Imágenes de páginas










To roam there in my childhood oft alone,

And I would seek her! for she is not dead ! And mutter to myself the name of father.

She can not die! O pardon, gracious lady;
For still Bathory (wly, till now I guess'd not)

You were about to say, that he return'da
Would never hear it from my lips, but sighing
Gazed upward. Yet of late an idle terror--

Deep Love, the godlike in us, still believes'

Its objects as immortal as itself!
Madam, that wood is haunted by the war-wolves,
Vampires, and monstrous—~

And found her still
SAROLTA (with a smile).
Moon-calves, credulous girl!

Alas! he did return :
Haply some o'ergrown savage of the forest

He left no spot unsearch'd in all the forest, Hath his Jair there, and fear hath framed the rest. But she (I trust me by some friendly hand)

(Then speaking again to Bethlen. Had been borne off.
After that last great batlle (O young man!
Thou wakest anew my life's sole anguish), that

O whither?
Which fixed Lord Emerick on his throne, Bathory
.Led by a cry, far inward from the track,

Dearest Bethlen! In the hollow of an old oak, as in a nest,

I would that you could weep like me! O do not Did find thee, Bethlen, then a helpless babe:

Gaze so upon the air! The robe, that wrapt thee, was a widow's mantle.

SAROLTA (continuing the story).

Wbile he was absent, An infant's weakness doth relax my framc.

A friendly troop, 't is certain, scour'd the wood,
O say-I fear to ask--

Hotly pursued indced by Emerick.
And I to tell thee.


Oh Hell!
Strike! O strike quickly! See, I do not shrink.

GLYCINE (to silence him). [Striking his breast.

I am stone, cold stone.

Hid in a brake hard by,

Hist! I'll curse him in a whisper! Scarce by both palms supported from the earth,

This gracious lady must hear blessings only. A wounded lady lay, whose life fast waning

She hath not yet the glory round her head, Seemd to survive itself in her fixt

Nor those strong eagle wings, which made swift way

eyes, That strain's towards the babe. At length one arm

To that appointed place, which I must seek :
Painfully from her own weight disengaging,

Or else she were my mother!
She pointed first to Heaven, then from her bosom
Drew forth a golden casket. Thus entreated

Noble youth!
Thy foster-father took thee in his arms,

From me fear nothing! Long time have I owed
And, kneeling, spake: If aught of this world's comfort Offerings of expiation for misdeeds
Can reach thy heart, receive a poor man's troth,

Long pass'd that weigh me down, though innocent! That at my life's risk I will save thy child!

Thy foster-father hid the secret from thee, Her countenance work'd, as one that seem'd preparing

For he perceived thy thoughts as they expanded, A loud voice, but it died

Proud, restless, and ill-sorting with thy state! upon In a faint whisper, • Fly! Save him! Hide-hide all!,

Vain was his care! Thou 'st made thyself suspected

E'en where Suspicion reigns, and asks no proof And did he leave her? What! had I a mother?

But its own fears! Great Nature hath endow'd thee And left her bleeding, dying? Bought I vile life.

With her best gifts! From me thou shalt receive With the desertion of a dying mother?

All honourable aidance! Dut haste hence! Oh agony!

Travel will ripen thee, and enterprise

Beseems thy years! Be thou henceforth my soldier! Alas! thou art bewilder'd,

And whatsoe'er betide thee, still believe
And dost forget thou wert a helpless infant!

That in each noble deed, achieved or suffer'd,

| Thou solvest best the riddle of thy birth! What else can I remember, but a mother

And may the light that streams from thine own honour Mangled and left to perish ?

Guide thee to that thou seekest!
Hush, Glycine !

Must he leave us ?
It is the ground-swell of a teening instinct :
Let it but lift itself to air and sunshine,

And for such goodness can I return nothing, And it will find a mirror in the waters,

But some hot tears that sting mine eyes ? Some sighs It now makes boil above it. Check him not!

That if not breathed would swell my heart to stifling? BETILEN.

