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wall:NstEIN (contemplates him with surprise, remains
GoRDoN, BUTLER (at first behind the Scenes).
BUTLER (not yet come into view of the stage). Here stand in silence till I give the signal.
Gordon (starts up).
Butler (appears, but scarcely on the stage).
GoRDON. His heart still cleaves To earthly things: he's not prepared to step Into the presence of his God! BUTLER (going). God's merciful! GoRDoN (holds him). Grant him but this night's respite. BUTLER (hurrying off). The next moment May ruin all. GoRDoN (holds him still). One hour ! but LER.
Unhold me! What Can that short respite profit him Gondon. O—Time Works miracles. In one hour many thousands Of grains of sand run out; and quick as they, Thought follows thought within the human soul. Only one hour ! Your heart may change its purpose, His heart may change its purpose—some new tidings May come; some fortunate event, decisive, May fall from Heaven and rescue him. O what May not one hour achieve! but LER. You but remind me, How precious every minute is! [He stamps on the floor.
To these enter MacDon ALD, and DEVEREUx, with the
Voices deadened by the distance—Clash of
arms—then all at once a profound silence.
countess tertsky (with a light). Her bed-chamber is empty; she herself Is nowhere to be sound ! The Neubrunn too, Who watch'd by her, is missing. If she should Be flown But whither flown We must call up Every soul in the house. How will the Duke Bear up against these worst bad tidings O If that my husband now were but return'd Home from the banquet!—Hark! I wonder whether The Duke is still awake! I thought I heard Voices and tread of feet here! I will go And listen at the door. Hark! what is that? "Tis hastening up the steps!
Countess. What is it, Senio PAGE (from the Gallery). Opiteous sight! [Other Servants hasten in with torches. COUNTESS. What is it ! For God's sake! SENI. And do you ask? Within the Duke lies murder'd—and your husband Assassinated at the Castle. [The Countess stands motionless. FEMALE servaNt (rushing across the stage). Help! Help! the Duchess! BURGomastER (enters). What mean these confused Loud cries, that wake the sleepers of this house ! Gordon. Your house is cursed to all eternity. In your house doth the Duke lie murder'd : BURGoMAstER (rushing out). Heaven forbid! First servant. Fly! fly! they murder us all ! second servaNT (carrying silver plate). That way! the lower Passages are block'd up. voice (from behind the Scene). Make room for the Lieutenant-General! [At these words the Countess starts from her stupor, collects herself, and retires suddenly. voice (from behind the Scene). Keep back the people! Guard the door!
To these enters Octavio PiccoloysiN1 with all his Train. At the same time DEveREux and MAcDonAld enter from the Corridor with the Halberdiers. —WALLENsterN's dead body is carried over the back part of the Stage, wrapped in a piece of crimson tapestry. octavio (entering abruptly). It must not be ' It is not possible! Butler! Gordon : I'll not believe it. Say, No! [Gordon, without answering, points with his hand to the Body of WALLENstEIN as it is carried over phe back of the Stage. Octavio looks that way, and stands overpowered with horror.
DEveREUx (to BUTLER). Here is the golden fleece—the Duke's sword— MacDonal, D. Is it your order— but LER (pointing to Octavio). - Here stands he who now Hath the sole power to issue orders. [DevEREux and Macdonald retire with marks of obeisance. One drops away after the other, till only BUTLER, Octavio, and Gordon remain on the Stage. octavio (turning to Butler). Was that my purpose, Butler, when we parted? o of Justice' othee I list my hand! I am not guil of this foul j guilty
Avail'd yourself of mine.
I've but fulfill'd the Emperor's own sentence.
oCTAWiO. O curse of kings, Infusing a dread life into their words, And linking to the sudden transient thought The unchangeable irrevocable deed. Was there necessity for such an eager Dispatch? Couldst thou not grant the merciful A time for mercy? Time is man's good Angel To leave no interval between the sentence, And the fulfilment of it, doth beseem God only, the immutable!
Rail you against me? What is my offence!
To these enter the Countess Tentsky, poko” ordered. Her utterance is slow and feeble, to " impassioned. octavio (meeting her). O Countess Tertsky! These are the results Of luckless unblest deeds.
They are the fruits Of your contrivances. The duke is dead, My husband too is dead, the Duchess struggle In the pangs of death, my niece has disappeard. This house of splendor, and of princely glory, Doth now stand desolated: the affrighted serva" Rush forth through all its doors. I am the last Therein; I shut it up, and here deliver The keys.
octavio (with a deep anguish). O Countess! my house too is desola”
countess. Who next is to be murder'd 7 Who is next To be maltreated Lo! the Duke is dead. The Emperor's vengeance may be pacified' Spare the old servants; let not their fidelity Be imputed to the faithful as a *I.
The evil destiny surprised my brother
Countess, you tremble, you turn pale!
energy and dignity).
