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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 sew the prizes and the blanks are countless ? What people ? How convened 1 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 Tho unclosed sutures of an infant's skull ?
To win or wield them ? Better, O far better
Shout forth thy titles to yon circling mountains,
And with a thousand-fold reverberation!
By wholesome laws to embank the sovereign power,
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? Bind him to us!—Thy father thaws apace!
RAAB KIUPRILI (aloud).
[Then aloud. Leave us awhile, my Lord!—Your friend, Ragozzi, For whom th' Imperial power, enormous bubble!
O most of all, most miserable nation, 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! [Casimir retires to the Guard-House ; and after a Chiefly of such, as from the frontiers far time appears before it with Cher Ragozzi. (Which is the noblest station of true warriors), We are alone.
In rank licentious idleness beleaguer What further pledge or proof desires Kiuprili?
City and court, a venom'd thorn i' the side Then, with your assent
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 merita The unquiet silence of a stern Resolve,
Which many a liegeman may not plead as well,
Head, heart, and fortunate arm, in watch and war,
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 EmeOr 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 Ilyria, let the infidel enemy Ha, ha !-Well, Sir !--Conclude your homily.
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,
A provident lady-
Wretch, beneath all answer!
To be a kingdom's bulwark, a king's glory,
Yet loved by both, and trusted, and trust-worthy,
ing at equi-distance from the Palace and Fights with thy fear. I will relieve thee! Ho!
[To the Guard Hadst thou believed thine own tale, hadst thou fancied
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! number from the Palace-Chef Ragozzi de. Betray not thy poor mother! For if they seize thee, mands KIUPRILI's sword, and apprehends him. I shall grow mad indeed, and they'll believe
Thy wicked uncle's lie. Ha! what? A soldier ? O agony! (T. EMERICK). Sire, hear me!
[She starts back—and enter Cher Ragozzi. [To KIUPRILI, who turns from him. Hear me, Father!
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 ! RAAB KIUPRILI.
And all this too for nothing! a poor nothing ! As the co-regent of the realm, I stand
Merely to play the underling in the murder Amenable to none save to the States,
Of my best friend Kiuprili! His 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 ihat 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.
Stay! Oh, no! Forgive me if I wrong thee !
And be not treacherous!
CHEF RAGOZZI (raising her).
But tyrants have a hundred eyes and arms!
What! to the army? Take courage, madam! 'T were too horrible,
ZAPOLYA. [Erit Casimir in agitation. Kiuprili
! how? EMERICK (alone, looks at a Calendar).
CHEF RAGOZZI. The changeful planet, now in her decay,
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 once [Erit.
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, The widow's Husband and the orphan's Father, Direct my steps ! Ah whither? O send down
Ah, how? Is it joy or sear? My limbs seem sinking! 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
MEN. possess'd me, When the loud elamor rose, and all the palace OLD BATHORY, a Mountaineer. Emptied itself—They sought my life, Ragozzi ! BETHLEN BATHORY, the Young Prince Andreas, sup Like a swift shadow gliding, I made way
posed Son of Old 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 supLet 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 Droelling at
the end of the Stage
Enter LADY SAROLTA and GLYCINE.
Rest, Madam! You breathe quick.
What! tired, Glycine ?
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.
So many are
The sufferings which no human aid can reach, The mother shall make answer with a groan.
It needs must be a duty doubly sweet
To heal the few we can. Well! let us rest.
There ? [Pointing to BATHORY's dwelling SAROLTA They shall be mock'd with sounds of liberty,
answering, points to where she then stands. And liberty shall be proclaim'd alone
Here! For on this spot Lord Casimir
Took his last leave. On yonder mountain ridge hence, (Again to the infanı.) 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.
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 suflice to make us happy; A new soul to its gentleness, doth prove thee! And little more than nothing is enough
Thou art sprung too of no ignoble blood,
Oh, madam! there's a party of your servants,
And my Lord's steward, Laska, at their head, Compared with those the royal court affords. Bethlen, that brave young man! 'I was he, my lady, SAROLTA.
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 Mowers and dew-drops Pray don't believe them, madam! This way! This (Each orbed drop an orb of glory in il),
way! Would put them all in eclipse. This sweet retirement Lady Sarolta's here.
(Calling without Lord Casimir'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 (10 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 Hush! innocent flatterer!
To be slander'd by a set of coward-ruffians,
And leave it to their malice,-yes, mere malice! Nay! to my poor fancy To tell its own tale ? The royal court would seem an earthly heaven,
(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, cold, drear, colorless void, This old man's son, by name Bethlen Bathory, seen from below and in the large, becomes Siands 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, moreoverGLYCINE.
SAPOUTA. Yes, madam! he was there. So was the maypole, Be brief! We know his utles ! 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 : (Éxit GLYCINE into the cottage, SAROLTA continues Yet I hate falsehood more than I love him. het speech, looking after her.
But more than one, now in my lady's presenco, Something above thy rank there hangs about thee, Witness'd the affray, besides these men of malico; 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 My tale is brief. During our festive dance, Their services. Discharge them! You, Bathory! Your servants, the accusers of my son,
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, And so persuasive did his cudgel prove
Ha! what, strangers* here! (Your hectoring sparks so over brave to women What business have they in an old man's eye? Are always cowards), that they soon took flight, Your goodness, lady-and it came so suddenAnd now in mere revenge, like baffled boasters, I cannot-must not let you be deceived. Have framed this tale, out of some hasty words I have yet another tale, but-[Then to SAROLTA aside. Which their own threats provoked.
Not for all ears!
Old man! you talk I oft have pass'd your cottage, and still praised Too bluntly! Did your son owe no respect Its beauty, and that trim orchard-plot, whose blossoms To the livery of our house?
The gusts of April shower'd aslant its thatch.
Come, you shall show it'me! And while you bid it Even such respect
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!
or an ebbing grief.
[Bathory bowing, shows her into his cottage. Old insolent ruffian!
Vexation! baffled! school'd!
She'll see this Bethlen hourly!
(LASKA flings himself into the seal. GLYCINE What! Glycine! Go, retire!
peeps in timidly. [Erit GLYCINE, mournfully. 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
Have you yet seen him?
(LASKA starls up from his seal. Leave his young roses to the rooting swine, .
Has the seat stung you, Laska ? While he goes ask their master, if perchance :
LASKA. His leisure serve to scourge them from their ravage ? No! serpent ! no; 'tis you that sting me ; you!
What! you would cling to him again! Ho! Take the rude clown from your lady's presence!
Bethlen! Bethlen! Till thou hast learnt it! Fervent, good old man!
Yes; gazo as if your very eyes embraced him! Forgive me that, to try thee, I put on
Ha! you forget the scene of yesterday ! A face of sternness, alien to my meaning!
Mute ere he came, but then-Out on your screams, [Then speaks to the Servants. And your pretended fears! Hence! leave my presence! and you, Laska! mark
GLYCINE. 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 roar, which he feels starting in his eye. The
following line was borrowed unconsciously from Mr. Words But these men, Laska