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Hero or natural coward, shall have guidance
KAAB KICPRILI. Prince Emerick, Your cause will prosper best in your own pleading.
EMERick (aside to CasimiR). Ragozzi was thy school-mate—a bold spirit! Bind him to us!—Thy father thaws apace! [Then aloud. Leave us awhile, my Lord!—Your friend, Ragozzi, Whom you have not yet seen since his return, Commands the guard to-day. [CasimiR retires to the Guard-House; and after a time appears before it with Chef RAGozzi. We are alone. What further pledge or proof desires Kiuprilit Then, with your assent— RAAB KIUpril.I. Mistake not for assent The unquiet silence of a stern Resolve, Throttling the impatient voice. I have heard thee, Prince : And I have watch'd thee, too; but have small faith in A plausible tale told with a flitting eye. [EMERIck turns as about to call for the Guard. In the next moment I am in thy power, In this thou art in mine. Stir but a step, Or make one sign—I swear by this good sword, Thou diest that instant. EMErick. Ha, ha!—Well, Sir!—Conclude your homily. RAAB KIUPRILI (in a somewhat suppressed voice.) A tale which, whether true or false, comes guarded Against all means of proof, detects itself. The Queen mew'd up—this too from anxious care And love brought forth of a sudden, a twin birth With the discovery of her plot to rob thee Of a rightful throne!—Mark how the scorpion, Falsehood, Coils round in its own perplexity, and fixes Its sting in its own head! EMErick. Ay! to the mark! RAAB KIUPRILI (aloud); she and EMERICK standing at equi-distance from the Palace and the Guard-House. Hadst thou believed thine own tale, hadst thoufancied Thyself the rightful successor of Andreas,
Wouldst thou have pilfer'd from our school-boys'
EMERick (aloud). Is’t thus, thou scoff'st the people' most of all, The soldiers, the defenders of the people?
RAAB KiupRILI (aloud). O most of all, most miserable nation, For whom th’ Imperial power, enormous bubble: Is blown and kept aloft, or burst and shatter'd By the bribed breath of a lewd soldiery! Chiefly of such, as from the frontiers far (Which is the noblest station of true warriors), In rank licentious idleness beleaguer City and court, a venom'd thorn i' the side 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 merits Which many a liegeman may not plead as well, Brave though I grant thee? If a life outlabor'd Head, heart, and fortunate arm, in watch and war, For the land's same and weal; if large acquests, Made honest by th’ aggression of the foe And whose best praise is, that they bring us safety; If victory, doubly-wreathed, whose under-garland Of laurel-leaves looks greener and more sparkling Through the gray olive-branch; if these, Prince Eme
Give the true title to the throne, not thou–
EMERICK. I have faith That thou both think'st and hopest it. Fair Zapolya, A provident lady— RAAB klupril.r. Wretch, beneath all answer!
- EMERick. Offers at once the royal bed and throne!
[To the Guard.
Thus long I have listen’d—Guard—ho! from the Palace. The Guard post from the Guard-House with CHEF Ragozzi at their head, and then a number from the Palace—CHEF RAGozzi demands KIUPRILI's sword, and apprehends him.
casion in. 0 agony! (To Exterick). Sire, hear me! [To KIUPRILI, who turns from him. Hear me, Father! Eyserick. Take in arrest that traitor and assassin! Who pleads for his life, strikes at mine, his sovereign's.
RAAB KIUPRILI. As the co-regent of the realm, I stand Amenable to none save to the States, Met in due course of law. But ye are bond-slaves, Yet witness ye that before God and man I here impeach Lord Emerick of foul treason, And on strong grounds attaint him with suspicion Of murder— remerick. • Hence with the madman!