May Heaven and thine own virtues, high-born lady, O that I were diffused among the waters

Be as a shield of fire, far, far aloof That pierce into the secret depths of earth,

To scare all evil from thee! Yet, if fate And find their way in darkness! Would that I

Hath destined thee one doubtful hour of danger, Could spread myself upon the homeless winds ! From tlic uttermost region of the earth, methinks,


her lips













And you are





Swift as a spirit invoked, I should be with thee!

Enter EMERICK, Lord RUDOLPH, Laska and Hunts. And then, perchance, I might have power to unbosom

men and Attendants. These thanks that struggle here. Eyes fair as thine Ilave gazed on me with tears of love and anguish, Which these eyes saw not, or beheld unconscious; I gallant chace, Sire. And tones of anxious fondness, passionate prayers, llave been talk'd to me! But this tongue ne'er soothed

Ave, but this new quarry A mother's ear, lisping a mother's name!

That we last started seems worth all the rest.
O at how dear a price have I been loved,

[Then 10 LASKA.
And no love could return! One boon then, lady! And you-excuse me--what's your name?
Where'er thou bid'st, I go thy faithful soldier,
But first must trace the spot, where she lay bleeding

Who gave me life. No more shall beast of ravine Your Majesty may please.
Affront with baser spoil that sacred forest!
Or if avengers more than human haunt there,

Nay, that's too late, man.
Take they what shape they list, sayage or heavenly, Say, what thy mother and thy godfather
They shall make answer to me, though my heart's Were plcased to call thee?

Should be the spell to bind them. Blood calls for blood!

Laska, my liege Sovereign. [Exit Bethlen.

Well, my liege subject Laska!
Ah! it was this I fear'd. To ward off this

Lord Casimir's steward?
Did I withhold from him that old Bathory
Returning, hid beneath the self samc oak,


your majesty's creature. Where the babe lay, the mantle, and some jewel Bound on his infant arm.

Two gentle dames made off at our approach.

Which was your lady?
Oh, let me fly
And stop him! Mangled limbs do there lie scatter'd

My liege lord, the taller.
Till the lured eagle bears them to her nest.

The other, please your grace,

is her

poor handmaid, And voices have been heard! And there the plant grows long since betrothed to me. But the maid's froward – That being eaten gives the inhuman wizard

Yet would your grace but speakPower to put on the fell hyæna's shape.

Hum, master steward! What idle tongue hath witch'd thee, Glycine?

I am honoured with this sudden confidence. I hoped that thou hadst learnt a nobler faith.

[To Laska, then to Rudolph.

Lord Rudolph, you 'll announce our coming. Ochide me not, dear lady! question Laska,

Greet fair Sarolta from me, and entreai her
Or the old man.

To be our gentle hostess. Mark, you add

How much we grieve, that business of the state
Forgive me, I spake harshly. Hath forced us to delay her lord's return.
It is indeed a mighty sorcery

That doth enthral thy young heart, my poor girl : Lewd, ingrate tyrant! Yes, I will announce thee.
And what hath Laska told thee?

Now onward all.

(Exeunt attendants. Three days past

EMERICK (solus). A courier from the king did cross that wood;

A fair one, by my faith! A wilful man, that arm'd himself on purpose:

If her face rival but her gait and stature,
And never hath been heard of from that time!

My good friend Casimir had his reasons too.
[Sound of horns without. « ler tender health, her vow of strict retirement,

Made early in the conventllis word pledged—-
Hark! dost thou hear it?

All fictions, all! fictions of jealousy.

Well! if the mountain move not to the prophet, 'T is the sound of horns! The prophet must to the mountain! In this Laska Our huntsmen are not out!

There's somewhat of the knave mix'd up with dolt.

Through the transparence of the fool, methought,
Lord Casimir

I saw (as I could lay my finger on it)
Would not come thus!

[Horns again. The crocodile's eye, that peer'd up from the bottom.
This knave may do us service.

lot ambition
Still louder!

Won me the husband. Now let vanity

And the resentment for a forced seclusion

Haste we hence! Decoy the wife! Let him be deem'd the aggressor For I believe in part thy tale of terror!

Whose cunning and distrust began the game! But, trust me, 't is the inner man transformd :

(Exit. Beasts in the shape of men are worse than war-wolves.

(Sarolta and GLYCINE exeunt. Trumpets etc. louder.



Lead on.














