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LASKA.

EMERICK.

EMERICK.

ACT III.

Hold constant to thy exploit with this monster,

And leave untouched your common talk aforesaid,
SCENE I

What your Lord did, or should have done.
A stately Room in LORD Casimie's Castle.

My talk
Enter EMERICK and Laska.

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
Laska, in all things that concern thine own
Interest or safety.

And this then was thy talk? While knave and coward,
LASKA.
In this sovereign presence

Both strong within thee, wrestle for the uppermost,

In slips the fool and takes the place of both,
I can fear nothing, but your dread displeasure.

Babbler ! Lord Casimir did, as thou and all men.
EMERICK

He loved himself, loved honours, wealth, dominion.
Perchance, thou think'st it strange, that I of all men
Should covet thus the love of fair Soralta,

All these were set upon a father's head :

Good truth! a most unlucky accident!
Dishonouring Casimir?

For he but wish'd to hit the prize ; not graze
LASKA.

The head that bore it: so with steady eye
Far be it from me!

Off flew the parricidal arrow.–Even
Your Majesty's love and choice bring honour with them.

As Casimir loved Emcrick, Emerick
EMERICK.

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 af nought

For love of me now let him wink! Or if
A parent's blessing; braved a father's curse?

The dame prove half as wise as she is fair,
LASKA (a side).
Would I but knew now, what his Majesty meant!

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

LASKA.
Kiuprili, my Lord's father-

Your Majesty's reasoning has convinced me.
EMERICK.
"T is

EMERICK (with a slight start, as one who had been
talk,
your

talking aloud to himself: then with scorn). Is it, good statesman Laska?

Thee! 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?

LASKA.
The fool that ran into the monster's jaws.

Between the wall and arras to conceal you.
EMERICK.

EMERICK.
Well, 't is a loyal monster if he rids us

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.
And that unhappy girl
EMERICK.

[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.

LASKA.
Henceforth then I'll believe

Well then! Here I stand,
That jealousy can make a liare a lion.

Like Hercules, on either side a goddess.
LASKA.
Call this

[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 houseEMERICK.

hold
Made thee shake like a leaf! Are all safe lodged..—Then, put Fidelity

Within her proper wards, just turn her round-
The war-wolf leapt; at the first plunge he seized her; So-the door opensmand 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. 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

LASKA.

LASKA.

EMERICK.

EMERICK.

BETALEN.

LASKA.

LASKA.

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).
Chapel or oratory in this mansion?

Mark! Heaven grant it may be so!
OLD BATHORY.

Glycine?
Even so.

LASKA.

She! I traced her by the voice.
From that place then am I to take

You 'll scarce believe me, when I say I heard
A helm and breast-plate, both inlaid with gold, The close of a song: the poor wretch had been singing:
And the good sword that once was Raab Kiuprili's. As if she wish'd to compliment the war-wolf
OLD BATHORY.

At once with music and a meal! Those very arms this day Sarolta show'd me

BETHLEN (to BAT ORY).
With wistful look. I'm lost in wild conjectures!

Mark that!
BETHLEN.
O tempt me not, e'en with a wandering guess, At the next moment I beheld her running,
To break the first command a mother's will

Wringing her hands with, Bethlen! O poor 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 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
Sympathize with the powers that work in silence

Laska's brave tongue, and high heroic fancy?
Thus spake she, and she look'd as she were then
Fresh from some heavenly vision!

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!
LASKA.

Or was it that you sent the poor girl forward
All asleep!

To stay the monster's stomach ? Dainties quickly
(Then observing Betalen, stands in idiot-affright. Pall on the taste and cloy the appetite!
I must speak to it first-Pụt-put the question !

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!
Laska! what ails thee, man?

And ache all over at the dangerous fancy!
LASKA (pointing to Betalen).

LASKA.
There!

What then! you swell upon my lady's favour,
I see nothing! where?

High Lords and perilous of one day's growth!

But other judges now sit on the bench!
He does not see it!

And haply, Laska hath found audience there,

Where to defend the treason of a son
Bethlen, torment me not!

Might end in lifting up both Son and Father
BETHLEN.

Still higher; to a height from which indeed
Soft ! Rouse him gently! You both may drop, bul, spite of fate and fortune,
He hath outwatch'd his hour, and half asleep,

Will be secured from falling to the ground.
half
open, mingles sight with dreams.

"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,
The fool is drunk! Witness'd the whole? My tale's of later date.

OLD BATITORY.

LASKA.

With eyes

OLD BATHORY.

BETALEN.

LASKA.

LASKA,

BETALEN.

BETHLEN.

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
In vain to rescue the rash maid, I saw her!

LASKA.
Glycine?

BETALEN.
Nay! Dare I accuse wise Laska,
Whose words find access to a monarch's car,
Of a base, braggart lie? It must have been
Her spirit that appear'd to me. But haply
I come too late? It has itself deliver'd
Its own commission to you?

OLD BATHORY.

"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.

up,

OLD BATUORY.

The sudden swelling of this shallow dastard
Tells of a recent storm : the first disruption
Of the black cloud that bangs and threatens o'er 11s.

BETHLEY.

E'en this reproves my loitering. Say where lies
The oratory?

OLD BATHORY.

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!

SAROLTA.

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.

SAROLTA.
Has the youth's father come back from his search?

ATTENDANT.
He never will, I fear me, 0 dear lady!
That Laska did so triumph o'er the old man
It was quite cruel - « You 'U be sure," said he,
« To meet with part at least of your son Bethlen,
Or the war-wolf must have a quick digestion!
Go! Seurch the wood by all means! Go! I pray you!»

SAROLTA. Inhuman wretch !

