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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
'T was ail from pure love to his Majesty.»
And this then was thy talk? While knave and coward,
Both strong within thee, wrestle for the uppermost,
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.
All these were set upon a father's head :
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
As Casimir loved Emcrick, Emerick
Loves Casimir, intends him no dishonour.
He wink'd not then, for love of me forsooth! Fought for me, yea, for my sake, set af 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 luis brow), Oh yes, Sire! 't is our common lalk, how Lord
Your Majesty's reasoning has convinced me.
EMERICK (with a slight start, as one who had been
talking aloud to himself: then with scorn). Is it, good statesman Laska?
'T is well! and more than meant. For by my faith No, not mine,
I had half forgotten thee.-Thou hast the key? Not mine, an please your Majesty! There are
(Laska bows. Some insolent malcontents indecd 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, Not a limb left, an please your Majesty!
Hark you!--the wolf that shall drag thee to his den
Shall be no fiction.
[Exit EMERICK. LASKA manet with a key in one Thou followed'st her
hand, and a purse in the other.
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
:- « This way your Majesty! hush. The houseEMERICK.
Within her proper wards, just turn her round-
'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. Hurl'd my javelin ; | All very true !-but, good Fidelity! Which from his dragon-scales recoiling
If I refuse king Emerick, will you promise,
And swear, now, 10 unlock the dungeon-door,
Enough! 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 BetulEN. 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 BATRORY. In an old warrior's venerable shape,
You, Laska! To guard and guide my mother. Is there not
BETHLEN (to BATHORY).
Mark! Heaven grant it may be so!
She! I traced her by the voice.
You 'll scarce believe me, when I say I heard
At once with music and a meal! Those very arms this day Sarolta show'd me
BETHLEN (to BAT ORY).
Wringing her hands with, Bethlen! O poor Bethlen!
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 The victor Crescent glitters forth, and sheds
I heard. There was no second-IO'er the yet lingering haze a phantom light.
BETALEN. Thou canst not hasten it! Leave then to Heaven
Stop there! The work of Heaven: and with a silent spirit
We'll spare your modesty! Who dares not honour
Laska's brave tongue, and high heroic fancy?
You too, Sir Knight, have come back safe and sound!
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! OLD BATHORY.
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
Might end in lifting up both Son and Father
Still higher; to a height from which indeed
Will be secured from falling to the ground.
"T is possible too, young man! that royal Emerick,
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.
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 To a tomb-stone. No nearer!
Nay! that's supertluous! Have you not just told us,
That you yourself, led by impetuous valour,
BATHORY. Go! Go! [Betalen breaks off and exit. BATHORY looks af
fectionately after him.
May every star now shining over us, Be as an angel's eye, to watch and guard him!
[Exit BATHORY. SCENE changes to a splendid Bed-chamber, hung
with tapestry. Sarolta in an elegant Night Dress, and an Attendant.
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 due honour, to his Majesty! Treasure them 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'st caused her, For thy soul's safety, doth consent to take it From Bethlen's cudgel»--hus. [Beats him off.
Off! scoundrel ! off!
[LASKA runs away.
The sudden swelling of this shallow dastard
E'en this reproves my loitering. Say where lies
Ascend yon flight of stairs! Midway the corridor a silver lamp Hangs o'er the entrance of Sarolta's chamber, And facing it, the low arch'd oratory! Me thou 'll find watching at the outward gate : For a petard might burst the bars, unheard By the drenched porter, and Sarolta hourly Expects Lord Casimir, spite of Emerick's message!
ATTENDANT. We all did love her, madam!
She deserved it!
SAROLTA. Inhuman wretch !
And old Bathory answer'd With a sad smile, « It is a witch's prayer, And may Heaven read it backwards., Though she was
There I will meet you! And till then good night! Dear good old man, good night!
() 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 tongues 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!
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 thou art a villain
[Aside. And coward! That, thy devilish purpose marks thee!
Monster, retire! O touch him not, thou blest one!
This is the hour, that fiends and damned spirits
Yon devil hath assurned a king's!
BETHLEN. Heaven guard the sovereign's power from such de
Usurp'd it! basement! Far rather, Sire, let it descend in vengeance
EMERICK. On the base ingrate, on the faithless slave
The king will play the devil with thee indeed! Who dared unbar the doors of these retirements !
But that I mean to hear thee howl on the rack, For whom? Has Casimir deserved this insult?
I would debase this sword, and lay thee prostrate, O my misgiving heart! If-if-from Heaven
At this thy paramour's feet; 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, If not in mercy, yet in love and rapture. (Seizes her.
That in thy blasphemies I scarce hear thy threats !
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!
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! That mews you up with bolts and bars? or Emerick
[EMERICK points his hand haughtily towards BetaWho proffers you a throne? Nay, mine you shall be.
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.
BETHLEN. Yet, yet for one brief moment
(Struggling. It must be so ! 'T is e’en the counterpart! Unhand me, I conjure you.
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! · A seemly ornament for a lady's casket!
This is Kiuprili's sword that now hangs o'er thee! Tis held, devotion is akin to love,
Kiuprili's blasting curse, that from its point
Shoots lightnings at thee. Hark! in Andreas' name,
Enter LORD RUDOLPI. Heir of his vengeance, hell-hound! I defy thee.
Well met Lord Rudolph!-(They fight, and just as EMERICK is disarmed, in rush CASIMIR, OLD BATBORY, and attendants.
Your whisper was not lost upon my car,
And I dare trust-
Enough! the time is precious! thrown down.
You left Terneswar late on yester-eve?
And sojourn'd there some hours?
I did so!
Deceived, dishonour'd lord!
Aught of a hunt preparing?
Yes; and met
Was there no word given? For that the sovereign claims. To thy allegiance
CASIMIR. I now commit this traitor and assassin.
The word for me was this;— The royal Leopard
[Then to the Attendants. Chases thy milk-white dedicated Hind.
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. [Exit Betilen, hurried off by BATHORY and Attendants. The spotless Hind bath fled to them for shelter,
And bears with her my seal of fellowship! We hunt to-morrow in your upland forest :
[They take hands, etc. Thou (to Casimir) wilt attend us: and wilt then explain
LORD RUDOLPH. This sudden and most fortunate arrival.
But Emerick! how when you reported to him [Exit EMERICK; Manent Casimir and SAROLTA. Sarolta's disappearance, and the flight
Of Bethlen with his guards ? My lord! my husband! look whose sword lies yonder!
CASIMIR. [Pointing to the sword which Betilen had been
O he received it disarmed of by the Atlendants.
As evidence of their mutual guilt: in fine, It is Kiuprili's; Casimir, 't is thy father's!
With cozening warmth condoled with, and dismiss'd me.
you: Hush ! hush!
[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, The tyrant's curst intent. Lewd, damn'd ingrate!
And were then chusing where to stab you
first. For him did I bring down a father's curse!
But hush! draw back!
This nook is at the farthest [Embracing her.
From any beaten track. No other prayer, late penitent, dare I offer,
LORD RUDOLPI. But that thy spotless virtues may prevail
There! mark them! O'er Casimir's crimes and dread Kiuprili's curse!
(Points to where Laska and PESTALUTZ cross (Exeunt consulting.