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lenheim) added by myself: but in the rest the ori
WERNER. ginal is chiefly followed. When I was young (about fourteen, I think), I first read this tale, which made a deep impression upon me; and may, indeed, be said to contain the germ of much that I have since
ACT I written. I am not sure that it ever was very popular; or, at any rate, its popularity has since been eclipsed by that ofother great writers in the same department. The Hall of a decayed Palace near a small Town But I have generally found that those who had read on the Northern Frontier of Silesia—the Night it agreed with me in their estimate of the singular tempestuous. power of mind and conception which it developes. I should also add conception, rather than execu
WERNER(1) and JOSEPHINE his wife. lion; for the story might, perhaps, have been deve- Jos. My love, be calmer! loped with greater advantage. Amongst those whose Wer.
I am calm. opinions agreed with mine upon this story, I could Jos. mention some very high names: but it is not neces- Yes, but not to thyself: thy pace is hurried, sary, nor indeed of any use; for every one must And no one walks a chamber like to ours judge according to his own feelings. I merely With steps like thine when his heart is at rest. refer the reader to the original story, that he may Were il a garden, I should deem thee happy, see to what extent I have borrowed from it; and And stepping with the bee from flower to flower ; am not unwilling that he should find much greater But here! pleasure in perusing it than the drama which is
Wer. 'Tis chill; the tapestry lets through founded upon its contents.
The wind to which it waves : my blood is frozen. I had begun a drama upon this tale so far back as
no! 1815 (the first I ever attempted, except one at thir- Wer. (smiling.) Why! wouldst thou have it so? leen years old, called Ulric and Ilvina, which ) Jos.
I would had sense enough to burn), and nearly completed Have it a healthful current. an act, when I was interrupted by circumstances. Wer.
Let it flow This is somewhere amongst my papers in England; Until 't is spilt or check’d-how soon, I care not. but as it has not been found, I have re-written the Jos. And am I nothing in thy heart? first, and added the subsequent acts:
All-all. The whole is neither intended, nor in any shape Jos. Then canst thou wish for that which must adapted, for the stage. (1)
break mine? PISA, February, 1899.
Wer. (approaching her slowly.) But for theel
had been-no matter what,
But much of good and evil; what I am,
Thou knowest; what I might or should have been,
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
To see thee well is muchScene-Partly on the Frontier of Silesia, and To see thee happypartly in Siegendorf Castle, near Prague. Wer.
Where hast thou seen such ? Time—the Close of the Thirty Years' War. Let me be wretched with the rest!
Emily's and the Clergyman's Talo, or Pembroke, were con- (2) “Werner-we mean Kruitzner-is admirably drawn. tributed by Sophia Lee, the author of The Recess, the comedy of Who does not recognise in him the portrait of loo common a The Chapter of Accidents, and Ameyda, a tragedy, who died character? The man of shining talent, ardent mind, powerful in 1824. The German's Tale, and all the others in the Canter-connexions, brilliant prospects, who, after squandering away all bury Collection, were written by Harriet, the younger of tbe in wanlon sell-indulgence, having lived only for himself, finds him sisters.-E.
self bankrupt in fortune and character, the prey of bitter regret, (1) Werner is, however, one of Lord Byron's dramas that has yet, unrepentant, as selfish in remorse as in his gaiely All proved successful in representalion. It is still (1834) in possession that is inconsistent in the character of Kruitzner is rendered of the stage.-E.
still more so in the Werner of the drama. If he is made some
Jos. (abruptly.) My son-our son-our Ulric, How many in this hour of tempest shiver
Bcen clasp'd again in these long-emply arms, Beneath the biting wind and heavy rain,
And all a mother's hunger satisfied. Whose every drop bows them down nearer earth, I'welve years! he was but eight then :-beautiful Which hath no chamber for them save beneath He was, and beautiful he must be now, Her surface.
My Ulric! my adored ! Wer. And that's not the worst: who cares
I have been full oft For chambers ? rest is all. The wretches whom
l'he chase of forlune; now she hath o'ertaken Thou namest-ay, the wind howls round them, and My spirit where it cannot turn at bay,The dull and dropping rain saps in their bones
Sick, poor, and lonely. The creeping marrow. I have been a soldier,
Lonely! my dear husbanıl?) A hunter, and a traveller, and am A beggar, and should know the thing thou talk'st of: Far worse than solitude. Alone, I had died,
Wer. Or worse-involving all I love, in this Jos. And art thou not now shelter'd from them all?
