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Hold constant to thy exploit with this monster,
And leave untouched your common talk aforesaid,
What your Lord did, or should have done.
The saints forbid! I always said, for my part,
« Was not the king Lord Casimir's dearest friend? I do perceive thou hast a tender conscience,
Was not that friend a king? Whate'er he did Laska, in all things that concern thine own
’T was ail from pure love to his Majesty.» Interest or safety.
And this then was thy talk? While knave and coward,
Both strong within thee, wrestle for the uppermost, I can fear nothing, but your dread displeasure.
In slips the fool and takes the place of both,
Babbler ! Lord Casimir did, as thou and all men.
He loved himself, loved honours, wealth, dominion. Perchance, thou think'st it strange, that I of all men
All these were set upon a father's head: Should covet thus the love of fair Soralta,
Good truth! a most unlucky accident!
For he but wish'd to hit the prize ; not graze
The head that bore it: so with steady eye
Off flew the parricidal arrow.-Even
Loves Casimir, intends him no dishonour. Perchance, thou hast heard, that Casimir is my friend,
He wink'd not then, for love of me forsooth! Fought for me, yea, for my sake, set at nought
For love of me now let him wink! Or if
The dame prove half as wise as she is fair,
He may still pass his hand, and find all smooth.
[ Passing his hand across his brou.
LASKA. Kiuprili, my Lord's father
Your Majesty's reasoning has convinced me. 'T is your talk,
EMERICK (with a slight start, as one who had been
talking aloud to himself: then with scorn). Is it, good statesman Laska?
Thee! 'Tis well! and more than meant. For by my faith No, not mine,
had half forgotten thee.-Thou hast the key? Not mine, an please your Majesty! There are
(Laska bows. Some insolent malcontents indeed that talk thusNay worse, mere treason. As Bathory's son,
And in your lady's chamber there's full space?
Between the wall and arras to conceal you.
Here! This purse is but an earnest of thy fortune, Of traitors! But art sure the youth's devoured ?
If thou provest faithful. But if thou betrayest me, LASKA. Not a Jimb left, an please your Majesty!
Hark you!-the wolf that shall drag thee to his den
Shall be no fiction. And that unhappy girl
[Exit EMERICK. LASKA manet with a key in one Thou followed'st her
hand, and a purse in the other. Into the wood ?
[Laska bows assent. Henceforth then I'll believe
Well then! Here I stand,
Like Hercules, on either side a goddess.
[Looking at the purse. Scarce had I got the first glimpse of her veil
Preferment; this (Holding up the key), Fidelity! When, with a horrid roar that made the leaves
And first my golden goddess : what bids she? Of the wood shake
Only :-« This way your Majesty! hush, The house
hold Made thee shake like a leaf!
Are all safe lodged..—Then, put Fidelity
Within her proper wards, just turn her roundThe war-wolf leapt ; at the first plunge he seized her; So-the door opens-and for all the rest, Forward I rush'd!
'T is the king's deed, not Laska's. Do but this
And—«I'm the mere earnest of your future fortunes.Most marvellous!
But what says the other?-Whisper on! I hear you ! LASKA.
(Putting the key to his enr. Hurled my javelin ; All very true!-hut, good Fidelity! Which from his dragon-scales recoiling
If I refuse king Emerick, will you promise,
And swear, now, 10 unlock the dungeon-door,
Enougl! And save me from the hangman? Aye! you 're silent! And take, friend, this advice. When next thou tonguest What not a word in answer? A clear nonsuit! it,
Now for one look to see that all are lodged
At the due distance-then-yonder lies the road
LASKA (still more recovering). For Laska and his royal friend king Emerick!
Well now! I love a brave man to my heart. [Exit Laska. Then enter BATHORY and BETALEN. I myself braved the monster, and would fain BETHLEN.
Have saved the false one from the fate she tempted. He look'd as if he were some God disguised
OLD BATHORY. In an old warrior's venerable shape,
You, Laska? To guard and guide my mother. Is there not
BETALEN (to BATHORY).
Mark! Heaven grant it may be so!
She! I traced her by the voice.
You ʼll scarce believe me, when I say I heard
As if she wish'd to compliment the war-wolf
At once with music and a meal! Those very arms this day Sarolta show'd me
BETHLEN (to BATBORY).
