Page images
PDF
EPUB

me."

And haughty spirit, I have thought it well Siegend. Alas! Love never did so.
That thou shouldst wed the lady Ida - more, Ulric. Then 'tis time
As thou appear'st to love her.

He should begin, and take the bandage from Ulric. I have said

His eyes, and look before he leaps: till now I will obey your orders, were they to He hath ta'en a jump i’ the dark. Unite with Hecate—can a son say more? Siegend. But you consent? Siegend. He says too much in saying Ulric. I did and do. this. It is not

Siegend. Then fix the day. The nature of thine age, nor of thy blood, Ulric. 'Tis usual, Nor of thy temperament, to talk so coolly, And, certes, courteous, to leave that to, Or act so carelessly, in that which is

the lady The bloom or blight of all men's happiness Siegend. I will engage for her. (For Glory's pillow is but restless if

Ulric. So will not I Love lay not down his cheek there): some For any woman; and as what I fix, strong bias,

I fain would see unshaken, when she gives Some master-fiend is in thy service to Her answer, I'll give mine. Misrule the mortal who believes him slave, Siegend. But 'tis your office And makes his every thought subservient; To woo. else

Ulric. Count, 'tis a marriage of your Thou’dst say at once, “I love young Ida, and making, Will wed her,” or, “I love her not, and all So be it of your wooing; but to please you The powers of earth shall never make I will now pay my duty to

my

mother, 2."-So

With whom, you know, the lady Ida isWould I have answer'd.

What would you have ? You have forbid Ulric. Sir, you wed for love.

my stirring Siegend. I did, and it has been my only For manly sports beyond the castle-walls, refuge

And I obey; you bid me turn a chamberer, In many miseries.

To pick up gloves, and fans, and knittingUlric. Which miseries

needles, Had never been but for this love-match.

And list to songs and tunes, and watch for Siegend. Still

smiles, Against your age and nature! who at twenty And smile at pretty prattle, and look into Eer answer'd thus till now ?

The eyes of feminie, as though they were Ulric. Did you not warn me

The stars receding early to our wish Against your own example?

Upon the dawn of a world-winning battleSiegend. Boyish sophist!

What can a són or man do more? In a word, do you love, or love not, Ida ?

[Exit Ulric. Ulric. What matters it, if I am ready to Siegend. (solus) Too much! Obey you in espousing her ?

Too much of duty and too little love! Siegend. As far

He pays me in the coin he owes me not: As you feel, nothing, but all life for her. For such hath been my wayward fate,

I She's young-all-beautiful-adores you—is

could not Endow'd with qualities to give happiness, Fulfil a parent's duties by his side Such as rounds common life into a dream Till now; but love he owes me, for my Of something which your poets cannot paint, thoughts And (if it were not wisdom to love virtue) Ne'er left him, nor my eyes long'd without For which Philosophy might barter Wis

tears

To see my child again, and now I have And giving so much happiness, deserves

found him! A little in return. I would not have her But how! obedient, but with coldness; Break her heart for a man who has none

duteous to break,

In my sight, but with carelessness; mysOr wither on her stalk like some pale rose

terious, Deserted by the bird she thought a night- Abstracted – distant - much given to long ingale,

absence, According to the Orient-tale. She is And where - none know - in league with Ulric. The daughter of dead Stralen

the inost riotous heim, your foe:

Of our young nobles; though, to do him I'll wed her, ne'ertheless; though, to say

justice, truth,

He never stoops down to their vulgar Just now I am not violently transported

pleasures ; In favour of such unions.

Yet there's some tie between them which Siegend. But she loves you.

I cannot Ulric. And I love her, and therefore, Unravel. They look up to him -- consult would think twice.

him

dom;

[ocr errors]

We will pray

Throng round him as a leader : but with me I have to offer humbly this donation
He hath no confidence! Ah! can I hope it In masses for his spirit.
After – what! doth my father's curse descend (Siegendorf offers the gold which he
Even to my child? Or is the Hungarian near

had taken from Stralenheim. To shed niore blood,or-oh! if it should be! Prior Albert. Count, if I Spirit of Stralenheim, dost thou walk these Receive it, 'tis because I know too well walls

Refusal would offend you. Be assured To wither him and his, who, though they The largess shall be only dealt in alms, slew not,

And every mass no less sung for the dead. Unlatch'd the door of death for thee? | Our house needs no donations, thanks to Twas not

yours, Our fault,nor is our sin: thou wert our foe, Which has of old endow'd it; but to you And yet 1 spared thee when my own De- And yours in all meet things 'tis fit we struction

obey. Slept with thee, to awake with thine awaken- For whom shall mass be said ? ing,