Touch'd you

And think thou see'st thy sainted lord commission'd ACT II.

And on his way to aid us! Wience those late dreams, SCENE I.

Which after such long interval of bopeless

And silent resignation, all at once savage wood. At one side a cavern, overhung with ivy. ZAPOLYA and Raab Kiuprili discovered both, Night after night commanded thy return

Hither? and still prese pted in clear vision but especially the latter, in rude and savage gar- This wood as in a scene? this very cavern? ments.

Thou darest not doubt that Heaven's especial hand RAAB KIUPRILI.

Work'd in those signs. The hour of thy deliverance Heard you then aught while I was slumbering? Is on the stroke:—for Misery can not add

Grief to thy griefs, or Patience to thy sufferance!

Only your face became convulsed. We miserable! Can not! Oh, what if thou were taken from me?
Is leaven's last mercy fled? Is sleep grown treacherous? Nay, thou saidst well: for that and death were one.

Life's grief is at its height indeed; the hard O for a sleep, for sleep itself to rest in!

Necessity of this inhuman state I dreamt I had met with food beneath a tree,

Has made our deeds in human as our vestments. And I was seeking you, when all at once

Housed in this wild wood, with wild usages, My feet became entangled in a net:

Danger our guest, and famine at our portalStill more entangled as in rage I tore it.

Wolf-like to prowl in the shepherd's fold by night! At length I freed myself, had sight of you,

At once for food and safety to affrighten But as I hasten'd cagerly, again

The traveller from his roadI found my frame encumber'd : a huge serpent

[GLYCINE is heard singing without. Twined round my chest, but tightest round my throat.

Hark! heard


not Alas!' was lack of food : for hunger chokes !

A distant chaunt!

And now I saw you by a shrivelld child
Strangely pursued. You did not fly, yet neither

A sunny shaft did I behold,
the ground methought, but close above it

From sky to earth it slanted : Did secm to shoot yourself along the air,

And poised therein a bird so bold -
And as you pass'd me, turn'd your face and shriek'd.

Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted!
I did in truth send forth a feeble shriek,

He sunk, he rose, he twinkled, he trolld
Scarce knowing why. Perhaps the mock'd sense craved Within that shaft of sunny mist;
To hear the scream, which you but seem'd to utter.

His eyes of fire, his beak of gold,
For your whole face look'd like a mask of torture!

All else of amethyst!
Yet a child's image doth indeed pursue me
Shrivell'd with toil and penury!

And thus he sang: « Adieu! adicu!

Love's dreams prove seldom true.
Nay! what ails you ? The blossoms, they make no delay:

The sparkling dew-drops will not stay.
A wonderous faintness there comes stealing o'er me.

Sweet month of May, Is it Death's lengthening shadow, who comes onward,

We must away; Life's setting sun behind him?

Far, far away!

To-day! to-day!,
Cheerly! The dusk
Will quickly shroud us. Ere the moon be


ZAPOLYA. Trust me I'll bring thee food!

Sure 't is some blest spirit!

For since thou slewest the usurper's emissary
Hunger's tooth has

That plunged upon us, a more than mortal fear
Goawn itself blunt. 0, I could queen it well

Is as a wall, that wards off the beleaguerer O'er my own sorrows as my rightful subjects.

And starves the poor besieged.

[Song again. But wherefore, 0 revered Kiuprili! wherefore Did my importunate prayers, my liopes and fancies, It is a maiden's voice! quick to the cave! Force thee from thy secure though sad retreat?

ZAPOLYA. Would that my tongue had then cloven to my mouth! Ilark! her voice faulters!

[Exit ZAPOLYAS But Heaven is just! With tears I conquer'd thee, And not a tear is left me to repent with!

She must not enter Hadst thou not done already—hadst thou not

The cavern, else I will remain unseen! Suffer'd-oh, more than e'er man feign'd of friendship? [RIUPRILI retires to one side of the stage. GLYCINE

enters singing. Yet be thou comforted! What! hadst thou faith

GLYCINE (fearfully.) When I turnd back incredulous? 'T was thy light A savage place! saints shield me! Bethlen! Bethlen! That kindled minë. And shall it now go out,

Not here!- There's no one here! I'll sing again. And leave thy soul in darkness? Yet look up,

(Sings again.