RAAd kiupril.I. Your Queen's murder, The royal orphan's murder: and to the death Defy him, as a tyrant and usurper. [Hurried off by RAGozzi and the Guard. rmerick. Fre twice the sun hath risen, by my sceptro This insolence shall be avenged. casiniirt. O banish him ' This infamy will crush me. O for my sake, Banish him, my liege lord' EMERICK (scornfully). What! to the army? Be calm, young friend! Nought shall be done in anger. The child o'erpowers the man. In this emergence I must take counsel for us both. Retire. [Erit CAsimir in agitation. rMERick (alone, looks at a Calendar). The changeful planet, now in her decay, Lips down at midnight, to be seen no more. With her shall sink the enemies of Emerick, Cursed by the last look of the waning moon; And my bright destiny, with sharpen'd horns, Shall greet me fearless in the new-born crescent. [Erit. Scene changes to another view, namely, the back of the Palace—a Wooded Park, and Mountains.
Enter ZApolyA, with an Infant in her arms. ZApolyA. Hush, dear one! hush! My trembling arm disturbs thee! Thou, the Protector of the helpless! thou, The widow's Husband and the orphan's Father, Direct my steps! Ah whither O send down Thy angel to a houseless babe and mother, Driven forth into the cruel widerness! Hush, sweet one! Thou art no Hagar's offspring: thou art The rightful heir of an anointed king ! What sounds are those It is the vesper chant Of laboring men returning to their home! Their queen has no home! Hear me, heavenly Father!
And let this darkness—
To escort me. Oh, thrice happy when he finds The treasure which I convoy!
ZAPOLY.A. - One brief moment, That, praying for strength I may have strength. This babe, - Heaven's eye is on it, and its innocence Is, as a prophet's prayer, strong and prevailing! Through thee, dear babe! the inspiring thought possess'd me, When the loud clamor rose, and all the palace Emptied itself—(They sought my life, Ragozzi!) Like a swift shadow gliding, I made way To the deserted chamber of my Lord.— [Then to the infant. And thou didst kiss thy father's hseless lips, And in thy helpless hand, sweet slumberer! Still clasp'st the signet of thy royalty. As I removed the seal, the heavy arm Dropt from the couch aslant, and the stiff finger Seem'd pointing at my feet. Provident Heaven! Lo, I was standing on the secret door, Which, through a long descent where all sound perishes, Let out beyond the palace. Well I knew it— But Andreas framed it not! He was no tyrant!
CHEF RAGozzi. Haste, madam! Let me take this precious burden! [He kneels as he takes the child.
ZAPOLY.A. Take him ' And if we be pursued, I charge thee, Flee thou and leave me! Flee and save thy king! [Then as going off, she looks back on the palace. Thou tyrant's den, be call'd no more a palace : The orphan's angel at the throne of Heaven Stands up against thee, and there hover o'er thee A Queen's, a Mother's, and a Widow's curse. Henceforth a dragon's haunt, fear and suspicion. Stand sentry at thy portals! Faith and honor, Driven from the throne, shall leave the attainted nation: And, for the iniquity that houses in thee, False glory, thirst of blood, and lust of rapine (Fateful conjunction of malignant planets), Shall shoot their blastments on the land. Tho fathers Henceforth shall have no joy in their young men, And when they cry: Lo! a male child is born ? The mother shall make answer with a groan. For bloody usurpation, like a vulture, Shall clog its beak within Illyria's heart. Remorseless slaves of a remorseless tyrant! They shall be mock'd with sounds of liberty, And liberty shall be proclaim'd alone To thee, O Fire! O Pestilence! O Sword : Till Vengeance hath her fill.—And thou, snatch'd hence, (Again to the infant.) poor friendless fugitive! with Mother's wailing, Offspring of Royal Andreas, shalt return With trump and timbrel clang, and popular shout In triumph to the palace of thy fathers! [Ereunt.
Yea, e'en in thy simplicity, Glycine,
GLYCINE. Oh, madam! there's a party of your servants, And my Lord's steward, Laska, at their head, Have come to search for old Bathory's son, Bethlen, that brave young man' 'I was he, my lady, That took our parts, and beat off the intruders; And in mere spite and malice, now they charge him With bad words of Lord Casimir and the king. Pray don't believe them, madam . This way! This way ! Lady Sarolta's here. [Calling without. sarco Lt.A. Be calm, Glycine. Enter LAskA and Servants with OLD BATHoRy.
