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When we reach'd the Muldau's bridge, The joyous crowd above, the numberless Barks mann'd with revellers in their best garbs, Which shot along the glancing tide below,

The decorated street, the long array,

The clashing music, and the thundering
Of far artillery, which seem'd to bid

A long and loud farewell to its great doings,
The standards o'er me, and the tramplings round,
The roar of rushing thousands, all-all could not
Chase this man from my mind; although my senses
No longer held him palpable.

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"Tis, then, Werner!

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SIEGENDORF (haughtily).

The same you knew, sir, by that name; and you? GABOR (looking round).

I recognise you both; father and son,

It seems. Count, I have heard that you, or yours, Have lately been in search of me: I am here.


I have sought you, and have found you; you are charged (Your own heart may inform you why) with such A crime as[He pauses.


Give it utterance, and then

I'll meet the consequences.


You shall do so

Much, for I



First, who accuses me?


All things,

When just as the artillery ceased, and paused The music, and the crowd embraced in lieu

Of shouting, I heard in a deep, low voice,

Distinct and keener far upon my ear

Than the late cannon's volume, this word-" Werner !" If not all men: the universal rumour

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These hints, as vague as vain, attach no less To me than to my son.


I can't help that.
But let the consequence alight on him
Who feels himself the guilty one amongst us.
I speak to you, Count Siegendorf, because
I know you innocent, and deem you just.
But ere I can proceed-Dare you protect me?—
Dare you command me?

[SIEGENDORF first looks at the Hungarian, and
then at ULRIC, who has unbuckled his sabre, and
is drawing lines with it on the floor-still in its

ULRIC (looks at his father, and says)
Let the man go on!


I am unarm'd, count-bid your son lay down
His sabre.

ULRIC (offers it to him contemptuously).
Take it.


No, sir; 't is enough

That we are both unarm'd-I would not choose To wear a steel which may be stain'd with more Blood than came there in battle.

ULRIC (casts the sabre from him in contempt). It-or some Such other weapon, in my hands-spared yours Once, when disarm'd and at my mercy.


TrueI have not forgotten it: you spared me for Your own especial purpose-to sustain An ignominy not mine own.


Proceed. The tale is doubtless worthy the relater. But is it of my father to hear further?

[To SIEGENDOnt. SIEGENDORF (takes his son by the hand).

My son! I know mine own innocence-and doubt not Of yours-but I have promised this man patience;

As on that dread night Let him continue.

ULRIC (composes himself ).
It is nothing.


Count, you are bound to hear me. I came hither
Not seeking you, but sought. When I knelt down
Amidst the people in the church, I dream'd not
To find the beggar'd Werner in the seat

Of senators and princes; but you have call'd me,
And we have met.


Go on, sir.


Ere I do so,

Allow me to inquire who profited


I will not detain you

By speaking of myself much; I began

Life early-and am what the world has made me.
At Frankfort, on the Oder, where I pass'd
A winter in obscurity, it was

My chance at several places of resort
(Which I frequented sometimes, but not often)
To hear related a strange circumstance,
In February last. A martial force,

Sent by the state, had, after strong resistance,
Secured a band of desperate men, supposed
Marauders from the hostile camp. They proved,
However, not to be so-but banditti,

Whom either accident or enterprise

By Stralenheim's death? Was 't I-as poor as ever; Had carried from their usual haunt-the forests

And poorer by suspicion on my name.
The baron lost in that last outrage neither
Jewels nor gold; his life alone was sought-
A life which stood between the claims of others
To honours and estates, scarce less than princely.

Which skirt Bohemia-even into Lusatia.
Many amongst them were reported of
High rank-and martial law slept for a time.
At last they were escorted o'er the frontiers,
And placed beneath the civil jurisdiction

Of the free town of Frankfort. Of their fate,
I know no more.


And what is this to Ulric?


Amongst them there was said to be one man
Of wonderful endowments:-birth and fortune,
Youth, strength, and beauty, almost superhuman,
And courage as unrivall'd, were proclaim'd
His by the public rumour; and his sway,
Not only over his associates but

His judges, was attributed to witchcraft.

Such was his influence:-I have no great faith
In any magic save that of the mine-

I therefore deem'd him wealthy.-But my soul
Was roused with various feelings to seek out
This prodigy, if only to behold him.

And did you so?



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You'll hear. Chance favour'd me: You! base calumniator!

A popular affray in the public square

Drew crowds together-it was one of those
Occasions, where men's souls look out of them,
And show them as they are-even in their faces:
The moment my eye met his-I exclaim'd
"This is the man!" though he was then, as since,
With the nobles of the city. I felt sure

I had not err'd, and watch'd him long and nearly:
I noted down his form-his gesture-features,
Stature and bearing-and amidst them all,
'Midst every natural and acquired distinction,
I could discern, methought, the assassin's eye
And gladiator's heart.

ULRIC (smiling).

The tale sounds well.

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You merciful!


I. 'T will rest
You conceal'd me-

With me at last to be so.
In secret passages known to yourself,
You said, and to none else. At dead of night,
Weary with watching in the dark, and dubious
Of tracing back my way-I saw a glimmer
Through distant crannies of a twinkling light.
I follow'd it, and reach'd a door-a secret
Portal-which open'd to the chamber, where,
With cautious hand and slow, having first undone
As much as made a crevice of the fastening,
I look'd through, and beheld a purple bed,
And on it Stralenheim !-

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When I first charged him with the crime :-so lately. I pledge my life for

This is so


GABOR (interrupting him).
Nay-but hear me to the end!
Now you must do so.-I conceived myself
Betray'd by you and him (for now I saw
There was some tie between you) into this
Pretended den of refuge, to become

The victim of your guilt; and my first thought
Was vengeance: but though arm'd with a short poniard
(Having left my sword without), I was no match
For him at any time, as had been proved
That morning-either in address or force.

I turn'd, and fled-i' the dark: chance, rather than
Skill, made me gain the secret door of the hall,
And thence the chamber where you slept-if I
Had found you waking, Heaven alone can tell
What vengeance and suspicion might have prompted;
But ne'er slept guilt as Werner slept that night.

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This tower.


yours. Withdraw into

[Opens a turret door.

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SIEGENDORF (points to ULRIC's sabre, still upon the ground).

Take also that

I saw you eye it eagerly, and him


GABOR (takes up the sabre).
I will; and so provide

To sell my life-not cheaply.

[GABOR goes into the turret, which SIEGENDORF closes. SIEGENDORF (advances to ULRIC).

Now, Count Ulric! For son I dare not call thee-What say'st thou?


His tale is true.


True, monster!


Most true, father;

And you did well to listen to it: what
We know, we can provide against. He must
Be silenced.


Ay, with half of my domains; And with the other half, could he and thou Unsay this villany.


It is no time

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