Ha! my ser!

If I do not hear my own voice, I shall fancy

By prayers, and with the shedding of his blood, Voices in all chance sounds!

[Starts. To make disclosure of his parentage.

'T was some dry branch But most of all Dropt of itself! Oh, he went forth so raslıly,

ZAPOLYA (rushing out from the cavern). Took no food with him-only his arms and boar-spear!

Heaven's blessing on thee! Speak! What if I leave these cakes, this cruse of wine,

Here by this cave, and seck him with the rest? Whether his Mother live, or perish'd here!

Leave them and flee!

Angel of Mercy, I was perishing
GLYCINE (shrieks, then recovering).

And thou didst bring me food: and now thou bring'st
Where are you?

The sweet, sweet food of hope and consolation
RAAB KIUPRILI (slill unseen).

To a mother's famislı'd heart! His name, sweet maiden!
Leave them!

E'en till this morning we were wont to name him

"T is Glycine! Bethlen Bathory! Speak to me, Bethlen! speak in your own voice!

ZAPOCYA. All silent!-If this were the war-wolfs den!

Even till this morning ? 'T was not his voice!

This morning? when my weak faith fail'd me wholly! (GLYCINE leaves the provisions and exit fearfully. Pardon, O thou that portion'st out our sufferance,

KIUPRILI comes forward, seizes them and car- And fill'st again the widow's empty cruse !
ries them into the cavern. GLYCINE returns, Say on!
having recovered herself.


The false ones charged the valiant youth Shame! Nothing hurt me! With treasonous words of EmerickIf some fierce beast have gored him, he must needs

Speak with a strange voice. Wounds cause thirst and
hoarseness !

Spcak, Betblen! or but moan. St-St--No-Bethlen! And of Lord Casimir-
If I turn back and he should be found dead here,

[She creeps nearer and nearer to the cavern. O agony! my son !
I should
80 mad!-Again!'T was my own heart!

Hush, coward heart! better beat loud with fear, But my dear lady-
Than break with shame and anguishi!

ZAPOLYA and RAAB KIUPRILI, [ As she approaches to enter the cavern, KIUPRILI

GLYCINE shrieks.
Saints protect me!

Lady Sarolta

Frown'd and discharged these bad men.
Swear then by all thy hopes, by all thy fears-

RAAB KIUPRILI (turning off and to himself). GLYCINE

Righteous heaven Save me!

Sent me a daughter once, and I repined,

That it was not a son. A son was given me.
Swear secrecy and silence!

My daughter died, and I scarce shed a tear:

And lo! that son became my curse and infamy.
I swear!


Sweet innocent! and you came here to seek him, Tell what thou art, and what thou seekest?

And bring hiin food. Alas! thou fear'st?


Not much! A harmless orphan youth, to bring him food

My own dear lady, when I was a child

Embraced me oft, but her heart never beat so.
Whercfore in this wood ?

i'or I too am an orphan, motherless !
Alas! it was his purpose


O yet beware, lest hope's brief Alash but deepen With what intention came he? Wouldst thou save him, The after gloom, and make the darkness stormy! Hide nothing!

In that last conflict, following our cscape,

The usurper's cruelty had clogu'd our flight
Save him ! O forgive his rashness ! With many a babe, and many a childing mother..
He is good, and did not know that thou wert human!

This maid herself is one of numberless
RAAB KIUPRILI (repeats the word).

Planks from the same vast wreck.
Human ?

[Then to GLYCINE again.

Well! Casimir's wife-
[Then sternly.
With what design?


She is always gracious, and so praised the old man
To kill thee, or

That his heart o'erflowed, and made discovery If that thou wert a spirit, to compel thee

That in this wood

stops her.














ZA POLYA (in agitation).

Oh, fool! mine eyes are duped by my own shuddering:O speak!

Those piled thoughts, built up in solitude,

Year following year, that press'd upon my heart A wounded lady- As on the altar of some unknown God, [ZAPOLYA faintsthey both support her. Then, as if touch'd by fire from heaven descending,

Blazed up within me at a father's nameIs this his mother?