Siegend. (faltering) For-for-the dead. And only took-accursed Gold! thou liest Prior Albert. His name? Like poison in my hands; I dare not use thee, Siegend. 'Tis from a Soul, and not a Nor part from thee; thou comest in such a Name, guise,

I would avert perdition. Methinks thou wouldst contaminate all Prior Albert. I meant not hands

To pry into your secret. Like mine. Yet I have done, to atone for For one unknown, the same as for the thee,

proudest. Thou villanous Gold! and thy dead master's Siegend. Secret! I have none; but Father, doom,

he who's gone Though he died not by me or mine, as much Might have one; or, in short, he did beAs if he were my brother! I have ta’en

queathHis orphan Ida-cherish'd her as one No, not bequeath- but I bestow this sum Who will be mine.

For pious purposes.

Prior Albert. A proper deed
Enter an ATTENDANT.

In the behalf of our departed friends.
Attendant. The Abbot, if it please Siegend. But he, who's gone, was not
Your Excellency, whom you sent for, waits my friend, but foe,
Upon you.

[Erit Altendant. The deadliest and the staunchest.

Prior Albert. Better still!
Enter the PRIOR ALBERT.

To employ our means to obtain heaven for Prior Albert. Peace be with these walls

the souls and all

of our dead enemies, is worthy those Within them !

Who can forgive them living. Siegend. Welcome, welcome,holy Father! Siegend. But I did not And may thy prayer be heard! - all men Forgive this man. I loathed him to the last, have need

As he did me. I do not love him now, Or such, and I

ButPrior Albert. Have the first claim to all Prior Albert. Best of all! for this is pure The prayers of our community. Our convent, religion ! Erected by your ancestors, is still You fain would rescue him you hate from Protected by their children.

hellSiegend. Yes, good Father

An evangelical compassion !- with Continue daily orisons for us

Your own gold too! In these dim days of heresies and blood, Siegend. Father, 'tis not my gold. Though the schismatic Swede, Gustavus, is Prior Albert. Whose then ? you said it Gone home.

was no legacy. Prior Albert. To the endless home of Siegend. No matter whose of this be unbelievers,

sure that he Where there is everlasting wail and woe, Who own'd it never more will need it, sare Gnashing of teeth,and tears of blood, and fire In that which it may purchase from your Eternal, and the worm which dieth not!

altars : Siegend. True, Father: and to avert 'Tis yours, or theirs. those pangs from one,

Prior Albert. Is there no blood upon it? Who, though of our most faultless, holy Sicgend. No: but there's worse than church,

blood- eternal shame! Yet died without its last and dearest offices, Prior Albert. Did he who own'd it die Which smoothe the soul through purga

in his bed? torial pains,

Siegend. Alas! he did.

upon me!

Prior Albert. Son! you relapse into | A cloud npon your thonghts. This were to be revenge,

Too sensitive. Take comfort, and furget If you regret your enemy's bloodless death. Such things, and leave Remorse unto the Siegend. His death was fathomlessly guilty.

Ercunt. deep in blood. · Prior Albert. You said he died in his bed, not battle.

ACT V. Siegend. He Died," I scarce know, but—he was stabb’d SCENE I.-A large and magnificent Gothic i' the dark,

Hall in the Castle of Siegendorf, decorated And now you have it-perish'd on his pillow

with Trophies, Banners and Arms of that By a cut-throat! - ay!- you may look

Family. I am not the man. I'll meet your eye on Enter ARNHEIM and MEISTER , Altendants that point,

of Count SIEGENDORF. As I can one day God's. Prior Albert. Nor did he die

Arnh. Be quick! the Count will soon

return: the ladies By means, or men, or instrument of yours ? Siegend. No! by the God who sees and Already are at the portal. Have you sent strikes !

The messengers in search of him he seeks for? Prior Albert. Nor know you

Meister. I have, in all directions, over Who slew him?

Prague, Siegend. I could only guess at one,

As far as the man's dress and figure conld And he to me a stranger, unconnected,

By your description track him. The devil

take As unemploy'd. Except by one day's knowledge,

These revels and processions ! All the I never saw the man who was suspected.

pleasure Prior Albert. Then you are free from guilt. (If such there be) must fall to the spectators.

I'm sure none doth to us who make the show, Siegend. (eagerly) Oh! am 1?- say! * Prior Albert. You have said so, and

Arnh. Go to! my Lady Countess comes. know best.

