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unfaithful profile of one,* who still lives, nobilitate felix, arte clarior, vità colendissimus.
ZULIMEZ (speaking of Alvar in the third person).
SELMA. My husband's father told it me, Poor old Sesina-angels rest his soul! He was a woodman, and could fell and saw With lusty arm. You know that huge round beam Which props the hanging wall of the old Chapel ? Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree, He found a baby wrapt in mosses, lined With thistle-beards, and such small locks of wool As hang on brambles. Well, he brought him home, And reared him at the then Lord Valdez' cost. And so the babe grew up a pretty boy, A pretty boy, but most unteachableHe never learnt a prayer, nor told a bead, But knew the names of birds, and mock'd their notes, And whistled, as he were a bird himself: And all the autumn 't was his only play To gather seeds of wild flowers, and to plant them With earth and water on the stumps of trees. A Friar, who gather'd simples in the wood, A gray-bair'd man, he loved this little boy: The boy loved bim, and, when the friar taught him, He soon could write with the pen; and from that time Lived chiefly at the Convent or the Castle. So he became a rare and learned youth: But O! poor wretch! he read, and read, and read, Till his brain turn'd; and ere his twentieth year He had unlawful thoughts of many things: And though he pray'd, he never loved to pray With holy men, nor in a holy place. But yet his speech, it was so soft and sweet, The late Lord Valdez ne'er was wearied with him. And once, as by the north side of the chapel They stood together, chain'd in deep discourse, The earth heaved under them with such a groan, That the wall totterd, and had well-nigh fallen Right on their heads. My Lord was sorely frightend; A fever seized him, and he made confession Of all the heretical and lawless talk Which brought this judgment : so the youth was seized, And cast into that hole. My husband's father Sobb'd like a child-it almost broke his heart: And once as he was working near this dungeon, He heard a voice distinctly; 't was the youth's, Who sung a doleful song about green fields, How sweet it were on lake or wide savanna To hunt for food, and be a naked man, And wander up and down at liberty. He always doted on the youth, and now His love grew desperate; and defying death, He made that cunning entrance I described, And the young man escaped.
"Tis a sweet tale: Such as would lull a listening child to sleep, His rosy face besoil'd with unwiped tears. And what became of him?
He went on shipboard
Note 2, page 89, col. 1. The following Scene, as unfit for the stage, was taken from the Tragedy, in the year 1797, and published in the Lyrical Ballads. But this work having been long out of print, I have been advised to reprint it, as a Note to the second Scene of Act the Fourth, p. 89.
Enter TERESA and SELMA.
Sir George Beaumont. (Written 1814.)
A CHRISTMAS TALE.
IN TWO PARTS.
Παρ πυρί χρή τοιαύτα λέγειν χειμώνος εν ώρα.
But Raab Kiuprili moves with such a gait?
But agitates, not quells, its majesty. The form of the following dramatic poem is in hum. My patron! my commander! yes, 't is he! ble imitation of the Winter's Tale of Shakspeare, Call out the guards. The Lord Kiuprili comes. except that I have called the first part a Prelude in
Enter RAAB stead of a first Act, as a somewhat nearer resem- Drums beal, elc. the Guard turns out. blance to the plan of the ancients, of which one
KIUPRILI. specimen is left us in the Æschylian Trilogy of the RAAB KIUPRILI (making a signal to stop the drums, elc.) Agamemnon, the Orestes, and the Eumenides. Though Silence! enough! This is no time, young friend! a matter of form merely, yet two plays, on different For ceremonious dues. This summoning drum, periods of the same tale, might seem less bold, than Th'air-shattering trumpet, and the horseman's clatter, an interval of twenty years between the first and Are insults to a dying sovereign's ear. second act. This is, however, in mere obedience to Soldiers, 't is well! Retire! your general greets you, custom. The effect does not, in reality, at all de- His loyal fellow-warriors.