And all been over in a nameless grave.
Jos. And I had not outlived thee; but pray take
Comfort! We have struggled long; and they who Wer. True-to a peasant.
strive Jos. Should the nobly-born
With Fortune win or weary her at last, Be thankless for that refuge which their habits
So that they find the goal or cease to feel Of early delicacy render more
Further. Take comfort,-we shall find our boy. Needful than to the peasant, when the ebb Of fortune leaves them on the shoals of life?
Wer. We were in sight of him, of every thing Wer. It is not that, thou know'st it is not; we
Which could bring compensation for past sorrowHave borne all this, I'll not say patiently,
And to be baffled thus !
Jos. Except in thee-but we have borne it.
We are not baffled. Jos.
Wer. Are we not pennyless ? Wer. Something beyond our outward sufferings
We ne'er were wealthy. (though
Wer. But I was born to wealth, and rank, and These were enough to gnaw into our souls)
power; Hath stung me oft, and, more than ever, now. Enjoy'd them, loved them, and, alas! abused them, When, but for this untoward sickness, which And forfeited them, by my father's wrath, Seized me upon this desolate frontier, and (1) In my o'cr fervent youth; but for the abuse Hath wasted, not alone my strength, but means, Long sufferings have atoned. My father's death And leaves us—no! this is beyond me!-but Left the path open, yet not without snares.
for this I had been happy (2)—thou been happy-- This cold and creeping kinsman, who so long The splendour of my rank sustain’d-my name— Kept his eye on me, as the snake upon
My father's name been still upheld; and, more The fluttering bird, hath ere this time outstept me, Than those
Become the master of my rights and lord
times less criminal, he appears only the more weak, and his con. of what we are to expect for the future, we have only lo entreal duct is as wayward as his fate. His remorse af taking the rou that Lord Byron will drop the ceremony of cutting up his prose leau from the man who was about to usurp his domains and throw into lines of ten, eleven, or twelve syllables (for he is not very him into prison is somewhat overcharged; and though his horror punctilious on this head), and savour us with it in ils natural at bearing of Stralenheim's death is natural, it scems unaccouni stale. It requires no very cunning alchemy lo transmule his ably to absorb his joy at finding himself delivered from his enemy, verse iplo prose, nor, reversing the experiment, 19 convert his and restored to affluence. 'If his misfortune should appear to plain sentences into verses like his own.—'When,' says Werner, exceed his errors, let il be remembered, says his biographer, but for this uploward sickness, which seized me upon this deso'bow easily both might have been avoided, since an adherence late frontier, and hath wasted, not alone my strength, but means, to his duties at almost any period of his life would have spared and leaves us-no! this is beyond mel but for this I had been him more than half bis sufferings.' This is the moral of the tale; , happy.'-This is, indeed, beyond us. If this be poetry, then we but it is but saintly illustrated in the drama. Werner is more the were wrong in taking his Lordship's preface for prose. It will victim of what would be called sale. Lord Byron has not sell the run on ten feet as well as the rest-(See antė, p. 599) :real force of the character."-Ecl. Review.
• Some of the characters are modified (1) “In this play, Lord Byron adopts the same nerveless and pointless kind of blank verse, which was a sorrow to every body
Or allered, a few of the names changed, and
One character (Ida of Stralenheim) in bis former dramatic essays. Il is, indeed, 'most unmusical, Added by myself ; but in the rest thie most melancholy.'-- Ofs,'·los,'"ands,'. fors,'«bys,''buls,' and Original'is chiefly followed. When the like, are the most common conclusions of a line; there is no
I was young (about fourteen, I think) I
First read ihis tale, which made a deep impression ease, no flow, no barmony, in linked sweetness long drawn
Upon me'out: neither is there any thing of abrupt fiery vigour lo compensate for these defects."— Blackwood.
Nor is there a line in these so lame and halting, but we could (2) "In this drama there is absolutely no poetry 10 be found; point out many in the drama as bad." --Campbell. and if the measure of verse which is here deall to us be a sample
Of that which lifts him up to princes in
With thee, I should bave deem'd it what it is. Dominion and domain.
Wer. And what is that in thine eyes ?
All which it
How, nothing? Wer.