ATTENDANT.

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!

SAROLTA.
Nay!'t was my grief, and not my anger spoke,
Small fault indeed! but leave me, my good girl!
I feel a weight that only prayer can lighten.

(Exit Attendant.
O they were innocent, and yet have perished
In their May of life; and Vice grows old in triumph.
Is it Mercy's hand, that for the bad man holds
Life's closing gale?--
Still passing thence petitionary Hours
To woo the obdurate spirit to repentance?
Or would this chillness tell me, that there is
Guilt too enormous to be duly punishid,
Save by increase of guilt? The Powers of Evil
Are jealous claimants. Guilt too hath its ordeal,
And Hell its own probation! - Merciful Heaven,
Rather than this, pour down upon thy suppliant
Disease, and agony, and comfortless want!
O send us forth to wander on, unshelter'd!
Make our food bitter with despised tears!
Let viperous scorn hiss at us as we pass!
Yea, let us sink down at our enemy's gate,
And beg forgiveness and a morsel of bread!
With all the heaviest worldly visitations.
Let the dire father's curse that hovers o'er us
Work out its dread fulfilment, and the spirit
Of wrong’a Kiuprili be appeased. But only,
Only, 0 merciful in vengeance! let pot

BETHLEN.

There I will meet you! And till then good night! Dear good old man, good night!

OLD BATHORY.

() 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!

BETILEN.

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!

BETHLEN.

SAROLTA.

EMERICK.

EMERICK.

BETHLEN.

SAROLTA.

SAROLTA.

That plague turn inward on my Casimir's soul !

But

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.

EMERICK.
In such a shape a father's curse should come.

Pish! who is this !
EMERICK (advancing).
Fear not!

O sleepless eye of Heaven!
SAROLTA.

A blest, a blessed spirit! Whence camest thou?
Who art thou? Robber! Traitor ?

May I still call thee Bethlen?

BETHLEN.
Friend!

Ever, lady,
Who in good hour hath startled these dark fancies, Your faithful soldier!
Rapacious traitors, that would fain depose
Joy, love, and beauty, from their natural thrones :

Insolent slave! Depart!
Those lips, those angel eyes, that regal forehead. Know'st thou not me?

SAROLTA.
Strengthen me, Heaven! I must not seem afraid !

I know thou 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?
EMERICK.

Monster, retire! O touch him not, thou blest one!
Sarolta's love;

This is the hour, that fiends and damned spirits
And Emerick's power lies prostrate at her feet. Do walk the earth, and take what form they list!

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.
Of Beauty's star, and kept my heart in darkness!
First then on him I will administer justice-

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 !
SAROLTA.
Help! Treason! Help!

Lady, be calm! fear not this king of the buskin!
EMERICK.

A king? Oh laughter! A king Bajazet!
Call louder! Scream again :

That from some vagrant actor's tyring-room,
Here's none can hear you !

Hath stolen at once his speech and crown!
SAROLTA.

Ah! treason!
hear me,
Heaven!

Thou hast been lesson'd and trick'd up for this !
EMERICK.

As surely as the wax on thy death-warrant
Này, why this rage? Who best deserves you? Casimir, Shall take the impression of this royal signet,
Emerick's bought implement, the jealous slave

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!
[She throws him off, and rushes towards a toilet. The light hath flash'd from Heaven, and I must follow it!

Emerick follows, and as she takes a dayger, he o curst usurper! O thou brother-murderer!
grasps it in her hand,

That madest a star-bright queen a fugitive widow!

Who fillest the land with curses, being thyself
Ha! ha! a dagger;

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

EMERICK.

SAROLTA.

BETHLEN.

ENERICK,

Hear me,

SAROLTA.

EMERICK.

CASIMIR.

LORD RUDOLPI.

Heard you

CASIMIR.

LORD RUDOLPH.

LORD RUDOLPU.

CASIMIR.

LORD RUDOLPI.

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-
CASIMIR runs in between the combatants, and

LORD RUDOLPR.
parts them; in the struggle Betalen's sword is

Enough! the time is precious! thrown down.

You left Terneswar late on yester-eve?
CASIMIR.
The king disarm'd too by a stranger! Speak!

And sojourn'd there some hours?
What may this mean?

I did so!
EMERICK.

Deceived, dishonour'd lord!
Ask thou yon fair adultress! She will tell thee

Aught of a hunt preparing?
A tale, which wouldst thou be both dupe and traitor,
Thou wilt believe against thy friend and sovereign!

Yes; and met
Thou art present now, and a friend's duty ceases : The assembled huntsmen!
To thine own justice leave I thine own wrongs.
Of half thy vengeance, I perforce must rob thee,

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.
Hence with him to the dungeon! and to-morrow,
Ere the sun rises,--hark! your heads or his!

Your answer?
BETHLEN.
Can Hell work miracles to mock Heaven's justice?

As the word proves false or true
EMERICK.

Will Casimir cross the hunt, or join the huntsmen!
Who speaks to him dies! The traitor that bas menaced
His king, must not pollute the breathing air,

The event redeem'd their pledge?
Even with a word!
CASIMIR (to BATHORY).

It did, and therefore
Hence with him to the dungeon!

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.
And wielded by a stripling's arm, it baffled,
Yea, fell like Heaven's own lightnings on that Tarquin. I enter'd as the door was closing on you:

His
was fix'd, yet secm'd to follow

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!
Swift swift must be our means! To-morrow's sun
Sets on his fate or mine! O blest Sarolta!

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.

CASIMIR.

EMERICK.

SAROLTA.

LORD RUDOLPII.

CASIMIR,

eye

CASIMIR.

the Stage.

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