[Guards retire. pend on the Time of the interval; but on a very different principle. There are cases in which an inter
Pardon my surprise. val of twenty hours between the acts would have a Thus sudden from the camp, and unattended! worse effect (i. e. render the imagination less disposed What may these wonders prophesy? to take the position required) than twenty years in
RAAB KIUPRILI. other cases. For the rest, I shall be well content if
Tell me first, my readers will take it up, read and judge it, as a How fares the king? His majesty still lives? Christmas tale.
We know no otherwise ; but Emerick's friends
(And none but they approach him) scoff at hope. CHARACTERS.
And as a child I have rear'd thee. Whence this air
Of mystery? That face was wont to open RAAB KIUPRILI, an IUyrian Chieftain
Clear as the morning to me, showing all things.
Hide nothing from me. CASIMIR, Son of Kiuprili.
O most loved, most honor'd,
The mystery that struggles in my looks,
Betray'd my whole tale to thee, if it told thee
And mystery is contagious. All things here
Are full of motion : and yet all is silent:
RAAB KIUPRILI (his hand to his heart).
I have trembling proof within, how true thou speakest.
That the prince Emerick feasts the soldiery,
Gives splendid arms, pays the commanders' debts, SCENE I.
And (it is whisper'd) by sworn promises Front of the Palace with a magnificent Colonnade. On Makes himself debtor--hearing this, thou hast heard
one side a military Guard-House. Sentries pacing All (Then in a subdued and saddened voice.) backward and forward before the Palace. CHEF But what my Lord will learn too soon himself. Ragozzi, at the door of the Guard-House, as looking
RAAB KIUPRILI. forwards at some object in the distance.
Ha Well then, let it come! Worse scarce can CHEF RAGOZZI. My eyes deceive me not, it must be he!
This letter, written by the trembling hand Who but our chief, my more than father, who Of royal Andreas, calls me from the camp
To his immediate presence. It appoints me, Did my King love me? Did I earn his love?
Was I his arm, his thunder-bolt? And now
Or, like an eagle, whose strong wings press up And with his life breathe forth a father's blessing. Against a coiling serpent's folds, can I
Strike but for mockery, and with restless beak Remember you, my Lord, that Hebrew leech, Gore my own breast ?—Ragozzi, thou art faithful ? Whose face so much distemper'd you?
Here before Heaven I dedicate my faith
Barzoni? To the royal line of Andreas. I held him for a spy: but the proof failing
RAAB KIUPRILI. (More courteously, I own, than pleased myself),
Guilt is a timorous thing ere perpetration :
Despair alone makes wicked men be bold.
To him in chief Come thou with me! They have heard my voice in Prince Emerick trusts his royal brother's health.
Have faced round, terror-struck, and fear'd no longer Hide nothing, I conjure you! What of him?
The whistling javelins of their fell pursuers.
Ha! what is this? With pomp of words beyond a soldier's cunning,
[Black Flag displayed from the Tower of the Pal
ace: a death-bell tolls, etc. And shrugs and wrinkled brow, he smiles and whis. pers!
Vengeance of Heaven! He is dead. Talks in dark words of women's fancies ; hints
CHEF RAGOZZI. That 't were a useless and cruel zeal
At length then 'tis announced. Alas! I fear, To rob a dying man of any hope,
That these black death-flags are but treason's signals. However vain, that soothes him: and, in fine,
RAAB KIUPRILI (looking forwards anxiously). Denies all chance of offspring from the Queen.
A prophecy too soon fulfill'd! See yonder!
O rank and ravenous wolves! the death-bell echoes
Precise and faithful in their villany,
Even to the moment, that the master traitor
Had preordaind them.
Was it over-haste, Half makes me an accomplice (If he live),
Or is it scorn, that in this race of treason [Is moving toward the palace. Their guilt thus drops its mask, and blazons forth If he but live and know me, all may
Their infamous plot even to an idiot's sense.
Doubtless they deem Heaven too usurp'd! Heaven's To stop all ingress to the palace.
Bought like themselves !
[During this conversation music is heard, at first
solemn and funereal, and then changing to CHEF RAGOZZI. No place, no name, no rank excepted
spirited and triumphal.
Being equal all in crime, "RAAB KIUPRILI.
Do you press on, ye spotted parricides !