Wringing her hands with, Bethlen! 0
Bethlen! Imposed, a mother's voice made known to me!
I almost fear, the sudden noise I made, « Ask not, my son,» said she, « our names or thine. Rushing impetuous through the brake, alarm'd her, The shadow of the eclipse is passing off
She stopt, then mad with fear, turn'd round and ran The full orb of thy destiny! Already
Into the monster's gripe. One pitcous scream
I heard. There was no second-I-
We'll spare your modesty! Who dares not honour Sympathize with the powers that work in silence!»
Laska's brave tongue, and high heroic fancy?
You too, Sir Knight, have come back safe and sound! [Re-enter Laska, not perceiving them. You play'd the hero at a cautious distance!
Or was it that you sent the poor girl forward
To stay the monster's stomach? Dainties quickly
OLD BATHORY. I'll confess all!
(Stammering with fear. Laska, beware! Forget not what thou art!
Shouldst thou but dream thou 'rt valiant, cross thyself!
And ache all over at the dangerous fancy!
What then you swell upon my lady's favour,
High Lords and perilous of one day's growth!
But other judges now sit on the bench!
And haply, Laska hath found audience there,'
Where to defend the treason of a son Bethlen, torment me pot!
Might end in lifting up both Son and Father
Still higher; to a height from which indeed Soft ! Rouse him gently! You both may drop, but, spite of fate and fortune, He hath outwatch'd his hour, and half asleep,
Will be secured from falling to the ground. With eyes half open, mingles sight with dreams. "T is possible too, young man! that royal Emerick, OLD BATHORY.
At Laska's rightful suit, may make inquiry Ho! Laska! Don't you know us! 't is Bathory
By whom seduced, the maid so strangely missingAnd Bethlen! LASKA (recovering himself).
Soft! my good Laska! might it not suffice, Good now! Ha! ha! An excellent trick. If to yourself, being Lord Casimir's steward, Afraid! Nay no offence! But I must laugh.
I should make record of Glycine's fate? But are you sure now, that 't is you, yourself.
LASKA. BETHLEN (holding up his hand as if to strike him). 'T is well! it shall content me! though your fear Would'st be convinced ?
Has all the credit of these lower'd tones.
[Then very pompously. No nearer, pray! consider ! First we demand the manner of her death? If it should prove his ghost, the touch would freeze me
BETALEN To a tomb-stone. No ncarer!
Nay! that's superfluous! Have you not just told us,
That you yourself, led by impetuous valour,
After the fate, from which your valour strove
"T is most likely! And the ghost doubtless vanish'd, when we enter'd And found brave Laska staring wide-at nothing!
LASKA. "T is well! You've ready wits! I shall report them, With all duc honour, to his Majesty! Treasure them up, I pray! A certain person, Whom the king flatters with his confidence, Tells you, his royal friend asks startling questions! 'T is but a hint! And now what says the ghost?
BETHLEN. Listen! for thus it spake : « Say thou to Laska, Glycine, knowing all thy thoughts engross'd In thy new office of king's fool and knave, Foreseeing thou 'lt forget with thine own hand To make due penance for the wrongs thou'stcaused her, For thy soul's safety, doth consent to take it From Bethlen's cudgel»--thus. [Beats him off.
Off! scoundrel! off!
(LASKA runs away.
ATTENDANT. We all did love her, madam!
She deserved it! Luckless Glycine! rash, unhappy girl! 'T was the first time she e'er deceived me.
ATTENDANT She was in love, and had she not died thus, With grief for Bethlen's loss, and fear of Laska, She would have pined herself to death at home.
Has the youth's father come back from his search?
He never will, I fear me, 0 dear lady!
The sudden swelling of this shallow dastard
And old Bathory answer'd With a sad smile, « It is a witch's prayer, And may Heaven read it backwards., Though she was
rash, 'T was a small fault for such a punishment!
E'en this reproves my loitering. Say where lies
yon flight of stairs!
There I will meet you! And till then good night!
O yet one moment! What I repell'd, when it did seem my own, I cling to, now 't is parting-call me father! It can not now mislead thee. O my son, Ere yet our longues have learnt another name, Bethlen !-say-Father to me!
