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Thus long I have listen'd-Guard-ho! from the And let this darkness


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.

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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.
[Exit CASIMIR in agitation.
EMERICK (alone, looks at a Calendar).
The changeful planet, now in her decay,
Dips 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.

[Exit. Scene changes to another view, namely, the back of the Palace a Wooded Park, and Mountains.

Enter ZAPOLYA, with an Infant in her arms.


Be as the shadow of thy outspread wings
To hide and shield us! Start'st thou in thy slumbers?
Thou canst not dream of savage Emerick. Hush!
Betray not thy poor mother! For if they seize thee,
I shall grow mad indeed, and they'll believe
Thy wicked uncle's lie. Ha! what? A soldier?

[She starts back-and enter CHEF Ragozzl


Sure Heaven befriends us. Well! he hath escaped
O rare tune of a tyrant's promises
That can enchant the serpent treachery
From forth its lurking-hole in the heart. "Ragozzi!
"O brave Ragozzi! Count! Commander! What not?"
And all this too for nothing! a poor nothing!
Merely to play the underling in the murder
Of my best friend Kiuprili! His own son-monstrous!
Tyrant! I owe thee thanks, and in good hour
Will I repay thee, for that thou thought'st me too
A serviceable villain. Could I now
But gain some sure intelligence of the queen:
Heaven bless and guard her!

ZAPOLYA (coming fearfully forward).
Art thou not Ragozzi?

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Yes! my noble general! Hush, dear one! hush! My trembling arm disturbs I sent him off, with Emerick's own packet,


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

Haste, and post haste-Prepared to follow him


Ah, how? Is it joy or fear? My limbs seem sinking!—

CHEF RAGOZZI (supporting her).

Heaven still befriends us. I have left my charger,
A gentle beast and fleet, and my boy's mule,
One that can shoot a precipice like a bird,
Just where the wood begins to climb the mountains.
The course we'll thread will mock the tyrant's guesses,
Or scare the followers. Ere we reach the main roan

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! The Lord Kiuprili will have sent a troop


To escort me. Oh, thrice happy when he finds The treasure which I convoy!



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 lifeless 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,




OLD BATHORY, a Mountaineer.

BETHLEN BATHORY, the Young Prince Andreas, sup posed Son of Old Bathory.

LORD RUDOLPH, a Courtier, but friend to the Queen's party.

LASKA, Steward to Casimir, betrothed to Glycine.
PESTALUTZ, an Assassin, in Emerick's employ.


LADY SAROLTA, Wife of Lord Casimir.
GLYCINE, Orphan Daughter of Chef Ragozzi.

Between the flight of the Queen, and the civil war

Which, through a long descent where all sound which immediately followed, and in which Emerick


Let out beyond the palace. Well I knew itBut Andreas framed it not! He was no tyrant!


Haste, madam! Let me take this precious burden! [He kneels as he takes the child.


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 na


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. The 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

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Here! For on this spot Lord Casimir Took his last leave. On yonder mountain ridge I lost the misty image which so long Linger'd or seem'd at least to linger on it.


And what if even now, on that same ridge,
A speck should rise, and still enlarging, lengthening
As it clomb downwards, shape itself at last
To a numerous cavalcade, and spurring foremost,
Who but Sarolta's own dear Lord return'd
From his high embassy?


Thou hast hit my thought!
All the long day, from yester-morn to evening,
The restless hope flutter'd about my heart.
Oh, we are querulous creatures! Little less
Than all things can suffice to make us happy;
And little more than nothing is enough

To discontent us.-Were he come, then should I
Repine he had not arrived just one day earlier
To keep his birth-day here, in his own birth-place.

But our best sports belike, and gay processions
Would to my Lord have seem'd but work-day sights
Compared with those the royal court affords.


I have small wish to see them. A spring morning,
With its wild gladsome minstrelsy of birds,
And its bright jewelry of flowers and dew-drops
Each orbed drop an orb of glory in it),
Would put them all in eclipse. This sweet retirement
Lord Casimir's wish alone would have made sacred:
But in good truth, his loving jealousy

Did but command, what I had else entreated.


And yet had I been born Lady Sarolta, Been wedded to the noblest of the realm, So beautiful besides, and yet so stately—


Hush! innocent flatterer!


Nay! to my poor fancy The royal court would seem an earthly heaven, Made for such stars to shine in, and be gracious.


