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Swift as a spirit invoked, I should be with thee!
Enter EMeRick, Lond Rudolph, LAskA and Huntsmen and Attendants.
Rudol, Ph. A gallant chace, Sire. emerick, Aye, but this new quarry That we last started seens worth all the rest. [Then to LAsk A. And you—excuse me—what's your name? LASKA. - Whatever Your Majesty may please. EM Ettick. Nay, that's too late, man. Say, what thy mother and thy godfather Were pleased to call thee? LASKA. Laska, my liege Sovereign. EMFraick. Well, my liege subject Laska! Lord Casimir's steward? LASKA. And your majesty's creature. EM. F. Rick. Two gentle dames made off at our approach. Which was your lady ? LA's K.A. My liege lord, the taller. The other, please your grace, is her poor handmaid, Long since betrothed to me. But the maid's froward— Yet would your grace but speak— EM epick.
And you are
Hum, master steward I am honoured with this sudden considence. Lead on. [To LAskA, then to Runolph. Lord Rudolph, you'll announce our coming. Greet fair Sarolta from me, and entreat her To be our gentle hostess. Mark, you add How much we grieve, that business of the state Hath forced us to delay her lord's return. Lond Rudolph (aside). Lewd, ingrate tyrant! Yes, I will announce thee. emienick.
Now onward all. [Exetent attendants.
ACT II. SCENE i.
A savage wood. At one side a cavern, overhung with ivy. ZApolyA and RAAB Kiu Prill discovered : both, but especially the latter, in rude and savage garments. RAAb ki Up to ill. Heard you then aught while I was slumbering? zAPdLY A. Nothing. Only vour face became convulsed. We miserable! Is heaven's last mercy fled? Is sleep grown treacherous? rta AB Ki upril Li. 0 for a sleep, for sleep itself to rest in I dreamt I had met with food beneath a tree, And I was seeking you, when all at once My feet became entangled in a net: Still more entangled as in rage I tore it. At length I freed myself, had sight of you, But as I hasten’d eagerly, again I found my frame encumber'd : a huge serpent Twined round my chest, but tightest round my throat. z Apo LY.A. Alas!'t was lack of food : for hunger chokes' haab Ki up a lit. And now I saw you by a shrivell'd child Strangely pursued. You did not fly, yet neither Touch'd you the ground methought, but close above it Did seem to shoot yourself along the air, And as you pass'd me, turn'd your face and shriek'd. zA poi, Y.A. I did in truth send forth a feeble shriek, Scarce knowing why. Perhaps the mock'd sense craved To hear the scream, which you but seen'd to utter. For your whole face look'd like a mask of torture! Yet a child's image doth indeed pursue me Shrivell d with toil and penury! rt A.A.d riu prail,i. Nay! what ails you? zA polya. A wonderous faintness there comes stealing o'er me. Is it Death's lengthening shadow, who comes onward, Life's setting sun behind him : fo A A B Ki UPR i Li. Cheerly! The dusk Will quickly shroud us. Ere the moon be up, Trust me I'll bring thee food | zApol, Y.A. Hunger's tooth has Gnawn itself blunt. O, I could queen it well O'er my own sorrows as my rightful subjects. But wherefore, O revered Kiuprili! wherefore Did my importunate prayers, my hopes and fancies, Force thee from thy secure though sad retreat? would that my tongue had then cloven to my mouth ! But Heaven is just With tears I conquer'd thee, And not a tear is left me to repent with ! Hadst thou not done already—hadst thou not Suffer'd—oh, more than e'er man feign'd of friendship? rt A.A. o ki up for Li. Yet be thou comforted ' What! hadst thou faith when I turn'd back incredulous? 'Twas thy light That kindled mine. And shall it now to out, | And leave thy soul in darkness? Yet look up,
And think thou see'st thy sainted lord commission'd
Ilark! heard you not
A distant chaunt
SONG, by Glycine.
A sunny shaft did I behold,
And poised therein a bird so bold—
He sunk, he rose, he twinkled, he troll'd
His eyes of fire, his beak of gold,
And thus he sang: • Adieu! adieu'
z Apot. Y.A. Sure 'tis some blest spirit! For since thou slewest the usurper's emissary That plunged upon us, a more than mortal fear Is as a wall, that wards off the beleaguerer And starves the poor besieged. [Song again. R.A.A.B Ki uprili. It is a maiden's voice! quick to the cave! z Apol, Y.A. liark' her voice faulters! P.A.A.B. Ki U Prailt. She must not enter The cavern, else I will remain unseen [Kiu Prill retires to one side of the stage. Glycine enters singing. Glycine (fearfully.) A savage place! saints shield me! Bethlen! Bethlen! Not here?—There's no one here! I'll sing again. [Sings again.
By prayers, and with the shedding of his blood,
z Apo LY.A.
Even till this morning?
This morning” when my weak faith fail'd me wholly!