For the one sole pre-eminence yet doubtful,
The prize of foremost impudence in guilt?
For its own outwitting. I applaud, Ragozzi!
[Musing to himself-thenNor does there live one virtue in my soul,
Ragozzi! I applaud, One bonorable hope, but calls thee father.
In thee, the virtuous hope that dares look onward Yet ere thou dost resolve, know that yon palace And keeps the life-spark warm of future action Is guarded from within, that each access
Beneath the cloak of patient sufferance. Is throng'd by arm'd conspirators, watch'd by ruffians Act and appear as time and prudence prompt thee; Pamper'd with gifts, and hot upon the spoil
I shall not misconceive the part thou playest. Which that false promiser still trails before them. Mine is an easier part—to brave the Usurper. I ask but this one boon-reserve my life
[Enter a procession of EMERICK'S Adherents, Till I can lose it for the realm and thee!
Nobles, Chieftains, and Soldiers, wilh Music. RAAB KIUPRILI.
They advance toward the front of the Stage, My heart is rent asunder. O my country,
KIUPRILI makes the signal for them to stop.. O fallen Illyria! stand I here spell-bound !
The Music ceases.
LEADER OF THE PROCESSION.
RAAB KIUPRILI (turning away). The Lord Kiuprili!-Welcome from the camp.
Casimir! He, he a traitor!
Too soon indeed, Ragozzi ! have I learnt it. [Aside. RAAB KIUTRILI. Grave magistrates and chieftains of Illyria!
CASIMIR (with reverence). In good time come ye hither, if ye come
My father and my Lord ! As loyal men with honorable purpose
I know thee not!
A holy name and words of natural duty
O hear me, Sire! not lightly have I sworn
Homage to Emerick. Ilyria's sceptre (Lo! his own seal and signature attesting)
Demands a manly hand, a warrior's grasp.
The king inheriting his brother's heart,
Hath honor'd us the most. Your rank, my Lord! What means this clamor? Are these madmen's voices ? Already eminent, is—all it can be
Confirmed : and me the king's grace hath appointed Or is some knot of riotous slanderers leagued
Chief of his council and the lord high-steward. To infamize the name of the king's brother With a lie black as Hell? unmanly cruelty,
RAAB KIUPRILI. Ingratitude, and most unnatural treason! (Murmurs. (Bought by a bribe !) I know thee now still less. What mean these murmurs ? Dare then any here
CASIMIR (struggling with his passion). Proclaim Prince Emerick a spotted traitor ?
So much of Raab Kiuprili's blood flows here, One that has taken from you your sworn faith,
That no power, save that holy name of father, And given you in return a Judas' bribe,
Could shield the man who so dishonor'd me.
RAAB KIUPRILI. [Loud murmurs, followed by cries-Emerick! No Guill's pander, treason's mouth-piece, a gay parrot,
The son of Raab Kiuprili! a bought bond-slave, Baby Prince! No Changelings!
School'd to shrill forth his feeder's usurp'd titles, Yet bear with me awhile! Have I for this
And scream, Long live king Emerick!
Ay, King Emerick! Fought with the foe, and stain'd its jagged points
Stand back, my Lord! Lead us, or let us pass. With gore from wounds, I felt not? Did the blast Beat on this body, frost-and-famine-numb'd, Nay, let the general speak! Till my hard flesh distinguish'd not itself From the insensate mail, its fellow-warrior ?
Hear him! Hear him! And have I brought home with me Victory,
RAAB KIUPRILI. And with her, hand in hand, firm-footed Peace,
Hear me, Her countenance twice lighted up with glory, As if I had charm'd a goddess down from Heaven? Ilear, and avenge me! Twice ten years have I
Assembled lords and warriors of Mlyria, But these will flee abhorrent from the throne
Stood in your presence, honor'd by the king, or usurpation!
Beloved and trusted. Is there one among you, [Murmurs increase and cries of Onward ! onward! Accuses Raab Kinprili of a bribe !
