, With bad words of Lord Casimir and the king. And its bright jewelry of flowers and dew-drops Pray don't believe them, madam! This way! This (Each orbed drop an orb of glory in it), Would put them all in eclipse. This sweet retirement Lady Sarolta's here.
(Calling without Lord Casiınir's wish alone would have made sacred : But in good truth, his loving jealousy
Be calm, Glycine. Did but command, what I had else entreated.
Enter Laska and Servants with OLD BATHORY. GLYCINE. And yet had I been born Lady Sarolta,
LASKA (to BATHORY). Been wedded to the noblest of the realm.
We have no concern with you! What needs your So beautiful besides, and yet so stately
What! Do you think I'll suffer my brave boy
And leave it to their malice,-yes, mere malice!
(Laska and Servants bow to LADY SAROLTA. Made for such stars to shine in, and be gracious.
Laska! What may this mean? So doth the ignorant distance still delude us !
LASKA (pompously, as commencing a set speech). Thy fancied heaven, dear girl, like that above thee, Madam! and may it please your ladyship! In its mere self, a cold, drear, colorless void, This old man's son, by name Bethlen Bathory, Seen from below and in the large, becomes Stands charged, on weighty evidence, that he, The bright blue ether, and the seat of gods! On yester-eve, being his lordship's birth-day, Well! but this broil that scared you from the dance ? Did traitorously defame Lord Casimir: And was not Laska there: he, your betroth d ? The lord high-steward of the realm, moreover
SAPOLTA. Yes, madam! he was there. So was the maypole, Be brief! We know his titles ! For we danced round it.
And moreover Ah, Glycine! why, Raved like a traitor at our liege King Emerick. Why did you then betroth yourself?
And furthermore, said witnesses make oath,
Led on the assault upon his lordship's servants; Because
Yea, insolently tore, from this, your huntsman. My own dear lady wish'd it! 't was you ask'd me!
His badge of livery of your noble house,
And trampled it in scorn. Yes , at my Lord's request, but never wish'd,
SAROLTA (lo the Servants who offer to speak). My poor affectionate girl, to see thee wretched.
You have had your spokesman ! Thou know'st not yet the duties of a wife.
Where is the young man thus accused ?
I know not: To stand in awe of her husband, and obey him ;
But if no ill betide him on the mountains,
He will not long be absent !
Thou art his father? Not with fear, I think, For you still mock him. Bring a seat from the cottage. None ever with more reason prized a son : (Exit GLYCINE into the cottage, SAROLTA continues Yet I hate falsehood more than I love him. her speech, looking after her.
But more than one, now in my lady's presence, Something above thy rank there hangs about thee, Witness'd the affray, besides these men of malice; And in thy countenance, thy voice, and motion, And if I swerve from truth
Yes, now 'tis coming.
Brutal aggressors first, then baffled dastards,
Hush, Glycine! That they have sought to piece out their revenge Be silent, I command you. [Then to BATHORY. With a tale of words lured from the lips of anger,
Speak! we hear you! Stamps them most dangerous; and till I want
Fit means for wicked ends, we shall not need
Are henceforth of my household! I shall place you Offer'd gross insults, in unmanly sort,
Near my own person. When your son returns, To our village maidens. He (could he do less ?) Present him to us. Rose in defence of outraged modesty,
OLD BATHORY. And so persuasive did his cudgel prove
Ha! what, strangers* here!
Not for all ears!
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 As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf
The oil of gladness glittering on the water That hath begun to worry the poor lambs!
Of an ebbing grief.
(BATHORY bowing, shows her into his cottage. LASKA. Old insolent ruffian!
Vexation! baffled! school'd! Pardon! pardon, madam!
Ho! Laska! wake! why? what can all this mean? I saw the whole affray. The good old man
She sent away that cockatrice in anger! Means no offence, sweet lady-You, yourself,
Oh the false witch! It is too plain, she loves him. Laska ! know well, that these men were the ruffians ! And now, the old man near my lady's person, Shame on you!
She'll see this Bethlen hourly!
GLYCINE SAROLTA (speaks with affected anger).
[Laska flings himself into the seat. What! Glycine ! Go, retire!
peeps in timidly. [Exit GLYCINE, mournfully.
GLYCINE. Be it then that these men faulted. Yet yourself,
Laska! Laska! Or better still belike the maidens' parents, Is my lady gone ? Might have complain’d to us. Was ever access
LASKA (surlily). Denied you? Or free audience ? Or are we
Gone. Weak and unfit to punish our own servants?
Have you yet seen him? So then! So then! Heaven grant an old man patience!
Is he return'd ? And must the gardener leave his seedling plants,
(LASKA starts up from his seal Leave his young roses to the rooting swine, .
Has the seat stung you, Laska ?
What! you would cling to him again!
Yes ; gaze as if your very eyes embraced him! Forgive me that, to try thee, I put on
Ha! you forget the scene of yesterday!
Mute ere he came, but then-Out on your screams, A face of sternness, alien to my meaning!
[Then speaks to the Servants. And your pretended fears! Hence! leave my presence! and you, Laska! mark me!
Your fears, at least, Those rioters are no longer of my household !
Were real, Laska! or your trembling limbs If we but shake a dew-drop from a rose,
And white cheeks play'd the hypocrites most vilely! In vain would we replace it, and as vainly Restore the tear of wounded modesty To a maiden's eye familiarized to license.
• Refers to the lear, which he feels starting in his eye. The
following line was borrowed unconsciously from Mr. Words But these men, Laska