So doth the ignorant distance still delude us!
Thy fancied heaven, dear girl, like that above thee,
In its mere self, a cold, drear, colorless void,
Seen from below and in the large, becomes
The bright blue ether, and the seat of gods!
Well! but this broil that scared you from the dance?
And was not Laska there: he, your betroth'd?


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Yes, madam! he was there. So was the maypole, Be brief! We know his titles! For we danced round it.


Ah, Glycine! why,

Why did you then betroth yourself?



My own dear lady wish'd it! 'twas you ask'd me!


Yes, at my Lord's request, but never wish'd, My poor affectionate girl, to see thee wretched. Thou know'st not yet the duties of a wife.


Oh, yes! It is a wife's chief duty, madam,
To stand in awe of her husband, and obey him;
And, I am sure, I never shall see Laska
But I shall tremble.


Not with fear, I think,

For you still mock him. Bring a seat from the cottage. [Exit GLYCINE into the cottage, SAROLTA continues her speech, looking after her. Something above thy rank there hangs about thee, And in thy countenance, thy voice, and motion,

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Too bluntly! Did your son owe no respect To the livery of our house?

LASKA (aside).

Yes, now 'tis coming.


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 ange.
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.


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 azide.
Not for all ears!


Old man! you talk 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.


Even such respect

As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf That hath begun to worry the poor lambs!

Old insolent ruffian!



Pardon! pardon, madam! I saw the whole affray. The good old man Means no offence, sweet lady!-You, yourself, Laska! know well, that these men were the ruffians! Shame on you!

SAROLTA (speaks with affected anger).

What! Glycine! Go, retire!

[Erit GLYCINE, mournfully. Be it then that these men faulted. Yet yourself, Or better still belike the maidens' parents, Might have complain'd to us. Was ever access Denied you? Or free audience? Or are we Weak and unfit to punish our own servants?


[BATHORY bowing, shows her into his cottage LASKA (alone).

Vexation! 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.

Is my lady gone?

So then! So then! Heaven grant an old man patience! Is he return'd?

And must the gardener leave his seedling plants,

Leave his young roses to the rooting swine,

While he goes ask their master, if perchance


Laska! Laska!

LASKA (surlily). Gone.


Have you yet seen him?

[LASKA starts up from his seat Has the seat stung you, Laska?


His leisure serve to scourge them from their ravage? No! serpent! no; 'tis you that sting me; you!


Ho! Take the rude clown from your lady's presence! I will report her further will!


Wait, then,

Till thou hast learnt it! Fervent, good old man!
Forgive me that, to try thee, I put on
A face of sternness, alien to my meaning!
[Then speaks to the Servants.

Hence! leave my presence! and you, Laska! mark me!

Those rioters are no longer of my household!
If we but shake a dew-drop from a rose,
In vain would we replace it, and as vainly
Restore the tear of wounded modesty
To a maiden's eye familiarized to license.-
Rut these men, Laska -

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What! you would cling to him again!



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!


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 fees starting in his eye. The following line was borrowed unconsciously from Mr. Wor worth's Excursion.

I fear! whom? What?




You dare own all this?

Your lady will not warrant promise-breach.

I know, what I should fear, Mine, pamper'd Miss! you shall be; and I'll make

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Ay, as the old song says,

Calm as a tiger, valiant as a dove.

LASKA (pompously).

Do you chance to know Who-I-am, Sir?-(S'death how black he looks')


I have started many strange beasts in my time,
But none less like a man, than this before me

Nay now, I have marr'd the verse: well! this one That lifts his hand against a timid female.

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Bethlen Bathory? When he was accused,

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Why press'd you forward? Why did you defend him? Yes, I do, Bethlen; for he just now brought
False witnesses to swear away your life:
Your life, and old Bathory's too.


Question meet question: that's a woman's privilege.
Why, Laska, did you urge Lord Casimir

To make my lady force that promise from me?

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Oh! that's a different thing.
To be sure he's brave, and handsome, and so pious
To his good old father. But for loving him-
Nay, there, indeed you are mistaken, Laska!
Poor youth! I rather think I grieve for him;
For I sigh so deeply when I think of him!
And if I see him, the tears come in my eyes,
And my heart beats; and all because I dreamt
That the war-wolf* had gored him as he hunted
In the haunted forest!

•For the best account of the War-wolf or Lycanthropus, see Drayton's Moon-calf, Chalmers' English Poets, vol. iv. p. 13

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Rash words, 'tis said, and treasonous, of the king.
[BETHLEN mutters to himself indignantly
So looks the statue, in our hall, o' the god,
GLYCINE (aside).
The shaft just flown that killed the serpent!

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