The false ones charged the valiant youth
with treasonous words of Emerick
za poly A (in agitation). O speak! Gl.Y.cine. - A wounded lady— [ZApolyA faints—they both support her. | GLY cine. | Is this his mother? . as ab knu Pai Li. She would fain believe it, Weak though the proofs be. Hope draws towards itself The flame with which it kindles. [Horn heard without. To the cavern Quick! quick! Glycine. Perchance some huntsmen of the king's. Raab kitupai Li. Emerick at, Yet NE. He came this morning— [They retire to the cavern, bearing ZApolyA. Then enter Bernlen armed with a boar-spear. betn len. I had a glimpse of some fierce shape: and but that Fancy often Is Nature's intermeddler, and cries halves With the outward sight, I should believe I saw it Bear off some human prey. O my preserver! Bathory ! Father! Yes, thou deservest that name! Thou didst not mock me! These are blessed findings! The secret cypher of my destiny [Looking at his signet. Stands here inscribed : it is the seal of fate ' Ha!—(Observing the cave). Had ever monster fitting lair, "t is yonder! Thou yawning Den, I well remember thee! Mine eyes deceived me not. Heaven leads me on 1 Now for a blast, loud as a king's defiance, To rouse the monster couchant o'er his ravine! |Blows the horn—then a pause. Another blast ! and with annther swell To you, ye charmed watchers of this wood! If haply I have come, the rightful heir Of vengeance: if in me survive the spirits of those, whose guiltless blood flowed streaming here! [blows again louder. Still silent? Is the monster gorged Heaven shield me! Thou, faithful spear! be both my torch and guide. [As Batalan is about to enter, Kiu phill speaks from the cavern unseen. RAAb kit, PRI L I. Withdraw thy foot." Itetract thine idle spear, And wait obedient! be the EN (in amazement). Ha! What art thou? speak! *AAA kiupalli (still unseen). Avengers' bet in Lex. By a dying mother's pangs, Een such am I. Receive ine! RAAB kiuraili (still unseen). Wait Beware! At thy first step, thou treadest upon the light Thenceforth must darkling slow, and sink in darkness! north Len. Ha! see my boar-spear trembles like a reed!—
Oh, fool! mine eyes are duped by my own shuddering.—
RAAB kiupalli (still unseen).
Patience' Truth ! Obedience:
Be thy whole soul transparent! so the Light
is et a Le N. * Ask rather the poor roaming savage, Whose infancy no holy rite had blest. To him, perchance rude spoil or ghastly trophy, In chase or battle won, have given a name. I have none—but like a dog have answer'd To the chance sound which he that fed me call'd me. na Ad kiuphill (still unseen). Thy birth-place? pertilex. Deluding spirits, Do ye mock me! Question the Night! Bid Darkness tell its birth-place? Yet hear! Within yon old oak's hollow trunk, Where the bats cling, have I survey'd my cradle! The mother-falcon hath her nest above it, And in it the wolf litters!——I invoke you, Tell me, ye secret ones! if ye beheld me As I stood there, like one who having delved For hidden gold hath found a talisman, O tell! what rights, what offices of duty This signet doth command 1 What rebel spirits Owe homage to its Lord na Ab kiupnili (still unseen). More, guiltier, mightier, Than thou mayest summon! Wait the destined hour! - Bethlen. O yet again, and with more clamorous prayer, I importune ye! Mock me no more with shadows! This sable mantle—tell, dread voice! did this Enwrap one fatherless? zA polyA (unseen). One fatherless! Bethlen (starting). A sweeter voice!—A voice of love and pity! Was it the soften’d echo of mine own Sad echo! but the hope it kill'd was sickly, And ere it died it had been mourn’d as dead One other hope yet lives within my soul : Quick let me ask!—while yet this stifling fear, This stop of the heart, leaves utterance —Are—are these The sole remains of her that gave me lie? Have I a mother 7 [ZApolyA rushes out to embrace him. Bethlen starts. Ha! zApolyA (embracing him). My son' my son' A wretched—Oh no, no! a blest—a happy mother! [They embrace. K1 upnili and Glycine come forward, and the curtain drops.
Glycine. Yes! good old man My lady! pray believe him sAro LTA. Hush, Glycine ! [Then to Bathony. Speak! we hear you! ot. D bath on Y. My tale is brief. During our festive dance, Your servants, the accusers of my son, Offer'd gross insults, in unmanly sort, To our village maidens. He (could he do less?) Rose in defence of outraged modesty, And so persuasive did his cudgel prove (Your hectoring sparks so over brave to women Are always cowards), that they soon took flight, And now in mere revenge, like baffled boasters, Have framed this tale, out of some hasty words Which their own threats provoked. SAR olt A.
Be silent, I command you.
Old man! you talk Too bluntly! Did your son owe no respect To the livery of our house? old B.Atti ott Y. Even such respect As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf That hath began to worry the poor lambs' LAskA. Old insolent ruffian' Glycine. 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 ! sanolta (speaks with affected anger). What! Glycine? Go, retire [Exit 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? old bath on Y. So then | So then Heaven grant an old man patience! And must the gardener leave his seedling plants, Leave his young roses to the rooting swine, While he goes ask their master, if perchance His leisure serve to scourge them from their ravage - LASKA. Ho! Take the rude clown from your lady's presence! I will report her further will SAROLTA. 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!
laska (aside). Yes, now 'tis coming. sanolt A. 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 anger 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! old Bath of Y. Ha! what, strangers' here ! What business have they in an old man's eye Your goodness, lady—and it came so sudden– I can not—must not—let you be deceived. I have yet another tale, but— [Then to Sanolta aside. Not for all cars' sArtolta. 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. [BAT hoax bowing, shows her into his cottage. LAsk A (alone). Wexation 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. GLY cine. Laska' Laska! Is my lady gone? lAsKA (surlily). Gone. Giw cine. Have you yet seen him? Is he return'd? [LAsKA starts up from his seat. Has the seat stung you, Laska? LASKA. No, serpent' no; "t is you that sting me; you! What! you would cling to him again! GLY cine. Whorn ? LASKA.
Yes; gaze as if your very eyes embraced him!
Your fears, at least,
Were real, Laska! or your trembling limbs
* Refers to the tear, which he feels starting in his eye. The sollowing line was borrowed unconsciously from Mr Wordsworth's Ercursion.