Meister. I'd rather Siegend. Father! I have spoken

Ride a day's hunting on an outworn jade, The truth, and nought but truth, if not the Than follow in the train of a great man

In these dull pageantries. whole: Yet say I am not guilty! for the blood

Arnh. Begone! and rail

Within. Of this man weighs on me, as if I shed it,

[Ereunt. Though by the Power who abhorreth Enter the Countess Josephine SIEGENDORF human blood,

and IDA STRALENHEIM. I did not!--nay, once spared it, when I might And could – ay, perhaps, should (if our Josephine. Well, Heaven be praised, the Self-Safety

show is over! Be e'er excusable in such defences

Ida. How can you say so! Never have Against the attacks of over-potent foes);

I dreamt But pray for him, for me, and all my house; of anght so beautiful. The flowers, the For, as I said, though I be innocent,

boughs, I know not why, a like Remorse is on me The banners, and the nobles,and the knights, As if he had fallen by me or mine. Pray The gems, the robes, the plumes, the happy

faces, Father! I have pray'd myself in vain. The coursers, and the incense, and the sun Prior Albert. I will.

Streaming through the staind windows; Be comforted! You are innocent, and should

even the tombs, Be calm as Innocence.

Which look'd so calm, and the celestial Siegend. But Calmness is not

hymns, Always the attribute of Innocence: Which seem'd as if they rather came from I feel it is not.

heaven Prior Albert. But it will be so, Than mounted there; the bursting organ's When the mind gathers up its truth within it. peal Remember the great festival to-morrow, Rolling on high like an harmonious thunder; In which you rank amidst our chiefest The white robes, and the lifted eyes; the nobles,

world As well as your brave son; and smoothe At peace! and all at peace with one another! your aspect;

Oh, my sweet mother! Nor in the general orison of thanks

[Embracing Josephine. For bloodshed stopt, let blood, yon shed Josephine. My beloved child ! not, rise

For such, I trust, thou shalt be shortly.

for me,

may it throb

Ida. Oh!

Ida I thought too I am so already. Feel how my heart beats! Of Heaven, although I look'd on Ulric. Joscphine. It does, my love; and never Josephine. Come,

Let us retire; they will be here anon With aught more bitter!

Expectant of the banquet. We will lay Ida. Never shall it do so!

Aside these nodding plumes and dragging How should it? What should make us

trains. grieve? I hate

Ida. And, above all, these stiff and To hear of sorrow: how can we be sad,

heavy jewels, Who love each other so entirely? You, Which make

my head and heart ache,as both The Count, and Ulric, and your daughter,

throb Ida.

Beneath their glitter o'er my brow and zone. Josephine. Poor child!

Dear mother, I am with you. [Ereunt. Ida. Do you pity me? Josephine. No; I but envy,

Enter Count SIEGENDORF, in full dress, from And that in sorrow, not in the world's sense

the solemnity, and LUDWIG. Of the universal vice, if one vice be Siegend. Is he not found ? More general than another.

Ludwig. Strict search is making every Ida. I'll not hear

where; and if A word against a world which still contains the man be in Prague, be sure he will be You and my Ulric. Did you ever see

found. Aught like him? How he tower'd amongst Siegend. Where's Ulric ? them all!

Ludwig. He rode round the other way How all eyes follow'd him? The flowers With some young nobles; but he left them fell faster

soon; Rain’d from each lattice at his feet, me- And, if I err not, not a minute since thought,

I heard his Excellency, with his train, Than before all the rest, and where he trod Gallop o'er the West-drawbridge I dare be sworn that they grow still, nor e'er Will wither.

Enter Ulric, splendidly dressed. Josephine. You will spoil him, little Siegend. (to Ludwig) See they cease not flattercr,

Their quest of him I have described. If he should hear yon.

(Exit Ludwig.) Ida. But he never will.

Oh! Ulric, I dare not say so much to him-I fear him. How have I long'd for thee!

Josephine. Why so? he loves you well. Ulric. Your wish is granted—
Ida. But I can never

Behold me!
Shape my thoughts of him into words to him. Siegend. I have seen the murderer.
Besides, he sometimes frightens me.

Ulric. Whom? Where?
Josephine. How so?

Siegend. The Hungarian, who slew StraIda. A cloud comes o'er his blue eyes

lenheim. suddenly,

Ulric. You dream. Yet he says nothing.

Siegend. I live! and as I live, I saw himJosephine. It is nothing: all men, Heard him! He dared to utter even my name. Especially in these dark troublous tines, Ulric. What name? Have much to think of.

Siegend. Werner! 'twas mine. Ida. But I cannot think

Ulric. It must be so Of aught save him.