'T is hopeless. Jos. Or worse ; for it has been a canker in Since his strange disappearance from my father's, Thy heart from the beginning: but for this, Entailing, as it were, my sins upon
We had not felt our poverty but as Himself, no tidings have reveald his course. Millions of myriads feel it, cheerfully; I parted with him to his grandsire, on
But for these phantoms of thy feudal fathers, The promise that his anger would stop short Thou mightst have earn'd thy bread, as thousands Of the third generation; bul heaven seems
earn it; To claim her stern prerogative, and visit
Or, if that seem too humble, tried by commerce, Upon my boy his father's faults and follies. Or other civic means, to amend thy fortunes.
Jos. I must hope better still,—at least we have yet Wer. (ironically.) And been an Hanseatic burBaffled the long pursuit of Stralenheim.
gher ? Excellent! Wer. We should have done, but for this fatal sick Jos. Whate'er thou mightst have been, to me thou ness;
What no state high or low can ever change, (art More fatal than a mortal malady,
My heart's first choice;—which chose thee, knowing Because it takes not life, but life's sole solace:
neither Even now I feel my spirit girt about
Thy birth, thy hopes, thy pride; Dought, save thy By the snares of this avaricious fiend;How do I know he hath not track'd us here? While they last, let me comfort or divide them;
Jos. He does not know thy person; and his spies, When they end, let mine end with them, or thee!(1) Who so long watch'd thee, have been left at Ham Wer. My better angel! such I have ever found thee; burgh.
This rashness, or this weakness of my temper, Our unexpected journey, and this change
Ne'er raised a thought to injure thee or thine. Of name, leaves all discovery far behind:
Thou didst not mar my fortunes; my own nature None hold us here for aught save what we seem. In youth was such as to unmake an empire, Wer. Save what we seem! save what we are-sick Had such been my inheritance; beggars,
Chasten’d, subdued, out-worn, and taught to know Even to our very hopes.-Ha! ha!
Myself,—to lose this for our son and thee! Jos.
Trust me, when, in my two-and-twentieth spring, That bitter laugh!
My father barr'd me froin my fathers' house, Wer.
Who would read in this form The last sole scion of a thousand sires The high soul of the son of a long line ?
(For I was then the last), it hurt me less who, in this garb, the heir of princely lands? Than to behold my boy and my boy's mother Who, in this sunken sickly eye, the pride
Excluded in their innocence from what
Twined like the gorgon's round me.
[A loud knocking is heard. Ponder'd not thus upon these worldly things, Jos,
Hark! My Werner! when you deign'd to choose for bride Wer.
A knocking! The foreign daughter of a wandering exile.
Jos. Who can it be at this lone hour? We have
Wer. And poverty hath none,
(WERNER puls his hand into his bosom, as ifto Jos. Your father did not think so, though 'l was search for some weapon. noble;
Oh! do not look so. I But had my birth been all my claim to match Will to the door. It cannot be of import
(1) “Werner's wise, Josephine, not only well maintains the cha of Ilaly, and thus contrasts the beauties and circumstances of racter of her sex by general integrity, but equally displays the her own country with those of the frontiers of Silesia, where an endearing, soft, and unsbaken affection of a wise; cherishing and instance of pelly feudal lyranny has just excited her feelings comforting a suffering husband throughout all the adversities of M. Rev. his fale, and all the errors of his own conduct. She is a native
In this lone spot of wintry desolation :
How should we? The very desert saves man from mankind.
Iden. The river has o'erflow'd. [She goes to the door. Jos.
Alas! we have known
That to our sorrow, for these five days; since
It keeps us here.
But what you don't know is, Iden. A fair good evening to my fairer hostess
That a great personage, who fain would cross, And worthy-What's your name, my friend?
Against the stream and three postilions' wishes, Wer.
Are you is drown'd below the ford, with five post-horses, Not afraid to demand it?
A monkey, and a mastiff, and a valet.
Jos. Poor creatures! are you sure?
Yes, of the monkey, I ask'd for something better than your name,
And the valet, and the cattle; but as yet
We know not if his excellency's dead
Or no; your noblemen are hard to drown,
As it is fit that men in office should be;
Enough of the Oder to have burst two peasants ; His highness had resign'd it to the ghosts
And now a Saxon and Hungarian traveller, And rats these twelve years—but’t is still a palace)— Who, at their proper peril, snatch'd him from I say you have been our lodger, and as yet
The whirling river, have sent on to crave We do not know your name.