Do they desert me now!-at my last trial?

Voice of command! and thou, 0 hidden Light!
She would fain believe it,

I have obey'd! Declare ye by what name
Weak though the proofs be. Hope draws towards itself I dare invoke you! Tell what sacrifice
The flame with which it kindles.

Will make you gracious.
[Horn heard without.

RAAB KIUPRILI (still unseen),
To the cavern!

Patience! Truth! Obedience! Quick! quick!

Be thy whole soul transparent! so the Light

Thou seekest may enshrine itself within thee!
Perchance some huntsmen of the king's. Thy name?

Emerick ?

Ask rather the poor roaming savage,

Whose infancy no boly rite had blest.
He came this morning-

To him, perchance rude spoil or ghastly trophy, [They retire to the cavern, bearing ZAPOLYA. Then In chase or battle won, have given a name. enter Bgtalen armed with a boar-spear. I have none-but like a dog have answer'd BETHLEN.

To the chance sound which he that fed me call'd ine.
I had a glimpse

BAAB KIUPRILI (still unseen).
Of some fierce shape; and but that Fancy often Thy birth-place?
Is Nature's intermeddler, and cries halves
With the outward sight, I should believe I saw it

Deluding spirits, Do ye mock me?
Bear off some human prey. Omy preserver ! Question the Night! Bid Darkness iell its birth-place?
Bathory! Father! Yes, thou deservest that name! Yet hear! Within yon old oak's bollow trunk,
Thou didst not mock me! These are blessed findings! Where the bats cling, bave I survey'd my cradle!
The secret cypher of my destiny

The mother-falcon hath her nest above it,

[Looking at his signet. And in it the wolf litters!--l invoke you, Stands here inscribed : it is the seal of fate!

Tell me, ye secret ones! if ye beheld me Ha!-(Observing the cave). Had ever monster fitting As I stood there, like one who having delved lair, 't is yonder !

For hidden gold hath found a talisman,
Thou yawning Den, I well remember thee!

O tell! what rights, what offices of duty
Mine eyes deceived me not. Heaven leads me on! This signet doth command? What rebel spirits
Now for a blast, loud as a king's defiance,

Owe homage to its Lord ?
To rouse the monster couchant o'er his ravine!

RAAB KIUPRILI (still unseen). (Blows the horn-then a pause.

More, guiltier, mightier, Another blast! and with another swell

Than thou mayest summon! Wait the destined hour! To you, ye charmed watchers of this wood! If haply I have come, the rightful heir

O yet again, and with more clamorous prayer, Of vengeance : if in me survive the spirits

I importune ye! Mock me no more with shadows! Of those, whose guiltless blood flowed streaming here! This sable mantle-tell, dread voice! did this

[Blows again louder. Enwrap one fatherless ? Still silent? Is the monster gorged ? Ileaven shield me!

ZA POLYA (unseen). Thou, faithful spear! be both my torch and guide.

One fatherless! [As Bethlen is about to enter, Kiuprili speaks from

BETALEN (starting). the cavern unseen.

A sweeter voice!-A voice of love and pity!

Was it the soften'd echo of mine own Withdraw thy foot! Retract thine idle spear,

Sad echo! but the hope it kill'd was sickly,
And wait obedient!

And ere it died it had been mourn'd as dead !
BETALEN (in amazement).

One other hope yet lives within my soul:
Ha! What art thou? speak! Quick let me ask ! – while yet this sufling fear,
RAAB KIU PRILI (still unseen).

This stop of the heart, leaves utterance !- Are-ar Avengers !


The sole remains of her that gave me life?
By a dying mother's pangs,

Have I a mother?
E'en such am I. Receive me!

[ZAPOLYA rushes out to embrace him. Betilen starts. RAAB KIUPRILI (skill unseen).

Ha !
Wait! Beware!

ZAPOLYA (embracing him).
At thy first step, thou treadest

the light

My son! my son! Thenceforth must darkling flow, and sink in darkness! A wretched —Oh no, no! a blest—a happy mother!

[They embrace. KLUPkili and GLYCINE come forward, Ha! see my boar-spear trembles like a reed !

and the curtain drops.





« AnteriorContinuar »