Have you then thrown off shame, Or one false whisper in his sovereign's ear? And shall not a dear friend, a loyal subject, Who here dare charge me with an orphan's rights Throw off all fear? I tell ye, the fair trophies Outfaced, or widow's plea left undefended ! Valiantly wrested from a valiant foe,
And shall I now be branded by a traitor, Love's natural offerings to a rightful king, A bought bribed wretch, who, being called my son, Will hang as ill on this usurping traitor,
Doth libel a chaste matron's name, and plant This brother-blight, this Emerick, as robes
Hensbane and aconite on a mother's grave ? Of gold pluck'd from the images of gods
The underling accomplice of a robber, Upon a sacrilegious robber's back.
That from a widow and a widow's offspring
Would steal their heritage ? To God a rebel, [During the last four lines, enter Lord Casimir, And to the common father of his country with erpressions of anger and alarm.
A recreant ingrate!
Who is this factious insolent, that dares brand
Sire! your words grow dangerous. The elected King, our chosen Emerick ?
High-flown romantic fancies ill-beseem [Starts—then approaching with timid respect. Your age and wisdom. "Tis a statesman's virtne, My father!
To guard his country's safety by what means
It best may be protected—come what will
EMERICK Of these monks' morals!
A sovereign's car ill brooks a subject's questioning ! RAAB KIUPRILI (aside).
Yet for thy past well-doing—and because
"Tis hard to erase at once the fond belief Ha! the elder Brutus Made his soul iron, though his sons repented.
Long cherish'd, that Illyria had in thee
No dreaming priest's slave, but a Roman lover They boasted not their baseness.
Of her true weal and freedom and for this, too, [Starts, and draws his sword. That, hoping to call forth to the broad day-light
Infamous changeling ! And fostering breeze of glory, all deservings,
I still had placed thee foremost.
Prince! I listen.
Unwillingly I tell thee, that Zapolya,
Madden'd with grief, her erring hopes proved idle-
time with one hand making signs to the guard
According to the sworn attests in council (Music recommences.—The Procession passes into
RAAB KIUPRILI (aside). the Palace -During which time EMERICK and
Yes! the Jew, Barzoni ! KJUPRILI regard each other sted fastly.
Under the imminent risk of death she lies, What! Raab Kiuprili? What! a father's sword
Or irrecoverable loss of reason, Against his own son's breast?
If known friend's face or voice renew the frenzy.
CASIMIR (10 KIUPRILI). "Twould be best excuse him, Trust me, my Lord! a woman's trick has duped you Were he lky son, Prince Emerick. I abjure him.
Us 100—but most of all, the sainted Andreas.
Even for his own fair fame, his grace prays hourly This is my thanks, then, that I have commenced For her recovery that the States convened) A reign to which the free voice of the nobles She may take counsel of her friends. Hath call'd me, and the people, by regards Of love and grace to Raab Kiuprili's house ?
Right, Casimir! RAAB KIUPRILI.
Receive my pledge, Lord General. It shall stand What right hadst thou, Prince Emerick, to bestow In her own will to appear and voice her claims ; them?
Or (which in truth I hold the wiser course)
With all the past pass'd by, as family quarrels,
Resume her state, our first Illyrian matron.
Prince Emerick! you speak fairly, and your pledge too Appointed by our sovereign's last free act,
Is such, as well would suit an honest meaning. Wnt by himself
[Grasping the Patent. EMERICK (with a contemptuous sneer).
My Lord! you scarce know half his grace's goodness. Ay Y-Writ in a delirium!
The wealthy heiress, high-born fair Sarolta,
Bred in the convent of our noble ladies,
Her relative, the venerable abbess,
Hath, at his grace's urgence, woo'd and won for me. The access to the sovereign was refused me?
Long may the race, and long may that name flourish, By whose authority dared the general leave Which your heroic deeds, brave chief, have render'd His camp and army, like a fugitive?
Dear and illustrious to all true Illyrians !
RAAB KIUPRILI (sternly).
Or found or feign'd, placed by a beggar's soul, A fugitive, with no other fear, than bodements Hath but a mushroom's date in the comparison: To be belated in a loyal purpose.
And with the soul, the conscience is coeval,
Yea, the soul's essence.
Conscience, good my Lord,