A lodging, or a grave, according as Wer.
My name is Werner.
It may turn out with the live or dead body. Iden. A goodly name, a very worthy name
Jos. And where will you receive him? here, I hope, As e'er was gilt upon a trader's board ::
If we can be of service--say the word. I have a cousin in the lazarelto
Iden. Here! no; but in the prince's own apartment, Of Hamburgh, who has got a wife who bore
As fits a noble guest:-'tis damp, no doubt, The same. He is an officer of trust,
Not having been inhabited these twelve years; Surgeon's assistant (hoping to be surgeon),
But then he comes from a much damper place, And has done miracles i'the way of business,
So scarcely will catch cold in 't, if he be Perhaps you are related to my relative ?
Still liable to cold-and if not, why Wer. To yours?
He'll be worse lodged to-morrow; ne'ertheless, Jos.
Oh, yes; we are, but distantly. I have order'd fire and all appliances
To be got ready for the worst—that is,
Poor gentleman! I thought so all along, such natural yearnings
I hope he will, with all my heart. Play'd round my heart!-blood is not water, cousin;
Intendant, And so let's have some wine, and drink unto
Have you not learn'd his name? My Josephine, Our better acquaintance : relatives should be
[Aside to his wife. Friends.
Retire: I'll sift this fool. [Brit JOSEPHINE. Wer. You appear to have drunk enough already;
His name? oh Lord! And, if you had not, I've no wine to offer,
Who knows if he hath now a name or no? Else it were yours: but this you know, or should 't is time enough 10 ask it when he's able know:
To give an answer; or if not, to put
His heir's upon his epitaph. Methought
Just now you chid me for demanding names ?
Wer. True, true, I did so; you say well and wisely: Iden. Why, what should bring me here? Wer. I know not, though I think that I could guess
Rnter GABOR. (1)
Gab. If I intrude, I crave-
Oh, no intrusion ! Iden. You don't know what has happen'd, then? This is the palace; this a stranger like
(1) "Some faulls the poem bas only in common with the ori- high-meltled soldier of forlune, whose appearances and disapginal. Gabor is a most inexplicable personage: he is always on
pearances are alike singularly inopportune, and who ends in a the point of curning out something more than he proves to be. marc mercenary. His character is, we think, decidedly a faiA sort of mysterious borror is thrown around his impalpability, lure.”- Ecl. Reo. in the tale ; but in the drama, he is only a sentimental, moody,
Yourself; 1 pray you make yourself at home : A glass of your Hockeimar-a green glass,
Gab. Wetly and wearily, but out of peril: O'erflowing with the oldest of your vintage;
I'll pull you out for nothing. Quick! my friend,
What ho, there! bustle! And think, for every bumper I shall quaff, Without there, Herman, Weilburg, Peter, Conrad! A wave the less may roll above your head. [Gives directions to different servants who Iden. (aside.) I don't much like this fellow-close enler.
Wine he shall hare; if that unlocks him not,
(Exit IDENSTEIN. Shall furnish forth the bed-apparel; for,
Gab.(to WERNER.) This master of the ceremonies
Design'd for him you rescued will be found
In fitter order for a sickly guest.
Gab. I wonder then you occupied it not,
Excuse me: have I said aught to offend you?
Gab. And that's the reason I would have us less so:
I thought our bustling guest without had said
Of me and my companions.
(part Iden. And yet you saved his life.
Gab. Then, as we never met before, and never,
Well, that's strange, It may be, may again encounter, why,
Gab. Not so; for there are some I know so well, (At least to me) by asking you to share
The fare of my companions and myself.
Pray, Wer. Pray, pardon me; my health-
Even as you please
By my family, I have been a soldier, and perhaps am blunt
Wer. I have also served, and can
It matters little. Requite a soldier's greeting.
In what service ? anonymous,
The Imperial ?
I commanded-00-I mean
Sufficient. I served; but it is many years ago,
When first Bohemia raised her banner 'gainst
Gab. Well, that's over now, and peace in time to drag him through his carriage-window. Has turn’d some thousand gallant hearts adrift,
Iden. Well, what would I give to save a great man! To live as they best may; and, to say truth,
What is that?