No more: forget it. Josephine. Yet there are other men, Siegend. Never! never! all In the world's eye, as goodly. There's, My destinies were woven in that name: for instance,

It will not be engraved upon my tomb, The young Count Waldorf, who scarce once But it may lead me there. withdrew

Ulric. To the point-the Hungarian? His eyes from yours to-day.

Siegend. Listen! The church was Ida. I did not see him,

throng’d; the hymn was raised; But Ulric. Did you not see at the moment “Te Deum” peal'd from Nations, rather than When all knelt, and I wept? and yet me- From Choirs, in one great cry of “God be thought

praised" Through my fast tears, though they were For one day's peace, after thrice ten dread thick and warm,

years, I saw him smiling on me.

Each bloodier than the former: I arose, Josephine. I could not

With all the nobles, and as I look'd down See aught save Heaven, to which my eyes Along the lines of lifted faces, - from were raised

Our banner'd and escutcheon'd gallery, I Together with the people's.

Saw, like a flash of lightning, (for I saw

A moment, and no more) what struck me Ulric. Then wherefore scek? sightless

Siegend. Because I cannot rest To all else – the Hungarian's face; I grew Till he is found. His fate, and StralenSick; and when I recover'd from the mist

heim's, Which curl'd about my senses, and again And ours, seem intertwisted ; nor can be Look'd down, I saw him not. The thanks- Unravellid, tillgiving

Enter an ATTENDANT.
Was over, and we march'd back in procession.
Ulric. Continue.

Attendant. A stranger, to wait on
Siegend. When we reach'd the Muldau's Your Excellency.
bridge,

Siegend. Who? The joyous crowd above, the numberless Attendant. He gave no name. Barks mann'd with revellers in their best Siegend. Admit him, ne'ertheless.. garbs,

(The Attendant introduces Gabor, Which shot along the glancing tide below,

and afterwards erit. The decorated street, the long array,

Ah ! The clashing music, and the thundering Gabor. 'Tis, then, Werner! Of far artillery, which seem'd to bid Siegend. (haughtily). The same you A long and loud farewell to its great doings, knew, Sir, by that name; and you! The standards o'er me, and the tramplings

Gabor (looking round). I recognise you round,

both; father and son, The roar of rushing thousands, all all It seems. Count, I have heard that you, could not

or yours, Chase this man from my mind; although Have lately been in search of me: I am here. my senses

Siegend. I have sought you, and have No longer held him palpable.

found you; you are charged Ulric. You saw him

(Your own heart may inform you why) No more, then ?

with such Siegend. I look’d, as a dying soldier

A crime as

(He pauses. Looks at a draught of water, for this man; Gabor. Give it utterance, and then But still I saw him not; but in his stead—I'll meet the consequences. Ulric. What in his stead?

Siegend. You shall do so— Sicgend. My eye for ever fell

Unless Upon your dancing crest; the loftiest, Gabor. First, who accuses me? As on the loftiest and the loveliest head, Siegend. All things, It rose the highest of the stream of plumes, If not all men: the universal rumourWhich overflow'd the glittering streets of My own presence on the spot-the placePrague.

the timeUlric. What's this to the Hungarian? And every speck of circumstance unite Siegend. Much; for I

To fix the blot on you. Had almost then forgot him in my son, Gabor. And on me only? When just as the artillery ceased, and paused Pause ere you answer: Is no other name, The music, and the crowd embraced in lieu Save mine, stain'd in this business? Of shouting, I heard in a deep, low voice, Siegend. Trifling villain ! Distinct and keener far upon my ear Who play'st with thine own guilt! Of all Than the late Cannon's Volume, this word

that breathe "Werner!"

Thou best dost know the innocence of him Ulric. Uttered by

'Gainst whom thy breath would blow thy Siegend. Him! I turn'd - and saw-and bloody slander. fel).

But I will talk no further with a wretch, Ulric. And wherefore? Were you seen? Further than Justice asks. Answer at once, Siegend. The officious care

And without quibbling, to my charge. Of those around me draggd me from the Gabor. Tis false ! spot,

Siegend. Who says so ? Seeing my faintness, ignorant of the cause; Gabor. I. You, too, were too remote in the procession Siegend. And how disprove it? (The old nobles being divided from their Gabor. By children)

The presence of the murderer. To aid me.

Siegend. Name him! Ulric. But I'll aid you now.

Gabor. He Siegend. In what?

May have more names than one. Your Ulric. In searching for this man, or

Lordship had so
When he's fonnd,

Once on a time.
What shall we do with him ?

Siegend. If you mean me, I dare Sicgend. I know not that.

Your utmost.

« PreviousContinue »