Accept, as a small testimony of my grateful attachment, the following Dramatic Poem, in which I have “ndeavored to detail, in an interesting form, the fall of a man, whose great bad actions have cast a disastrous lustre on his name. In the execution of the work, as intricacy of plot could not have been attempted without a gross violation of recent facts, it * been my sole aim to imitate the impassioned and highly figurative language of the French Orators, *nd to develop the characters of the chief actors on * vast stage of horrors.
Yours fraternally, S. T. Cole:Ridge. Jesus College, September 22, 1794.
THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE.
ACT I. SCENE, The Tuilleries.
The tempest gathers—be it mine to seek
Enter TALLIEN and LEGENDRE.
"tal. Life N. It was Barrere, Legendre! didst thou mark him? Abrupt he turn'd, yet linger'd as he went, And towards us cast a look of doubtful meaning.
LEGENDRE. I mark'd him well. I met his eyeo last glance; It menaced not so proudly as of yore. Methought he would have spoke—but that he dared not.— Such agitation darken'd on his brow.
"tallien. "Twas all-distrusting guilt that kept from bursting Th' imprison'd secret struggling in the face: E’en as the sudden breeze upstarting onwards Hurries the thunder-cloud, that poised awhile Hung in mid air, red with its mutinous burthen.
LEGENDRE. Perfidious Traitor!—still afraid to bask In the full blaze of power, the rustling serpent Lurks in the thicket of the Tyrant's greatness, Ever prepared to sting who shelters him. Each thought, each action in himself converges; And love and friendship on his coward heart Shine like the powerless sun on polar ice: To all attach'd, by turns deserting all, Cunning and dark—a necessary villain!
TALLIEN. Yet much depends upon him—well you know With plausible harangue 'tis his to paint Defeat like victory—and blind the mob With truth-mix'd falsehood. They, led on by him, And wild of head to work their own destruction, Support with uproar what he plans in darkness.
LEGENDRE. O what a precious name is Liberty To scare or cheat the simple into slaves! Yes—we must gain him over: by dark hints We'll show enough to rouse his watchful fears, Till the cold coward blaze a patriot. O Danton! murder'd friend! assist my counsels— Hover around me on sad memory's wings, And pour thy daring vengeance in my heart. Tallien' if but to-morrow's fateful sun Beholds the Tyrant living—we are dead!
TALLIEN. Yet his keen eye that flashes mighty meanings—
Enter RobespierRE, Couthon, St-Just, and RobespierRE JUNior.
" Robespirit RE.
What! did La Fayette fall before my power? And did I conquer Roland's spotless virtues 2 The servent eloquence of Vergniaud's tongue? And Brissot's thoughtful soul unbribed and bold Did zealot armies haste in vain to save them What! did th'assassin's dagger aim its point Vain, as a dream of murder, at my bosom
And shall I dread the soft luxurious Tallien?
st-JUst. I cannot fear him—yet we must not scorn him. Was it not Antony that conquer’d Brutus, Th' Adonis, banquet-hunting Antony? The state is not yet purified: and though The stream runs clear, yet at the bottom lies The thick black sediment of all the factions— It needs no magic hand to stir it up!
couTHoN. O we did wrong to spare them—fatal error! Why lived Legendre, when that Danton died? And Collot d'Herbois dangerous in crimes? I've fear'd him, since his iron heart endured To make of Lyons one vast human shambles, Compared with which the sun-scorch'd wilderness Of Zara were a smiling paradise.
ST-JUST. Rightly thou judgest, Couthon! He is one, Who flies from silent solitary anguish, Seeking forgetful peace amid the jar Of elements. The howl of maniac uproar Lulls to sad sleep the memory of himself. A calm is fatal to him—then he feels The dire upboilings of the storm within him. A tiger mad with inward wounds. I dread The fierce and restless turbulence of guilt.
Robespier ite. Is not the commune ours ? The stern tribunal? Dumas? and Vivier? Fleuriot? and Louvett And Henriot? We'll denounce a hundred, nor Shall they behold to-morrow's sun roll westward.
Robespier R.E Junion. Nay—I am sick of blood; my aching heart Reviews the long, long train of hideous horrors That still have gloom'd the rise of the republic. I should have died before Toulon, when war Became the patriot! ROBEs PierRF.
Most unworthy wish! He, whose heart sickens at the blood of traitors, Would be himself a traitor, were he not A coward ' "Tis congenial souls alone Shed tears of sorrow for each other's fate. O thou art brave, my brother! and thine eye Full firmly shines amid the groaning battle— Yet in thine heart the woman-form of pity Asserts too large a share, an ill-timed guest! There is unsoundness in the state—To-morrow Shall see it cleansed by wholesome massacre!
RobespierRe JUNiort. Beware! already do the sections murmur— “O the great glorious patriot, Robespierre– The tyrant guardian of the country's freedom" COUThon. Twere folly sure to work great deeds by halves' Much I suspect the darksome fickle heart Of cold Barrere ! ROBEspierRE. I see the villain in him." Robespierre Junior. If he—if all forsake thee—what remains?