Now, and for ever My father! other sire than thou, on earth I never had, a dearer could not have! From the base earth you raised me to your arms, And I would leap from off a throne, and kneeling, Ask Heaven's blessing from thy lips. My father!
Nay!'t was my grief, and not my anger spoke,
er, heng nt Night
That plague turn inward on my Casimir's soul!
yours is tragic! Love in war! It charms me, Scare thence the fiend Ambition, and restore him And makes your beauty worth a king's embraces ! To his own heart! O save him! Save my husband!
(During this Speech BETALEN enters armed). [During the latter part of this speech Emerick
comes forward from his hiding-place. SAROLTA Ruffian forbear! Turn, turn and front my sword!
seeing him, without recognizing him.
Pish! who is this!
O sleepless eye of Heaven!
A blest, a blessed spirit! Whence camest thou?
May I still call thee Bethlen?
Insolent slave! Depart!
I know thiou art a villain
[Aside. And coward! That, thy devilish purpose marks thee! The king to night then deigns to play the masker. What else, this lady must instruct my
sword! What seeks your Majesty?
Monster, retire! O touch him not, thou blest one!
This is the hour, that fiends and damned spirits
Do walk the earth, and take what form they list!
Yon devil hath assurned a king's!
The king will play the devil with thee indeed!
But that I mean to hear thee howl on the rack,
I would debase this sword, and lay thee prostrate,
At this thy paramour's fcel; then drag her forth. Yet not from you, Lord Emerick!
Stain'd with adulterous blood, and (Then to SAROLTA.
- Mark you, traitress! Strumpeted first, then turn'd adrift to beggary!
Chiefly from me. • Has he not like an ingrate robb'd my court
Thou prayed'st for 't too.
Thou art so fiendish wicked,
That in thy blasphemies I scarce hear thy threats ! Help! Treason! Help!
Lady, be calm! fear not this king of the buskin!
A king? Oh laughter! A king Bajazet!
That from some vagrant actor's tyring-room,
Hath stolen at once his speech and crown!
Ah! treason !
Thou hast been lesson'd and trick'd up for this !
As surely as the wax on thy death-warrant
So plain thy face hath ta'en the mask of rebel !
[Emerick points his hand haughtily towards BetaWho proffers you a throne? Nay, mine you
LEN, who catching a sight of the signet, seizes Hence with this fond resistance! Yield; then live
his hand and eagerly observes the signet, then This month a widow, and the next a queen!
flings the hand back with indignant joy.
Yet, yet for one brief moment
(Struggling. It must be so ! 'T is e'en the counterpart!
Put with a foul usurping cipher on it!
Emerick follows, and as she takes a dayger, he o curst usurper! O thou brother-murderer!
That madest a star-bright queen a fugitive widow!
Who fillest the land with curses, being thyself
All curses in one tyrant! see and tremble!
This is Kiuprili's sword that now hangs o'er thee! "T is held, devotion is akin to love,
Kiuprili's blasting curse, that from its point
of bread! sations. vers o'er us and the spirit
But only, et not
Shoots lightnings at thee. Hark! in Andreas' name,
Enter Lond RUDOLPE.
Well met Lord Rudolph!--
Your whisper was not lost upon my ear,
And I dare trust-
Enough! the time is precious! thrown down.
You left Temeswar late on yester-eve?
And sojourn'd there some hours?
I did so!
Aught of a hunt preparing?
Yes; and met
Was there no word given ?
The word for me was this;— The royal Leopard
[Then to the Attendants. Chases thy milk-white dedicated Hind.
Your answer ?
As the word proves false or true
Will Casimir cross the hunt, or join the huntsmen!
The event redeem'd their pledge ?
It did, and therefore
Have I sent back both pledge and invitation.
And bears with her my seal of fellowship!
[They take hands, etc.
But Emerick! how when you reported to him
Of Bethlen with his guards?
O he received it
As evidence of their mutual guilt: in fine,
With cozening warmth condoled with, and dismiss'd me.
His eye was fix'd, yet seem'd to follow you :
[In an under voice. With such a look of hate, and scorn and triumph, I had detected cre I left the city
As if he had you in the toils already,
And were then chusing where to stab you
But hush! draw back!
This nook is at the farthest [Embracing her.
From any beaten track.
There! mark them!
[Points to where Laska and PESTALUTZ cross [Exeunt consulting.