LAsk A (to BAthony). We have no concern with you! What needs your presence 2 old eation Y. What! Do you think I'll suffer my brave boy To be slander'd by a set of coward-ruffians, And leave it to their malice,—yes, mere malice!— To tell its own tale 2 (LASKA and Servants bow to LADY SARolta. SAROLt.A. Laska! What may this mean? LAsKA (pompously, as commencing a set speech). Madam' and may it please your ladyship! This old man's son, by name Bethlen Bathory, Stands charged, on weighty evidence, that he, On yester-eve, being his lordship's birth-day, Did traitorously defame Lord Casimir: The lord high-steward of the realm, moreover— sar®1*A. Be brief! We know his titles!
Raved like a traitor at our liege King Emerick.
sakolta (to the Servants who offer to speak). You have had your spokesman! Where is the young man thus accused?
old pathony. I know not : But if no ill betide him on the mountains, He will not long be absent! SAROLTA. Thou art his father 7 old pathon Y. None ever with more reason prized a son: Yet I hate falsehood more than I love him. But more than one, now in my lady's presence, Witness'd the affray, besides these men of malice; And if I swerve from truth— 3 11:
My lady! pray believe him :
My tale is brief. During our festive dance,
Be silent, I command you.
Old man! you talk Too bluntly! Did your son owe no respect To the livery of our house?
OLD eatriott Y. Even such respect As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf That hath begun to worry the poor lambs!
Old insolent rushan :
I saw the whole affray. The good old man
sARolta (speaks with affected anger).
Be it then that these men faulted. Yet yourself,
OLD bath or Y. So then! So then! Heaven grant an old man patience! And must the gardener leave his seedling plants, Leave his young roses to the rooting swine, . While he goes ask their master, if perchance . His leisure serve to scourge them from their ravage?
LASKA, Ho! Take the rude clown from your lady's presence! I will report her further will!
Till thou hast learnt it! Fervent, good old man!
[Then speaks to the Servants. Hence! leave my presence! and you, Laska! mark
Those rioters are no longer of my household!
LASKA (aside). Yes, now 'tis coming. sARolt.A. Brutal aggressors first, then baffled dastards, That they have sought to piece out their revenge With a tale of words lured from the lips of anger, Stamps them most dangerous; and till I want Fit means for wicked ends, we shall not need Their services. Discharge them! You, Bathory! Are henceforth of my household! I shall place you Near my own person. When your son returns, Present him to us. Old BAThory. Ha! what, strangers" here! What business have they in an old man's eye? Your goodness, lady—and it came so sudden— I cannot—must not—let you be deceived. I have yet another tale, but—[Then to SARolta aside. Not for all ears! sar OLTA. I oft have pass'd your cottage, and still praised Its beauty, and that trim orchard-plot, whose blossoms 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 The oil of gladness glittering on the water Of an ebbing grief. [BATHoRy bowing, shows her into his cottage. LASKA (alone). Wexation' baffled! school'd : Ho! Laska' wake! why? what can all this mean? She sent away that cockatrice in anger! Oh the false witch! It is too plain, she loves him. And now, the old man near my lady's person, She'll see this Bethlen hourly! [LASKA flings himself into the seat. GlycINE peeps in timidly. GLYCINE. Laska! Laska! Is my lady gone? LASKA (surlily). Gone. GLYCiNE. Have you yet seen him? Is he return'd? (LASKA starts up from his seat Has the seat stung you, Laskat LASKA. No! serpent! no; 'tis you that sting me; you! What! you would cling to him again! GLYCINE. Whom 7 LASKA. Bethlen Bethlen! Yes; gaze as if your very eyes embraced him! Ha! you forget the scene of yesterday ! Mute ere he came, but then—Out on your screams, And your pretended fears! Glycine. Your fears, at least, Were real, Laska! or your trembling limbs And white cheeks play'd the hypocrites most vilely!
* Refers to the tear, which he feels starting in his eye. The following line was borrowed unconsciously from Mr. Words worth's Ezcursion. 11 4.